Treat Him Like A King

Lately I’ve been seeing posts on Instagram and Facebook where a woman will make a statement, and then say something like “treat your man like a king.” For example, a woman posted a picture of her partner’s clothes, shoes, accessories, lunch, and everything else he would need for the day laid out for him with the following caption: “When you get your Man [man] ready for work while he sleep [he’s sleeping] [be]cause  he have [has] to be there at 4am [.] Lunch packed, clothes ready, ran him a hot bath before bed, and when he gets home [sexual innuendo], nothing but King treatment when you [you’re] a hard-working man. I also saw another post where a women said  “If my man pays for lunch, I’ll pay for dinner. If he pays for movie tickets, I got the snacks. If he gets the bill I’ll get the next. 50/50 is where it’s at stop expecting to be treated like a queen if you’re not treating him like a king.”

I saw mixed views in the comment section of each post, but majority were “I’m not doing all that for no grown man.” I also saw responses like “I know my man wouldn’t do that for me, so I’m not doing all of that for him.” I made no judgement against anyone and their response because we are all entitled to our own opinions; however I was appalled at some of the responses I read. Here’s my thoughts:

First, let’s separate the two posts and break them down individually. I believe that going 50/50 in a relationship is for those who are girlfriend and boyfriend only. In that type of relationship, majority of your finances are separate, you have your own car, and if you believe in cohabitation before marriage, both names are on the lease so you feel obligated to split the payments for rent and utilities. When it comes to marriage, there is no 50/50. My money is your money, and your money is my money. So whoever decides to pull their card out first to pay isn’t doing the other a favor or saying “I got this baby.” You’re basically saying “we can use my card this time.” When you’re married, all your money should go into the same accounts. If you have the bills automatically drafted then there is no “I’ll take care of the electricity this month,” or “You didn’t put up your half for the rent/mortgage.” I’ll be honest and admit that my husband and I operated in this manner before we actually said “I do.” That mindset started before marriage because we already had our first daughter so we saw no point in going 50/50 when we were in a healthy relationship with one another. It makes me wonder… People who are in relationships and are cohabitants… do they go 50/50 on the child(ren) also? For example, one takes care of the pampers, wipes and milk while the other takes care of daycare and clothes? I’m not sure, but that mindset made no sense to my husband (fiancé’ at the time) and I.

I know a lot of married women and men dislike the idea of shared bank accounts because they still want the ability to do what they want without someone checking on them, or having to discuss a purchase. Well that’s where communication comes in. You have to put it all out there. Go over your budget to see what you have to pay for and how much it costs; what’s left over and how much you will allot for yourselves in order to treat yourselves. Separate bank accounts screams secrecy and “my money!” so loud to me and those are both negative elements that can lead to negative outcomes in one’s marriage. Why? Because finances are one of the leading causes of divorce in married couples. Why? Because married individuals are lying about their debt, their spending habits and create a war zone within their union. If you’re boyfriend and girlfriend, by all means keep it separate and 50/50. Why? Because when you sign that lease with one another and a break-up happens, you both have to come up with the money to break the lease. Or will you live with one another in suffrage until the lease is up? Everyone’s definition of Queen and King treatment is different, but going 50/50 on lunch, a movie date and dinner is not treating your partner like a Queen or King. I see that as simply seeing your partner as an equal and not expecting him/her to pay for everything while you spend your money freely on yourself. It’s an act of generosity and empathy.

Now when it comes to taking care of all your significant other’s needs in preparation for work the next day, I’m all for it. I don’t think one should expect that treatment from their partner, but I also don’t think that a woman should feel like she is taking care of an additional child while doing it. I’m a mother so I know that struggle of “I’ve been working, taking care of the kids and this house, I’m not about to be your maid.” Many of us feel like our husbands only go to work and that’s it. They come home take their clothes off, sit on the toilet for an hour or two, play with the kids for a little, eat and watch TV. Meanwhile, we’re washing the same load of clothes for the 3rd time because we keep forgetting to put them in the dryer, stopping one child from knocking their entire plate onto the carpet, all while trying to hold onto our edges. After all of that, who feels like getting their husbands belongings together like it’s their first day of school?

I strongly believe this act takes for one to know their spouse’s love language and their individual love language as well. This action sounds like an act of service to me. Maybe that wife appreciates her husband going out and working 12 hours in the sun and wants to see him relax. Maybe her husband responds to her in a positive way when he sees how much she’s done around the house and still managed to take care of him. I saw some women say that they begrudgingly lay everything out for their husbands so that they won’t wake them up and bother them when they can’t find something. Sounds about right.

I also see laying everything out as an additional way of being a keeper of one’s home. Just making sure that everything and everyone is ready for the next work and school day. It makes for a smooth transition in the morning and a stronger possibly of an on-time arrival. My husband typically likes to choose his own clothes and likes to put his wallet and keys in the same place each day (or he’ll forget) so I don’t have to worry about doing those things. Nevertheless, if he needed me to do it, I surely would. My husband works 14-hour days, and as a black man walks out our home into a world where there is a target on his back, and the weight of providing for his family weighs heavy on his shoulders. While he’s home with us, I want to make sure that I make his time as easy-going as possible, and do what allows for him to spend every free minute he has with the children. I know that if I don’t give him something for breakfast or provide some snacks, he may not eat until dinner. I refuse to let my husband wither away. I do it out of love. The Bible calls it agape love. When you do something out of pure love and don’t expect anything back.

As far as King status goes, he’s definitely my King on earth. In a world that views him as a threat, I see him as royalty so I will most definitely treat him like a King. I also believe myself to be a Queen; therefore I am married to my King. Treating him like a King doesn’t mean I become his servant, but I do acts of service. Jesus Himself served his disciples. I don’t view the act of taking care of my husband as taking away from me. It doesn’t mean that I ignore what the world thinks of me as a black women. It doesn’t mean that I beat myself to a pulp trying to care for our children and him. It’s all about perception. But I’m also married to a man where those things are not options. He reciprocates that agape love the best way he knows how and treats me like the ultimate Queen.

I’m grateful.

Propose to Me Right, or Don’t Propose At All

One day while I was taking my husband to work, he and I were listening to the radio.  I must say, the hosts ignited a very interesting discussion.  The question asked went something like this: When a man proposes to the woman he loves, does the timing or place matter? If you read my blog post No New Friends (Or Old) you already know we went crazy in discussion when we listened to the hosts and several of the callers responses.

One of the first responses to the question was from one of the hosts. She stated that there is a time and a place for a proposal, and a wedding is not one of them. She was totally against her partner proposing to her at someone else’s wedding ceremony, and completely appalled at the idea of someone proposing to their love if it was in fact her wedding ceremony. In my own words, she believed that it was inappropriate to propose during someone else’s special moment where the attention should be solely on them. I actually disagree! If I’ve invited you to my wedding ceremony and reception, I know you, care for you and have love for you. On that day and in that moment we are celebrating love and hopefully encouraging others to believe that love is not dead and that marriage is DOPE! If my best friend’s, boyfriend decided he wanted to pop the question to her while on the dance floor, you better believe I’m crying and screaming to celebrate my friend. If one of my husband’s groomsmen got down on his knee to propose to his girlfriend, you better believe I’ll be rooting and dapping him up like I’m one of the fellas. Don’t you dare propose when I’m walking down the aisle, when my husband is singing a song to me, during our first dance or any of the speeches, BUT love is love and I’m here for it!

Others called in to say that if their boyfriend didn’t plan something extravagant and have all of their loved ones there, they would be disappointed and say no. There were some who said that their hair, nails and outfit gotta be right or else it’ll be a no for them also. I was flabbergasted to say the least. I read social media post all the time where women are saying things like “I’m just waiting on my Boaz.” “Tell me where do I sign up for a Ciara and Russell Wilson type of love story.” “If you’re not trying to build a future with me and be my husband, there’s absolutely no room for you over here.” You get the picture. So with that being said, I couldn’t believe the amount of women who were willing to turn down a proposal just because it wasn’t what they imagined. At the end of the day, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but I find it crazy to have that sort of mindset. I’ve experienced women who said that if there boyfriend didn’t propose in a year, she would leave him. I’ve known women who have been in a relationship for longer than five years with no proposal. If I ever heard them say they said no because it wasn’t done right, I would be appalled.

I’m not saying you have to accept any sort of proposal because you should be grateful that a man wants to marry you. For example, if you don’t want to be proposed to while your partner is in jail, I can understand that. Or no man should be like, “You gonna marry me or what?” What I am saying is, put yourself in the man’s shoes. He stepped up and said he wanted to make you his wife,  bought you a beautiful ring, and stepped out of his comfort zone to propose. You would honestly shoot the proposal of the man you love down? Let’s be real, if you are marrying the right person, your partner will know what type of proposal to give you. You both have discussed marriage times before, and ultimately he should know you well enough to know what would make the experience special for you. But if he decides that he wants it to be intimate just between the two of you, you better not say no just because there isn’t a big crowd to watch! If he decided to wake you up with no make up on and your satin cap is still on, you better accept that proposal! That man saw you in your rawest form and still thought you were beautiful, AND wanted to make you his bride.

My husband was so upset when listening to the responses.  We both agreed that people have forgotten the value of marriage and placed importance on the ring, proposal and wedding ceremony. A ring can be broken, lost or stolen. A proposal can be ruined in the blink of an eye by a storm, sudden onset of illness, or an argument. The wedding ceremony lasts only for a day. However, a healthy marriage with God as its foundation (my beliefs, your choice) will last a lifetime. When you truly love someone, moments like your proposal will be special regardless. You won’t need a huge ring to solidify your love for one another. An intimate ceremony with 15 guests will still be just as beautiful as if there were 250 people in attendance.

I don’t want to sound like I am  against a beautiful, show stopping proposal. I am against women denying proposals because of expectations they have created in their mind. When my husband proposed, it was after I finished my shift at Advance Auto Parts and looked a mess! I only hesitated when saying yes because we were not together at the time, not because of our surroundings. The moment was too special to say no. His proposal was too beautiful to say no.

I’ll close with this. I know that many women have taken a stand and said that they shouldn’t have to settle for anything just because they are a woman and should be grateful. I agree and hope when you read this blog you did not take my stance that way. I just believe that there are going to be a lot of unhappy, single women in this world all because they’ve turned down wedding proposals because of the lack of entertainment surrounding it. Your love story doesn’t need to look like anyone else’s. Oh, and please go to premarital classes and counseling before proposing or saying “I Do!”

Shame On Me…

I recently read an Instagram post from a fellow mom blogger by the name of @mayavorderstrasse. She addressed “mommy shaming,” and it was SO good. In a nutshell, another mother shamed Maya for having enough time to pose for pictures with her twins, and said that she was a real mother because of not having the time of day with having eight children. One of my favorite parts of Maya’s response was “Don’t contribute to a judgmental & hateful culture that destroys women’s self-esteem and confidence. You don’t know their story.”

From the outside looking in, I saw an overwhelmed mom in desperate need of support who allowed her cry for help to turn into negativity toward another mother. I saw a mom who couldn’t understand how another mother had so much “free” time on her hands in order to stage an at-home photo shoot. A mother who couldn’t understand how someone could make motherhood look so easy when her world is filled with constant screaming, crying, feeding, toys, homework and more! She didn’t realize that in the mist of her negative feelings toward her personal experience with motherhood tore down another woman pushing through her own motherhood struggles. It appeared as if she was trying to uplift herself and commend herself on how great she is at managing a household of eight kids, but put down another mom in the process. That’s not the way to go about it, but I honestly can not blame that woman for feeling the way that she did. Now, she could have had self-control and kept her words/feelings to herself, BUT I too know how it feels to compare your journey to someone else’s. In my thoughts, I want to say that mom followed Maya on Instagram because she originally loved the content on her page, but she had a moment.

I decided to blog about this because I’ve noticed that mother’s not only struggle with shaming other mothers, but majority of the time we shame ourselves. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard mothers, young and old, say “I’m not doing enough,” “I wish I could do more for my baby,” “I feel like I’m never there for my baby because I’m always at work.” So when you go on social media and see women doing all the things you wish you could, or living the life you can only dream of, you find yourself in the dark hole I like to call the comparison trap. I’ve more recently found myself thinking the following: “Do you know how lucky you are to even be a mother?” “You better not cry, there are women crying and begging God to bless them with children.” “There are moms that wish they could have this much time with their children, but they’re either sick or dead, and you’re irritated? The nerve!” I’ll stop there before I get carried away, but you get the picture.

This week alone I found myself wondering if other mothers feel like they can truly express their irritation with their child(ren) and their desperate need of “me time,” without fearing they have hurt or offended someone who wishes they were in their shoes. It’s hurts me to say this, but I’ll be honest. I almost got mad at a non-existent situation. I told myself “It’s not fair if a woman who has experienced loss or can not conceive makes me feel bad for what I’m going through. It’s rude because I already sympathize with her as a woman and mother, so I shouldn’t feel more guilty about my life.” The crazy thing is that my thoughts were not directed to ANYONE! It was my imagination. But even in that moment, I started to shame a woman who did not exist. A woman who had her own struggles. I shamed the imaginary woman who was hurting deep down inside because I felt guilty about not seeing the stars, unicorns and rainbow when I was interacting with my children. In a matter of minutes I shamed myself and another woman because of my own insecurities. I judged that woman. I probably destroyed the self-esteem and confidence that she worked so hard at re-building after her struggle.

I apologized to her, and I hope that imaginary woman accepted my apology.  I never meant to make her feel bad about her hurtful situation. I said those things out of fear. I personally felt like I needed to like (I always love my children, but sometimes I don’t like them *Kanye Shrug*) my kids all the time because I feared that I would lose them and wish that I had never felt an ounce of frustration toward them.

I really am a work in progress. I like to call myself a masterpiece that will never be finished. There will always be a part of me that will need a little more work. I’m pretty sure there are women who have been reading my blog and are thinking “I would have NEVER known she thought about herself in that way.” That’s what we do. But like Maya said, you don’t know my story. That picture you see on social media is a reflection of a moment. Don’t get me wrong, I’m intentional about being happy and looking at my life with a positive view and optimism, but you never know what truly goes on behind that lens. It’s just a matter of perception.

As women, as mothers, and as wives, we have to remember that we are not in competition with one another. We are a part of this exclusive society that allows us to give and receive nourishment from one another. Instead of looking at another woman’s happiness and getting upset because that’s not you, tell yourself that you’re going to be intentional about living a happier life. Remember that happiness is a choice. Rather than add negativity to another woman’s struggle because of your own insecurities, reach out and connect with that woman. You don’t know how beneficial you two could be to one another. I love each and every woman who reads this post, and I apologize in advance to anyone who I may have hurt or offended with my honesty. Please know that I am not a monster, I’m just human.

I love you Queens!