Mommy’s Mental Health

“Happy Wife, Happy Life.” I don’t know who came up with that phrase, but it sounds about right to me! Often times it is the Woman, Wife, or Mother who sets the atmosphere in the family and in the home. If we as women, have very strong negative reactions to everything, and we respond with negativity then our home can become a very hostile and tense environment that restricts the flow of joy. However, if we respond to our family with love and kindness, positivity and grace, that same home will be a place filled with joy and happiness.

Our attitude about our life and our unique set of circumstances can in fact determine the whole altitude of our family. You guys know that I have five children, so while I am not an mental health expert, I do know a little something about feeling overwhelmed and stressed out! On top of just being a momma to five, I’m also a military wife and that comes along with a whole other set of stressors. I sometimes feel like I have too many balls in the air to keep up with and I’m sure at times, you do as well.

I genuinely feel like I have the hardest job in the world some days, and on other days I cry tears of joy because I feel so privileged to be blessed enough to have this opportunity to be at home with my children. I remember when I first talked to someone about the whole, “mental health thing,” we were living in North Carolina and about three different, women whose husbands were deployed, had snapped and took the life of their children. I remember talking with other Mothers who were strangers to me, except that our husbands were both deployed and we each had young children. We talked about how sad it was, and questioned how a mother could ever get to that point, we even talked about where one might go to seek help if they too, felt on the verge of hurting someone.

And yet, there was still this really judgmental, critical tone to our whole conversation. Looking back, knowing more about life and the trials that it can bring and the struggles that we all face, sometimes completely alone, I can clearly see why a woman would be afraid to seek help for feeling like the inadequate mother.  Ladies, if I knew then what I know now, I would have said that we are all learning how to mother our children. I would have lovingly confessed to that group of playground mothers, with their fancy hair and make-up, their designer strollers and diaper bags, that not one of us is left untouched by depression and bad days.

We all like to think of ourselves as being better off than someone else, or more grounded with a tighter grip on reality, but the truth is we could all be just one minute away from a soul shaking, life altering situation that could change us forever. Our minds are so fragile, and while I can not speak for anyone else, I can tell you that I have cried many days and some nights too, because I felt like I might break under the weight of the life that I have chosen.

I would be trying to cover up my own ugly truth if I failed to acknowledge that I have rough seasons just like everyone else.  I’m saying all of that to say this, if you ever start to feel like you are the only one going through the terrible two’s, or like you’re the only mother with a child who is struggling in school, or perhaps you feel like you’re not a good keeper of the home, you are not alone.  I would encourage you to reach out to someone who can help you, or at least point you in the right direction to get the help that you need. You are not less than because you’re having trouble dealing with stress or the pressures of this life. You are simply human. In our own strength we can do very little.

I don’t know where I would be if it had not been for the Lord who was on my side. I would have been lost, I could have been dead, or worse I could have been in Hell lifting up my eyes, forever separated from the one true God. My connection to God has been my rock, whenever I feel weary. In addition to my relationship with God, I also have some awesome and amazing women in my life that are only a phone call away. I can reach out to them and feel confident that they’re going to give me some sound, and wise counsel.

I think that the hardest part of admitting that we need help or that we’re struggling in a really bad way is that we’re afraid of what, “people,” will say about us. Friends, don’t allow the potential voices of criticism stop you from getting what you need to help you heal or be restored. I have found out the hard way that those people that I am so afraid of can not save me, or deliver me from trouble. The only one who can do that is the Lord above. I find comfort in talking to my trusted friends, going to Mommy support groups at my local church, or even by calling my family members who can tell me about how I was as a child. Sometimes my perspective is just skewed because I’m not looking at my child through the eyes of grace.

If any of you reading this article feel like you need to talk to someone about your own mental health I encourage you to call Mental Health America 1-800-969-6642. I also would direct you to www.womenshealth.gov where you can find the number that I listed above, as well as several other phone number that might help you get in touch with the right people who can help you overcome whatever battles you might be fighting.

Have a Blessed week and I hope yo reach back and help someone who might not be where you are right now. Help someone else get over the hump this week!

“Happy Wife, Happy Life.” I don’t know who came up with that phrase, but it sounds about right to me! Often times it is the Woman, Wife, or Mother who sets the atmosphere in the family and in the home. If we as women, have very strong negative reactions to everything, and we respond with negativity then our home can become a very hostile and tense environment that restricts the flow of joy. However, if we respond to our family with love and kindness, positivity and grace, that same home will be a place filled with joy and happiness.

Our attitude about our life and our unique set of circumstances can in fact determine the whole altitude of our family. You guys know that I have five children, so while I am not an mental health expert, I do know a little something about feeling overwhelmed and stressed out! On top of just being a momma to five, I’m also a military wife and that comes along with a whole other set of stressors. I sometimes feel like I have too many balls in the air to keep up with and I’m sure at times, you do as well.

I genuinely feel like I have the hardest job in the world some days, and on other days I cry tears of joy because I feel so privileged to be blessed enough to have this opportunity to be at home with my children. I remember when I first talked to someone about the whole, “mental health thing,” we were living in North Carolina and about three different, women whose husbands were deployed, had snapped and took the life of their children. I remember talking with other Mothers who were strangers to me, except that our husbands were both deployed and we each had young children. We talked about how sad it was, and questioned how a mother could ever get to that point, we even talked about where one might go to seek help if they too, felt on the verge of hurting someone.

And yet, there was still this really judgmental, critical tone to our whole conversation. Looking back, knowing more about life and the trials that it can bring and the struggles that we all face, sometimes completely alone, I can clearly see why a woman would be afraid to seek help for feeling like the inadequate mother.  Ladies, if I knew then what I know now, I would have said that we are all learning how to mother our children. I would have lovingly confessed to that group of playground mothers, with their fancy hair and make-up, their designer strollers and diaper bags, that not one of us is left untouched by depression and bad days.

We all like to think of ourselves as being better off than someone else, or more grounded with a tighter grip on reality, but the truth is we could all be just one minute away from a soul shaking, life altering situation that could change us forever. Our minds are so fragile, and while I can not speak for anyone else, I can tell you that I have cried many days and some nights too, because I felt like I might break under the weight of the life that I have chosen.

I would be trying to cover up my own ugly truth if I failed to acknowledge that I have rough seasons just like everyone else.  I’m saying all of that to say this, if you ever start to feel like you are the only one going through the terrible two’s, or like you’re the only mother with a child who is struggling in school, or perhaps you feel like you’re not a good keeper of the home, you are not alone.  I would encourage you to reach out to someone who can help you, or at least point you in the right direction to get the help that you need. You are not less than because you’re having trouble dealing with stress or the pressures of this life. You are simply human. In our own strength we can do very little.

I don’t know where I would be if it had not been for the Lord who was on my side. I would have been lost, I could have been dead, or worse I could have been in Hell lifting up my eyes, forever separated from the one true God. My connection to God has been my rock, whenever I feel weary. In addition to my relationship with God, I also have some awesome and amazing women in my life that are only a phone call away. I can reach out to them and feel confident that they’re going to give me some sound, and wise counsel.

I think that the hardest part of admitting that we need help or that we’re struggling in a really bad way is that we’re afraid of what, “people,” will say about us. Friends, don’t allow the potential voices of criticism stop you from getting what you need to help you heal or be restored. I have found out the hard way that those people that I am so afraid of can not save me, or deliver me from trouble. The only one who can do that is the Lord above. I find comfort in talking to my trusted friends, going to Mommy support groups at my local church, or even by calling my family members who can tell me about how I was as a child. Sometimes my perspective is just skewed because I’m not looking at my child through the eyes of grace.

If any of you reading this article feel like you need to talk to someone about your own mental health I encourage you to call Mental Health America 1-800-969-6642. I also would direct you to www.womenshealth.gov where you can find the number that I listed above, as well as several other phone number that might help you get in touch with the right people who can help you overcome whatever battles you might be fighting.

Have a Blessed week and I hope yo reach back and help someone who might not be where you are right now. Help someone else get over the hump this week!

The Insignificant Momma

Even though I am an adult and I know that what I do is important and necessary, I still struggle with the feeling insignificant. I don’t know I this is normal or stay-at-home mom’s, women or mothers in general. I think I get so locked in to the daily grind of cooking cleaning, laundry, and picking up children running them to and fro, that I just start to lose my self importance in the act of caring or my family.

It’s funny because I can’t tell you when it started or at one point I decided to throw myself off the family schedule so that I could give that to someone more important, it just happened. I think as I had more children and more and more of my time was required to care for them I just stopped thinking about myself. I recently went to the nail salon for the first time in like eight years!! I know what have I been doing with my life? Well I was having babies, breastfeeding, potty training, surviving deployments, PCSing, and repeat!

I was building the foundation of my family and a strong foundation is critical to any marriage. I threw myself into my role as a wife and a mother wholeheartedly. The best way to sum up what I’m trying to say is with the words of Viola Davis’s character in the movie she says that her husbands personality is so big that he filled up the whole house and then she went on to say something like. “that was my first mistake, I should have made him leave some room for me.”

Wow!!! Those words hit my like a ton of  bricks! In my desire to be a perfect wife and a perfect mother I gave myself up totally and completely to the point that I had let no more room in my life to care for myself. It left me with a void that I ignored and the more that I ignored myself the more insignificant I became to myself.

For example, if I was shopping and I had something in the shopping cart for myself, the kids and Hubby, and I thought whoa, this shopping trip is getting to expensive, I would never put back what I had in the cart for them, I would easily pick myself as the one to eliminate. I learned somewhere along the way that the mark of a great mother is one who puts her self last. I seem to think that a great mother is constantly sacrificing herself and her own happiness for her family. It pains me to admit that I saw my very own mother do this and I admire her so much that I have patterned my parenting style after her example. The thing that I always try to say to myself whenever I catch myself eliminating myself is, “your mother died at 42 because she never made herself enough of a priority.”

Now that’s not a completely accurate statement, but it is partially true. The doctor’s said that she had been suffering with what was later diagnosed as Colon Cancer for at least ten years. Whenever people asked her why she hadn’t gone to the doctor sooner, she would laugh and say,”I was too busy taking care of my girls.” I love my mother so much, but it scares me to think that I could be just like her in that way.  I realize that I’m not okay with being unimportant anymore. I want to be relevant, and I need to make time to pursue things other than my daily Momma grind. I have come to realize that I need hobbies and girl time, work out classes and coffee dates, even though I hate coffee! I need other interest in my life that make me feel important.

I hope that you enjoyed reading this post, and I hope that I inspired you to go and do something that makes you smile or even laugh.

Work Hard Work

It’s been a long time since I was a little kid, and even longer since I tried to pull a fast one on my parents.  Unfortunately, I did try to sneak a few things past my parents once or twice. (Wink, wink!) As you know I have three boys and two girls and my middle son is my payback!! This little cutie is only in the first grade, but he never seems to tire of trying to sneak things past me.

I recently followed my God given motherly intuition about something that I felt was odd, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was. It’s a very long story, but to make it shorter I will say it basically boils down to him leaving out some key parts of the truth to me about his school work and I found out everything after some mom investigation skills. Okay, I called the teacher and got his little brother to spill the beans!

Anyway as I was talking to his teacher we came to the conclusion that Daniel, my middle son, wants to do a better job with his school work, but he hasn’t made the correlation yet between hard work and success. Thankfully, he’s seven so he still has time to figure these things out, but it made me think about myself.

When do we actually grasp the concept of hard work paying off? How old were you when you made the connection that if you worked hard for something or to learn something that it would get you to where you wanted to go in life? I think for me it happened kinda late, I was a junior in high school and my Mom had just died and I felt like I had been abandon, like I had no home. All of a sudden going to college and paying for it, became a huge priority for me. Sadly, prior to that college was definitely an option, but I had no real sense of urgency about applying to different schools. I was just so focused on having fun that I wasn’t thinking of having a future.

I think that what bothers me the most about my son goofing off is that I don’t want him to be like me. I want all of my children to be better than I was. I think of all the things that caused me pain or all the times I made mistakes, and I want my children to avoid the landmines that I stepped on.  I hope that I’m a living example of a hard working human being. I want them to look at my husband and me and strive to be better than us.

What’s your concept of hard work paying off? I want to hear when you decided to work hard for something that you really wanted and it paid off for you.

A Quote To Live By

“I can really lose momentum when I start focusing on how much instead of how well.” Karen Harmon.

I heard this quote by Karen Harmon on Christine Caine’s Instagram page and I immediately grabbed a hold to it! I am that person who tends to measure myself by the numbers, what I mean by that is if a lot of people come out to support me I think I did well. If not a lot of people come out to support me then I tend to see myself as a failure.

In some cases it’s how much weight did I lose that measures my success or how much money I have in my bank account or how many hours of sleep I got that decide if I have a good day or a bad day. When I heard Karen Harmon say that we need to focus on how well instead of how much, it was like I heard angels singing.  What if instead of focusing on how many people, how much money, or how many hours, I focused on how well I slept, or how well the people who did come out showed me love and support? I know for a fact that I would be a much happier person.

I do think on some level this is just another way of saying focus on the positive or be grateful for what we do have, but I love the way she said it! When I really think about it, there have been so many times when I did not allow myself to enjoy certain moments in my life because I was too focused on how much or how many to even see how well something was going.

For example at my book launch party I was expecting about 15 to 20 ladies to come. I was so excited, I got a great venue and I picked out the right outfit, my hair was perfect, my makeup looked great, but only two people came! At first I was crushed, but then I decided that my family of seven plus two more was all I needed and we had a great time and enjoyed ourselves. Those two ladies were my example of how well and not how much.

There is an example in the bible where God demonstrates the concept of how well and not how much, and it’s brilliant. Now honestly, there are several examples of God using a little to accomplish a lot, but I’m only going to talk about one today.

To briefly summarize the book of Judges chapter seven, we’re probably all familiar with the story, but God tells Gideon that he has too many men. He told him that he needs to make his army smaller so that when he wins everyone will know that God did it and not them.  I’m sure we all remember how God fought for them and confounded the enemy. And yet, the focus was not on how many men, but how well our God loved his people.

How many times have we stopped to think about the many times that God has used a little to deliver us from so much? Perhaps we can each think back to a time when God used a seemingly small thing to lift our spirits or let us know that he was with us, and protecting us?

Let’s always remember that we don’t need a lot to be relevant or successful. God doesn’t need us to have a large bank account or a huge army to be victorious. I will often say to my children and my husband whenever we start to feel inadequate or inferior , gain is not Godliness. That means that the abundance of earthly/worldly treasures does not mean that God is with me and not with a person who has less than me. The thing about storing up our treasures in earthly things is that in a moment, those things can be gone.

I understand more and more that if I continue to equate my value to home much, I will have no value at all. It’s not about how much I have, but how well. How well I am loved, how well I am living every day of the year instead of how many days I call a good day. It’s about how well I live every minute of every hour of each day that God gives me.

I leave you with this thought; you may have many long days, but the years will be short. Always remember to live them well.

I noticed that I have a couple of new followers, so I invite you to say hello in the comments! Thanks for stopping by!

Note to Self

As you know I love to write, I love it so much that I write to myself sometimes in my journal. I want to ask you a question this Friday. If you were to ever write a letter to yourself, future self or past self, what would you say?

Would you give your future self advice, or would you lavish yourself with praise and tell yourself to go with flow because you’re doing a great job?

They say looking back is always clear to see why something happen or didn’t happen, but what about the here and now? I think if I could tell my future self anything, I would say stop moving so fast. I would tell myself to slow down and enjoy each and every moment with my children and my husband. I would admonish myself to live out my memories and stop rushing through everyday racing into the future. I would encourage myself to enjoy my life more.

I would love it if you all could play along and leave something in the comments that you would tell your future self.

Happy Friday Everyone!!

Defeat, Death, and Victory

Happy Resurrection Day!!! I hope that everyone reading this had a wonderful Easter weekend!

This evening at the dinner table we were discussing when it was that Jesus actually defeated the devil. I told my children what I know to be true, when he died on the cross. That confused them because they wanted to know how it was possible for Jesus to die on the cross if He was God in the flesh and He could just get down and kill the bad people that were trying to hurt him. Of course that set us down the path of talking about what qualified Jesus to win by dying. You guys probably already know the deal, Jesus was able to be the lamb without sin because He was the only perfect man to ever live. Therefore He was the only one who could take our place on the cross. Because of His death, we can now have access to the Father.

What I want to talk about with you all today is the times it look like we loss, but we really won. When you look back over your life how many times did you have to go to the cross, allow yourself to be crucified, even though you may have had the power to stop it? How many times did you humble yourself even when you had the ability to win? Perhaps, you thought that you had lost, and didn’t realize until after the fact that in that low moment that was your place of victory?

I want to encourage anyone who may be reading this and you’re having a really rough time, or you’re in the heat of the battle and you think that you’re losing the war. Be of good cheer! The places that we struggle the hardest and sometimes the very spot where we fail, is our most important victory. I have felt like a failure and failed many times at many different things; however, I have come to realize that the times when I thought I had failed so badly that a piece of me had died, those where the places of my greatest victories.

As much as dying to the flesh, or losing the things that we want so badly may hurt, we need those losses and we need to die to our flesh. We absolutely can not grow without experiencing death, or should I say separation. Without Judas’s betrayal Jesus would not have completed his destiny. Of course you can present the argument that God could have used someone else, and you would be right. Nevertheless, my point is the same there would still be a need for pain, hurt, betrayal, loss, or death. In order for us to truly be all that God has called us to be we have to experience defeat and sometimes even death.

The Bible tells us, “Verily, verily I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” (Jh.12:24KJV).

Friends the difference between fruit and much fruit is the seed. Jesus was the seed for all man kind and the reason He did not get down when they teased him is because He knew that if he would be willing to endure the pain of death, that in a short three days he would be ascending to heaven with all power in his hand, to take his place at the right hand of the Father in victory.

Don’t fear defeat or loss, it’s in those moments that we truly win! Have a blessed day!

Mirror, Mirror On the Wall

I really don’t like going to the doctor! I feel like every time I go the doctor tells me something crazy, or I get the rudest doctor available. This recent time was no different. With the military your doctors change so much, I use to have a great doctor. He was professional, but he had great people skills too! Unfortunately, this time I walked in and I had a new doctor, she was a female and that is the only thing good that I can say about her. The short explanation is she was just rude and cold! There was one particular moment when I was talking to her about my weight and I was asking her for some tips on nutrition and things that I could do to help facilitate the process of losing weight for me.  Instead of telling me some helpful tips or discussing how I could schedule something with a nutritionist she looked at me and said, “Why don’t you just have surgery. I mean you look like you could stand to lose a 100 pounds.”

Friends, when she said that to me I just looked at her baffled. I was stunned that a doctor would say skip the process and get surgery! I mean I do need to lose weight, but I don’t need surgery! After about thirty seconds of me just staring at her and wrestling with my wicked thoughts, I said, “No thank you, I would prefer to lose weight naturally. I will never consider weight loss surgery just to lose a few pounds.” She then had to leave the room for something and when she came back in she apologized for, “if” she sounded rude and offensive. I simply nodded my head and took my leave.

After I left I replayed the conversation over and over again in my head. I thought of at least a million things that I wish I would have said. The amazing part is the real reason I didn’t let her have it is that I am not a reflection of people, I’m a reflection of God. That means that I will not treat people the way they treat me, because I am not created in the image of this world. I was created in the image of God, and the Holy Spirit won’t let me do to others what they do to me. This does not mean that I don’t sometimes mess up, or speak out of turn, because I am not perfect.

I am however, God’s child and I do not return with a rude comment simply because I am offended by someone else’s rude comment.  1Pet.2:23 says in reference to Jesus”Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again…”  Matthew5:46-48 talks about only loving those who love us, and only being kind to our friends, what reward is there for that? If I’m only nice to people who are nice to me and rude to people who are rude to me then who is my Lord and Master? Who am I emulating?

What image will we reflect when we encounter rude people? Will we throw away our love for God and get nasty with someone who gets nasty with us? Or will we remember who our Lord is and still reflect his image in the face of offense? You know, I could have lost my cool and told her what I really wanted to say.  Sadly, that would have only made me feel good for a short time. I know that later on I would have felt guilty about losing my cool and allowing someone to drag me down to their level.

The real me is just not comfortable allowing someone else to have control over my actions, my thoughts and my emotions. if someone can make you change who you are or respond to them in a way that is outside of their character then they can rule over you. If we’re not careful instead of reflecting God’s image we’ll be reflecting the image of the person who wronged us.

I want to leave you all with this, “Who is your Lord, and do you project that image in the earth to the people around you friends and foes alike?

Decisions, Decisions

I’m one of the most indecisive people that I’ve ever met! I don’t know why it’s so hard for me to make a decision, but it’s something that I really need to work on this year.  I feel like I can make some decisions quickly, but others take much more time for me to decide on, and even then I may go back and forth.

I’m curious to know how do you all make decisions? If you find this struggle to be present in your own life let me know.

I feel like one of the reasons that I get so paralyzed when it’s time for me to make a decision is because I hate making mistakes! I always feel like if I make the wrong choice something bad might happen to me. Another reason why I feel like it’s so hard for me to make a decision is because I fear that I might miss out on a better option! Even after I make a selection I always wonder what would have happened if I chose differently.

One thing that I have mentioned here on my blog before, is my constant tug of war with satisfaction and the desire to see what’s next. I’m constantly looking forward to the next thing, or anticipating the joy that comes with tomorrow.  Perhaps there is a link between my indecisive tendencies and my touch of destination disease. Maybe I should work to strike the proper balance between enjoying where I am in life and looking forward to the future.

Tell me what you think in the comments!

The Black Educated Stay-At-Home Mom

This is a topic that I had been wanting to address for a while, but I honestly wasn’t sure how. I hate to talk about things that make me feel angry or divided, so I really wasn’t going to talk about it on my blog. However, I just can’t not talk about something that is so real and present in my everyday life.

Growing up I remember my mother always worked, and she encouraged my sister and I to get a good education so that we could have a great career. My mother was a great example of a woman who helped to provide for her family. She stressed to my sister and I that if we wanted something that we should work hard to have it.  I got my very first job at the tender age of fifteen and I worked all of my teenage years in some way. After my mom died I quit my job at Taco Bell because I wanted to be at home at night with my younger sister. I didn’t want her to be at home alone. My dad worked night shift and he never changed his schedule, so I thought it was important that I change mine. I was blessed to get a job as a regular babysitter for one of my teachers, and that helped us out so much. After high school I went to college, and I worked several different jobs in college.

I would have never thought that upon graduating from college I would ever become a SAHM(stay-at-home Mom). It wasn’t apart of my five year or ten year plan. I wanted to be a teacher for five years and then I wanted to become an principal.  God had other plans for me though! I took one look at my first born son and I knew that I didn’t want to leave him with anyone! For me that was the moment that I decided to stay at home with him.  Because we are a military family, this was normal where I lived(on a military base), and yet my family and friends did not see it as normal.

I was questioned relentlessly, about when I was going to get a real job, or what did I possibly do all day? I was criticized for having gone to college and not, “using my degree.” It seemed that no matter where I went or who I talked to, everyone wanted me to know that Black women didn’t stay at home. I was told that black women work hard to help their husband and support their children. “How could I help my husband if I didn’t put my children into daycare and get a, “real job?”

The funny thing was, I met several women black and white who were SAHM’s and I noticed a disparaging trend. All of us had similar stories of being criticized or berated for choosing to stay at home with our children instead of having a career. It seems like we all had this thought that one day we would go back to work and then we would be acceptable to everyone. It was like we always had to justify ourselves to others to prove that we had value and meaning.

I will never forget when a family member made the comment, “Torre can do it since she doesn’t do anything all day.” At that time I had two children under two at home and both of them were still in diapers! Are you kidding me? I was in the trenches at the time, between breastfeeding, diapers, potty-training, and laundry, I was constantly busy. Not to mention that I was a young wife, and my husband who was working long hours and we were still technically newlyweds! Needless to say, I was very offended by that comment, and the woman who said that was a working mother of four herself!  Yet, she had this air of superiority because she worked all day and then came home to her family, whereas I was already at home because I did not have a job.

For many years I allowed those little nit-picky comments to influence the way that I felt about myself and my worth. I always feel like I wasn’t as good as a mother who worked outside the home and that feeling started to bleed into other areas of my life. I started to internalize who I was and if I was living up to my full potential and all because I had listened to one to many negative comments about who I should be and what I should really be doing with MY life.

Pretty soon it got to the point where I was so defensive about not working or being a SAHM that I was just snapping on people before they could even tell me what they thought about it. I had one woman tell me, “You must think you’re a white woman girl! Black women don’t do that.” And yes her nose was turned up and her face was twisted into an ugly mask. I thought how can you say that it’s okay for a white woman to go to an Ivey League College, only to get married and become a SAHM and that is considered honorable for her but not for me because I’m Black? No, I reject that.

While I know that I can never go back and give my younger self advice, I wish I could have told myself what I now believe which is this; Your sacrifice is vital to your family life. Your unwavering presence and unyielding commitment is worth every hard day and nasty comment. Your family would not function without you. Your job is to be the very best wife, mother, and  homemaker so that your work to help raise productive, law abiding citizen, who will make positive, lasting contributions to this world. I want my children to be proud of me. I also want them to know that I chose to focus on just raising them for a while, and that I never regretted it, and I never felt bitter because of it.

Every time I look at the news  I see a stories about broken black families, or one of the well documented missteps of young black males, I am convinced that my contributions are important to my family. I feel so strongly that when children are loved and supported that they are given the perfect conditions for success. Now of course there are exceptions to every thing that I have said, but as for me and my house, I know my role is very valuable and I am convinced that this is the way for me right now.

I do struggle sometimes with the consequences of my choice. There are times when I get sick of being on a budget, and I just want to buy what I want and not worry about the cost. I have many moments when I want to be more than just a housewife, but what I’ve learned is that I can be many things and never diminish any of the things that I am. It’s possible to wear many different hats and still do what I believe God called me to do.

I ask you this question ladies, why did you choose to be a SAHM or a WM (working mom)? This is a judgement free zone so please feel comfortable sharing with me. I’m not here to critic you or point out why one is better than the other. I just want to hear from you guys about this topic.

Thanks for reading my blog!

The School Days Blues

Guys I may be wrong for saying this, but I will be so glad when my kids get out of school for the summer!

I feel like my kids have so many things going on at school and each one of them has a different schedule during the week. I feel like I’m being pulled in five different directions everyday of the week! It’s such a pleasure to be at home with my children and have such a prominent place in their everyday lives, but I’m plum tired. We have homework, Choir twice a week, Math Olympia, Computer Lab, and Running Club. Oh, and I forgot to mention that my Kindergartner is on a different schedule than my other three children!

It’s not just me either, whose feeling the pinch. I can tell that the teachers are longing for Spring Break as well. I think it’s just the ugly truth. We parents, students, teachers, and faculty are all working so hard to make sure that our children have a great school year and it’s really starting to show.

It’s always a field trip or something to volunteer for and as much as I like that, I’m ready to take a break from it all. Funny thing is, I feel so guilty when I can’t volunteer or help chaperone a field trip! I know so many of my readers have school age children or children that are in college, so I know you get where I’m coming from. How did/do you ladies deal with the everyday, mundane routines of school and homework and volunteering? What’s your secret to combat school days burnout?  How do you not get the blues from doing such important, but taxing work?

Most of all, I would love to hear how you all deal with the guilt! We all have Mommy guilt for whatever the reasons, but I feel like I’m losing the battle with Mommy Guilt. Let me hear your advice and tips in the comment section.