parenting

The Ministry of Sisterhood: The Ansari Girls

img_0425If you haven’t been paying me any attention then you missed the BIG ANNOUNCEMENT! Want to know what it is/was?! My sister, Ayesha, and I have launched a show on Facebook LIVE, IG LIVE, and YouTube to discuss the ministry of sisterhood. We are giving you a behind the scenes look into our lives. How are we handling success, balancing family life, being social, and keeping our groove, all while maintaining our sanity and our close relationship with each other and our devotion to God? That’s a lot to view. So what made us think that our lives were so special that we needed a show. Let me take you on a little journey…

It’s no secret to the people who know us that my sister and I DID NOT get along growing up. We were like oil and water, if and when we did agree it was probably to agree that we didn’t agree with each other. This is how our relationship was for most of our childhood and on into our teenage years. My parents were so annoyed with us, but the older we got, our bond began to form. Now we didn’t stop arguing or fighting, we just didn’t have to do it in front of our family or friends, we each had our own homes and our hang up game was strong. So when did our relationship finally turn around. I really can’t tell you, one day I just looked at my sister differently. I no longer saw her as the brat that was driving me crazy, I saw her as another woman, someone I enjoyed being around. I didn’t just love her because she was my sister, I actually liked her as a person, someone I WANTED to hang out with. As others began to see us together they noticed the difference in our relationship and wondered what changed us. Our conversations were now inspirational and encouraging, our phones calls ended in laughs, we began to appreciate our time together.

So what change? Our faith! As our own individual relationships with God began to develop he granted us access to see each other differently. I began to see where I’d slacked as a big sister (yes, the secret is out, I am the oldest) and I allowed her to see the vulnerable parts of my life I’d kept hidden. It was in these moments our bond was solidified and we could actually see each other. As we began to share our story, our struggles, our journey, people paid attention and they wanted to hear more. If you tune into Just One Hot Mom the podcast (available on Itunes) some of my favorite shows are with my sister. But Just One Hot Mom is my baby, and I can’t share it, so what could we do that would allow people to hear and learn from our stories. Nothing but get in front of the camera and share. So on Tuesday, October 2nd, we shared our first story on “The Disciplined Art of Essentialism!” (check it out on our FB page/YouTube channel The Ansari Girls) Every other Tuesday at 8pm, we are opening the doors of our lives and sharing them with you. Our hope is that by being transparent with you about our lives, you will become confident in who you are, inspired to share your story, and encouraged that you are not alone in this life. I wouldn’t want to do this with any other person.

So your assignment, go like or subscribe to our pages and share in our journey!

Facebook: The Ansari Girls
Instagram: thensarigirls
YouTube: The Ansari Girls

parenting

The Pregnant Pause!

pregnant pauseHey “Insecure” lovers, this is for you. This season “Insecure” was fire! We see Issa and her friends evolving. A few episode back prior to the finale we see the dynamic of the friendships change as Tiffany is clearly pregnant and the girls are clearly trying to live their best lives. What happens when one of your friends makes a life altering decision that not only will change their lives but effect how y’all operate?! Let’s get into this Pregnant Pause!

In the episode Tiffany looks to be about 7-8 months pregnant but she is still holding on trying to hang with her girls. During Beychella, it’s proven that this is a bit too much for her to handle. The other girls are still up to their shenanigans, thanks to a “special boost” and Tiffany is left as the so-called responsible one. By the end of the episode we learn that the dynamics of each friendship is draining Tiffany. She wants to be a part but let’s face it, trying to maneuver a pregnant belly and party with your girls is not easy, trust me I know from experience.

Let me set the scene…September 2012 I was about 6 months pregnant. I was having an amazing pregnancy, glowing, growing, and still able to party with my girls. We’d all made a pact that I would not be a couch potato and that we were going to be twerking all the way to the delivery room. I remember the night clearly, I was in the bathroom getting dressed about to head out for the night when One Handsome Dad enters and gives his opinion. It was time for me to sit it down, I was way too pregnant to be going out with my girls and the subject was not up for debate. First, I know y’all can imagine the look on my face, I’m a grown woman, I do what I want, I was always safe and monitoring my environment, I needed to breath and get out before my last little one arrived. Apparently that did not matter to him as he walked out the door for HIS night out! No biggie I’d just call my girls to pick me up. That’s when the betrayal really settled in. Apparently they’d all had a discussion without me that it was time for me to enjoy my pregnancy on the couch. My friends, bless their hearts, were just looking out for me, but in a moment where my hormones didn’t belong to me I was hurt. I just wanted to hang out and be a part of the grown up crew before my life changed and everything became about this sweet little person we were waiting on. I needed a reality check.

Reality- I was too pregnant to be out partying. I knew it, I just didn’t want to accept it. I’d made a life decision and I wanted everyone around me to accommodate that decision. Yeah, I can be a little selfish. As a pregnant mama I had to realize that just because I couldn’t be out with my girls didn’t mean we were not friends, friendships change and that’s okay. So, I settled into my comfy clothes and shoes, grabbed a good book/tv remote/cell and partied right there in the house. What did my friends do? They still went out that night! But they made sure to plan activities that would include me and my belly. See that’s what really matters in friendships, that you make sure you all are growing together, loving on each other, and taking care of each other. I’m grateful I didn’t have to feel like I was being left behind.

pregnant pause 1Don’t forget your friends! Maybe she’s not pregnant, but has something else going on that could change your friendship, don’t count her out. We need each other, to support each other, to share secrets with someone who knows you and your heart. How has a decision you have made or your friends have made change the dynamics of your relationship? Are you all able to still maintain your friendship?

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?