I Lost It – Mommy Meltdown in 5…4…3…2…1…

Wednesday, April 22, 2015 will forever go down as one of the toughest homeschool days for Johanna and I. It already started off weird because I am in a transition phase in my life and it has me on edge. I’m not exactly comfortable in my skin right now. I feel like a caterpillar in the middle of my metamorphosis and it is so uncomfortable. But isn’t that what spring is all about? Birthing, changing, becoming a new thing?

Homeschooling itself started off ok. We are currently learning about gardening. Johanna is learning the technical things about gardening, she’s learning about the garden of Eden, and soon enough she will grow her own plant. That part of the day was fine. Then we hit a road block.

Whenever Johanna doesn’t get something right away, she likes to run from it. It doesn’t matter what it is, she wants to suddenly forget that it even exists. Today we were going over our ABC’s because just about everyday we review the things she already knows. She’s known her ABC’s for quite some time, but just like most kids, she stumbles over that whole LMNOP part. So I decided we are going to break it down even further and I would have her do some activities to really learn those letters. Her response? “I don’t want to.” Well, that’s really cute Johanna, but see I’m the parent/teacher and you’re the child, so whether or not you want to learn this is besides that point. You see, Johanna had been running away from learning this for about 2 weeks now and I was over it. Let the battle begin!

It was bad. It was horrible. We ran out of tissue because her nose kept running horridly because of how much she was crying. My throat began to burn because of all of my screaming and yelling. We were indeed at war. I screamed, I yelled, I disciplined, I got sad, I got mad, I got straight up pissed off! She took me through every negative emotion you could think of. I think the thing that got me is that the meltdown wasn’t just one bigthing. She would cry for ten minutes, then just kind of quietly fall out looking exhausted and just… done. Then soon enough it would start back up again!

2015-04-23 01.19.11I decided that I had enough. I left. I put myself on time out. I left her downstairs to roll around in her depths of despair and I went upstairs to remember who I was. And in the midst of it all, the power went out. The power…went out…Can you hear me? Can you hear me sitting over here laughing like a maniac? As if my day couldn’t get any funkier, the lights and appliances in our house started flickering on and off like we were in some kind of horror movie. Actually, I’m pretty sure we were in a horror movie. Mompocalypse 2 – Johanna’s Mama’s Wrath.

I gather our stuff together and do the very thing I should’ve done in the beginning. I prayed. I looked her deep in her eyes and I prayed, then I told her what would and would not happen in this house. We don’t do disrespect and talking back. Nope. Not here, not this family. And enough with the falling out! That’s so 2012 and she’s not a baby anymore so, no! Just as calmly and carefree as she wanted to be she said ok, then proceeded to say LMNOP. Heavy.Friggin.Sigh. Really? She couldn’t have done that previously, maybe before our civil war? Smh.

Today took me to a place I never ever in life want to go again as a parent. It was negative, it was dark, it was bitter. I don’t want that for my life, nor for Johanna’s. She eventually came to me and said that the reason she fell out that last time (because there were several times that day) was because when I went upstairs she thought that meant that I didn’t love her anymore. And it was in that moment that I had to remind myself that Johanna is not built as tough as I am. In fact, I wasn’t built as tough as I am when I was her age. I learned to be this tough in order to survive the situations that occured in my life. In order to preserve myself, I learned to say “so what???” at the things that were handed to me in life. I don’t want that for her. I want her to continue to have that soft, sweet spot like a big ole blow pop with that sweet bubble gum in the middle. I have to remember that she is a kid, and she doesn’t process things the same way I do, so I have to find a way of being tender with her, even when I’m being stern.

I explained to Johanna that nothing in the world could ever stop me from loving her. Ever. There is nothing she could do that could ever make me say I don’t love her. I did tell her that she could make me mad, sad, angry, frustrated, wiped out, irritated, etc., but even in those moments I love her more than should ever be allowed. Even in those moments she is still the best of me and her father and nothing changes that.

The day ended on a decent note, but I’m still rocked by it. I’m still trying to catch my breath and I’m hyper-aware at this very moment that everything I do, or don’t do has an effect on how Johanna will turn out as an adult, as a contributor to this society, as a wife, a friend, a mother. While I’m sure this one day won’t completely change the course of her life, it surely changed a little bit of how I choose to deal with her when things get choppy. Sternness, mixed with love, and never, ever forget to pray.

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Chrisette Michele Pose ‘N Post DC Event Recap

1429538276743Hello friends! I have been sick (strep throat and allergies), but I could not let one more day go by without telling you guys about the Pose N Post event that I went to a week ago. I was so excited and a touch nervous that I was having problems deciding what to wear, and I’m not that girl! I’m not a fashionista, I just make it a point not to look scrubby, and keep it moving. I finally decided that comfy chic was my way to go. Black fitted tee, jean jacket, fitted jeans, sparkly heels, pretty necklace, and makeup. Yup, I made it work!

So as I mentioned previously, Chrisette Michele and friends were stopping in 8 cities with Washington, DC being the fourth stop on their tour. The event took place at the Hillyer Art Gallery and they get major chic kudos for that. If you don’t know, the Hillyer Art Gallery is in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of DC. It is an intimate space that just begs for sexy events to take place there.

Let me go ahead and say this and get it out the way. I’m notoriously late for everything. I can’t help it now that I have a child. That said, there was a time available for me to interview Chrisette one on one, but because I made it there late (about 20 minutes late!), I missed that time and I wasn’t able to. However, The event was so intimate that I feel ok with that, I just wish I could’ve given you all more insight into her. and her Rich Hipster brand.

cm3The evening began with a cocktail hour. Very chic and everything had a touch of pink!

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cm4Every single item was so yummy! Yummy enough that I wanted to go back for seconds, but my mam raised me better than that. I kept looking though…

 cm9Cocktails were provided by VOGA Italia

cm8Hey Chrisette! Hey Girl!

cm7Chrisette kicked things off by singing us a little diddly. I love a singer that sounds better than they do on the radio!

Chrisette then introduced us to the panelist, which included Brosia Malbrough, Lover4_Fashion and Courtney Adeleye of The Mane Choice. Then they let the audience ask their questions. Many wanted to know thing’s like when did your blogging/vlogging turn into a career for you? How did you know it was time to quit your day job and give your dream job all of your attention? How do you determine which social media platform you should use? I learned something new here. I had no idea about the social media platform called meerkat! I see that I have more work to do. At the end of it all the lessons I took away were 1) Everyone starts somewhere, even if it is just one item that you know works. Start there. 2) Do what you really really love. If you would do it for free, do that. Do the thing that brings you joy. 3) If you’re just starting out and you only have 20 followers, that’s ok. Focus on quality over quantity!

IMG_20150409_194241In the midst of it all, they had an icebreaker! We had to find someone we had never met before, exchange name and IG information, snap a pic, come up with a hashtag together and tag each other in the photo. I met with makeup enthusiast Nyedi Arrington and our hashtag was #beautymamas. She has a better photo on her IG (I have no clue what was going on with my camera!).

1429540073942The evening ended with them thanking us for coming out, a photo session, and a goodie bag!

IMG_20150410_122031(1)(From left to right: @carinkilbyclark, @mimicutelips, @ichoosethesun, @iamjohannasmama, and one whose handle I didn’t get 😦 )

Ooo, look who I ran into while there – fellow BLMgirls! It was great meeting some of them, and seeing others again.

Did you make it out to Pose N Post? Do you have any burning social media questions?

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Dear Moms, I support you!

Over the course of the last couple of weeks I have noticed a trend. Women, judging other women, especially mothers. I know that’s nothing new, but once I became a mom and realized how tough it really can be, it opened my eyes and gave me a whole other respect for women and what we go through every day. The toddler years with Johanna taught me that everything isn’t always what it seems.

One day when Johanna was in daycare she developed a cold. She was really developing a fever so they called me to come and get her. She looked a mess. She loved to play hard and when she played hard her hair would come out of whatever style I had it in and wind up looking truly unruly like she wasn’t loved at home. I thank God for one of the teachers at the daycare, Miss Kristina. She would put Johanna’s hair back together again at the end of the day before I picked her up. However this particular day Miss Kristina was not there. I walked in and Johanna had dried snot on her face, crazy toddler hair, and droopy sick eyes. My poor baby! I cleaned her up as best I could, but there really was nothing I could do to her hair until we made it home. So I grabbed her some juice and left. What happened next was my aha moment.

2015-04-08 15.02.36Johanna’s nose would not stop running! It seemed like the moment I had her blow and wiped it, it started right back up again. As I hopped on the train and looked for a seat that had enough room for me to park her stroller, I looked over to a nasty stare by a woman sitting in the seat across from us. She looked from Johanna to me and then shook her head. I looked at JoJo and there she was again with her waterfall snot and hair looking shoddy. I wanted to tell that woman wait! You have no idea. I’ve wiped her nose a million times and I promise you she didn’t look homeless before we left the house. She was well put together, but you know, she’s almost 2 and she loves to play hard, so her hair just doesn’t survive some days. For a moment I felt like a horrible mother. I felt so bad that Johanna was being judged because I couldn’t keep her looking put together and I was being judged too. Then I realized that yeah, no, that lady would not make me doubt myself as a mother. I actually do a pretty kick arse job and stuff happens. I’m a good mother, but I can’t control everything!

Later that night as I was laying with Johanna trying to get her to sleep, I thought about all of the times that I had made that exact same judgement on moms prior to having kids. Gosh I was harsh! I judged them on so much. My kids would never have snotty noses. What kind of mother lets that happen? I would never answer one of their why questions with “because I said so!” My daughter’s hair would always be super neat even without putting her hair in braids, and she would always be dressed to the nines. Wellll…as I type this Johanna is wearing play clothes and the pants have holes in the knees, and her braids look mighty nice today I must say. So much for that.

I say all of that because I want moms to know that I’m sorry that I ever judged any of them. I’m sorry if I ever shot any of them a dirty look because of my perception of what was going on with their kid. I write this to tell other women, moms or not, stop it. Stop judging other women when you know how hard it is to be a woman and a mother. Motherhood is tiring. It’s beautiful, but it definitely comes with its challenges. Trust me, we already put enough pressure on ourselves to be the perfect mother, we don’t need anyone else’s pressure added to it. We learn that we have to pick our battles and sometimes that means that our kids’ hair is going to look really crazy leaving from daycare. Sometimes when the day is really stressful it means that we are going to let our child’s kindle babysit them for an hour or two because we need the break. We are human, we do the best that we can, and if you see us slipping, perhaps you should offer a hug and some help instead of judging. And if we refuse your help, that’s ok too. The offer, if it comes sincerely from the heart, is much appreciated, but we’ve got this. Just don’t judge us without knowing the full story.

Mothers, I love you. I support you. If you are a mother that truly loves your children and give your family 100%, I adore you. It’s hard. It’s very rewarding, but it can be tough. We second guess ourselves and beat ourselves up. We are afraid of ruining our kids’ lives, not giving them enough opportunities, not noticing their talents early enough, or catching any learning issues before it’s too late. We want to make sure they have the perfect birthday party, the right influences, look well put together, and can compete in this world. We have so many balls in the air that I have no idea how they don’t all come crashing down on us. We’re pretty amazing human beings! Remember that the next time someone turns their nose up at you because your kid is screaming their head off in the middle of the mall. Let them judge as you handle your child the best way you see fit. They’ll get over it and you should too.

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Up Your Selfie Game with Chrisette Michele at the Pose ‘N Post Symposium

IMG_6154Many of you know Chrisette Michele because of her awesome music, but did you know that she is also a genius at social media? She has a massive, organically grown following, her selfie game is flawless, and she wants to let you in on the secret of just how she does it this April during her Pose ‘N Post Symposium.

Chrisette Michele is creating a non-judgemental inviting environment where women can come together to discuss and listen to great influencers success stories and network with other bloggers, vloggers, influencers and brands in their communities.

Michele is bringing out some of the top beauty and marketing YouTubers and IG royalty, to share their incredible climb up the social media ladder, and their ideas on fashion, hair and everything feminine.

Pose 'N Post PromoWhat’s Included:
You can expect a cocktail hour with free drinks and pink snacks, and a panel discussion with YouTube’s Ambrosia Malborough, an Arizona based Jewelry Designer and an Advocate of all things Beauty and Style; and Beauty and style blogger Lover4fashion.

Each attendee will walk away with not only new inspiration but also empowerment towards building their brands. With sponsors such as The Mane Choice, Lamik Beauty, Abode Candles, Voga Italia Wines and Kamasutra Vodka, this event is sure to leave a lasting impression on all who attend.

Subjects that will be covered:

  • Natural Hair in the professional Environment
  • a Selfie Class and App Editing 101
  • YouTube growth success and Building a Positive Social Media Community

Being a college attendee herself, from Long Islands Five Towns College, Chrisette Michele and sponsors will donate a portion of the ticket sales to 8 book and wardrobe scholarships for young women beginning their
college journey. By aiding young women towards using the skills they learn and enhancing upon them, Pose ‘N
Post will help eager young professionals to reach the audience they want and entice new followers and clientele towards their dream business.

Click here to purchase your tickets. Use Discount Code: FASH50 for 50% off. Diamond Ticket holders* will receive a very special gift bag full of goodies from Chrisette Michele at the end of each evening. This gift bag is in addition to the PNP gift bag all attendees will receive.

*A Diamond Ticket holder is anyone who purchased a ticket at the $90 price.

Johanna’s Mama will be covering the event at the DC location. If you will be there please let me know below, on twitter, or on fb. I would love to meet you!

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Breathing in the Good Stuff

Today is a big day for me. It is a day that determines so much in not only my future, but in my family’s future as well. With that said, I started to come here and write about my fears, like my fear of me having to stop homeschooling Johanna and her having to go to public school and not have Jesus infused into her education like her father and I did. I think you know by now that we are big Jesus lovers and we want his influence in Johanna’s life in every area possible. But I’m not going to go on a rant about that, not today anyway. I am going to name the things that I am thankful for instead because it’s so much more powerful, encouraging, and light.

img_0712I’m thankful for my family. I’m thankful that my husband tries to give me a few moments to myself in the evenings to do whatever it is I want to do. I’m thankful that Johanna is a daddy’s girl and she knows what it is to have her father’s love. She knows how it feels to be accepted by her father, loved by him, and cared for by him. I’m thankful that he is not just here for her physically, but emotionally and spiritually as well. I’m thankful for his relationship with Christ and his growth in Christ. He stepped up in his spiritual maturity at a critical time for us and God has been blessing us ever since.

I’m thankful for Jesus. I’m thankful that he is an amazing father. I am so thankful that he has not only loved me, but disciplined me as well. It did not feel good just as it doesn’t feel good to our children when we discipline them. However, just as we discipline them out of love, concern, and to see them grow/mature/prosper, so does God. I appreciate him for that. I’ve cried. I’ve screamed out just like my 4 year old has, but I’m better for it! Abba God wanted better for me so he put me in a situation where I cried uncle and fell on my face at his feet. Then he did the most beautiful thing. He let me face the consequences of my actions, but carried me the whole way. If people knew what I was really going through they would probably be shocked. But God has steadied my spirit, and seriously gave me peace beyond understanding. Like, I’m literally walking in the grace of God! And it is Ah-may-zing! I’m so thankful for him. His love for me is so overwhelming that it makes me want to burst. It’s too much.

img_0687I’m thankful for the opportunity to home-school my child. It gets so hard sometimes, but when she gets it, it’s beautiful. It’s worth the difficult times. I’m thankful that Johanna wants to do well because that pushes me to do better by her when teaching her. I’m thankful that I can teach her whatever she wants to learn because I’m homeschooling her. I love that our curriculum includes bible study, dance parties, washing dishes, and baking. I’m glad that I know her on a better level than anyone else simply because I spend all day just focusing on her. She can rock my nerves when she’s being completely 4, but majority of the time she is brilliant. She’s cute, and sweet, and too loud, too caring, too sassy, too soft-hearted, so much goodness. I thank God that I have been able to experience this.

I’m thankful for trash tv. Not all of it, I watch very little tv these days, but for the couple of shows that I do still watch I’m thankful. My life is not quite as exciting as the ladies of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, so I love the hour I have to just zone out and watch them. It gives me a whole ‘nother appreciation for my simple life.

I’m thankful for Pepper, our cat. He’s so incredibly sweet, and he takes all of the tough love Johanna gives him, and she does give him a lot.

I’m thankful for my church. Thankful that it feels like home. Thankful to be able to go to a place where I can hear the true word of the living God preached each week.

I’m thankful for toe nail polish.

I’m thankful for 60 degree weather because seriously? If I never see winter again it will STILL be too soon.

I’m thankful for the friends that still call me when something major in their life happens. Motherhood has almost swallowed me whole, but I still love my friends and want to be here for them as much as I possibly can.

I’m thankful for my dad. He is kind, he is pure, and he has rarely told me no. Every girl needs a father like that.

I’m thankful for my Keurig, although I won’t be using it much anymore. I didn’t know how unhealthy those pods were for the environment. Yikes! I still look at my machine fondly though.

I’m thankful for facebook. It drives me batty, but it has helped me stay in touch with family and friends, and the groups have taught me so much! From how to supplement Johanna’s education through Netflix/amazon/hulu, to free homeschool lessons and kid outings in DC. There’s a million groups for all of my interests, and why yes, I am on information overload, but I love it!

I could go on and on, but I’ll end this list with this. I’m thankful for everything God has blessed me with. And I’m even more thankful that I am finally, FINALLY learning how to handle it all with wisdom and grace.

What are you thankful for today?

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