Posted in 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.

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Posted in 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!

Posted in parenting

Positioning Yourself To Win!!!

positioning yourself to winIt’s the start of a new year!!! Every year we make promises to ourselves to do better, to live our best lives, to prosper more this year then last year.  We are hot and heavy for the first few months and then BOOM, something happens and we get less and less enthusiastic about accomplishing our goals. Why? Why can’t we keep winning all year-long? I’ve discovered the answer to this question. We don’t take the time to position ourselves to win. We have the vision board, we have the calendar, we have the map yet, we forget how to implement the tasks to keep pushing forward. So, how can you keep winning. Check out the steps below:

  1. Preparation is key! What are you trying to accomplish? Setting clear goals for what you want to do may seem easy to do. How you prepare to reach those goals is what will make the difference. Each goal requires a different plan, mapping out these individual plans will help you maximize your vision. You must first set the goal, then create the plan. With plan creation you must list out the step-by-step process, this will keep you on track and hold you accountable.
  2. Do the work! Of course when someone else is doing it, it looks easy, but honestly you don’t know that it’s easy for them. Focus on what you are accomplishing and set your mind to doing the work to achieve your goals. Nothing happens by chance, putting in the work to be successful is a major key in positioning yourself to win.
  3. Realize Rome wasn’t built in a day. Timing is everything. Most of us need to realize that our timeline is very different from those around us. Instant success is very rare! Making it a priority to realize that it may take time to achieve your ultimate goal will help you be successful. Think of your vision like giving birth to a baby (it really is) it takes time for the baby to form, to make connections, to come to the age where the baby is ready for birth, and then once the baby is born there is still more work to do. While you may accomplish one part of the goal there is still time needed to be put into nurturing that goal. All of this takes time. When you come to grips that everything may not happen instantaneously, you will learn how to best utilize your time.
  4. Create time & space. You need to stay focused, but how can you, there’s laundry, school projects, dinner to be made, babies to be changed, date nights, the list can go on and on. In order to win you must create a space where you can focus on accomplishing your goals. Whether at home, the library, coffee-house, the park, wherever you need to go to have a space to concentrate you need to make getting there a priority. Once you find the space dedicate time to working in that space on your goal. This is where preparation plays a major role. If you are prepared with the steps you want to complete in the time-frame allotted you are paving the way to achieve that goal.
  5. Connect with like-minded people. One of the things that stumps us in the winning process is getting stuck. So many ideas, maybe no ideas, we tend to get stuck and stay there because we can’t figure a way out. Having people who are going through goal achieving processes as well will help you. They have been where you are and may be there now, encourage each other to keep going, take breaks and enjoy life with each other. You need to find your tribe, people you can call on in those moments you want to give up. This group may be different from the friends you have had for years, the purpose of this tribe is to keep you focused on accomplishing your goals. (Guess what? It’s okay to have multiple tribes)
  6. Start & then start again! The first step in winning is getting started. You have the vision, you have the plan, now let’s do something with it. Most have no problem getting started, it’s when life happens and we get thrown a curve ball that derails our plans we STOP! Guess what winning requires you to know you may have to restart the plan at some point. You are not a failure if you have to restart, you only fail when you quit. How many times you restart is based on you. I will say this if you are restarting in the same area each time re-evaluate your plan and see where you need to implement change.

Hotties we can be winners all year-long as long as we determine we want to win. It’s up to you, you have the power, now use that power to start WINNING today!

How do you document your goals? What advice would you give to someone who’s stuck? Let’s help each other keep winning!

Posted in black women, health, women

Being Nanekia…GirlTrek A Walk To Self Discovery!

nik girl trekA little over a week ago thanks to #BlackGirlsInCle I had the opportunity to attend Girl Trek Cleveland Edition. I was excited 1. to find out more about Girl Trek, 2. To get out of the house on a Friday night for a little me time. Go on over and read my review of the event on www.blackgirlincle.com. The space, the vibe, the sisterhood was overwhelming and as with each experience I get to learn more about myself. So what did I learn this time around…Keep reading!

I’ve been living this outside my comfort zone lifestyle for a while. I’ve been many places alone, which no longer bothers me, this experience was different, it took me to a new level of being uncomfortable and I was completely there for it. I’ve had to do a lot of self reflecting and soul-searching lately, this was a decision I did not take lightly as in order for me to become better, to be available to encourage others to be their best selves, in order to live by example, I can’t be bullsh*tting myself. If there was any of that left, the #girltrek experience pulled it all out.

  1. All the ladies in the room were told to stand silently against the wall and leave all judgements including judging ourselves outside the room, there were a lot of ladies but we manage to do it. Then we were told to really think about ourselves and be honest with the answers we were giving. Step forward if you have improved your healthy living lifestyle, step forward if you have left an abusive relationship, step back if you remain in an abusive relationship, this went on with multiple questions until we were uneven. As I gazed around the room I saw women who were just like me, standing on my own in life figuring things out. I’d experienced some gains and losses and I wasn’t alone.
  2. As we remain in silence we were brought to a circle to do a rhythmic dance exercise. Honestly I had no clue what we were about to do, but the spirit in the room was refreshing and inviting. There were so many melanated faces in the room as we looked at each other the music began. First there was a slow beat, which we swayed to, then the build up and as the music began to heighten we were instructed to dig, scooping low (floor) then releasing at the top (above our head) as we scooped the sound was one of great pain from each person, but then the release was a roar, like we had found freedom and we needed everyone to know. The more we scooped the greater the release until you could feel the humming in the room get louder and louder with every release. Not sure if my description is giving you the full picture, but imagine being weighted down and you feel like you can’t get up, but then you manage to get up and now you can’t even feel the weight of what you were carrying. I felt all the pressure of that day being removed from me, the issues with co-workers, kids not cleaning up, missing date night, loss of friendships, too many meetings, goals not reached, the weight of all the issues I’d been having I could no longer feel. What did I feel? I felt my sisters carrying me, I felt with each hum of their voices they were helping me release. This was magical because let me tell you, a girl was extremely tired of carrying that weight!
  3. The Wonder Stories of Wonder Women! This part of the evening was amazing. You all know I like a good story and these were stories of women right here in my community, sharing defeat and triumph. With each shared story I felt closer to these women I did not know. We experienced joy, pain, laughter, anger, so many emotions and so many divine connections made. Once the stories were over we were told to grab a sister, hold her hands and look her directly in her eyes. No smiling, just studying her face and seeing her story in her eyes. Have you actually ever looked at another woman? Not her outfit, make-up, shoes (we know I love shoes), not her smile, but what’s in her eyes. Staring into this strangers eyes I began to notice things I hadn’t about her and we had been sitting next to each other for at least 2 hours. If you are so inclined really look at someone, and you will see their story. This was magical for me and I’m not going to lie the tears began to flow, because I knew my story, that behind my smile, behind the jokes, I was crying my eyes out tired and I didn’t see rest in site. That sister hugged me so tight I felt my body go limp and finally rest!
  4. Finally we get to the walking part, LOL! I mean all this emotional stuff and now you want me to walk. If you read my #blackgirlincle article then you know that 137 black women are dying each day due to preventable diseases. For me personally I know stress correlates directly to some of my health issues. Being able to relieve some of that stress and set myself free was amazing. So what does walking have to do with this? It’s a form of self-care we should start taking advantage of. When I’m angry, take a walk, when I’m sad, try taking a walk, when I’m happy take advantage of that boost and take a walk. Our ancestors found freedom in walking and you can find it too just take your first steps.

Girl Trek is on a mission to get a million African-American women to join the movement by 2020, I’m one of those women! My road to travel in getting me together started when I decided to take that single step, to live a life that defines me and no one else. What will your walk look like? Will you join us?
onika jervisOnika Jervis, Chief Engagement Officer. Girl Trek

Veronica VeryVeronica Very, President & Founder, Wonder of Women

Morgan DixonMorgan Dixon, Founder & CEO, Girl Trek

Posted in parenting

I Don’t Wanna Go Broke!

blog photo 11.20.18Hey Hotties! How many of us remember that Toys R Us kid’s song. I knew when I heard it around the holidays Christmas was fast approaching. Well now Toys R Us is no longer around ( insert sad face), is that due to poor financial planning, biting off more than they could chew, like the Tootsie Roll commercial “the world may never know?!” What I do know is I don’t want to see any parent going broke trying to provide a “Christmas” experience for their family. So below you will find a few ways I am curbing my spending during this upcoming holiday season.

Forbes predicts that parents will spend $495 per child. With Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, parents are pouring out big bucks for electronic items, collector items, and lifetime experiences for their children. Our children are living their best lives and we are going broke for them to do it! So how do we stop the cycle of unnecessary debt and enjoy this season. I’m going to tell you what I’ve done and hopefully it helps you.

  1. I made a list of the individuals I was going to purchase gifts for. I would love to splurge on all my nieces, nephews, aunties, uncles, and cousins but that’s not feasible. I’ve kept the list very specific and assigned a dollar amount to each person.
    (example)
  2. Name Amount Spent Remaining
    Symone 150 75 75
    Jamiel 150 63 87
    Anissa 150 92 58

    Once the amount allocated is gone that’s it, there is no more to spend.

  3. I started shopping 2 months ago. I allotted an amount from each paycheck to go towards the holidays. This way I wasn’t rushing to buy things just because I had to get a gift and I was able to budget between bills and extracurriculars. Also while I love a good Black Friday or Cyber Monday sale, there have been some amazing sales going on if you sign up to receive promotions from those stores or vendors. While the emails may get to be a bit much at times, I love being the “first” to know about the sale and getting that extra 15-35% off because I signed up with them.
  4. All gifts matter! Here’s is where your parental guilt may cause you to break the bank spending this season. DON’T DO IT! If you can’t afford it, then that’s it, making a choice between paying a bill and your child having the new Jordan’s is a no brainer. Now don’t get me wrong I love seeing the excited look on my children’s faces when they get the gift they really want, but I’ve also instilled in them that appreciation for the gifts they receive is the greatest gift they can give back to me as a parent. (cause let’s face it they not breaking their little banks to buy us gifts). You are doing the best you can, don’t allow social media, TV, YouTube, or other parents make you feel guilty about what you can and cannot afford. You run your household and you know what you need to keep the needs of the family first not just the wants.
  5. Now if you are one of those people who just have to get EVERYBODY a gift, but you know you can’t afford it, here’s my back-up plan. Get photos of you and your family and have them printed, then create a holiday memory book for family members to display in their homes. Get artsy with it, no grandparent can resist a photo album with the little painted baby hands on it. Or you can bake cookies and give them out, this allows for you all to do a family activity and share with others.

Debt is something we should start teaching our children early to steer clear of. As much as we want to fulfill a want, discipline in spending habits will go a long way to secure their futures. What is your budget looking like this holiday season? How can you save?