I’m not sure what it is but I feel like everywhere you turn on social media someone is posting or sharing something that just doesn’t vibrate on a high frequency. I feel like we all have that one Facebook friend that is the constant bearer of bad news. Or the person that comments on everything trying to negate someone else’s opinion. And if thats not the case the state of the country alone is enough to make you want to sleep until everyone gets it the hell together. I have had people comment on how positive I am and even ask what I’m “so happy” about all the time and honestly it’s been a big mental shift that I committed to working on myself. Staying genuinely happy is a decision. And it’s one that I decided to make for myself.
When I picked RJ up from school a few weeks ago he was sitting at the table in his classroom pouting. This wasn’t that much of a shocker to me. He’s a moody 4 year old, he’s whiny and he’s a pouter much like most kids his age. But when I found out the reason he was pouting I was surprised. He told me he was in trouble for punching his teacher. Ummmm, what?! Of all the adjectives I just used to describe my child aggressive was not one of them. My child isn’t nor has he ever been a hitter. He’s a sweet kid, he’s a cuddler and sometimes he is just too dang friendly. So if I had to pin down one word to express my feelings in the exact moment he looked me in the face and told me he punched his teacher it would be… CONFUSED.
In the moment all I could say was exactly what was in my head…. WHAT??? Why would you punch the teacher. I questioned him repeatedly once we got home about what exactly happened in the situation that would lead him to believe it’s OK to put his hands on anyone, much less an adult. The only thing response he gave me or his father as much as he asked was that he was afraid. This happened on a Friday and Sunday night rolled around and I mentioned the incident to his grandmother and in front of me he gave her the same response.
When I left, he had a completely different story.
RJ told his grandmother, after I had been asking him all weekend that he was afraid to go back to school because the teacher hit him. *cue another Ummmm, what?!* This time I wasn’t confused. The maternal instinctual feeling was rage. I had no idea how to even begin to process the 100% emotional reaction that I was having to my preschooler telling me that his teacher put their hands on him. Thankfully, the incident was resolved quickly and I’m comfortable with the outcome however, in the time we live in these happenings are become far to frequent. The news stories are highlighted everywhere and I’m wondering if people are listening to the cues from their children so that we can prevent these things from happening as much as possible.
What Do You Do When You Suspect Abuse at School?
Take a deep breath – I almost added this as the last tip but it needs to be said first. Breathe, assess and don’t react. Easier said than done, but reacting without assessing the situation could be detrimental in many aspects. It’s so important to collect yourself first so that you can respond to the situation as calmly as possible.
Watch your child – Children don’t always have the words to express what is happening. And even if they do, they may be nervous to share what they are experiencing. RJ repeatedly told me he was scared and refused to say anything else. Up until this particular incident he never expressed any anxiety about going to school. He loves to play with his friends and he loves the interaction he gets with both his teachers. Him expressing fear about school was definitely a behavioral shift, something that couldn’t go ignored.
Speak to the teacher privately – And when I say privately I mean without your child present. RJs situation turned out to be a misunderstanding (trust me, it was investigated fully) but I believe addressing the situation with the teacher privately is one of the most important steps. You want to be able to get a full scope of the situation without causing any more adverse negative effects. So in this instance, I didn’t want RJ to feel even more uncomfortable with being in the classroom in the event that he was to remain in that class.
Speak with school administrators – You want to have everything on record in the event that another situation happens. So even if the situation is “resolved” within the classroom it should still be brought to the attention of someone else and a formal report should be made.
Don’t feel any type of guilt. The safety of your child comes first.
Document everything – This again is merely another step in covering yourself in case you need to escalate. If you can have each meeting documented and signed by all that were in attendance so that there are no discrepancies.
Utilize the open door policy – I know in most cases we send our children to school with the expectation that they’re going to be well taken care of and you don’t have to worry, but if you worry then check in. My son’s school has an open door policy which I definitely utilize. Don’t feel bad about popping up unexpected. If you can check in unannounced, you may feel. It also gives you a chance to see the true classroom dynamic at any given time.
Change your child’s class – If it comes down to it, have your child moved to a different class. Both you and your child deserve to be in a situation you feel comfortable with. If you suspect or have a fear your child is being mistreated or treated differently after investigating the event, a change may be needed.
Stick to your guns and follow your instinct – This is a two in one tip. As a parent no one in the world knows your child better than you. Follow their cues, and your instinct if you feel something is amiss. You deserve to be comfortable with the care your child is receiving when they are away from you.
You’re doing amazing mamas! I’m so proud of you!
Not everyone has the time or the means to get to therapy. You may not be able to afford it or don’t have the time between working and mommy duties. I also get that unfortunately especially within the black community there are still so many stigmas revolving around the idea of seeing a therapist. So many people will be quick to tell you to pray, give it to God or straight up dismiss your problems as a problem that black people don’t have. So you may feel embarrassed about wanting to ask for help (but you totally shouldn’t be).
Whatever your reason is for not being able to make it to lay on somebody’s couch, we thankfully live in the wonderful age of technology. There are a plethora of apps that are available to make self care easy on the go. Whether you need someone to talk to, or just need a few daily reminders to keep you energy positive there’s an app for ALL that.
For When You Need to Talk
Talkspace – Talkspace was actually the first app that I heard of that provided online therapy. I’m not saying it is the first of it’s kind but it’s definitely the first that was marketed in a way that caught my attention! Talkspace provides you with 24/7 access to a licensed therapist and costs WAY less than traditional therapy. This is great for moms on the go who can’t make it in to traditional appointments, those who may feel embarrassed or just someone that may need someone to talk to at an untraditional hour. Talkspace also offers therapy for teens and couples therapy.
7 Cups of Tea – 7 cups of Tea provides you with 24/7 access to talk to someone in case you don’t have the time to get in an office. What makes 7 cups different is for free you can talk to what they call “trained active listeners”. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I could use a good vent and 7 cups is looking to provide that service for you. They also have the option to connect with a licensed professional for $150 a month.
iPrevail – iPrevail is different in that you answer a series of mood based questions, and then you are connected anonymously to a peer counselor for free. They have a large community in which you can choose to connect with others who may be experiencing the same type of feelings/situations that you are. You also have the option of speaking to a licensed professional for $9.99 a month.
For When You Need Verbal Positive Reminders
Happify – Happify is an app designed for stress and worry. They send daily reminders, games and other activities to get you into the habit of thinking positively. The cool thing is that the activities are designed specifically for you based on what you input. I just started using the app and I like it. It doesn’t feel like it’s too hard and it’s not too cheesy.
Gratitude Journal – Because I truly believe in starting each day with a grateful heart. This app gives you reminders to practice gratitude on a regular basis, not just once a day. You can input the things you’re grateful for daily with pictures and share them if you chose via social media.
Sprinkle of Jesus – I know some people aren’t feeling this app but honestly, sometimes these just make me giggle. The notifications are definitely marketed towards todays generation and are looking to spread the love and light of Jesus in a way that will reach a younger market. I ain’t mad at them. They more often than not do get the message across and I’m not ashamed to say most of the time they are timely.
When You’re Ready to Take Your Self Care to a Physical Level
Breathing Zone – It may sound crazy but as someone who suffers from anxiety, sometimes I need help remembering how to breathe. Voice instructions and animations guide your pace; timed sessions from five minutes to one hour are available. Breathing zone is said to defuse stress and decrease blood pressure.
Plant Nanny – I can’t keep a real plant alive for anything but I do pretty well with plant nanny! This app is the cutest reminder ever to make sure you’re hitting your water goals (and if you need water bottle inspiration I have a post on that too). I love that you set your individual goal, and thats your focus.
Flo – If you happen to be reading this post and you aren’t a woman, you can skip this. Flo is a daily cycle tracker most use for period/ovulation. As I’ve gotten older I’ve realized knowing your cycle helps predict your moods pretty well. Hormones are real y’all, don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.
Mealime – Mealime takes the stress out of meal planning. You input your food preferences and mealtime gives you a grocery list AND recipes. Food affects your mood. The better you eat the better you will feel and if you struggle with low moods, you may want to take a look at your diet. I’m the first to admit that I don’t always eat the best. But when I do eat better, I do notice a shift in how I feel.
Are you using your phone to help boost your mood ? What is your favorite self care app?
Growing up health and wellness were not topics that I heard discussed often. When they were discussed, it was often at a time that was too late for the person to benefit from the discussion. We wait until someone passes away to talk about the long (or short) term effects of what we’re putting into our bodies. Another species goes extinct before we’re talking about the products we use and the effect it is having on the environment. These are things that by way of habit, or cultural influence have just not been a top priority. Even for myself. I’ll be the first person to admit I know very little about green living, but I do think it is time to change the narrative. Our homes, our children and our communities deserve better. That is why I was super excited to learn more about Shiftcon.
What is Shiftcon?
ShiftCon is an eco-wellness influencer conference focusing on food, wellness, health, sustainability and platform growth. Shifters are part of an online influencer community that seek healthier and more sustainable lives, promote brands that mirror their values, and help causes that speak to their soul. Our influencers span between newbies, light and deep green. Shift happens. Be part of it.
When & where is the conference held?
ShiftCon 2019 will be held in Atlanta GA this year from October 3rd – October 5th at the Grand Hyatt Buckhead. For more information on how to reserve a room within the room block click here.
Do I have to be “green” to attend?
Well I hope not, since I know very little about green living! Haha. ShiftCon Shifters welcome all shades of green. That means even if you don’t consider yourself green, we still want you as part of the community! Why? Well, we have a big job to do to fix our planet, community and food system. It’s all hands on deck and all influencers welcome! You will benefit from ShiftCon in the following ways:
- You will learn from scientists and experts about green/wellness topics
- You will meet brands that are safer for your family
- You will make a ton of new friends that can help you along the way
- And you’ll enjoy every minute
How do I attend ShiftCon?
To register and purchase your tickets for ShiftCon you can do so here.
I cannot wait to attend this amazing conference and begin the conversation on how I can do my part to learn & share about topics and products that will make living better for all of us. Will I see you there?
*This post contains affiliate links.*
You never really know what kind of parent you’re going to be. I worried from the very beginning about the type of mom I would be. Would I be too easy going? Would my kids listen? Am I capable of providing my children with a life that wouldn’t require therapy some 15-20 years down the line? Parenting is a constant merry go round of one worry or the other and no one can quite prep you for just how it feels. But the one thing I didn’t expect to worry about as much as I do? Leaving them.
It’s not like separation anxiety is a new topic in the parenting community. If you google it you can find tons of articles and sites dedicated to how to deal with separation anxiety through all ages of infancy and adolescence. But what happens when the shoe is on the other foot? I know I can’t be the only mom out there whose heart beats a little faster when it’s time for me to leave my kids. My anxiety is not that bad, I’m not talk about a regular day to do basis in which I leave and go to work. However, I have been blessed with many opportunities to travel recently and it never fails, a few days before it’s time to go the voices in my head go crazy and the dread creeps in.
We have been blessed with the ability to live in one of the busiest cities in the U.S.. For the most part, I love living in NYC. There truly is always something to do if you’re looking. We really take the name of the city that never sleeps to heart. That being said, I probably haven’t done like 85% of the things that one would expect when you live in a city this big. I’ve never been to a broadway show, I can’t remember if I’ve been to the statue of liberty, & I’ve only been in Times Square after midnight because I used to work in one of the stores there. I feel like I was a pretty sheltered child. I didn’t REALLY start to experience the magic of the city until I was old enough to venture there alone. I’m pretty sure thats common growing up here.
I was taking the subway alone by the time I was 12, maybe younger. My brother and I would take the train and the bus, from our house to my grandmas house on the weekends. Back then I don’t think it was that abnormal to see young children on the train alone. At 12 I was probably the size of a 9/10 year old, but I still remember taking that trip when the time came. It was no big deal. It’s never felt like a big deal especially living here, until I had children of my own.
Are you the parent that wants to celebrate every single holiday? I seriously love holidays, and even though I don’t care much for receiving gifts, I love giving people things that make them smile! Now that RJ is getting a little older he’s into getting creative! This past Christmas was the first time he was excited about making cookies for Santa and the reindeer! SO of course now, I want to do all the holidays!
I think people have a love/hate relationship with Peeps. Is it just me or do all the colors taste different even though they’re pretty much the same exact thing? I used to be able to bust some Peeps DOWN when I was younger but now I can handle like one or two before I can’t do it anymore, too marshmallowy! This super cute idea for Peeps Bunny Cupcakes is kid friendly even for preschoolers! Super easy and you don’t have to be a master baker (of which I am not!) to make this cute Easter Treat! I use box cupcakes (though my mom could probably bake up something amazing for this!) and can frosting because my kids don’t care about the specifics THAT MUCH.
It was JUST Christmas and now here we are, planning the next holiday. I love giving gifts, and I love the excitement of any holiday. Call me a sucker but I’ll celebrate ALL the days in the name of making my children smile.
What we NOT finna do though is have tons of candy in my house. It’s a fight to get RJ to brush his teeth regularly. So any holiday that involves candy (and of course he only likes the chewy sticky kind) we have to find alternatives. Not to mention they have enough energy on their own, they don’t need the assistance of sugar. Since Easter is a little over a month away, I wanted to share some ideas with you for things you can fill your little boys Easter basket with that won’t have them making more dentist visits than required.
We live in the age of overshare. Everyone wants you to know what they’re doing, how and why they’re doing it and then convince you that you need to do it too. Along with that comes the trolls, the opinions no one asked for and the people who just have too much time on their hands. Parenting is one of the topics that come across my feeds often. Being someone who writes in the parenting niche my feeds are full of moms, bloggers and not. Unfortunately, that comes with seeing way too many sad stories involving children. My heart breaks a little bit every single day with some of the stories that I come across.
Daycare abuse, boyfriends killing their girlfriends children and bullying are all too common news titles today. But the stories that always break my heart: child suicide. And one that especially triggered me a couple weeks ago, was concerning a young girl who hanged herself, at 9 after an argument with her mom. As a parent I can only imagine what it’s like to find you child took their own life. I can also imagine the million and one thoughts that went through that moms head as she replayed the last moments she spent with her daughter.
From the moment I became pregnant with my first child I knew I wanted to be a breastfeeding mama. I always wanted to do what I felt was the best for my child and breastfeeding was at the top of that list. I’m a reader y’all. So when the time came, I was reading all the articles and researching all the things. If I was about to take this on I knew I had to approach it in a factual matter. Breastfeeding turned out to be one of the hardest parts of new mom life I took on. BOTH TIMES.
But from the outside looking in, your probably wouldn’t have been able to tell. I never complained when RJs latch was so bad it split my nipple open. You never would have known that I got thrush on both nipples with Zayn and whenever it was time to latch it looked like we were waiting to jump in the rope for double dutch. You know the move. Back and forth. Back and forth. Pacing yourself until its finally the right moment to JUST JUMP IN. I cried whenever he finally did latch. I’m not going to sugarcoat it for y’all and say it was easy because it was HARD. But I took it all in stride because the benefits, the bond, the moments I were not in pain were some of the most amazing moments I’ve shared with my sons to date.
So when it was time to wean I knew it wasn’t going to be easy.
What I didn’t know, was who it was going to be the hardest for. Trust me both times, as soon as the boys turned 1 I started to get flooded with the “when are you going to wean him?”questions. My body, that I was already sharing with another person (and had been for almost two years) suddenly became everybody else’s business. Everybody for whatever reason seemed to be so pressed on me stopping, even though there are proven benefits to extended breastfeeding. Still I persevered. And believe me when I say, there were times when I questioned my decision and just wanted my body back. I wondered if I was still benefitting them or just doing it because I didn’t want to deal with the middle of the night screaming that would surely come with night weaning.
But like every other part of motherhood, the decision to wean came easiest when I was making it for myself.
And heads are probably rolling in the breastfeeding community with the title of this post alone. Cold turkey weaning for a breastfed child is looked at as the equivalent to a torture chamber. But it worked for my boys. It worked for me. Everyone is happy. I stopped breastfeeding cold turkey and I don’t feel guilty about it at all.
Time management has never been my thing. And then I realized I had to make it my thing. Being a mom of two, having a full time job and trying to make something out of this little blog of mine is WORK. Add that in with trying to binge watch shows on Netflix, have the bare minimum of a social life to not be considered a hermit and have a whole relationship? Chile! If I didn’t make time management a priority before its not even optional now. It HAS to make sense.
The main thing I learned when I was figuring out this time management thing is that you have to prioritize your time. Whether that’s through time blocking, meticulous planning or just being REALLY on top of your ish, you have to find a system that works for you.