parenting

Love Is…

CHS Birthday Bonus Pack Every year for the last couple of years I have posted visions of black love for Valentine’s Day. While this year I sure missed collecting all those photos and hearing the stories behind those photos, I wanted to take a different look at love, I wanted to explore the love languages and how they apply to your life as a parental figure. So journey with me down this lane of love!

Act of Service

It’s imperative we show our children love. Treating them with respect, helping with homework, watching Moana with them for the millionth time, these are acts of love and acts of service. I know that we as parents can get busy, we don’t have time to use the restroom, let alone sit still and watch YouTube videos or make slime, but it’s important that we make time. It’s our responsibility to organize ourselves in such a way that we can be of service to our children. We must be an example of this type of love so that they not only experience it but can give it back to us and others as well. Take the time to figure out what acts of service your child is longing to have you participate in and then create the time and space to do said acts.

Quality Time

I think Acts of Service and Quality Time can cross over sometimes. Kids want us to be present in their lives. Whether it’s a school play, basketball game, a stunt you just have to come outside to see, they want us to spend the time recognizing them. Again, time is sometimes limited, there’s work, house work, social lives (yes parents we can have social lives), how do you create time for quality time with your children?! I thought that this quality time had to designated, special so I had to schedule it, what I learned is that my kids appreciate anytime we spend together as long as I making the effort to acknowledge them. Putting away groceries, sorting laundry, full concert in the car no matter where we are going, these are all moments I enjoy spending time with my kids and they enjoy with me. Quality time is what you make it, it’s up to you to make the effort to share time and be present.

Words of Affirmation

“I love you!” Three simple words, yet can be so hard for people to express, even parents. Our kids need to know how we feel about them, we need to speak it into them. Pouring words of encouragement into our children help to combat what they might be hearing from the outside world. You are beautiful vs. You need to lose weight, You are loved vs. Nobody likes you, You are intelligent vs. You are stupid, we lay the foundation for opening their minds, eyes, hearts, and ears to accept words that they hear about themselves. Actions and words work together to let our kids know how we feel about them. It’s up to us as parents to make every effort to show and speak love into them on a daily basis.

Receiving Gifts

Who doesn’t like to receive a gift?! Now some may say this is teaching kids to be materialistic, but it can also be an expression of love. I know for me personally I pay attention to things my kids like that will help them be creative. Symone loves to cook so I might pick up some jazzy spices for her, Jamiel loves sports so a new pair of cleats may do the trick, and Anissa LOVES designing for her baby dolls so finding some material on clearance works out. Whatever gift you decide to give your children, let it be from your heart. Children are more perceptive than we think, they can tell a guilt gift over one you put some thought into for them. So give the gift of love and pay attention to who your child is becoming and how you can encourage them to be the best version of themselves through gifting.

Physical Touch

I have to admit this is on the lower end of my personal love language so I have to work at it. Yes this extrovert will shy away from physical contact. I have never had this issue however with my children. I love hugging them. Hugging has become the way we greet each other on a daily. One of the brightest moments of my day is when I’m making dinner and my son, who has gained some height, enters the kitchen to bend down and hug me. It means just as much to me as it does to him. Although they are not as often as they use to be Anissa’s Eskimo kisses are always welcome. Even the oldest one comes by with her arms outreached. There has always been something about a hug with me, it’s squeezing a person and allowing their weight to fall into you, almost as it for that embrace all their cares have been dropped off and they or you can be weak, I think this is why I’m careful as to who I hug. My arms are a safe place for my children, I want them to know and feel it whenever we touch. HUGS TO MY BABIES!!!

Our children need our love! Home should be the first place they experience love. No matter the parental role you play please note that determining how the child in your life best receives love is important. Make every effort possible to support their love language.

How do you show the children in your life love? Do you wish as a child you would’ve been shown love in a certain way?

To hear more about Love Is…Tune into The Parental Guidance podcast, episode 5.

parenting

I Stand With You!

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SPOILER ALERT! Don’t get mad at me I’m caught up on quite a few shows. If you are not already a “Grey’s Anatomy” fan or a Shonda Rhimes fan then you are truly missing out on GENIUS! Go watch Silent All These Years, Season 15 Episode 19. In this episode a woman wanders into the emergency where she is greeted by Joe played by actress Camilla Luddington, who is going through her own issues but notices the woman is in distress. As Joe helps her she notices that the woman isn’t being completely honest about how her injuries have come about. As the episode goes on we learn that the woman was sexually assaulted and is fearful of the repercussions if she goes to the police. Throughout the episode we see Joe and the other doctors handle her with care, she is afraid, alone, and confused about what to do next. In my most proudest Shonda Rhimes fan moment yet ( I am sure there will be plenty more) we discover the woman ( Khalilah Joi) needs surgery but she is scared, Joe (SHERO) aligns the hospital walls with women who work all thru the hospital from the janitors, to housekeeping, doctors, nurses, all the ladies. They are standing with this woman who they do not know in a sign of solidarity. WOW!!! What an excited, tear -filled, amazing moment in television history.

As I watched this episode for the 15th time I ask myself would I be willing to stand with this woman and have I stood with other women like this?! My answer…YES! It’s important that we as women understand the obligation we have to stand with our sisters. Society would pit us against each other because of the way we look, our intelligence, financial background, anything that would tear us apart. It is our duty to not allow this to happen and to inspire, encourage, and stand up for one another. Ladies we do more harm than good when we can’t be kind to each other. Think about it. What would it cost you to tell another woman she looks good, to ask her how she is doing (and actually hear her), to not shame her when she clearly could use your help? It costs us nothing to treat each other with compassion.

As I’m writing this I hear my notifications bing (that adult ADHD kicks in) and I go to view the latest IG post from two of my favorite people. As I’m tuned in they are talking about someone, how her makeup is terrible, how she could lose some weight, a bunch of other this and that. Now these are two business women I admire, they have a great future ahead of them, but in this moment I am disappointed. In their own bio it states they are here to empower other women, how can you do that when a conversation or things you thought about this other woman you are exposing on social media. Now let’s be clear, I don’t know who they were talking about or if she had done anything to them, but does that matter?! How can we empower each other if we are going to shame each other. I go to unfollow them, because watching this episode and writing this post, I’m super upset by their behavior. Sometimes that little angel on my shoulder wins and instead I reach out to them. Now ain’t I one risky chick! Who am I to say anything to them? “Hey ladies, not sure what’s going on and it’s not my business. I would hope whomever you are discussing you would address them first. Us ladies have to stick together and handle conflict by talking not exposing.” (sent/read) No comment was returned, I didn’t have to go into some long speech or expose them, when I looked at their feed later on the post was gone. Now that situation could have went so far left and pulled me out of my own hook-up, but then I would have had a choice to make about how I dealt with it. I’m pretty sure I would have gotten upset and then opted to handle with care (that’s one of my goals, to not act up, but to back-up and evaluate).

My challenge to you ladies is to figure out how can you stand with those women around you. The mom in the grocery store who’s having a moment with her child, the lady walking out of the restroom with toilet paper on her shoe, the young ladies about to fight because of a post (be careful, not foolish), your friend who won’t leave her cheating boyfriend, your family member who’s in financial crisis, how can you stand with these women? Listen/Read closely it is not your job to figure life out for them, it is not your job to take on their responsibilities, however a hug, a listening ear, a tissue in hand, not joining in conversation that demeans them is a major start to standing with these women. So what are you going to do?

If you’d like to hear more on this topic tune in to the Just One Hot Mom Maternal Self-Care podcast, “Standing In The Gap” Episode 4. Don’t forget to Like, Share, & Subscribe!

 

 

 

parenting

Planting the Seed of Love!

img_3651Transparent moment: I am totally freaking out! Anissa has been showing signs of no longer being my cuddle buddy, those Eskimo kisses have decreased, and when I say give me some suga she’s started to give me this look. We’ve reached that space when your baby starts to transform into some little independent kid that only wants to be bothered with you on occasion. I knew this day was coming, it started when she lost two teeth at once and her face began to change. No longer that chubby little baby face it now has some definition where there was once just big jaws. I began to embrace and start to cope with the fact that the last of the tribe was growing up. SIGH!

I know I’m not alone in this, I know there are other parents out there who notice when this begins to happen and I wonder how they feel. I think this time around it’s taking a greater toll on me as Anissa is the final chapter for me when it comes to giving birth to another child (don’t try to convince me otherwise). As I sit here and write this I’m a little teary eyed and then it happens… Anissa enters the room and gives me a kiss good night and once again I know what they baby love feels like. SMILE!

What I don’t realize a lot of the time is that I’ve planted a seed of love with each of my children. Although they will grow up and move away they always manage to show me an immense amount of love. While I love those snuggles, and Eskimo kisses as they grow up our love for each other has evolved into amazing awesome relationships where we can talk to each other about anything. Symone (21) checks in at home on a slightly regular basis, but never forgets to tell me she loves me, she always says it first, Jamiel (15) randomly walks up to me grabs me by my head (he’s officially taller than me now) to kiss my forehead, and Anissa (6) we’re still working out her thing, but until we do I appreciate the practice of the random hugs, the bringing of random snacks to me before bed, and how she grabs for my hand whenever we enter a room together (she’s my protection). Parents despite the disagreements, changing attitudes, and the growth of independence if you have genuinely shown your kids what it to love each other as a family you will never lose that feeling of the first time you two meant and fell in love.

So here we go hotties embracing this new love once again. I’m going to enjoy every moment of all parts of all three lives. I’ll continue to love on each of them and allow their love for me to grow as well.

How do you and your family show love? Are you in the midst of a love changing situation with your children? Start the discussion and get some suga while you’re at it!

To hear more tune into episode 4 of The Parental Guidance podcast Planting Seeds of Love.

self care

Who Are You?!

SPOILER ALERT! If you watch “This Is Us” and you are not caught up on all episodes, STOP right here. There will definitely be a few revealing things referenced here. Let’s get into this. In the last few episodes before break we see Beth and Randall in their relationship, we get how they met, how life has been since they met and then up to this point with all the arguing they have been doing recently. This note right here is about our BFF Beth and how she has compromised her entire relationship with Randall and she is finally all out of compromise. In a heated argument she says they have been having the same argument their entire relationship and she chose to be the bigger person and cater to him. WOW, can you image always being the person to give in, to never really feel heard but to keep the peace you just go with the flow. I know too many women who feel this way. We tend to just want to make everything great for everyone else and we never consider how that will make us feel. Then one day like lava building in a volcano we explode and whoever is in the area of that flame better just watch out. How dare they not realize all the sacrifices we have made for them, canceled plans, missed out wine time, hair that looks crazy, but at least little Johnny had cupcakes for his class that he told me about at midnight. We can be real life super heroes sometimes. As I watch Beth have her moment I realize there is someone to blame and it’s not Randall or the kids, or all of the other people she put before herself, the only person to blame is Beth. So guess who I’m going to blame for your identity crisis???? You got it, YOU!

Don’t roll your eyes sista! Come on in the upper room, grab your tea cup and allow me to pour. Have you ever just looked at yourself in the mirror and described who you are? Not just the wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend, co-worker, but who you really are. We get so caught up in the role we play in other people’s lives we tend to forget to show up in our own. We tell ourselves that someday we will but someday never manages to come and then like Beth one day we just cut loose like a tornado destroying whatever is in it’s path. We feel justified in letting loose because we held back so long, this moment was inevitable, right?! Wrong! We owe it to ourselves to be true to who we are, we owe it to ourselves to demand time for ourselves, we owe it to ourselves to heal, to laugh, to say no, and to just be. We forget that we have to show up for us! Instead of doing that we play roles in the lives of those around us and I’m sure sometimes it’s roles we are happy to play. When we overextend ourselves and we cater to others needs without thinking about how it will impact who we are, we lose ourselves. This right here is the greatest form of Identity Theft!

Guess what? You can reclaim who you are. You may have lost your way from you for a moment, but you have the road map back to who you were or who you want to become. It always amazes me that I can carry the tools to make Nanekia the best version of herself. It is my divine destiny to walk this life fulfilling my purpose and you are to do the same! We don’t have to keep playing roles we don’t want to play. We can rewrite the script and allow for us to lovingly, actively pursue our greatest purpose. Right now look in the mirror and say I’m coming for you, I’m claiming joy in your life, I love you! Now, I’ll be honest when you start to show up for you some people will get mad, they will not be use to this new found love you have for you, they won’t recognize you. That’s okay because you may not recognize you but you will learn and so will they.

How do we cope with identity theft? Well, just like the bank tells us, stop access to all of your funds, stop all the access to you. Do not give yourself so freely to others if you cannot afford too. If you cannot afford to put energy or effort into a situation then don’t. Now I can hear some mom or wife, “my family comes first”…I get that, but if you are not right with you how will you be of any service to them. Think about if you have ever flown what does the safety video tell you?! I’ll wait…SECURE YOURSELF FIRST! There is a reason for this, if you try to help someone else first and they don’t know how to help you, you risk losing consciousness and not being secured at all. If you take the time to secure you first you can help those around you and who knows the number of lives you might save. Secondly determine what you do and don’t like. Personally I’ve spent enough time doing things I did not enjoy for people all because I wanted to be considered loyal, a good person, worthy of them. Listen (read) carefully, you are worthy even if they never acknowledge your worthiness. You do not have to live a joyless life, in joyless moments. Be honest with your people, I don’t like baseball honey, I like spending time with you but I hate baseball, Johnny you should have told Mommy you needed cupcakes earlier, it’s midnight and the stores are closed, I would love to babysit for you, but this is my only day off and I need to be with me. You not only teach people how to treat you, but you teach yourself how to treat you. Know your worth and don’t be afraid to flex it!

Do you feel like you have lost yourself? Do you feel like life is overwhelming and you may never figure out who you are? My friend I bring you good news, you can begin right now with the decision you make for yourself today to reclaim who you are! You have the power to tell a different story where we see you happy and healthy loving you and those around you. Reclaiming your identity starts with you! How are you going to do it?

If you’d like to hear more on this topic tune in to the Just One Hot Mom Maternal Self-Care podcast, “Identity Thief” Episode 3. Don’t forget to Like, Share, & Subscribe!