When I began taking my dating life seriously I read a book “The 5 Love Languages”. It was very eye opening to me this concept that there were ways that I can be manifesting my love to others but because I am not speaking their “language” the manifestations have no meaning.
As I have been watching my son grow I am learning that he himself has a love language. Truly he expresses and needs all 5:
Words of Affirmation:
I’ve been learning that Words of Affirmation are more than “I love you” it’s applauding him when he does something correct. It is learning to acknowledge his correct behavior and positive attitude more than correcting and reminding him about things such as “don’t forget to flush the potty”
So often in the day to day functioning of raising him its so easy to point out mistakes and errors. However, instead I'm choosing to focus more on the things that he accomplishes on his own. Behavior and actions that show he is growing up and taking responsibility. There are times that I slip into old patterns and I find myself feeling like I'm doing more correction and reminding but as I always state I'm a work in progress and so is he.
Over time as I’ve struggled I’ve realized that quality time has different meanings for him. It’s a closeness—it’s being involved in my activities. During this quarantine time he had enjoyed popping into my office during my patient visits to say “Hi”. Putting him in my desk to watch his movies while I work at the computer, cooking together, sometimes just sitting in a chair answering emails while he sits on the floor playing with his trains are the times he needs. There are times when he does want my undivided attention and he communicates that very well. I have learned to also communicate when I'm unable to give him my undivided attention and why. I have also learned to set limits and honoring those limits. For example--when I'm working on my last 1-2 patients at the end of the work day and he comes into my office I explain that I have to finish and that when I'm done I'll be all his until he gets bored with me and I honor that time. I leave my phone in with my computer after my last visit and I'm all his. We talk about his day. We play trains. We play baby shark (don't ask 😉). We enjoy each other until he has his fill and is ready to move on to something else. Sometimes it's 5 min and other times it's 60 min. Whatever his love tank needs to be topped off and full ⛽️ .
Spoiling my son is something that is so hard not to do. Every time I see a toy that I think he would enjoy playing with I want to get it for him. However, my money being funny and my change being strange coupled with memories of him enjoying playing with a toilet paper roll keep my wallet happy. But I’ve learned to make a big fuss about the most mundane and necessary things. Underwear, toothbrushes, toothpaste. Things should be appreciated and respected. Everything and every moment is a gift. I find that by elevating the “mundane” my son appreciates all things in life. I hope this trend stays. I love that he is appreciative of items but I also know that as he begins to desire and express himself it will be more vital to ensure that even the smallest gestures are appreciated as the big gifts.
Act of Service:
Kids learn by example. They parrot what they hear quickly becoming little mynah birds; intelligently selecting the naughty words we may utter in an unguarded moment. I have grown up watching my mother do for others; not only in her role as a nurse practitioner but also as a sister and daughter in her family. I treat my parents based on how they treated their parents. I treat others how my parents treated others. I expect and hope that my son will learn by my example.
Finding acts of service for my son has caused us to grow closer together. I am always finding the balance between encouraging him and pushing him to do for himself and learning to overcome frustrations when things to quite go as smoothly and easily as he feels they should. On the other hand I enjoy doing things for him such as getting him juice before he asks for it sometimes. Taking his plate into the kitchen for him. Little things that I know he sees. Displaying this behavior to my own parents so that it is a normal occurrence that is an expectation rather than an exception.
Moments of "cuddle time" is one of my favorite times of the day. Even when I'm running behind in the morning in getting dressed when he asks for "cuddle time" I'm happy to oblige. Of course I set a timer for a few minutes and let him know that we can only cuddle for a few minutes because otherwise we both would loose track of time. I find that it gives up both a moment to connect with each other when we feel disconnected and fills up my love tank 🥰.
On this journey of discovery that he and I are on. I am learning that there are certain times and instances when I have to tap into which particular language he needs. For example, when he is trying to over-talk whomever I’m talking to of course it’s a sign that he needs attention but why and what language is not being met. Sometimes if it’s something he’s proud of and he is looking for words of affirmation; then there are times when he is looking for quality time. Time for me to stop and provide him with my undivided attention—watching him play for instance. Other times just my mere presence soothes and helps fill his love tank up.
As he changes his love language needs will change and I must adapt. It’s challenging and fun to learn the ways to speak to and fill up his love tank.
Earlier this year I had to let go of a relationship that I had invested my heart and soul into. It was one of the hardest things I have had to do. My track record with men is not the best I have the tendency to give my all to someone and am left being in a committed relationship on my own. At the age of 42, most of my close friends are either in a relationship, married, or divorced. In my family I am the only cousin who is not married and the only one that has had a child out of wedlock (my mom has been noting that point is a bit of a trigger for me—Geechi see’s all). While 2020 has not been the year that I anticipated it has in an odd turn of events been the year that I have needed.
2020 has oddly been about introspection and addressing areas of my life that have been consistently ignored. During this time I have focused on my mantra of “CST—Create Space girl and Thrive”. During the last 8 months there are 3 things that I am proud of doing:
Until I could do that fully and routinely I was no good to anyone and my desire to help others would be nothing but hollow and empty. I have also been learning that self-care can look like many different things. My narrow view of selfceare involved a period of significant uninterrupted time to rest, relax, pamper myself. As a single working mom it’s hard to carve out a big chunk of time to devote to just myself. Even so when I would carve out that time I would feel guilty and often that I was imposing on others to handle my responsibility. This resulted in me feeling run down, overwhelmed and depressed. So often as a women of color I felt I was failing others. It was a hard realization that in actuality I was failing myself. So now selfceare looks different than what I envisioned. Self-care takes the form of journaling, blogging, working out, meditating, reading a book even if it’s only for 2-3 minutes at a time. I make it a priority to get some time in every day just for myself, my goals, and my dreams.
After the birth of my son the feeling that I had repressed began to resurface. I started my blog seeking to write about my experiences as a single working mother as a way to satisfy that passion. The more I wrote the more I have longed and now have decided to invest in my passion to bring authorship to fruition. The more I denied the the passion to seek authorship the quieter my voice became for my blog. I finally decided the listen. The further I have come in the process my voice has become louder. Stay turned for my newest project that I can’t wait to announce soon!
walking away from a situation where I had invested my time, my hopes, and had invested dreams in a situation where I was not valued fully. In addition to that feeling pressure not from others but from myself to have what I saw others have. Not in a “Keeping up with the Jonses” manner but more of falling wedded to the dream that I came close to settling for less than what I deserve. Often we focus on others not valuing our worth that sometimes we neglect that we must value our worth as well and walk away from situations that no longer serve or honor our worth despite the investment of time and feelings.
As the seasons are changing so is my wardrobe. While leggings are still in season for my virtual visits I am finding that comfort is high on my list as it appears that my virtual days will be continuing and I am even adding a third day!. Working as a single mom with my son periodically being at home I have found of late that my bottom attire is actually being seen if I have to get up quickly from the chair in the middle of a visit which started me looking for some comfy yet cute.
I found these cute sweatpants from Target that have me stylish and feeling like I’m still seeing patients in my PJ’s. If you are looking for some stylish sweatpants that are comfy as PJ’s shop below!
During this pandemic and self-quarantine I craved and searched for ideas to help me keep Jeremy entertained and active. I thought that I would share with you my top 4 favorite Mom Blogs.
I can’t say enough about this website. Really and truly if there is a favorite among my list this is one. I highly encourage you to sign up for her emails because not only does it get your access to a myriad of free printables; it also give you updates when she comes up with new content. Which helped me when Jeremy got bored by some of the activities that we had done.
The Magic Milk STEM Experiment that she featured on her bog is by far my favorite activity to do with Jeremy. I used expired milk so I had to make sure he didn’t try to drink it before we started the experiment. Jeremy loves colors and stirring so the Magic Milk STEM project was a perfect fit.
his website was so helpful for me in developing ideas for sensory activities for Jeremy. I loved doing her Spring Scavenger Hunt printable. It even gave me the idea to do a fall scavenger hunt recently where we hunted for different colored leaves.
Jeremy loves music (I think it comes form all the singing I did while he was in utero)! Her Brain Breaks for Kids post gave us some great songs for us to sing together.
This website has a great printables that I found helpful. My favorite one is this color Bingo! So creative and fun to play. She has a lot of great printables too that I have used.
These blogs have been a lifesaver during the pandemic and while trying to home school my child in between working. Hope you find them helpful.
All my life I’ve realized that I was black. Well, not all my life however when I think back there is not a moment where I do not recall being aware of my skin color. Even at a young age I remember kids in my class telling me that I couldn’t drink white milk because I was not white I had to drink chocolate milk. Growing up I have realized that my country views me differently and that there is a second set of rules that applies to me; a set of rules that has nothing to do with fairness or equality. Growing up I have always been told that I must be twice as smart, twice as talented, and twice as successful to get half of what my white counterparts had. Through my years of living I have realized it as a harsh truth.
Being black I learned about our history of enslavement, lynchings, rapes, beatings, etc. I have learned about the “war of northern aggression”. I have learned about the constant attempt to subjugate my race. I have learned about Tulsa, race riots Jim Crow. I have even learned about the civil rights movement. I have never been deluded in thinking that I was somehow considered equal with my white counterparts. I have always known that inequality was still present, that racism was still an ugly abscess that festered in America hidden and indurated under its lily white skin.
In my family we talk about people getting their black wake up call. A call to awaken them from a deluded dream of mistakingly thinking that somehow they were viewed as equal with their white counterparts. Being as “woke” as I thought I was I received mine for a second time as a 42 yr old woman when I realized through the murder and lack of justice for Breonna Taylor that I am not safe in my own home. Erroneously I believed that in America the days of whites breaking into the homes of blacks unannounced and killing them was no longer tolerated. I never was delusional in the believing that it did not occur; but imprudently I assumed that in my home I was safe. Misguidedly I believed that those that would choose to violate the sanctity of my home would be brought to justice. I foolishly felt that in America at least in my home I had nothing to fear. As a mother I believed that if my child if my son could just make it home he could be protected.
Of course I’m talking about my little one! It is so much fun to share “coffee time” with him. I will say before the pandemic it was the highlight of my weekend but now that I’m off one day during the week and working virtually 2 days it’s like 5 days of morning bliss. I have learned 3 things from him that I endeavor to never let go.
Be prepared for the unexpected. Early on in his barista career, he loved to put surprise items in the coffee, ostensibly for added flavor or just to see what happened but luckily he grew out of that phase. But definitely being on my toes and aware of his quick movements save many a great cup of coffee from having an added bonus. Being prepared of the unexpected.
Coffee time is a fun time in our household and a time to take a moment in the rush of life to stretch and grow.
I fully intended to have a child out of wedlock, however I never imagined that I would be raising a child in my own. Signs that I missed in choosing my partner I finally saw before the birth of my child that showed me that he was not ready to be a parent. I realized that I had to make a hard choice for the sake of my son. There are some that will say I was wrong to make the choice to be a single parent and there are others that will agree. While there were 3 reasons I made the decision I made they were rooted in one core realization and advice from my aunt.
My aunt who is like a second mother to me said “When I became a mother all bull💩 stopped.” She went on to say that everything she did and still does is with her child in mind. She encouraged me to do remember that when it comes to my son I would have to make hard decisions often. She encouraged me to always remember to put my child’s welfare at the forefront of every decision. Who cares what others think or say, she told me. Who cares what they think about decisions that are none of their business. I encourage you to remember that when your are making your decisions.
I’ll admit that I missed the warning signs that others saw, namely my father and mother. They say hindsight is 20/20. However making the choice to be a single parent was the right decision for me and for my son. Parenting should be a choice. While creating a child takes a minimum two people raising a child takes a village. I takes those who are dedicated and those who put the child’s interest and needs first.
My first reason for becoming a single parent was that it freed me from the hassle of having to consult someone else in my parenting decisions. That freedom is precious and priceless to me. While friends and family questioned why I was not seeing financial support. It was a natural and simple decision for me; the freedom to make decisions regarding my son with no interference is priceless. It freed me from having to justify my actions with a co-parent that might not be able to set aside their own needs.
Secondly I realized that I did not want my sone to be treated or subjected to what I considered substandard treatment and care. When my son’s father and I broke up I vowed that I would not let him dismiss our child in the manner that I had witnessed him dismissing his own but turned a blind eye to out of love. After the birth of my son I watched and waited to see if he would change. As Maya Angelou is quoted as saying “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”
Finally, while I officially come from a two parent household I was raised by a mother who functioned often as a single parent while my father was off working or in school pursuing his masters and PhD. The bond that I have with my mother is tight and strong. She is my first best friend. That relationship that my other cultivated was that of a team. We had to survive with each other and depend on each other. I feel that my son will learn like I did that teamwork, dependability, and a sense of empowerment that he will gain from my own empowerment.
I choose to be a single parent; while it’s the hardest and most important job I have it is the most gratifying and I’m thankful that my choice allows me to operate in peace. A peace that no amount of money or financial support can buy.
The quarantine took a lot of us by surprise. I anticipated that it would be coming however I never expected such a protracted period. As reopening phases continue my family and I are still staying as quarantined as we can. Which has left me searching for ways to engage in self-care when possible.
GiGi Honey Wax
Early during the quarantine I discovered a review of GiGi Honey Wax and ordered it. While I’m still learning my technique and I’m quite messy with it—Picture it HONEY WAX EVERYWHERE; it has become a can’t live without product that is keeping me sane and feeling a sense of normalcy during these trying times.
Yeouth 30% Glycolic Acid
Pixie by Petra Vitamin C Juice Cleaner
Laneige Lip Sleep Mask
My lip sleep mask is a must have. Currently single I’m not doing much kissing of others but my little one does appreciate the softness of my lips when I’m tickling him with mommy kisses. If you haven’t tried this lip mask you are missing out.
Baby Feet Foot Peel
Not being able to get a pedicure was driving me nuts until I remembered the Baby Feet Foot Peel I started using this past winter. Boy were my feet baby soft all winter long. I may have to polish my own toe nails but there is no reason why my feet can’t be baby soft while on quarantine.
I know, I know, I know not a very realistic plan but it was still my goal. From all the reviews I read at the time the movie had a magic of unparalleled magnitude that I did not want my child or I to fall victim to.
I grow weary and tired. I am weary and tired. I am done in.
I will voice the names of those who are supposed to protect my family and call them to act. I will voice the names of those who fail to act, who fail to enact, who fail to heed the call to action. I will voice their names for those names that I cannot bear to say anymore.
Embracing my imperfection and striving for perfection through grace.