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

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

Tune in!!

Here are a few of my favorite guest and podcast episodes from the last year. I appreciate all my guest giving me the opportunity to share their story. Tune in! Click the links!

No Longer Powerless Featuring Sharone ThomasNo Longer Powerless Promo

Policing Our Communities Featuring Jamaal Ansaripolicing our communities

#BOSSMOM Featuring Sherita Carthonbossmom

Dating After Divorce Featuring Clotea Mackdating after divorce

Donnie Lynee Artist SpotlightDonnie Lynee Promo

parenting

What A Man?!

It’s been about 2 weeks since my son officially ended his junior high career and is now ready to embark on a new journey to high school. This was a tough time for me. He is my ONLY son and being the main parent in his life brings me joy and a bit of sadness.

jamiel post 1I love watching my kids grow up and advising them as needed. They are all strong-willed individuals (got it honestly) and I know it’s my job to help them grow into productive, creative members of society. All the girly conversations I have with my daughters my mom had with me, the territory that I am unfamiliar with, the one that causes me anxiety are the conversations I feel a dad is supposed to have with his son. Don’t get me wrong there are plenty of men in my son’s life who can have these talks with him, but I feel as though he is cheated because he can’t have these conversations with the one person who should be thrilled to do so, HIS dad. (Some background, my oldest two children have the same father, due to circumstances out of my control, he is unavailable to co-parent at this time, I’ll just leave it at that.) As I picked out his suit, helped him get dressed for the events that marked the end of this chapter of his life I often wondered how he felt about his dad not being present. Well why wonder when I could just ask, so I did! My son with his tall, lanky, poised face said, I’m good mom you’ve got this! He kissed my forehead (he now towers above me) and gave me the biggest hug.

jamiel post 2
jamiel postAs I watched him look at himself in the mirror I was beyond proud, WHAT A MAN! My son despite his situation is growing into the most amazing, compassionate, strong, bold man I know. I would take credit for all the great things about my son, but I know without the help of the men who constantly and consistently stand in the gap for him, he might have turned out differently. I am humbled by how without breaking a sweat they show up for him on a regular basis.

So single moms if you are doubting whether you can raise a man…let me leave you with this- You may not be equipped for every talk, or every walk, but you are equipped with the love you have in your heart to raise an individual who will go out into the world and be who God destined them to be. What more could you ask for?!
jamiel post 5

 

parenting

I Am A Pink Sister: When Women Unite!

Saturday, May 26 was a BUSY day for me. My son was going to junior prom and I had been invited to attend the event United Women in White Goes Pink: Setting The Expectation! Now me being the superwoman that I am, had a plan mapped out to be at both places at once! Don’t judge me I’m not the only person that thinks they can duplicate themselves. What seemed like an impossible mission, had its ante upped with a wardrobe malfunction. You gotta love life happening! As I panic and rush to find something white to go with my hint of pink, I reflected on the theme of this event “Setting the Expectation!” which meant I needed to set an expectation for myself. So I did, I accepted the fact that I was going to fail miserably at trying to pull this off, but I still had to try. So here it goes…

*I decorate my house, set out the tux, give Symone (my oldest) clear instructions about transporting her brother, beat this gorgeous face, and don a perfect white dress with my blush pink shoes.

nik pink party

As I enter into the Tinkham Veale Center (which I am familiar with as I work across the street), there is an air of peace that fills the entrance. Now that peace could be from meeting two of my favorite pink sisters at the door or it could be that I felt like I did the very first time I entered a #pinkpartyretreat, like I was home. As I walked the hallway to find others there was a sense of love and joy as I passed each lady, making sure to give compliments and receive some graciously. There were hugs and laughter as ladies connected after not seeing each other for a while and then there were new introductions made. I am a people watcher. The most amazing thing to watch is other women enjoying the company of other woman and this place had plenty of that. As I walked up to each vendor table I felt welcomed, that is a huge thing for me, I really like a welcoming feeling. I explored the offerings available by each vendor and made some awesome connections which will be featured soon enough. I look down at my watch and decide I better make my way closer to the main event.

Have you ever hugged someone and felt like all the heaviness of life has been lifted?! This is what it is like to hug Tenora Edwards, founder of The Pink Party Retreat. She has an amazing spirit and a soft gentle voice that makes you feel accepted. There are more vendors to see and more pink sisters to love on. Not only was I able to connect with my pink sisters I made new sisters/connections and laughed so hard til I had to make sure my spanx was still in place (LOL!) We are getting ready to walk in and then BOOM a text comes through I have become the designated chauffeur for my son and his date due to a miscommunication. CRAP! What am I going to do I need to be here to tell you all about this event, but I am his mom so now what! This is where I learned the true meaning of sisterhood. My friend sees the distress on my face I explain the issue and she says no worries, I GOT YOU! Those three words offered more than comfort. So what was the set up, one friend would take picture and the other would video so that I wouldn’t miss a beat while dropping this cute little couple off.

*I unstrapped my shoes, run as fast as I can, hop in the car, run a few lights and there I am to take my son to the junior prom. While enjoying the beginning stages of the event. Prom was magical, you’ll hear about it soon.

Although I missed being there in the physical for a portion, I made notes as to what expectations I will set for myself:

  1. I will expect myself to forgive me! Don’t allow the mistakes of your past to set the stage for your future.
  2. I will expect to love other women and for those other women to love me! Embrace other women, even if they are not ready to embrace, you set the tone for your relationship with them
  3. I will expect to LOVE ME!
  4. I will expect to take time and be with myself. It’s okay to be selfish and take care of me
  5. And the most obvious I set my own expectations in all areas of my life, mentally, physically, spiritually, financially, THIS IS MY LIFE!

While I was super disappointed that I had to cut out early and barely made it back for the ending, I’m thankful that I had my sista girls there who were willing to make sure I was able to be a part. I am forever grateful to be a pink sister, united in love, laughter, and magic!