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_

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

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! 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/_MsMackkk

Instagram: @_imaniwatson & @mommysbreak_

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

Repeated Lessons

Mommy thoughts: “While I feel I have a good grip on my emotional regulation & personal coping skills, I never fail to be reminded by dark spaces, why it’s so important to simply be a good person.”

The Break: Life has been throwing wrenches left & right. I mean kicking my ass to the point of not being able to sit down and simply write a blog for the month of February. I will add that for every tragedy, I’ve been provided 3+ things to be beyond grateful for. So for this I’ll continue to be thankful for even the hardest moments. However it doesn’t take away from them being hard. Initially I started to do what we’re trained to do, ask myself why this would be happening to me. Of all people in the world, why the person who spends her alone time trying to figure out how to be better?! 

And then I asked myself, why not me?

Why not take on and understand each lesson that’s being provided. Even if my chip falls on the ground, instead of getting upset, I’m using it as a moment to return to the present moment, ask myself was there something off in my focus, etc. A technique I’ve shared before, but speaking to it again makes obvious that I haven’t mastered. I’ve constantly reminded myself over the last month or so that nothing is happening TO ME. & while a hard reality to accept, it’s just that. I am being afforded the opportunity to always be an example of all the best described ways. Resilient, strong, and dedicated to creating a better narrative for my child.

I don’t know a category of species stronger than a mommy of any kind. I would say between period hormones & life itself, I’m in a pretty unstable space. I can see and understand how another seizure, family drama, losing a brother to gun violence, still being a social worker, and motherly duties would lead anyone to complete insanity in a 3 month time span. What I can’t see, is if my own reactions or people being immune to my life’s events is creating this space of aloneness for me. I decided to write this month’s blog tonight while feeling down because more than anything I want mommies to know that you’re never alone. I felt by speaking from a more vulnerable space, I’m able to fully express just how I relate. I’ll write this every month if I have to because I just want it known and understood that even when it feels like you’re alone, I promise you’re not.

Overall, I may not can say that things are going terribly wrong for me. What I can say is that tonight I want to cry and soak in the sadness. I don’t want to wear the mommy cape and I won’t. I won’t because there’s strength in knowing when to allow emotions aside from happiness have their moments. Problem arrives when we get stuck in these moments. So my word to you today is whatever space you’re in recognize it, allow it, understand it, & release. It may take 2 minutes or it may take the remainder or March. However long, don’t allow yourself to get stuck. We have little people watching & trust that they are regardless of age or words spoken. I could’ve used tonight to give up and let the emotions win, but instead I’m choosing to make it a moment of strength and lesson in hopes of helping the next mommy! What will you do to help your hardest moments become lesson?

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

It’s Ok To Take A Break

July’s post didn’t come to me as easy as the last few months. Spent a couple days wondering if I would have to come up with an excuse as to why I didn’t write it. To hear that Georgia has some of the strictest child maltreatment and abuse laws, not due to the fact that they care about children the most, but because they experience child mortality rates that are very much so alarming, I instantly felt inspired. After talking with a friend and my second time being in a statewide training on How to be a Good Social Worker: 101. We began talking about the process of potty training toddlers and how some parents struggle with such a simple task to the extent of causing physical injury to their children. It reminded me of why I wanted to start MommysBreak in the first place. When I first had my son and realized how much work it came with. I thought about the fact that there is no epidemic or group of people who are advocating for how important it is to take time from the job of being a mommy.

This conversation sparked a thought process in my head of how easy it is to get frustrated as parents. I thought about how I could not imagine not being able to catch breaks from the job, due to not having a strong support system, especially coming from a co-parent. Mommies have one of the toughest jobs in the world with what sometimes feels like, comes with no reward. We have moved away from the notion of “it takes a village,” when the purpose of this was so that mommies did not have to do EVERYTHING. This often leaves mothers feeling like the weight of the world is on their shoulders. Although I have experienced this mostly in clients, I have also seen this in my own personal life. What separates, is that some of us are more determined than others to feel comfortable with taking a break without shame.

And in no way does some mommies having a different way of dealing with the stress of the job, make them “bad moms.” The world can barely handle working a job for 8 hours a day with typically, two full days off. Imagine having a job that’s “never done.” I say all of this to say that the stigma of a mom needing a break having a direct correlation to bad parenting, needs to be removed. As a mom and a social worker, I see so many situations that could be avoided if moms were afforded a simple hand for a break.

I am forever grateful for the people that have assisted me in this mommy journey. As without being able to have a break to be myself outside of mommying, is something I could not imagine. I encourage all to remember this when judging a mom for being tired, needing help, and/or making a mistake. Changing the attitude of judging to one that is willing to help. For mommies who do not feel as though they deserve to receive help parenting, I advise you to seek and appreciate a hand.