Home Is Where the Support Is

Now that I am finally back to momming, wifing and blogging like I used to, I thought I would give a little update on my mental, emotional and location status. Six months ago, I wrote News Flash: We’re Moving!! My family was making a huge move to South Carolina and preparing for a crazy transition. While I was nervous about the move, I was excited for the change of surrounding. Well we made the move, but we moved right back to DC.

South Carolina was beautiful to be honest. I loved being able to walk outdoors with no shoes on, hearing all of the birds chirping and simply experiencing all of what nature had for me. There weren’t any loud bangs or drilling from construction… no loud horns from traffic… and I repeat… NATURE! While dangerous, we saw several alligators in the neighborhood, some turtles, blue jays, red robins and more. I was able to connect with some amazing moms down there also. They were stay-at-home moms who also homeschooled and I instantly clicked with them in-person. With them around, I didn’t feel as alone. However, they weren’t “home.”

Taniya began to like the new area, but quickly grew to miss DC where my mother and her friends were because she wasn’t doing well with making new friends in South Carolina. She was able to make a few, but it wasn’t enough to keep her from dreaming about when she’d be able to make another visit home. I checked in with her bi-weekly to see how she was coping with the transition, and her answer remained the same. I like it here, but it’s not home. I miss my family and friends back home.

Jayla was NOT doing well at all. During the day she was her normal self, but at night?! It was the newborn stage all over again! She had just turned one before we moved and began to sleep longer during the night, as well as drinking almond milk. When we made the move, Jayla struggled falling asleep, woke up every 1-2 hours, and heavily depending on breastfeeding. I knew that it would take some time because it was a different environment, but three months later there was no progress.

I continued to lose sleep rather than gain. I was homeschooling, unpacking, tending to a sensitive and teething toddler, tending to an excited but timid 7-year-old, missing my husband while he was away on the road while also trying to cope with the transition as well. It got so hard and so dark very quick. I couldn’t handle it emotionally or mentally. That’s when postpartum depression (I Am Not A Burden) hit me hard and I felt like I was slowly dying in the inside. I was not happy at all.

Because it was a new location, and I was just getting familiar with my new mom friends in person,  I didn’t feel comfortable with leaving my children with anyone. This resulted in me having both of my daughters 24/7 with no breaks. I had no alone time and I was breaking down. My support system was back in DC. Those who knew when I needed an hour to myself… Those who would call and ask if they could stop by. They weren’t near. We arrived in late November. By mid February I new South Carolina wasn’t our home. Home was where my support was. I was ok with that.

The great part about moving away was learning that I don’t have to mother alone. Taking care of my children is not up just to me, it’s up to my village, James and I. It truly does take a village to raise children. For so long I had it in my mind that because I decided to become a mother, that it was my duty to do and be everything. I was so wrong. That statement doesn’t mean that my village is supposed to take care of my children all the time. It means taking care of my husband and I also. Taking the girls for a little so that we can have some time to pour into each other as husband and wife. Giving me some time to myself and allowing me to come back to my children refreshed. In order for this to happen, I had to become comfortable with knowing that I needed help and asking for it with confidence.

The hard part was making accommodations to move all of our things back to DC. It took a lot, but it happened. We’re back home with my mom for the time being and I’m in no rush to move. I want us to take this time to get a game plan in place and build ourselves financially. Moving back and forth in a 4-month span took a toll on our bank accounts so we don’t want to make any sudden moves.

All in all, I’ve learned that “You live and you learn.” I felt so dumb for how everything played out, but I wouldn’t have grown the way that I did had we not made that move. Moving away put so many things in perspective for me and has truly forced me to create boundaries in order to protect my family and I.

Through this experience, God truly forced me to evaluate myself and how I operate. I need to have people around me who I can ask for help and not feel like I am burdening them. I’m always a listening ear and supporter emotionally for others. I need to make sure I have people around me who can do the same for me. And most importantly… self care! I am so important! I have to remember that. One of my biggest fears is my children losing me at a young age. If I keep up with the lack of self-care shenanigans, that will become a reality.

I didn’t plan on writing about our moving back home because I was embarrassed about our plans not going well after making such a big hoopla about it. But I began to feel more confident and gain more clarity. I also kept running into people who kept saying, “what are you doing here? I thought you were in South Carolina?!”

 

Just One More Bite… Or Not :(

Am I the only one who dreads the gym because they’re always starting over? I know I can’t be the only one that has set a goal of no fast food, but ended up breaking down for some excellent customer service from Chick-Fil-A after a long day of grocery shopping with the kids.

Now days I find myself sounding like a 70-year-old woman who talks about the “old days” often. It usually goes something like…

“Back when I was in high school, I was in great shape! I could go to Chipotle right after school and then head to cheerleading practice like it was nothing. I even tried running track just for fun.”

More often you’ll hear me say…

“I was doing so well with my fitness and health before I had Jayla. I lost 30 pounds and actually remained active while pregnant. Once I gave birth, it went all down hill. “

It’s been over a year now, and I am so ready to have a successful health and fitness lifestyle. I’ve started over several times, but I’m not giving up. If only I could be as passionate about the gym as I am with getting a burrito bowl from Chipotle. *SIGH* However, I am passionate about being healthy. I struggle everyday, but I ultimately want to be HEALTHY. If my appearance falls in line with that I will be ecstatic, but my goal is to just be a healthier woman. As I’ve stated in previous posts (Breaking Generational Curses Through Affirmations for example), I struggled with low self-esteem for several years. It grew to a genuine lack of love for myself. I didn’t love the way I looked or who I was. Today, I believe it was body dysmorphia because when I look back at pictures from those times, I looked amazing and was in great shape. We’ll dig deeper into that another day. Since I’ve had my breakthrough, I’ve vowed to never fall back into that negative space. I now understand that everyone’s bodies aren’t created the same, and the scale can show a high number while you are in the best shape of your life.

I vowed to love myself at every stage and to stop comparing myself to others. So with that being said, my goal of losing weight, being fit and healthy is not to be a part of the new wave of veganism or the keto diet (no shade to those who truly follow those lifestyles), but for myself and my family. I want my husband to have a healthy, happy wife. I want my children to have an energetic, healthy mother. If I can help it, I refuse to be on loads of medication or being taken care of daily by family because of poor health. I also intend on continuing with my goal of breaking generational curses by breaking the cycle of obesity and poor health in my family.

So no matter how many times I backslide and miss the gym, I will persevere. My life… my family’s lives…. are all on the line. The point is to never quit regardless of all the times I have an unsuccessful day. For me, it’s really a mental thing. In the beginning of my journey, I have to break my goals up and work on them 30 days at at time. For example, I will eliminate bread, rice and junk foods for 30 days in order to create a habit. In the meantime, I find healthier alternatives to replace those items to help my cravings. I repeat this process for however long I need to in order to have discipline and a stronger will to suppress my cravings. It’s a process and is really taxing on me mentally, physically and emotionally so I use it as a time to grow stronger in my faith. I use God as my biggest accountability partner. Why? Because I believe God can reveal to you the reasons why you lack discipline, why you eat the way you do, and why you are so willing to give up on yourself. Through that process, you are able to get a revelation and receive guidance on how to move forward successfully. It doesn’t work for everyone, but it sure does work for me.

I’m far from an expert, but sometimes having a successful fitness journey relies on where you are spiritually, mentally and emotionally. A lot of us have underlying issues that make putting ourselves in healthier positions a difficult process. Seeking a therapist would be vital.

In addition, a support team is MAJOR. My team is small, but mighty. I like to have loved ones who will hold me accountable, but also won’t judge me when I miss the mark and have setbacks. Most are on their own fitness journeys also, so it’s great to get some encouragement or a push when I’m feeling lazy. Like right now… *rolls eyes*

I write this after missing a full week at the gym and eating poorly. Both of my children took turns getting sick, I attended a conference for moms, and well… laziness. Uggh I wish you could burn several calories when walking back and forth to the fridge and while eating.

If you’re a prayer, pray for your girl!

 

Should I Remain Calm, or Curse Him Out?

It’s a known fact that when you’re in a relationship, at some point you and your partner will disagree. That doesn’t mean that each time you disagree it will rock your foundation. In my opinion, a disagreement in a relationship is the outcome of two completely different people trying to either make the other conform to their ways, or the two are trying to understand one another and meet on common grounds. Attitudes soar in disagreements and then it turns into an argument. In those intense moments, it’s super important to think about what your response or reaction will be. Effective communication is best. A screaming match, sleeping in separate rooms, going out drinking, or cheating won’t correct any issue within your relationship. Another mistake people make is talking about their partner terribly to family and friends when an argument has taken place.

We often make the mistake of dogging our spouse out to others behind their back. Simply put, words hurt. Even though you’re not saying it to them directly, you’re planting seeds about them in other people and putting it out there into the universe. Your words hold weight. Scripture says that the power of life and death lie within our tongues. We have to remember that old saying, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” No matter how mad you are, no matter how sad you are… Think about what you’re saying before you say it. This doesn’t mean you have to sit quietly and suppress your emotions. It’s more so the act of practicing self control and loving your spouse through your pain and/or anger. Most of the time it’s not what our partners are saying, but it’s how they’re saying it that truly affects us.

Our words tend to be a reflection of our heart.

I don’t know how many times my friends and I and have had to reset our thoughts about each other’s boyfriends because we only spoke about the negative aspects of our relationships. We share all of our negative thoughts about our partners, never putting an emphasis on the good they do. In turn, we’re sowing a seed in ourselves and those around us. Now, if you’re in a relationship with a jerk, it is what it is. There’s no good to report.

So… should I keep calm or curse him out? Usually my initial thought is to curse him out and throw something at him, but I choose to stay calm. Why? Because although my feelings are valid, they may only be for the moment. I have to take the necessary time to assess what my husband has said to me to see if I truly agree or disagree. If I respond the wrong way immediately, it makes it hard to come back and remedy the situation.

This isn’t always an easy task. Most times I feel like I’m shutting down my feelings and letting him “win.” However, when I take the time to calm down, I’m able to come back to him and ask pertinent questions about what he said. Afterwards, I’m either able to confirm the feelings I felt or realize that I didn’t hear any of what he said correctly. I tend to shut my husband out after I hear the first point that I disagree with and my emotions naturally take over.

A few months ago, my husband and I were in a deep debate about the future of our family, and it was taking a toll on both of us. I was seriously sick because it was the first time we actually disagreed and neither of us were hinting at conceding to the other. We couldn’t see eye-to-eye, and I was confident in my feelings. I had no plans of backing down. We eventually softened our hearts to one another, but it was after a lot of prayer and guidance from my spiritual mentor. Guess what? My stance was valid, but my way turned out to be the wrong way.  Had we gone with my decision, we would have surely suffered. I gratefully stepped back, and let God and my husband do the work. I wanted to curse him out every time I spoke to him, and I wanted to run to my mother and friends and talk badly about him just so that I could hear “yeah you are so right.” I’m glad I didn’t. Instead, I prayed without ceasing and sought godly advice from those loved ones.

Over the years, I’ve matured gracefully and gained a great circle of accountability. I had no need to speak ill about my husband to my support system because they were able to offer sound advice rather than just their opinions. Get your mind right, learn how to communicate effectively, pray without ceasing for yourself, your partner and your relationship, and get your circle in order! Lastly, “be sure to taste your words before you spit them out.”