Who Are You Choosing?

Listening to a speech by Will Smith last week there was a line that stuck out to me. “Everyday we wake up, we are choosing sh*t that is not in our own best interest.” It sparked a thought in my head, of all the choices I make for myself on a daily basis. It made me wonder why we are so easy to choose something no matter how negatively it may affect us, or how many times our gut tells us to choose the opposite. Even in situations where we can recognize that we should choose ourselves and what’s best for us, we still find ways not to.

As a mother or caregiver of any sort, you have been conditioned to believe that choosing yourself is, “selfish.” The society that we live within has told you that it’s not ok to put yourself before anything that you hold a title over. This is especially true for those of us who are mothers. It’s almost as if you choosing yourself becomes a sin the moment after peeing on a stick and it’s emphasized beyond measure once you give birth. You easily lose sight of not only who you are, but also your ability to put yourself before all other things. You eventually won’t see how choosing yourself is not only a priority, but it should be your 1st one.

I have found my biggest struggle in choosing myself, lies in my relationships. Before 2020, I don’t think I have ever lived on a path of consistently choosing myself. I actually learned at 24 years old that I have spent most of my time being a “people pleaser.” I put it on my “master list” for this year and have found that it’s a path of pure happiness. Has it been perfect? No. Has it been easy? No. Have I had people misunderstand? Yes. But, has it been worth it? Absolutely. I can honestly say that I wouldn’t want to trade any of the “loses” in people I have experienced over time, due to choosing myself. As stated, I have spent just about my whole life, choosing everyone around me and valuing their happiness and peace over my own. I was conditioned to believe that keeping the people around me happy and “pleasing” was the key to keeping my relationships strong. At the point that I began simply, choosing myself, it was easy to see that my pleasing and choosing of others was the only thing keeping some of those relationships going.

Think about when you were a child. How hard was it to ALWAYS choose yourself? We have to start seeing it as a natural and pure act. If we don’t sell ourselves short on anything, we make sure to do it in our abilities to choose as we get older. If we lost everything we had in life, the one thing that would remain constant is our ability to choose. Choosing ourselves, what’s in our best interest, and choosing the things that choose us back. We cannot allow the world to tell us that there’s something wrong with this. I want to challenge mommies and all other readers to use the next month to be intentional about choosing yourself. I am also asking that you share in the comments, 3 ways that you have chosen yourself in the last month! This will enable you to think about how much or how little you choose yourself.

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Judge Me Not

As I have thought about things to write on, I have tried to process how to share my experience as a mother during such a stressful time. I’ve now had my first seizure at 25 years old. The frustrations of being in the house with a toddler for five months, is something I haven’t been able to put into words. Losing my ability to drive during that same period has carried me to the edge. And I’ve also thought to write about all the other things that I know we’re going through at this time.

While I realize this has been one of the most trying years for any parent, I decided that I don’t want to write on any of the topics initially thought about. After re-reading my first written book, there was something that stuck with me. Something about one aspect stayed on my mind for days after reading it again. I processed it differently and realized how it has affected me as an individual. I then thought it’d be a good idea to share with other parents who may consciously or unconsciously impose the same things upon their children and children’s friends. As hard as it may be to believe, I grew up as the kid that parents didn’t want their kids hanging around. I had multiple friends with parents and caregivers who either directly or indirectly gave clues that they didn’t think I was a good influence.

I have honestly felt over time that I did not care about this aspect of my life anymore. However, something about reading through this experience took me back to the way I felt as that girl. Knowing that I have always carried a good heart for those around me, it was painful to be in this space again. I wanted to use this feeling to share with parents how detrimental it is to stray away from judging your children’s friends, ESPECIALLY while they’re still children. On the outside I played a very tough role as a child, but knowing how people’s parents felt about me carried over into my adulthood. Being older, I am able to connect so many of my experiences to the way my friend’s parents viewed me. I am also able to see how it’s effected the way I cope with judgement in general.

I understand that as a parent, your natural instinct is to protect your child from anything that may look like harm. I have found myself looking at other toddlers and being concerned about how their behaviors will affect Aiden, so I get it. I have also been able to step back and realize what I am doing because it is something I actively work towards growing away from. Taken from my own experience I should know that, 9/10 the children that appear to be “bad” at face value are the ones that parents should be least worried about. If you have followed me for any time then you know that I experienced many things that made me look like a “bad kid” at face value. In the same breath I can offer that my friends whose parents worried the most, are the ones that wish I could’ve served as a bigger influence.

I’d like to challenge parents until next time! I’d like to challenge you to being intentional about how you’re viewing other children around yours. Be intentional about not judging them and thinking that they will “ruin” your child. Put that energy instead into how you and your child/family can influence that child because, as cliche as it may be, you truly never know what that child may be experiencing outside of what you see.

I’m Upset

The older I get, the more I find myself so frustrated with the structure and dynamics of The Black Family. Before you question my audacity during such a sensitive time, just continue…

Imagine having a passion and love so deep for something all the while deeply despising it at the same time. This is the only way I know how to word my feelings towards the dynamic of The Black Family. I have personally spent more than enough time with families of other races, to know that we have one of the most unique, both in positive and negative ways. Who is to blame comes with a story hundreds of years old, so instead of focusing there, today I feel the urge to direct my frustration at the solution.

While I may be no expert, I do feel equipped to help not just Black families, but all families. My choice to target Black Families this month comes directly from the fact that I myself am the product of a Black Family. And while being a product of such, there are many things that contributed to who I am today. There are also things that I saw and promised not to reciprocate when starting my own family. We do so much damage within the structure that many times outside factors bounce right off. We have confused this with “being strong” or being toughly built, when in actuality it’s the start of our trauma that we so often inflict upon our children and/or anyone else close to us.

I decided to offer my personal outlooks on things that we have accepted and found comfort in as Black family units. I don’t only offer these things by opinion, but through addressing my own trauma, attending therapy, my exposure through education, meditation practices, mentors, work training, experience, and the like.

  1. So lets start with the infliction of your own pain on your child(ren)

We often become so numb to our own pain that it makes it difficult to see when we are acting from a space created by that pain. It is not fair to your child(ren) to be the target and/or resource for your anger, pain, and trauma. I have witnessed this happen so effortlessly in our communities and have even caught myself in moments of addressing my own child. SEEK HELP. And when I say this, I don’t mean it in the comical way that we have created in the statement. I am a huge advocate for receiving therapy and addressing your mental health. You may not even notice that there is something wrong due to how much we’ve normalized putting the same pain that we’ve experienced unto our children. We hear it time and time again that child(ren) do not ask to be here. Remind yourself of this anytime you feel yourself lashing out, harming, and/or getting upset in general with your child(ren). It is more than okay to be upset with them when appropriate, but always allow yourself to reflect on those moments and question what space you address your children from when you are upset.

2. The idea that your children are “being grown,” ESPECIALLY your daughter

Can I just say I would love to know what the f*ck, “being grown” is?! This has always been one of my biggest pet peeves. Mainly because I ONLY hear it in the Black community. A child is not “being grown,” because they are mimicking the things that they see around them. This statement creates a fear and confusion for children and their learning abilities. It also teaches children that “being grown” is a bad thing, when in actuality it’s the thing we are grooming them for? Imagine how confusing that is. While I can create an entire blog for this section, I’ll just leave it here…Children mock what they see because they are looking for a place in this life. A child being able to express their emotions, openly communicating their thoughts and feelings, and repeating behaviors they see, is simply them looking for themselves. That’s not to say that children don’t engage in behaviors that they know are wrong, but it’s to offer a better way of communicating right and wrong to your child(ren). Because 9/10, that action that caused you to tell them “stop being grown,” is an act that they have seen and/or heard from adults that you’ve allowed them around. Let’s get and stay away from the, “I can do this in front of you, but if you mock it, you’ll get beat for being grown” ideology.

3. Blaming your children for your failure(s)

Your child(ren) hold no responsibility for how YOUR life is panning or has panned out. Release the animosity, the anger, and the blame and find the true source of blame for your failure(s). Your child(ren) don’t deserve the retaliation and we must let go of that natural space we created for the, “if I didn’t have you, I’d be here…” mentality. It’s not fair and whether you know it or not, it plays a huge role in all of your interactions with your child(ren). Use that energy, all of it, to ensure that your child(ren) are never put in a space where they could reciprocate your mistakes. It’d go so much further than the indirect blaming.

4. Choosing when your children are able to be people

Imagine how it makes your child feel seeing you argue with someone about lack of communication, respect, and support…Only to turn around and tell them that they are not allowed to communicate their feelings, because it puts you in an uncomfortable space. I allow my child to be a person in all aspects, even at 3 years old. Why? Because at 13 I was told that I was “too young” to be depressed and two years later, I tried killing myself. Why? Because I had NO IDEA how to properly communicate my feelings. Just because a PERSON is under 18, that doesn’t take away from the fact that they have feelings, they have emotions, they have all functioning parts of being a human. Black communities and families have created a narrative that does not support and/or allow children to be people. We have also created a culture in which we say things to our children that we wouldn’t say to anyone else in the world because of “authority.” If you would’t tell a stranger to “get the f*ck in here and do what I said, because I said it,” then tell me where you find comfortability in talking to your child(ren) in this manner?

5. Lack of equal respect

Imagine a world where we tell our children, “treat people how you want to be treated,” to turn around and treat them with ZERO respect. AND THEN, being flabbergasted when they grow up with no respect for authority and/or you for that matter. Doesn’t make a difference if your child is 0-18 years old, RESPECT them. It costs nothing to show your child(ren) what it feels like for someone to respect them. Imagine the amount of trauma your child(ren) would avoid or inflict, by learning what it’s like to be respected from the person that serves as their first safe zone…

LET’S DO BETTER!

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Today is 6/4/2020

Today I woke up not really knowing how I feel, but knowing that a cloud was over me.

I tried getting out of bed before Aiden to find a sense of peace, I tried working out despite my mind telling me to climb back in bed & sleep or cry. I tried seeking reasons I feel this way and naturally retreated to telling myself that I’m feeling the urge to cry for no reason. I tried to tell myself that the last 30 days is not enough to put me in this space. I tried to convince myself that a house fire is not the worst thing I’ve experienced. W/ that, I also tried to rid of all emotions related, because after all of that, me and my family made it out and nothing important to me was ruined. Back to today, I then tried convincing myself that graduating was a good thing so to feel uneasy about it not being traditional is childish. These are thoughts I am literally running after in my mind. I tried telling myself that staying in hotels for free is nothing to be sad about. That no matter how much my job interrupts my ability to cater to my own life, I need to be grateful.

And as I’m fighting these thoughts, attempting to work, clean, and cater to Aiden’s requests, I feel the cloud getting heavier. I decided at this point that I’d workout again and go harder than I have in a while to release this dark energy. I showered and I crawled in bed while still wrapped in a towel & Aiden comes into my room. I hear him repeatedly say, “Mommy you need to get dressed.” “Mommy put some clothes on.” It may have been the 10th repeat before I see him pulling clothes out of my dresser and laying them on the bed. However, something in my soul would not allow me to get up. Not until I notice that my three year old is attempting to put my socks on & urging me to help him by putting on the Tshirt and leggings he has laid out for me. At this point, if you follow my blogs, then you probably guessed that I’m fighting back tears. Because in my mind I’m questioning wtf I am doing this morning and why I’m allowing myself to be down for “no reason.” Me writing this is me attempting to tell myself why.

Why? Because I’m overwhelmed. I have not allowed myself to feel the last 30+ days of my life. Whether I feel like I’ve been through worse or not. I struggle so hard with respecting the person I am today. Respecting that she has not been through worse because she has been reborn time and time again.  So today, she is flustered with emotions. In the last six months I’ve disconnected from several relationships. I’ve continued to have a piss poor dating life. I’ve been forced to alter my entire life amid a pandemic. I’ve buried my emotions about not having a traditional graduation. I’ve been caught completely off guard by a house fire. I’ve had to be away from my child more than usual (believe it or not this too overwhelms me). I’ve consumed more social media than usual in attempts to stay aware of recent racial issues. I’ve not given myself the promised space from the world. I’ve been unconsciously f*cked up about the state of the world, & more. All while still trying to just be me.

Mommies, as you all know, this journey is never ending. There are highs and there are lows, but if I stress nothing, I want to stress how important it is to ALLOW YOURSELF TO FEEL. I have found myself being so obsessed with peace and happiness, that I so often forget that it is ok to allow unpleasant emotions to have their time as well. Being sad or mad or frustrated does not take away from your overall happiness, as long as you do not get stuck there. Make the next 30 days about the balancing of your emotions. Because it helps avoid those days like 6/4/2020, for me.

Quarantine Learning

Funny how in the beginning of quarantine, I was in bliss with finding time to embrace solitude. Two months later and I have now realized that this can also be a formula for  leading someone into insanity. Sitting at home for 8-9 weeks at a time, with a toddler who can only understand current times as an extended vacation can be one of the hardest jobs. I have no problem admitting that this has been one of the most trying times for me as a mother and as a person in general. I initially wanted to isolate to find some balance within finishing grad school, parenting, working from home, and adjusting to rapidly changing times, but I found much more than what I was looking for.

During the month of April, I took 2 days to be completely isolated from the world. I did this with the intentions of finding balance and understanding where I was struggling with this new way of life. To my surprise, the uneasy feeling that lead me into this, had more to it than just my struggle with abiding by a “Stay in Place” order. Some of the things that I learned during these two days included…

  1. Quarantine is getting to me more than I was able to admit. The lack of structure in life and uncertainty has had an effect on my thought process and mind.
  2. I have to change my DNA to fully achieve the transformation I am looking for.
  3. I have a problem with my attachment to people.
  4. Love is not an emotion & “need love” will never work.
  5. I need to be back in therapy and stop taking breaks.
  6. We are not all in the same boat. We are just experiencing the same storm.
  7. I need to be more serious about my craft.
  8. I have not been grounded in a healthy space.
  9. I want 100% happiness & peace and I won’t stop until it’s there, no matter what.
  10. Aiden brings light to my life in ways that I don’t fully understand.
  11. I truly want to give up hard liquor.
  12. Physical health is more important to me than I realized.

Even with being the author of the list, it still caught me by surprise. These were not things that I went in thinking that I needed to address and/or work on. They were things that came to light when I took time to figure out why I felt so imbalanced. I have not completely worked through all 12 learned points, but I have definitely been able to find some peace and balance in knowing exactly what it is I am to work on during this time and after! With this, I would like to encourage mommies and any one else to take time to balance yourself in whatever way that may be.

Those of us at home with children know that there has not been an “abundance of time,” afforded during this time. Or so it may feel that way. Do not beat yourself up further, but instead figure yourself out and where you are struggling the most. Meditating and writing are responsible for keeping me out of a mommy psych ward & I would love to hear about how you are keeping yourself out of one!

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY WEEKEND MOMMIES!

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Solitude

626BD9D6-3242-4068-9169-93A9933CD65DSolitude and its power has to be one of the most underrated things to value. I have been wondering why I feel so calm with everything going on around us in the world. It was not until I began writing that I realized exactly why I am in a state of calmness. It is in direct correlation with my level of gratitude for being alone. Being “quarantined,” is an  escape I have been longing for weeks. And while it is under strange circumstances, I am grateful.

I stated this year, I would release all of my blogs on the 12th of every month. Following my verbal commitment to that, I have constantly found myself in weird spaces since the start of this year. I have also hesitated on this entry as I knew what I wanted to talk about, but could not find the words as easily as usual. I decided to use one of my journal entries for this month’s blog. It is my desire that my mommies/followers will look at my personal stories and find relief in knowing that we are all trying to figure this out.

3/11/2020:

“Solitude…It’s so very often taken for granted. Throughout life we’re taught to forget that we enter & we leave alone. We’re taught that when we want to be alone, we’re “being weird.” We’re taught that our space should be filled w/ activities & people…we’re taught how to drive ourselves to insanity. Two weeks ago, I expressed to Desmond that if I don’t get days to myself then I know I’ll lose it soon. Luckily, I’ve been so dedicated to my emotions & inner thoughts that as I felt myself losing it tonight, I pulled this journal out.

When you become a parent, a mother in particular, it’s rare that you achieve meaningful moments of solitude. If you’re anything like me as a mother, then you fill those moments w/ working down your to-do list, catching up with other people, or creating more things to do. 1/15/20, I moved. A week later I booked my weekends w/a second job. I’ve had visitors none stop. I haven’t spent a day alone with my child, let alone a day w/ myself in almost two months. If this isn’t self destruction then I don’t know what is. I have learned and I have accepted that in this current space of trying to figure out who I am, I function best alone. & what have I been doing? Avoiding and abandoning that time. The why? Something I can’t understand & probably the reason for these tears. I can’t answer the why, but I can recognize the problem and I know how to address it. When you get to a space where you see yourself adding to your demise, but you can’t answer why you’re doing it, it causes a pain. A confusion that I’d call beyond frustrating…

Advise to self: Take time to yourself before you destroy yourself.”

I felt so sad writing that entry and a week later, I know exactly why I have been avoiding being alone. Sometimes, it takes stepping back and watching yourself from another perspective. Pain is not a natural feeling and when you have experienced so much of it, it is easy to make yourself believe that it is a part of who you are. As Aiden’s dad told me, if I am not being all that I can be for myself, theres no way possible to be all that I need to be for Aiden. My avoidance of being alone, was to run away from the emotions of lost. As I entered 2020, I experienced great losses. I knew that I was not ready to deal with my natural emotion of lost so I purposely filled my time and space with people and things.

Telling myself that it is ok to experience unpleasantness and to acknowledge that I am feeling it. However, running away, pushes me further into that unpleasant space. Challenging all my mommies & followers to make that a goal for the next 30 days! Take time to yourself and find a deep appreciation for it. Don’t fill your empty spaces and time, with people and things.

Keep The Same Energy

Isn’t it funny how adults will acknowledge that children are sponges in all areas, BUT energy and emotions. I have always found frustration in adults not allowing their children to have emotions as it relates to being sad, mad, or frustrated. Especially when children are picking this up from the adults around them who are feeling these emotions. As adults, we transfer certain energies onto children and get frustrated when they exhibit them in their own ways.

I remember growing up hearing, I was too young to have an attitude or that I did not know what it meant to be mad. It was not until I was on the floor crying a few months ago that I realized that being a sponge goes beyond the scope of repeating cuss words and saying “oh lord,” when he is shocked. As I was on the floor crying, Aiden not only demanded to know what was wrong, but seconds later he was on the floor pretending to cry beside me. Immediately I thought this was hilarious, but over time it has provided me with a new perspective. He initially came into my space very energetic and this quickly turned into him worrying about me and trying to match the emotion that I was feeling at the time. Children are sponges to much more than what we like to acknowledge. Imagine if we taught our children how to be happy, how to properly love, and what it feels like to have internal peace.

With this, I have been doing a lot of spiritual/soul work to be more in tune with my own emotions in order to better regulate them. It has led me to the question of, “What kind of energy or emotions am I comfortable with transferring to my son?” Adults have one thing if nothing right about children experiencing chronic negative emotions, it isn’t natural. Children are experiencing anxiety, stress, and anger at higher rates, not only due to the world we live in today, but parents are unintentionally transferring these things onto their children. It is not something that is thought about on a regular basis, because most times it is not something that is being done purposely. And while it is easy to get lost in the stress of all that parents have to worry about, it is important that we start being more intentional about the emotions and energy that we are teaching our children to carry.

I  do not say all of this to say that it isn’t normal to experience negative emotions because they are too natural emotions. What makes it scary is the fact that when you have no control over them you are not able to teach your children what it means to be be sad, mad, or hurt. Speaking for myself, I grew up a very angry child and person because I did not know what to do with the emotions or energy of being “down.” I lived in spaces where arguing and fighting was normal, negativity was normal, and being stressed was normal. This led to me picking these things up and exhibiting them in my own ways. which often led to me being in trouble. We set children up for failure when we can’t tell  them something as simple as, “you are upset right now, I will let you feel this emotion.” Believe it or not, I have people that actually judge me for allowing my son to have emotions. At two he is able to communicate when he is mad, when his feelings are being hurt, when he feels someone is being mean to him, and so on. I am happy to say, that he will never get in trouble for telling me or his dad that he is upset.

I’d like to challenge all my mommies this month to be intentional about what emotions and energy you are transferring. At the same time, when your child experiences an emotion that they were taught, but have no clue what to do with it, use it as a teaching moment! I’d love to hear feedback on how this goes!

 

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24

How can you teach your child(ren) who they are, if you have no clue who you are? A question I struggled with answering since separation from my child’s father. As shared before, being alone is something I never had to experience. From teen-adulthood I formed an identity around my relationship further losing sight of a person I didn’t know in the 1st place. Being able to recognize an identity struggle comes from a place of pain. It isn’t easy and I’ll be the first to admit that it may come with extreme breakdowns. I’ll also admit that this is not my first time trying to explore who I am. However, in order for me to teach my African American son who he is in this world, I know the importance of this personal journey I’m exploring.

One would think that spending 48 hours with no human contact in 2019 is next to impossible, but I made it my reality last month. I spent time going back through the last 24 years and beyond. What was learned is that I have struggled with who I am because I was not taught how to be who I am. Instead, I spent most of my child and teen years covering up certain parts of me to avoid judgement. When your friends and family spend time criticizing you “acting white,” or “being weird,” or the world criticizing you “being  ghetto”, as a child it is easy to revert to hiding. As I have struggled, it has led me into a space of knowing how important it is that I help and support my child as he finds who he wants to be.

Year 24 was undoubtably a great year for my personal development as a mother. As I walk into the milestone year of 25 in the next 17 days, it feels amazing to finally be able to accept myself. I know exactly who I am and can embrace every inch of me. It isn’t for anyone else to understand and knowing that, makes this journey so much easier. Sometimes I like twerking and rapping songs that correlate to my life in no way. Sometimes I’m a book reading nerd who gets fascinated by learning. Sometimes I irritate everyone around me because I don’t know when to stop playing. And sometimes I like walking around in oversized clothes, meditating, and thinking about how I’m too deep for any living being. I am all of these faces and I wear all of them extremely well.

I no longer feel the need to go out of my way to prove  that I was born on the south side of Chicago, I grew up in the struggle, I fought on a regular basis, and that I came from a toxic household. I no longer feel the need to go out of my way to prove that I read for fun, I’m fascinated with school, and that I enjoy conversations about social change. I no longer feel the need to go out of my way to prove that I meditate or that I’ve experienced out of body experiences connecting me to the universe. I am all of this and more. It’s so easy for the world to tell us who we are and what’s wrong with who we are, because the world only sees one body. This entry was so important for me because I am the groundwork for everything as it relates to parenthood. So I challenge not just mothers, but any parent going into this next decade, ask yourself, how can you teach your child(ren) who they are, if you have no clue who you are?

 

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“Oh Sh*t!”

Your kids trying to be like you and mimicking your every move can be the most adorable thing. That is until you’re in the car, police sirens go off, and your two year old is throwing his hands up yelling, “oh sh*t, it’s the police.” Or when that same two year old is shocked by your action and responds slowly asking, “what the hell?!” And while some may find humor in this, I wanted to use my experience to remind mommies this month to be mindful of what you say and expose your children to. Having a potty mouth is not the only thing I have unconsciously rubbed off on Aiden. He has also threatened to “whoop my butt” for saying things like “shut up,” and has even started telling me, at two years old, what he doesn’t care about. Of course his every action is not necessarily something that he got from me or even his dad. However, seeing that parents are the closest and most influential for their children, I think it is important to remember they are watching and learning from us on a daily basis.

When I first noticed his sponge like behavior it was during moments of him saying things like, “are you kidding me?!” or “I’m dead,” to insinuate that he thought something was funny. This did not cause me to be more mindful because I was trying to convince myself of him being too young to start reallytesting the waters. It was not until he started doing things like telling me to lay down before I get in trouble or telling me what “gets on his nerves,” that I paused and realized that I should start taking what he’s exposed to just a tad bit more serious. He has slowly but surely fell into his phase of repeating everything he sees. He is learning independence and in that process, both appropriate and not so appropriate behaviors are being copied as he finds his way into who he’s going to be.

I did not believe that at two he’d start wanting to brush his own teeth, wash his own face, put on his own clothes, and at least attempt to make his own bed. Let alone, would know how to use cuss words in the correct context or repeat stories with extreme detail. I truly thought that I had a couple more years, which I’d assume many parents make the mistake of thinking. And sure, I have always been told “they are watching” or that “kids are sponges,” but it’s not something that resonates when you’re going through the motions of day to day living.

They are not too young to understand and on the other hand, it’s not fair to punish them for things that YOU are teaching them, whether unconsciously or consciously. My experience these last couple months have made me think about how I always hear parents say things like kids are being “too grown,” or punishing their kids for behaviors that they have only learned from adults. I want to challenge parents to instead start thinking about and looking at their behaviors and where they are learning them. It may be time for you to take the exposure more serious. From yourself, the people you allow around your child, as well as what you’re allowing the media to expose to them. It is great when Aiden’s asking to wear my glasses to read, when he’s asking if I’m ok when distressed, and telling me “it’s ok” when I apologize. But, as parents it is important to remember that those cute things are not the only things that they are soaking in.

Re-Learning Them!

Have you ever taken the time to try to re-learn your child? Maybe not, because it is not often that you are given enough space to even think about re-learning them, but maybe it is time to start creating that space. In a world that makes it a crime to take a break as a mommy, it may be hard for you to purposely take space away from your kids. However, you may be amazed at how healthy and helpful doing so could be for your job as a mommy. Since inviting Aiden into this world, I have been shown how much positivity comes from being given a break and accepting those breaks. It has always allowed me to bring my mind back to my body, care for myself, and replenish the parts of me that are needed in order to be a great mommy. For this entry, I wanted to share what has been a reality for me after having a 3 month break from Aiden over the summer. Once mommies have “learned” their child, it is rare to make this an ongoing thing. So often, we as parents will “learn” our children and tag them with this idea that we have of them, even knowing that we are a changing species.

When Aiden returned to me there were obvious differences within him from when he left. It was not the point of me noticing those differences, that I believed that I needed to re-learn him in order for our relationship to be in it’s most healthiest space. It was not until I was listening to a video of Les Brown speaking and he said something along the lines of, “as long as you have something to learn then your business here on earth is not finished.” It made me think about the fact that life is a continuance of learning. And if something as precious as life is meant to be continuously learned, then what makes your child(ren) any different.

It was within the first two weeks that Aiden had returned, that I had heard this quote and thought about it. I thought about how hard re-adjusting was, I wondered if the changes were taking a negative tole on him, I was feeling overwhelmed, and the list goes on. I had been working to fall back into a routine with a kid who had went through changes whether acknowledged or not. I started to focus less on the things I knew about him and instead focused on what seemed to be different and how I could find ways to adjust to those things. How I did this was by acknowledging what he likes and does not, giving options, and learning his new communication styles. As crazy as it may seem, there are many mommies who understandably struggle with something as simple. Not because they are not qualified, but instead because it is easy to fall into the mindset of believing that once you know your kid, you “know your kid.”

I hear mommies especially, say all the time, “I know my kid.” This separation from my own kid and coming to a new realization, makes me want to ask the question though, when is the last time you attempted to learn a new part of that kid that you believe you know so well. I had to realize that there was no routine for me to fall back into because we both came back together new individuals. I understand that not everyone is afforded extended breaks, but that does not mean you cannot apply the practice. It doesn’t matter if you have a toddler, a pre-teen, or an adult child, attempt to re-learn them as PEOPLE, and watch the growth. Do not fall into the normalcy of being ok with re-learning a work system, re-learning your intimate partner, re-learning your friends, the education system, and not giving the same space for your child(ren) mommies!