Just Stop.

Mommy thoughts: “As difficult as it may get, you actually have to keep going. Don’t let all of your work up until this point, go to waste.”

The Break: This is the 1st time in a while that I’ve sat and wrote a blog out on paper before publishing. For a while now, I’ve been in the habit of typing within the same 24 hours of sharing…I wanted to write on paper because 1. Today called for a separation from electronics and 2. When I write physically, I feel more connected to my words.

Anyhow, I knew it was time for me to slow down when I pulled up home and realized I had not strapped my kid in his seat during our 30 minute drive from school. I also realized that I had spent most of all the drive lost in my thoughts surrounding business, day job planning, to do lists, and so on. And while this wasn’t my 1st, nor will it be my last parenting extreme, it reminded me of that message I can’t seem to connect with. Or maybe it’s that I spend so much time wanting others to get it, that I keep missing it in my own reality. Whatever it be, it continues to be a struggle. Without taking breaks and allowing ourselves the space to stop all movement, we set ourselves up for experiences like mine! Now, does it make me a bad mother? Absolutely not. What would make me a bad mother is allowing these things to continue by ignoring that it’s time for a break.

What myself and I’m sure so many other mothers have to understand is that being a hard worker does not align with not resting and allowing time to stay grounded. We all allow our thoughts to convince us that we’re not doing enough and these thoughts usually lead to us into overdrive to “work harder.” As with the time I left the egg on the stove, or slept through his pick up time, and now this, the message remains that I am not focused enough, because I’m lacking in the areas of rest and recover. Being a mother in itself is hard, so let’s commit to not make it any harder by avoiding the things that are required to succeed. If no-one knows, we should understand that life itself cannot be “built,” no matter how hard you work at it. Life in all it’s forms can only come from another living body, so why not ensure that we are nourished in all aspects to be able to remain that source. At the point that I realized that a break was what I needed I planned a 10 day break from social media and committed to existing only in present moments. I told myself that no matter what was to come “next,” or what I had planned, whatever was meant to be, would be. It took for me to convince myself for the millionth time, that if I am no good mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally, and socially, then I can be of service/good to no-one!

We have to remember and hold on to the idea that strength does not always come from fighting, working, and moving. We get our greatest strength in silence and stillness, but I can obviously understand how we get away from this concept in today’s world. For today and maybe even the rest of this week, I want you to just stop. Even if every thing in your mind is telling you not to. Take time to stop the norm and commit to only doing things that will nourish you for a day or two! You will notice better moods, more patience for your child(ren), and the ability to see things much clearer. I know we may all have different reasons for why our brains are on overdrive so take time to figure out what your reason may be! Some of the things that helped me during my 10 day “stop” period included:

Wrote a journal each day to measure my own emotions.

Had dinner with family.

Scheduled a full spa day.

Finished an old & Started a new book.

Got dressed up & went to the bar.

No social media.

Spent time with my brothers.

Watched a movie w/ my kid.

Went Hiking

Because it’s usually those smaller tasks that we take for granted that so easily throw our focus. Please share your tips or experiences with taking time to just stop in the comments or find me on social media to share your thoughts! 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/_MsMackkk

Instagram: @_imaniwatson & @mommysbreak_

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Now We’re Doing Tantrums

I really thought me and Desmond had gotten so lucky that we would be able to say, we couldn’t relate to our kid dropping to the ground while kicking his feet and screaming. Especially given that Aiden is able to have and carry full conversations about when he’s upset and why. It wasn’t until last night that I noticed when he dropped to the floor, he did so in steps allowing me to see that he is looking for a reaction. When I asked … or told him to get up and get out of my kitchen, he stood up and stated, “but mommy, I’m mad.”

Over the last month or so, since the tantrums have started, what he’s searching for, is exactly what he’s gotten from both me and Desmond. Usually him collapsing on the ground results in his dad yelling and/or me threatening the whooping that’s never happened. Realizing that a reaction is exactly what my child has been looking for, it led me into thinking why a kid as smart as him would want to get such a high emotional reaction from his parents. It then led me to think about the fact that he ONLY does it with us two. Over time these reactions become more and more intense, mainly due to shock. I think I may have even asked at one point why he would wait until he’s almost four to start this.

While not capable of giving me a solid answer, his “mommy I’m mad,” statement was enough to help me at least try to figure it out. I had to stop and think about the fact that Aiden’s parents have many new sources that have taken our attention in the last few months. I just shared with you all last month that I was practically forced to spend a day giving my full attention to him. His dad has launched merchandise under his brand, been working on a new project, and while unintentional, that has taken away from the attention Aiden is used to. With this, I have also been working on the release of a book, planning a party, dealing with life, and working on various projects outside of being a mother. So when asking myself why, I had to dig into the role I am also playing. I am a huge believer in the idea of looking deeply into the things that frustrate you until you’re able to see your reflection. However, it is not always easy to apply this when parenting! Do I believe that Aiden saw another child engage in this behavior and thought he’d give it a shot? Absolutely. Do I believe he’s fully capable of expressing himself without the fall out? Absolutely. But what I don’t believe is that he can say, “hey mom and dad y’all attention to me has been off and I would like more of it.”

As a parent, I think it is beyond important to be able to look at your self and own behaviors, when trying to understand your children. I have talked about this in previous blogs, yet and still I am also finding myself repeatedly receiving this lesson. I thought it would be useful to share with other mommies and parents as a reminder. Use this month to come to an understanding with your child about a recent behavior that may be frustrating you! No matter the age or issue, who may be in the “wrong” or “right,” just think deeper than what you see at face value. I’d love to hear how this worked for you and your child(ren)!

Please share in the comments or find me on social media to share your thoughts! 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/_MsMackkk

Instagram: @_imaniwatson & @mommysbreak_

Facebook: https://business.facebook.com/MommysBreakT

Gratitude, Do You Know What It Means?

My very favorite time of the month is when my power is randomly turned off & we have no Wifi to operate the smart devices in our home, including the TV, said no one ever. At least, that’s what you’d think living in such a tech loving society.

Last month, we found ourselves waking up to this being a reality for us. No power and no way to operate our phones, that are practically useless without the Wifi. For the first few hours it was manageable with the thought that things would be turned on shortly. That is until shortly turned into days for us having entertainment outside of our home. At one point, Aiden’s dad asked, “how will we entertain a 3 year old all day with no wifi,” and while this is comical, it also reflects where we are as parents in present times. As time went on and daylight found it’s way to replace candles, I decided to do the things on my todo list that required no strong internet connection. By mid afternoon, I was able to think clearly enough to use my hotspot to accomplish things on my computer.

As the day went on, I found myself in a space of being extremely thankful for the level of focus I had to accomplish what I could. I also found myself thinking about how critical it is to be thankful for the things that we do not initially see as a gift to us. I initially felt irritated thinking that I would be losing a day, in what I felt to be one of my most productive days for me. I allowed my thoughts of being involuntarily disconnected from the world consume me into believing that there would be no way for me to attack the 10 things I needed to accomplish. In reality, this kept me off of my phone for a majority of the day and able to focus on bonding with my child. It also allowed me to be more productive because I was afforded less time on social media. By the end of the night, I was developing a plan to have a day once a month for limited access to the internet, social media, and all other things that cause major distractions to reality.

What’s the very last thing you expressed gratitude for? In my experience last month, I found many things to be thankful for. A day where I’m not allowed to focus on anything outside of my home. I was able to be disconnected from distractions. I was productive and so forth. We so often forget to be thankful for situations that come off as irrational, because gratitude is not something that we are taught to value on an unconditional level. Sometimes, it may even take me a while to remember to say, “thanks.” Especially when I can’t understand the “why” behind certain things.

Use this month and every other, to focus on your level of gratitude. This is the PERFECT time to start being and maintaining gratitude for ALL things. Find ways to be thankful for all things, even if they make you uncomfortable or bring other forms of discomfort. Speaking from experience, gratitude has continued to open up new paths for me. In addition to showing limitless gratitude, I want to challenge you this month to choose a day to disconnect. No social media, internet, outside sources, or anything of that nature. I will encourage you to keep the power, but disconnect from all other source and spend the day with your kid, no matter the age!

I would love to hear about you mommies following through on this month’s challenge, so please share in the comments or find me on social media to share your thoughts!

Twitter: https://twitter.com/_MsMackkk

Instagram: @_imaniwatson & @mommysbreak_

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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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