Yesterday Was Mother’s Day

Yesterday was Mother’s Day. The one day a year mothers around the world are mostly likely to be given their flowers for all of the hard work they do. But what about those days when they feel like what they’re doing isn’t almost enough. Or when they feels guilty for not being able to fulfill everyone’s expectations of how they should be a mother. And the days when they can’t be present because they’re stuck in plan and work mode.

I chose to use May’s blog to share some tips from some of the mom’s in my life! I’ve said it many times and will continue to acknowledge that this is a job nothing can prepare you for, but the job itself. Being a mother is unlike anything and there’s significant power to be found in doing the job and doing it well! When the filling aroma of being complimented for a day fades away, use this list as a reference to remind yourself that you’ve got this! We will all make mistakes. But the power lies in our choices to get up daily and choose to be the best mommy to the people we brought into this world. Be open to help and take your MUCH NEEDED breaks!

  1. “Set aside “me time.” It’s important to not get lost in parenting and completely forget about yourself + your wants/needs. It can be something as simple as going for a walk around the neighborhood or getting a sitter and doing absolutely nothing for a few hours. Do it and do it frequently. It’s what you deserve and you’ll thank yourself in the long run.” – Mayra.

2. “Always listen to your child. Be understanding. Always be open to the things that they bring to you, (conversations, problems, etc.)” – Tamika.

3. “The one advice I would give is to ASK FOR HELP! When I first became a mom, I felt like no one could take care of my child like I could. As true as that may be, I couldn’t do it all by myself. Inevitably it led to insomnia, unnecessary outbursts towards the wrong people, and depression. I had people try to help and I wouldn’t accept it. It wasn’t until I was at my wit’s end that I had to ask my husband for help, and thank God he was more than willing. All I had to do was ask. As mothers we want to be superwoman and we are more than capable of doing so, but that doesn’t leave much room for us to take care of ourselves like we should. It’s okay to need a break. If you feel like you have no one in your corner to come and help, pray and ask God for help! Regardless of who we turn to, we have to get help from somewhere so we aren’t stretching ourselves too thin. We have to love ourselves enough to know when it’s time to take a step back. When we give ourselves the opportunity to relax and breathe for a minute, we can come back ready to love our children like they deserve. Being a mom is a FULL TIME JOB, but taking the time to enjoy a long bath, go for a walk, or even go out for a night allows us to be the best that we can and ensures we’re putting 100% effort into this job we’ll have for the rest of our lives.” – Christian.

4. “Stop having so many expectations for parenting. You can literally say what you will and won’t do and you truly won’t know what to do or how you will react until you’re fully in that situation. I would also say to utilize the help that is offered to you..don’t think you can do it on your own.” – Taja.

5. “Take that nap. Often we use our free time doing more chores, exhausted and all because that’s what moms do. Take the nap, your body and children will thank you for it.” – Teairra.

6. “I’d suggest the importance of building intrinsic value into our children. I recently read about how we often build value but without thinking, it’s built within us. Our children end up working hard or obtaining success to make US proud, when in actuality, the work is for them. They should feel happiness and joy for themselves when they accomplish things. I personally feel in our world today, this is what’s missing in the youth. Their heads should always be held high with the real sense of “yeah, I did that.” Teach them how to brag differently cause what some are proud of these days, ain’t it!” – Tracey.

7. “Figure out what works best for you and your family. I know sometimes it can be hard to break away from the practices that raised you, but just because your parents did it, doesn’t mean it’ll work for the family that you’ve created. Love your children unconditionally, but don’t forget to love on yourself as well.” – Laikeya

8. “Remember to take care of yourself too. If you’re not good within, you’re no good to your child. It is okay to enjoy in some self care.” – Tionna

9. Read this blog post & read it again. If I could offer the last tip it’d be to notice the pattern in what these mommies offered in their answers. All from different spaces and walks of life, yet similar tips they either wish someone would have given them and/or tips they couldn’t imagine parenting without. Rest. Reset. & always remember that without your strength and happiness, you have little to nothing to offer to your little child(ren).

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

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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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Happy Mother’s Day

0E32494F-FB7C-46EE-BF80-7DE1C740E41CMotherhood is hard. And if you’re conquering it, I have nothing but love, gratitude, & respect for you. We live in a world where Mother’s are not readily afforded the level of respect & uplifting, as it’s deserved. Mother’s are given one of the most difficult tasks of conceiving, carrying, birthing, raising, shaping, & preparing another human being to be something that is greater than she may even be. On top of these tasks, Mother’s are not afforded the human luxury of making mistakes without the world crashing down on us. But today, I’m taking the responsibility of praising the one that birthed me.

My theme for this post was going to be how much me & my mother have grown past our differences. I wanted to show how strong a relationship could get with mutual effort, forgiveness, & love. As I searched for a creative space to began writing I decided to instead share all of the great things about my mother. To use this day to celebrate everything I love about her. There are no amount of mistakes, struggles, arguments, or punishments imposed (& there were a lot), that can take away from the amount of love my mom has for me and my brothers. She has proved in every sacrifice just how far she will and always has went to love & protect us.

Mom, thank you. Thank you for the lessons, the sacrifices, & the limitless love. Of course as a teenager being told my shorts are too short, not being able to attend every party, or getting my phone taken away, I couldn’t see it. I couldn’t see that you are everything I needed in a mother. You’ve made me into who I am today. I couldn’t be this without you, no matter how much I’ve ever tried to take credit for who I am. It’s because of you that I have a backbone. It’s because of you that I know how to love. It’s because of you that I know how to help others. It’s because of you that I know what hard work looks like. It’s because of you that I know what it means to be a protector. It’s because of you that I feel like a confident mother!

If you’re reading this, use this Mother’s Day to celebrate your mother. Not just by buying a a necklace, sending flowers, or taking her out to dinner. & if for any reason you can’t, celebrate another mother that you’re close to. Tell that mother how & why she’s valued. Let your words be the gift.

“Motherhood: All love begins and ends there.” – Robert Browning

“Love Yourself Girl”

I have heard J. Cole say, “Love yourself girl or nobody will,” over 1,000 times in my head over the last 3-6 months. As I begin writing this post, it was literally the only thing I could repeatedly think of. I have spent time trying to think of topics to write about that would hold interest and make a real impact on the mind of many mommies. I thought, “hmmm…I could write about me and Aiden’s first vacation together…” or no! “I could write about being a mommy and doing things like working or going to school…” As I began to type about these topics, I couldn’t even keep my own interest.

I then thought about the things that go on in my everyday life as a mommy. I thought, “what would I want to hear another mommy talk to me about. “That’s when the light went off! How about I write about one of my insecurities as a mommy. I am sure all mommies have them and could use a boost of encouragement. So, after jotting down a few ideas and thoughts, I decided to narrow it down to one insecurity that I know just about EVERY mommy has experienced, unless of course you’re in the 2% of moms that can afford a “Mommy Makeover” immediately after giving birth. Or the 2% of those that snap right back without a tiger mark, an extra pound, or any boobie changes.

 

When I initially gave birth, of course my body was the last thing that I had thought of. I didn’t care to look in a mirror, I didn’t care to compare to another mommy, I was just amazed by the fact that my body had given birth to another human being. As time went on, I begin to examine myself, notice other mommies and their changes, and realize how differently my pre-pregnancy clothes fit. Like a human being, it started to weigh heavily on me and my thoughts. Sort of became something like an obsession.

Sacrificing your body is hard. It is not only physically hard to become a mommy, but I have had the experience of it being emotionally hard as well. I myself, have tried many creams to rid of the tiger marks, researched plastic surgery, changed my eating habits, worked out, quit and tried again! Having such extreme body changes on top of all the other things that come with being a mommy can be very stressful.

I would like to encourage all moms to LOVE and ACCEPT YOURSELF. With all that comes with it. As cliché as it may sound, your body did something that not everyone has the capability to do. Love the tiger marks, the extra belly fat, the change in shape, the not so perky boobs, and whatever else may have come with you walking into mommy hood. With that, I would also like to encourage all moms to take care of yourself. Mind, body, and spirit. I started noticing changes with my body when I spent more time trying to eat right, working out, and doing things that promote a healthy mind. Of course, I still have my moments, but let’s do it together mommies. Love ourselves, or nobody will!