Are your kids defiant?

Are your kids defiant?

I write this post tonight shortly after having told my son to give me his PS3. The rule is they go to bed and all electronics go off. Do you know he took 10 minutes and I had to go in there to get it? Rules are made to be followed. Right. Well, this mama doesn’t play. So, his choice was he and the PS3 could go wherever they wanted, but in my house people go to bed. Of course, he gave me the game, but the problem is the time he took and how he just stood there perplexed as to why he had to give up his game. He’s about to be 15 and so it begins. Defiance. Or, close to it.
“The becoming a man but still having to listen to your mom dilemma” has begun.

I decided to share this because this blog is all about inspiring single parents in life, love, and faith. Well, life as the sole parent isn’t always easy. And if you can relate, I encourage you Uh yo stand your gtound. They are kids. You are the adult and you know best. In my case, they sneak and use it during the night and can’t get up in the mornings.  So, when I figured out why they were dragging, I figured out they were just pretending to be sleep.

Wow!  PRETENDING! That hurt me. I had to talk to them. Have you had that? If so, let’s dialogue. This blog is for support and tips. Here for you.

Single parenting is hard.
Do It Anyway!

Kaydy

Our kids need us even when they say they don’t

Our kids need us even when they say they don’t

I don’t know about you, but I sometimes think my parenting is so awesome that my kids should “get it” by now and be on auto pilot. Lol! They don’t. They aren’t perfect and neither am I. With that said, I want to encourage you to keep the dialogue going between you and your children. I have two boys, and I’m a single mom, so I try not to whine, nag them, or get on their nerves in general (sarcasm). You know, teens! But, I found recently that me talking to them, nurturing them, being on their side is exactly what they want (without them telling me, of course). Boy are they complicated!

Recently, my older boy had an away sports event that I did not attend. He gave me the play by play and it was kicking his behind. My heart hurt for him. He tried. He didn’t win. He tried. He didn’t win. And then, he texted me that he needed encouragement. I was shocked. One, because he asked for encouragement when he usually acts as if he doesn’t need it or me. Two, because I am an encourager by nature and thought I was encouraging him. How does my kid need to ask me for it!?? Three, I felt needed. It was wonderful!

So, of course,I fire off many encouraging text messages. He never won a match, but he left with his self esteem in tact knowing he is growing, and it was an honor for him to go on the trip. He got a bear hug from his momma in the form of 5 text messages riddled with love and affirmation, and maybe for a split second he realized he does need his mom for more than meals and a chauffer (channeling that anger am I). I’m confident he will improve and learn to master his sport in time.  I know he is, too.

For you, how is your conversation with your kids? Do they do things that catch you by surprise? If so, don’t worry. Just dig in where you are. We can’t stop or block all the bad experiences in their lives. We cannot know everything, but we can be there for everything. We can provide encouragement and help them through the tough times. Inspire your kids to be awesome even when they fail, even when life is hard. It’s good for them to fail. That’s how winners are made.

And just in case yours are disrespectful, unruly, entitled, and ungrateful, it isn’t too late to right the ship. Stand up and be the parent. You buy everything, so take some things like electronics, privileges, etc., away. Removal of fun gets a house in order faster than you can say “Who’s house is this?”

God bless. Keep doing your best. You are raising amazing kids!

Life is hard. Single Parenting is hard. Parenting, in general, is hard.

Do It Anyway!

The Ups and Downs of Single Parenting.

The Ups and Downs of Single Parenting.

Greetings, I hope these words find you doing well and being Super Mom to your little and big gifts aka children. To say single parenting is a challenge would be an understatement. It is like drinking water from a fire hydrant at times. And we know that is not a good idea. Don’t get me wrong, it’s also the most rewarding work I do all day. I love my babies. Sometimes, my babies don’t cooperate with me and the plan I’ve set for the day. Are yours like that? Yeah, I know you just said YES!

Well, I’ve learned that even messing up the plan can be okay. I mean, I can’t be a control freak (even when I want to be) all the time. Life happens, and you and I, my friend, must be able to change with it. Life sure will move on without us. Won’t it? But, all cliches aside, the ups and downs of single parenting are real. We can’t escape them. But, we can live through them. Here, I list 5 Ups and 5 Downs. May they encourage you on the journey.

5 Downs
1. It’s just you.
No one has to tell you how hard it is because you handle a job, family, etc. every day by yourself.

2. It’s really hard.
This is by far the toughest job there is. Getting little and big humans to be obedient, respectful to you and others, keep them alive (because little and small make not so wise decisions), feed them, and keep them safe EVERY DAY is no small feat. But you do it for the sheer fact that your heart and theirs are knit for eternity. Hard becomes a casualty of war where you always win because you never stop providing for your babies. Amen!

3. A community would be nice.
Gosh! Wouldn’t it be great if you had some help? May we all find our village that supports us and our kids. Until then,

4. Discipline is not fun.
It sucks, but someone has to do it. It’s unfortunately you. Do it because they need it.
Hey, I have no trouble passing out discipline. I’m a professional extra fun “take a-wayer”. Ask my boys.

5. They only have me.
Being the only parent bites. YOU DO ALL the work. When I say all, I mean all the work. But, take joy. You are making a world of difference.

5 Ups
1. You love them. You’re here for good.
Permanence in a child’s life is so important. They are blessed to have you. You are the blessing. I know it’s hard, but be proud of that.

2. You are a family.
My two boys and I are what it is. I didn’t plan to do it alone, but alone is what’s best for us. Sometimes, other folks aren’t meant to stay, or they are best not being a part of your union. Let them go. Their loss.

3. You’re raising good kids.
I know I gripe, at times. But, I am blessed to have good boys. (I also discipline them. That helps.) But, it is important to pat yourself on the back because alone, your kids are stellar. Some martied folks din’t have parenting figured out. You rock!

4. You affect them positively.
As the parent with the sole responsibility of raising my boys, I have the privilege of influencing them. That means good values and respect for self, women, others, and the world get taught minus the stuff they could have learned. Hey, count your blessings. Raising them alone has its perks.

5. You have a support system.
I praise God for the few folks I can count on to help me raise my boys with vision. Having and being a support to others is imperative in the single parent family. Don’t despair if you have no system. You can still create one. Start thinking about mentors for your boys- good men you tryst, and for your daughters- good women you trust. Create your village from friends, people at church, etc, and be open to new relationships. God will send you who you need.

I pray some of these have made you chuckle, given you hope, and/or shown you that you are not alone. We may have some negatives, but the positive I’m is your kids have YOU.

Be blessed and remember, Do It Anyway!

Wealth and the single mom

Wealth and the single mom

money jar2

 

I do not claim to have learned all there is to know about wealth. I myself am on a quest for knowledge and the total transformation of my life. Yet, I want to encourage every woman who is not living her financial dream to seek out advice, tips, books, instructors, etc., so they, too, can change their lives. The above picture is my actual change jar. It takes me a year or two to fill with my leftover change.  Once it’s full, I take it to one of those machines in the supermarket that counts it for you and collects a small fee in the process. I know. I should take it to my bank. See! I’m not a financial advisor. But, I am a mom who wants to leave a legacy.

Wealth is such a personal thing. I mean it’s relative right? Sure, some inherit it, but somebody somewhere had to first take a chance in the right direction and add in some hard work to build that pile of assets to, in turn, pass along.  I truly believe that as long as we have breath, we can change our lives for the better. That includes finances.

The Bible says in Proverbs 13:22 “A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children.” Wow! I want to do that! Don’t you? It may not happen for me or you the way it happened for others, but the truth is we need to start building (if we haven’t already).

I like to listen to a few folks on advice for saving. The Bible says, “There is wisdom in a multitude of counselors”. I say there is confusion in not having a plan. As a single mom, I have seen lack and abundance (my scale may be just getting by). It (life) has been smooth and it has been rocky. But, GOD has kept me and my boys. He has been faithful. Because of this, I like to be faithful with what he gives me. So, I believe that part of wealth creating is giving. I can’t say I always tithe like I want, but I give. I have charities I support. It makes me feel so good inside to help someone else in need. Try it. It’s amazing how even our little is sometimes greater than what some one else has.

If giving money is not feasible, please find time to show your kids how to give back to others by you all doing charitable work. If money is not a problem, consider mentoring other women on wealth creation. We are blessed to be a blessing.

Side note: The sense of entitlement of the youth these days is at an astronomical level. Even my own kids have tried to act as if the world owes the something. I quickly nip that in the bud. I have them help me serve, and I have them give away toys and clothes. I also had them pick out the boy we sponsor in Africa who is around their age. I talk to them about how blessed we are knowing that they don’t fully understand yet. But, I know one day it will be clear. As I work to build something to leave them, I want to leave my wealth to men who know how to handle it and who know the blessing they hold.

So moms, even if it’s five bucks a week, start saving now. Try the change jar idea. Or, refrain from the delicious $5 coffee for a few weeks and watch it add up. We have more than we think even when to us it is not enough. Saving is a family affair. Get everyone in on the conversation. Make it a contest if you can, but by any means, save.

I pray this post blesses you and your family, and you get started on building your empire.

“Saving is hard, and I have bills,” you say.

Do It Anyway!

 

4 Steps to Pursuing Your Purpose

4 Steps to Pursuing Your Purpose

PurposeThe word purpose has been a buzz word ever since Rick Warren wrote The Purpose Driven Life. I mean I remember learning it in school and using it rarely, but oh my! when that book came out it was like cold milk on cornflakes- delicious! It was intriguing, soul-touching, thought provoking- an awesome book. But what is this post about? It’s about me simply encouraging you to find and pursue your purpose. We all have one. If you do not know yours yet, you should do a gift assessment test and some soul-searching. Most churches have their members take these so they can figure out where they can best serve. I know. Most of us are often are too busy to be alone with ourselves one minute to think about what we want. But, what we need is to do exactly that!

So, if you know what you were designed to do, great! Feels good. Right? But if you do not then here are four steps to get you walking out what you were made to do!

Step 1: Do the work to figure out what you are designed to do.

This is a step that only you can do. I encourage you to find some quiet time to be alone and be with you, yourself, and I. Ask yourself what makes you tick, what do you love to do, what would you do with no pay, and if you are already living and doing what you were meant to do. Next, if you are a believer like me, Ask God for direction. Jeremiah 29:11 says God has a plan for his children. A plan to prosper them and not to harm them. To give them a hope and a future (paraphrased). So, if you are like me then you want God’s blessing on your endeavors. Why not get His viewpoint before embarking? The only way to do that is to ask. How can you get the answer without spending time with Him? So, do the work of self-discovery, prayer, communing with God and preparing yourself for the answer. I say prepare because we’ve al heard the stories of people changing fields for purpose or moving and selling everything to follow their purpose. One thing we know is that if God is in it, it will be the best decision ever made. Enjoy this process and don’t beat yourself up if you don’t know right away. Keep seeking and it will come. If God is in it, it’ll bless you.

Step 2: Give in to the call.

Once you know what it is you are to do, give in. I know I had a hard time accepting my purpose. I always knew from a young child that I would work in ministry, yet I’ve fought it for years. I now help in the Spanish ministry and it is an amazing feeling to know I’m helping people reach their goals of learning a new language and connect to Jesus in their language. I also get to walk in what I was meant to do. I knew I was a born leader and encourager, but I was an extroverted introvert. Lol! It’s possible. So, I had to give in to that persistent desire of my soul to help others. Maybe you are like me. You know you are supposed to be doing something, but for some reason haven’t started. Go on. Get started. You’re in for a powerful experience. Answer the call today. You’ll be glad you did.

Step 3: Start working even when you’re not ready

I and another lady wanted to teach a Spanish class. We didn’t have all the materials planned out but we had a plan. That’s all we needed. See, when you are in purpose, things will work out. We got started and had a huge turnout. We had time to get the program together before the first start day. But when we said yes, all we had was our desire to do it. We weren’t ready. We got ready after we said yes. The point is time won’t always wait for us. Opportunities come and go. Jump in their and help if you know God is leading you to do so. Perfection is a hold up. Get started helping as soon as you can. 

Step 4: Be open to new direction and inspiration.

We all have a purpose. That doesn’t mean you’ll have the same one your whole life. It may change or expand. Be open to new urges and sparks of creativity that say move in this direction. Prayer is an integral part of my figuring out where I need to be. So much of what I’ve accomplished is due to that feeling in my spirit that won’t subside. Following the regular route won’t do for that kind of passion. You have to chase it! So be open and go where you know you are supposed to be. Starting this blog was a part of my purpose. It has spiraled into many other opportunities that will come forth in the coming months. They all center in using what I am good at, what I am passionate about, and how they all work together to help others.

It is my hope that you have been encouraged to see what is next for you, what you were meant to do, and how you can begin to set about living your life’s purpose. What’s in you? Bring it out and Do It Anyway!

Kaydy

Why do we have Mondays any way?

Why do we have Mondays any way?

Monday’s are really hard. Aren’t they? The getting up and getting going takes a while because the bed was so warm, the sleep was so good, and the weekend so short. The lovely first day of the week calls and get up you must. Work awaits. School awaits. Life awaits. The to-do list- awaits. But, you know what? It’s a blessing to have a job to go to, a dream to work on, a way to provide for your family, and yes, a list to complete. We all know or have heard of those who are less fortunate and wish they had the life-sucking job to go to that you have (attempt at humor), the honey-do list to complete, the deadlines to meet, and the errands to run. Yes, somewhere someone wishes they were you. We don’t know who, but somewhere. Now with that reality check and as the Monday blues dissipate and you get into your day, remember how blessed you are to be right there at this moment. How awesome to use your talent to make your life and that of those around run smoothly.

Now that you are thankful for the state you’re in, I want to encourage you to keep dreaming about that thing you actually desire to do, that trip you want to take, that business you want to start because, frankly, you CAN DO IT. Let this post motivate you through the week to chase your dreams and not take no for an answer. Keep believing that your dreams are worthy, and one day they will be reality.

Monday undeniably can be the worst day of the week, but it is also a sign of newness. You get to start all over and each new Monday holds the promise of being better the next time around. So, get going! What will you do with your new chance at a better week to do what you want, go where you want, dream your dreams?

Monday can be stressful, glorious, new, challenging, bright, but Do It Anyway!

 

Weeding the Garden and Personal Growth: What We Can Learn from a Weed

Weeding the Garden and Personal Growth: What We Can Learn from a Weed

As I was ridding my garden of weeds this week, it dawned on me that they are pretty tough to climb over the mulch and to also survive under two inches of it. I had to move a good deal of mulch in order to get to the weeds’ roots. In the Texas heat, it hit me that tough people are like those weeds. We are the weeds peeking their heads out through all the stuff that holds us down- the mulch of life. This scene spoke to me and I thought how life can be crappy like the mud and bugs in the garden, but if we become like the weeds in my garden, we can overcome anything.

Gardening gives you time to think and brings clarity all while making your yard beautiful.  Here are my lessons learned:

3 things we have in common with weeds:

1. Weeds grow in the dark. That’s us. Our dark times break us but also strengthen us. Somehow the bad brings good if we’ll hold on and go through it. We realize in the end that broken heart from that relationship ending didn’t last so long and thank goodness we’re no longer with “them”. Grow in your dark times. Or, that financial period where we couldn’t pay Peter or Paul let alone rob them showed us how to live within our means. But, during that time it was bleak. Or that health scare that took all we had, yet we sit on the side of a clean bill of health, NOW. All the dark times come to help us enjoy the good times and strangely enough to appreciate the dark as  well as the light. Keep growing.

2. Weeds face different predators but survive. Just like the weeds have insects that eat them, humans that want to pull them up, and elements that could care less that they exist, we have to face challenges and challengers to survive. Hang on and stand your ground like the weeds because you will survive.We encounter people and situations that aren’t in our best interest, but we survive just like the weeds do. I’ve had the non supportive family member or the back stabbing co-worker but I made it. You can too. You know, they look like they  support you, but they don’t. That’s okay. Be great any way!

3. Weeds take a licking and keep on kicking. We put pesticides on them. They endure the elements (rain, snow, sleet, hail, heat) and yet they push though those hard times to peek there heads out as if to say “We made it!” You can, too! Life sucks, but get up again and try. Just like the heat can’t keep the weeds down, so it is with you and me. If we keep getting up again, we will win. Also, I still had dead roots to dig up in some places because I had previously pulled the top of the weed but not the root. If I were to leave the dead or cut up pieces of weeds in the mulch, I would have weeds again. So, I have to remove the entire weed. Hmmm. Take your licking and if you have to reseed elsewhere, do so. It’ll be a good new place to grow again.

May we all keep growing through the mulch of life and Do It Anyway!

 

Saying No will set you free…

Saying No will set you free…

The headline on this post probably sent some people to the ER! Unintentionally, of course. But it’s true- Saying NO will give you peace, set you free, and give you that free time you’ve been wanting.  I don’t care that I am not given a perfect score on a daily basis by my boys (for whom I’d fight a lion, btw) or anyone else I come in contact with. I try, but I’m okay with failing in this department. Concerning my boys, there are so many reasons that they have in their hormonal, attitudinal, adolescent head for why I’m imperfect that they can’t see I’m absolutely perfect for them (The story of our lives. Right moms?). What does that mean? Lol! It means “Mom knows best” because mom has lived longer and was also a teen, but she’s in Warp Land where her kids don’t think she knows a thing. Experience trumps “Well, I think” every time. Case and point, my kiddos think I’m being mean when I’m being protective. They think I’m spoiling the fun when I say no to spending the night at a friends house I don’t know. They think I’m being cheap when I say no to $50 headphones ($50 freaking dollars!!!!) when I’m being careful with MY money. You see, the fog they live in has clouded their perception of reality, and I’m okay with that. Be delirious, make me the bad girl. Fine. To them, I say, “I’m still going to love you and discipline you through this phase, stage, fog, and “God help me” time of your lives”. <—- I think that last part only. 🙂

There are parents who would cringe at saying no or denying a toy/gift to their child. I say to you, “Be okay saying No” they must learn to hear that word before you send them into the world. And moreover, parenting is hard. It’s nor supposed to be easy. You are molding your baby into a responsible young adult that will be a citizen of the world. Let’s mold some who can hear a No and still chase their dreams. Who can get knocked down and stand up again. That starts at home in our care in the stuff of life. Let’s not care so much about being liked. Let’s care about their character, resilience, tenacity, and heart.

Kids not your fans? Parent Anyway!

Children need parents not more friends

Children need parents not more friends

Today, I received a reminder that parenting is hard. Not just single parenting, but parenting in general. Short story: My elder boy was sleeping in class. His teacher assigned him a 0. She may or may not have been shocked by my reply, but reply I did. It went something like this: ‘Good! And give him a detention, as well.’ You see, I’m not my kids’ friend. I’m their mother. Parenting means a little tough love every now and again will undoubtedly occur. He also is losing his cell phone and no PS3 for remainder of school year. Oh that’s not mean! That’s the consequence of staying up late when you were told to go to bed. It is also the added consequence of disrespecting an adult by sleeping in their class when they’ve planned a good lesson to teach you.

So, why this post? I share this to say if your kid makes silly choices, you’re not alone. If you are your kids friend, you need to stop. What happens when you’ve gone years without assigning consequences designed to deter negative behavior? Oh yeah! What happens is they go into adulthood with no limits, no respect, and are oblivious to why their lack of manners is offensive.

Please, parent your children while you can. They have enough friends.

Parenting is tough. Do It Anyway!

Kaydy

5 Challenges to being a single mom to boys during the teen years

5 Challenges to being a single mom to boys during the teen years

As my boys enter the teen years, I have begun to see changes in them. And in me. No one wants to see their kids go in different directions than originally planned when you first held them in your arms; but, sometimes, they do. I am witnessing the “Twilight Zone”. Some of you may be there with me. You know, the monosyllabic responses, no more hugs (because hugs are for little boys), and the “I heard you the first time but I will clean up when I feel like it”. (Previous items thought and not spoken of course. Mama don’t play that). Yet, I go through it because I love them, and I know deep down that this is “their” journey and not mine. I have to let them make some mistakes to learn. After all, isn’t that how we got to be so wise as adults?

Challenge 1: Not answering that urge to pop them when they say something smart.
Challenge 2: Not answering that urge to pop them when they say something smart.
Challenge 3: Not answering that urge to pop them when they say something smart.
Challenge 4: Not answering that urge to pop them when they say something smart.
Challenge 5: Not answering that urge to pop them when they say something smart.

Yes, I noticed all my challenges are the same. And yes, currently, this is my hardest task. I remind myself they are boys becoming men. Hormones are raging and things are happening to them that they do not quite understand. And the Lord knows that neither do I. This is why I have sought out mentors. I’m placing good godly men in their lives. I make sure to keep them in physical activities so that they can let out that steam. Is it easy? No! I cry inside missing my babies. Yet, this is new frontier and we have to brave it together. Discipline does happen at my house. I take things like ALL the ELECTRONICS. And there is no returning them until politeness and actual speaking English to me and not mumbling has returned. Let’s face it. My kids are almost as tall as me and one is bigger, so spanking went away a while ago. But, what I do is talk to them and let them know why they are losing their beloved toys. I call them on their bad attitudes and remind them that we operate in respect in this house. Is it easy? No. But, I have been a teenager before and this is how I know they will survive and so will I. Got the above challenges in your home? Do the work and assess what needs to be removed to get order back. I have some peace right now and it feels good. It’s amazing what no Call of Duty or PS3 will do for the morale in your home. I also recognize that they need someone to talk to about guy stuff and life as a teen. I’m not capable of fully understanding and guiding them in that department although I do my best. I will see them through this even if all my hair goes gray. Challenges come. We nor our kids are perfect. Dig in, do your best, and refuse to lose.

On the road of life, nothing is easy. Do It Any Way!

Kaydy