parenting

Top 10 Reasons I’m Excited About School Starting!

Dear Parental Units, WE MADE IT!!! Pat yourself on the back, high-five other parents, breathe! Summer vacation is over and we can get back to our regularly scheduled school year program. Now you may think who wants summer vacation to be over…When summer vacation started I was excited to spend time with my children, as the weeks went on and we became not so loving with each other I began to dream of the day my children would go back to school. Judge if you must it’s my opinion and my parenting journey!

Here’s the list in reverse…

10. They are boring me! I had a plan for summertime fun, I was excited to be able to conquer the list with both my children, they had plans of their own, which means my list was basically voided. I got bored and it’s their fault!

9. I’m boring them! Apparently what I consider summertime fun is not as fun as I thought it would be. Apparently I can be a little boring! Where in the h-e-double hockey sticks did they get that from? I’m F-U-N!

8. Wi-Fi usage will return to normal! I thought we had unlimited Wi-Fi…guess not! At least three times this summer I received notification from our provider that we had excessive Wi-Fi usage. What’s excessive?! Any who, that excessive usage required more coins from mommy’s piggy bank. Returning to school will hopefully allow me to add some coins back to said piggy bank.

7. I will be on time for work. During the summer break I believe in breaking! Taking a break from our normal schedule which means I slept in or at least past the first 10 snooze button hits. Since school is in session and those little people of mine have to be on time, I too will be on time.

6. My leftovers from the night before will be there when I get home! I know I’m not alone with this. You take the family out to eat and bring home your leftovers for lunch, but you forget it in the fridge when you leave for work in the morning. No worries, it will be there when you get home…LIES! It will not be there because summertime fun includes your kids eating your leftovers. NO MORE, back to school means I have a fighting chance to enjoy my leftovers.

5. I can take a nap! Some days I need to leave work and come home to get my life in order. I am the QUEEN of the 10 minute nap. I set my timer, drift off, awake and I’m ready for the second half of the day. When the kids are home there is no 10 minute nap. Despite that my children know about the 10 minute nap in those 10 minutes they manage to ask every question known to man. I’m taking a 10 minute nap as soon as I’m done writing this post!!! VICTORY IS MINE!

4. This one is for Sparky, our dog! He can now roam the house freely without someone trying to get him to do tricks! All day long trying to get him to flip, rollover, fetch, it has to be exhausting for the little guy. I can see him home now dragging the pillows from some room in the house building a fort and chilling in a nice quiet house!

3. Anissa is excited because there are more girls to play with. I guess the dolls and I just aren’t enough. She doesn’t appreciate us (me and the dolls) sitting through her entire lesson plans this summer, getting sent to the principal’s office (Sparky), and having play-doh lunches. (Le sigh)

2. My BILLS are about to regulate! Personally I love sun light and cool breezes. On days when it’s not too hot outside I love opening a door and feeling that breeze and letting the natural light into our home. My children on the other hand will turn on EVERY light in the house. EVERY LIGHT and not even be in that particular room, then they will turn on every air conditioner or fan they can find, while wearing layered sweats around the house. I am truly looking forward to the day I can go to their homes and turn on all the lights and leave the refrigerator door open.

  1. MY GROCERY BILL!!! This summer I have spent a billion dollars on groceries! Okay I’m exaggerating, but it feels like a billion. If you’ve been with me for a while you know I am a huge fan of Instacart and grocery pick-up. I am now on a first name bases with the delivery drivers and grocery workers. I see them more than I see my children. My grocery receipts are long enough to make my fall wardrobe.

I hope you enjoyed my list, it’s real and its jokes. I’m excited for my children to start this journey and for them to tackle this school year and be victorious. I enjoy watching them on their journey while I continue on mine. What are your back to school traditions? Share them with us in the comments.

parenting

Being Nanekia…Do Not Apply Pressure!

jesus-hilario-h-311382-unsplashHey Hotties! The school year has officially started for most (YAY!) This summer was amazing the kids and I had a great time on some great adventures. As most of you know Anissa has started kindergarten and Jamiel is a freshmen in high school. Yeah, yeah, I know the spacing, but you know I like it spicy and the way to keep it that way is to spread them far apart, just joking that’s life. Anyway that’s not what this post is about. My son is attending a great private school, that has a high moral and educational code, they are expecting students to excel in all areas of their lives and become productive members of society. What parent doesn’t what that for their child?! I knew this was the place for my son and we have been excited all year for his start, that was until the first week of school.

Jamiel is my calm child, he doesn’t stress too much, he goes with the flow. So imagine my surprise when I caught him up late one night in a panic. His eyes were red, he had a strained look on his face and he was grabbing his stomach. My immediate response, food poisoning! As I begin to feel his forehead and ask about his other symptoms I realized it wasn’t food poisoning, Jamiel was stressed. In my mind I was thinking we are just the first week in, how can you be stressed already. I didn’t want to make light of how he was feeling, so I got him some water and asked if we could talk. (I always ask my kids if they want to talk I don’t assume they are ready just because I am.)

I took a look at what was on the screen of his laptop and there was this overwhelming schedule, something completely new to him, new teachers, new concepts to learn, new school, new people. While this could be the possibility for each school year, something was very different for him this time around. In his words, “I’m a young adult now people expect me to be responsible all the time, to know things I don’t really know, to perform. I’m always hearing how as a young black man I have to do more, HOW DO I DO MORE?!” I felt bad cause honestly I didn’t have an answer for him, I’m still trying to figure out how I can do more and I’ve had almost 40 years to do so. In the first week of school he had 3 quizzes, 2 papers, football practice, a football game, his chores for home,  and time for a social life, for someone who hasn’t had to jungle this before this was a huge shock to his system. He went through several conversations before we narrowed down his real concern, would he be a disappointment.

Jamiel’s disappointment statement hurt my heart, why would he ever think he was a disappointment. then I remembered a conversation we had earlier this summer. School was never hard for me, I didn’t have to study, I could read something one time and just know it. Jamiel had the same ability in middle school but high school is a whole new ballgame. His confidence was low, how do I help him regain it?

  1. We made a schedule for him to stick to and added the events to the calendar on his phone with reminders. There is time for studying, homework, and time each night to ask me questions about what he may need help with.
  2.  He signed up for tutoring, it’s available free through the school so why not utilize the resource.
  3. We are reading for fun a book together, to expand his horizons. We’ll be able to discuss with each other, hopefully helping him to engage in this conversation will give him with the confidence to engage in class.
  4. I’ve put the tribe on notice and asked that they pray for him and send him encouraging words. I am a firm believer that the people in your child’s life should speak excellence over their life.
  5. Going to bed on time. As much as he wants to be up playing Fortnite, he realizes that he needs rest.
  6. I’ve realized that I want him to do well, to succeed, but not at the cost of his mental health. Open communication about the pressures he feels will always be a constant in our home.

It’s important that we listen to and not just talk at our children. Their feelings matter and we need to watch the pressures we apply. What do you do when you notice your child may be a little stressed? How are you helping to alleviate that stress?

 

parenting

Back to School Blues!!

back to school 2018Summer is wrapping up and school is right around the corner (YAY!). Parents your grocery bill is about to go back to normal, just wait on it. I think that’s the thing that excites me the most my bills will normalize and well the fact that I will have a high schooler and a kindergartener. But let’s face it along with those joyous moments as we prepare to send our kids back out into the education jungle, there are some struggles to be had.

For our entire summer break, we’ve stayed up late, slept in, basically our schedule was a free for all, but with school just a few weeks away it’s time to make some adjustments. I once read somewhere (if I could recall I would give credit) that it takes 12 consecutive days for something to become a routine. So since school is just about that amount of time away we have started the following;

  1. Preparing our clothes/lunches for the next day the night before so we can do our morning routine and have our outfit/food for the day ready.
  2. Going to bed at a decent time. This is mainly for my 5-year-old, if she doesn’t get enough sleep we all pay the price in the morning. I don’t want her to start off on a bad note at a new school so 8pm bedtime it is. Now for some this is late, but for our family schedule this is perfect. Helping her develop her nightly routine distracts her from the fact her brother isn’t going to bed.
  3. Test runs to both schools and to work. We’ve gotten up and driven to both schools during rush hour to see how much time it takes. OUR FAMILY IS ALWAYS LATE! I want to start fresh with the new schools so being on time is a priority.
  4. Update your calendar! Hopefully your child’s school has sent out the yearly calendar, you should update your family calendar now. That way you are well aware of school events that will take place and ca prepare accordingly.
  5. FOr older children like my high schooler we have started the conversation about the appropriate amount of study time. With social media we need to be intentional about the time we give toward studying and sticking to it. If you start the conversation now then those “But Mom” moments will hopefully lessen because you;ve already discussed your expectation for studying.

You can still enjoy those last few weeks before school starts, but don’t get left behind and wondering why you are struggling, implement routines now to help alleviate this problem. What are some things you do to help your child(ren) prepare for the return to school? Comment below.

These may help you as well!
LuminoLite Rechargeable 3000K Warm 6 LED Book Light

For those late night’s when your high schooler needs to study late!

Alarm Clock & Night-Light

Rise & Shine little one with this nifty night light and clock!
Learning Responsibility Star Chart

Teaching responsibility doesn’t have to stress you out. Using a chore chart and holding your child accountable will help the future leaders of tomorrow!

The Night Before Kindergarten

The night before the first BIG day of school can be hard, help your child ease into the situation with this cute story about how children are preparing for school.

Uncategorized

Supplies, Supplies, Supplies!

supplies, supplies, suppliesIt’s that time of year again, time to purchase SCHOOL SUPPLIES.  It’s time to gather your coupons, look through sales papers and scout for the best deals.  Before you spend a billion dollars, I’ll give a few tips I use to conquer “The List” and cut the cost.

  1.  If you’re anything like me, you can’t pass up a good school supply deal.  You probably bought extra last year just because you found a good deal and forgot all about the items.  It.s time to treasure hunt.  Look around your home for the extras you purchased previously.  Compare what is on your current list to the items you find, you may see where you are able to save time, money, and energy, looking for these items again.
  2. If you work in an office like I do then I’m sure at some point supplies are inventoried.  Times change, new systems are implemented making some office supplies obsolete.  Before the office decides to pitch them ask if you can go through them.  I know personally in our office we are going paperless which mean the need for binders to store papers has gone down.  Binders can be pretty expensive and if you need 4-5, $$$$.  Most office will be happy to get rid of the stuff to someone in need instead of throwing it out.  Again compare your list and mark off what you were able to collect.  (Note:  Please get permission and make sure this is okay with the people in charge in your office, not verifying equals stealing and I know none of you want to steal.)
  3. Listen out for school supply give-aways.  Your community wants to help, let them.  There are always places, recreation centers, churches, schools having back to school drives.  This not only is an opportunity to maybe pick-up some supplies, but also a change for you to get to know the people in your community.  Mingle, make new friends, and see what you can scratch off your school supply list.
  4. If you have to make actual purchases, get your list and the papers of the stores who claim to have the best deals.  Now this is going to require some effort, but hey every dollar counts.  Compare the prices of the items you need to purchase and find out if those stores honor price matching.  Price matching is when a store you intend to purchase your items from has the item you want but another store has it at a cheaper price.  So say OfficeMax has mechanical pencils for $0.98, but Wal-Mart has them for $0.56, OfficeMax’s price match policy may allow you to get the item at the price that WalMart is offering it for.  Note the item has to be the same brand and type at both stores.  This may seem time-consuming but, hey those coins you save can add up and be used toward something else, like a mini-mom vacation.
  5. And as always reach out to your village.  They are your support system.  Allow them to support you in this area as well.  Whether it’s buying supplies or using some of the other tips I’ve suggested, your village wants to help.

So, there you have it, a few tips to help you get those school supplies your child(ren) need to achieve greatness.  What handy tips do you have for cutting this expense?  Leave them in the comments below.