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

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!

parenting, women

Colorism?!

colorism blog postIn last week’s episode of Black-ish (Season 5, Episode 10) The Johnson family was faced with what many families of color are faced with, the topic of colorism. What is colorism you might asked, well it is defined as prejudice or discrimination against individuals with darker skin tone, typically among people of the same ethic or racial group (dictionary.com). Now you may wonder how can people of the same race be prejudice against each other, but trust it happens especially in African-American families where there can be a variety of shades, light, brown, honey, caramel, dark, black people come in all colors. While we are told to be proud of our brown skin we are the very same people who will tease, bully, harass each other about being too dark, too light. It’s a sad but true fact we can hate each other all because of the color of our skin, the thing that we fight against in so many other arenas we fight with each other with as well. Go on over to ABC.com and check out Black-ish which airs Tuesdays at 9pm, especially this most recent episode if you’d like to delve into the topic on colorism.

Recently in our home we had the topic of colorism come up, which makes the timing of this episode extra special. As with every night before bed I apply my facial cream to remove the residue of the day. As I was standing in the mirror Anissa asked if she could apply some. I explained to her that this was for mommy to remove her makeup and that her skin was gorgeous and she didn’t need the extra, I saw the disappointed look on her face and inquired as to why she looked sad. She explained to me that my cream was making my skin lighter and prettier and that her darker skin didn’t look like mine. GASP! Anissa is 6 years old and I never thought that one she didn’t think her skin was pretty (we always talk about how beautifully black girl magic she is) and I never thought that she thought I was trying to lighten my skin. Just to give you some background I am the lightest skinned member of the household, I just dyed my hair black and I get extremely pale in the winter, which attributes to my lighter tone. I get teased about this all the time, how can I go from tanned to light bright. It never really bothered me because I’m comfortable in my skin no matter what color it turns. But in this moment I felt uncomfortable, I would have given anything to have a tan and stand with Anissa in her honey glow. I explained to my sweet face girl that I was washing my face not getting lighter and that she was gorgeous that her tanned skin was something other people would pay for, then I showed her pictures of me in the summer (optimal tan) and then we looked at me in the mirror now. We both agree that I need a tan and then we pointed out the beautiful things we notice about each other.

In that moment I thought about other little girls and boys and the questions they might have about their skin color, about them being teased, and about them feeling uncomfortable in their own skin. How do we as a community address this issue? Why do we discriminate against each other? How can everyone begin to love the skin they’re in?

Well here are some tips (simple but it’s a start)

  1. As a family stop bullying, teasing, joking about skin tone. Although it may seem like it’s all fun and games we don’t know the real seed that’s being planted for someone to learn to not love themselves. As long as we allow this to go on we nurture the seed that allows some one to think one shade of skin is better than the other.
  2. When children have questions about skin tone and why they look different don’t brush it off, ADDRESS IT. We have got to start having conversations that teach our children to love themselves, this is a lesson that we should all want them to learn at home and not out in the world. If we start the conversations in our homes, then we at least give them the tools and preparation to handle these conversations out side of out homes.
  3. This is a big one for me so agree or disagree, but children should have toys in all shades, this more so falls in the category of baby dolls. Anissa has dolls of all shades and they are all beautiful to her. We as families have to set our own beauty standards and teach our children to do the same.

The tips I gave are something you can do right now to help your children learn to appreciate who they are. Whether you are black, white, yellow, brown, or purple, you are beautiful. Embrace that beauty, appreciate the beauty, then get to the business of letting the world see you walk in that beauty.

How will you handle the topic of colorism if it comes up in your home? Don’t wait start the conversation today.

To hear more about this topic tune into Episode 3 of The Parental Guidance Counselor Podcast. Don’t forget to subscribe.

parenting

I’m Hungry!

Have you ever tried to figure out what you are in life? Most recently I met with my business coach who asked this question. I wrote out this big plan I planned to go over with him, only for him to destroy it and have me start over, to get to the root of what I am.

I am a lot of things! I’m a mom, daughter, sister, blogger, host, significant other, motivational speaker, mommy coach, I mean I carry a lot of titles. Apparently this wasn’t the answer he was looking for because he kept pressing the issue. I remember sitting there and being extremely frustrated that he kept asking me what I was. So what did I do when I was backed into a corner with this questions I yelled, “I’M HUNGRY!” Now I wasn’t hungry in the physical sense that I wanted to eat, but I was hungry to see my vision come to life, to grow my brand, and to be successful. I’m hungry and I’m sure you are too.

So what does it mean to be hungry? Well according to dictionary.com if we break down and apply it outside of needing food, being hungry is to have a desire or craving. I have a desire, a craving to help maternal figures take care of themselves and their families, I have a yearning to see parents providing happy homes for their children, where they can have open and honest communication. The hunger I have to see these things come to pass, would be causing me to starve if I wasn’t working on feeding that hunger. So why don’t we feed that craving, that sound coming from our belly? I think it’s because we are scared. 1. We are scared to voice that we have a desire to do something greater with our lives 2. We are not sure what we are hungry for.

Let’s talk about it. When you step outside your comfort zone it can be really scary. I mean heart stopping, sweating palms, wanting to hide scary. If you are going to live your God-given purpose you must conquer this fear. There is something in this world that only you can do, that select people need to see you do. I am a firm believer that we all can be doing the same thing, but there will be that one unique thing that makes us different and that is what that person needs to see. Fear will destroy any chance you have of exploring your greater good. Now I know saying that and actually being able to achieve it are two very different things. But has what you’ve been doing as of late working toward your purpose, has fear been helping you to feed that hunger? I doubt it, so why not get uncomfortably, comfortable and take a chance on yourself.

Then there is the other end of the spectrum. You have a desire but you can’t pinpoint exactly what it is you want to do. You are all over the place doing things, without doing anything at all. You are starving because the menu is too big, you have too many options. If this is your case my advice, GET REAL WITH YOU! Sit down look yourself in the mirror and say “I’m out of control, I need help, I need focus!” Then get to the business of getting all of that. For me, I decided to meet with two business coaches and get perspective on what I actually wanted to achieve. I know what I have a passion for, but I’m easily distracted by trying to please everyone. I was doing more harm than good to my brand trying to go into a market not meant for me. Once I was able to sit down, write a very detailed mission statement and objective, I was able to focus. Find what help you to get focused.

We all have talent! We all have purpose! What is your talent? What is your purpose? Don’t be afraid to admit you are hungry to learn the answer to those questions. Your challenges 1. Be fearless 2. Focus. Let me know how you plan to feed the beast within you.

To hear more tune into Episode 2 of the Just One Hot Mom, Maternal Self-care podcast. Don’t forget to subscribe!