Reject the Pressure to Do It All

Reject the Pressure to Do It All

We modern women like to say we’re Super women when, in fact, we are women who simply do what we have to in order to survive. I have had to say NO many times in my life to participating in “good” things. But I learned that if I did not resist doing everything, I would wear myself down. Are you struggling to “do it all”? If so, let me help you: Just say no to what you do not have to do. Sure, it feels good to help out. It even looks good. But who are you fooling? You’re busy enough with your own load. Rest when you know you need it.

As women, our job list keeps growing. We are expected to keep a clean home, take care of spouses and kids, and many of us have jobs. Enough is enough. SAY NO! No more helping when you’re at your breaking point. Try it- “No”. See! Not as painful as it seemed. As human beings we need to rest, to do things for ourselves, to have adult conversation, etc. Reject that little voice that wants to make you feel guilty. Listen instead to your body and say NO.

I took a break today. It felt goooood. Did you? I said no today to a great opportunity. But I knew it would be a burden and a sleep stealer, so I passed.

Life isn’t easy. But let’s not add to the list if things to do. Take a break any way!

Sometimes, even Superwoman needs a break

Sometimes, even Superwoman needs a break

Have you ever felt frazzled, snippy, exhausted? I have, and it is no fun. When that happens, we lose creativity, get on our loved ones nerves, and short circuit our dreams. Not to mention create unnecessary drama. So, what’s the solution? I think this can be remedied by taking a break. Or, taking many breaks rather when we see ourselves teetering on the edge of exhaustion. This is why I build in what I like to call “mommy breaks”. Mommy breaks are my nights out with girlfriends, my alone moments at Starbucks, and basically time set aside to be me. It is my “woosah”, decompress, relax, rejuvenate time. I encourage you to lay down the cape every now and then and live. Not that serving our loved ones isn’t living, but giving and not being poured into is exhausting. So, avoid the meltdown and take a vacay from perfection. Reconnect with you and that joy of yours they love to see will spill out. Your family and friends will thank you.

Get your creativity back. Take a break and have some fun. Call the girls, get a sitter, grab a coffee, catch a movie. Live!

“The house needs cleaning. There’s so much to do.” -You

Do It Anyway!- Me

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!

 

Encouraging thoughts for a discouraging time

Encouraging thoughts for a discouraging time

Encouragement has been hard for me to muster this week. I am usually the first to be bright-eyed and positive. I always have a word for those in need. But, this week was hard for me. Since it was hard for me, I know that it has also been for so many of you. Clearly the issues in the Middle East affecting persecuted Christians, the shooting death of a young black man in Ferguson, MO, and countless other issues in our world affected me. (Maybe they also affected you) As a Christian, my heart hurts for people period. I have and had a deep hurt that just wouldn’t/won’t leave for what is happening to women and children and people period all due to their personal religious beliefs. As an African American woman who is a parent, seeing what happened in Ferguson over the weekend and waiting on confirmation of what happened had me on edge. I was sad for the family, angered by what happened, afraid for my children growing up in a world that shoots before asking questions, etc. I mean, isn’t it normal to hurt for people you don’t know? Well, I think so. I have to live in this world, my kids do, you do and your loved ones. It is outrageous! We should all be upset. Most of us are.

I was so sad that I had to leave social media and pray. In prayer, I was able to remember that GOD truly has all things under control and it is in Him that I put my trust. I know my situation is not that of the parents mourning the loss of their child or the citizens who feel like prisoners in their own city, or the thousands fleeing their homes for fear of death. But, the impact of their trials affected me. It saddened me. My spirit was low. I wanted to help my brothers and sisters. What I could do in that moment was pray. I prayed and that encouraged me. I am so thankful that God is there no matter in what situation we find ourselves. I am so glad that His word is a “lamp to our feet and a light to our path” (Psalm 119:05). His word is life, encouragement, air. So, I come today with no solution to actual problems. I cannot bring anyone back, I cannot provide safety to those who have lost it all, but I can pray that the ONE who has the solution and is able to hide us in His secret place will do so. He can hide us in His arms, in His secret place (Psalm 91).

I have to believe that justice will be served in this life. As in past cases, when it is not, we go on peacefully trying to change laws to protect us and spread awareness to help others. But, we know that in the life to come, God says vengeance is Mine, I shall repay. And it is in that I put my hope. It is not ours to decide what we go through, but we know somehow we will make it. Just knowing that God has it under control puts me at ease. I can keep doing my best in a world that doesn’t always treat people the way they should. I can continue raising my boys to be the best citizens I can and yet teach them to protect themselves against possible police brutality, abuse, misuse of power. I can encourage someone today who is down because I have been and now have hope. Let this be your encouragement in the midst of your day. God will provide. Put your hope in Jesus for He cares for you.

5 Reasons to Do Nothing Today

5 Reasons to Do Nothing Today

We all know life is synonomous with busy especially for us moms (single and not). I have learned in the last few years, however, that being busy isn’t always being productive. So, recently, I decided to take a week off from my usual up “all night creating” while I was at a family reunion in Atlanta Well, I only touched my writing once (that was huge btw). Oh my gosh! It felt like I was living again. I mean not that I don’t have my fair share of “inserted” fun, but this was different. I had no “work” on my schedule. At all. I met so many new family members, got to sight see, and I got rest. Who knew rest was important! (Inserts chuckle)

So, I think you should learn from this self-professed busyer and take a break today. Come on. Try it! Here are 5 reSons I found in Atlanta.

Reason #1:
You will see life differently.
It’s sad, but I miss being present in the moment. I have so many goals that a lot of times I’m there physically but mentally I’m creating a list- to do. It felt good to breathe and see and touch life without a list to complete.

Reason #2:
You will enjoy things you forgot you liked.
So, working a lot had caused me to forget that I actually like to fall out laughing with family well into the wee hours of night. It was rejuvenating to connect like that. There was volleyball, kickball, dominoes, spades, etc. Fun! And, I was a part of it all.

Reason #3:
You will find rest.
In all my up all night action,I also rested. It was good for mind, body, and soul. I slept well and later than usual. Relationships were formed with old and new family members. I was able to relax and get to know everyone without the pressure of work on my mind. I had a calm and a peace talking to family.

Reason #4:
You will be recharged and find strength to dream again.
After taking my break and enjoying life, I came home ready to work again. I feel like I have more ideas and am even more creative. Doing nothing work related did me good.

Reason #5
You will find peace in the quiet.
There was a peace I grabbed onto in the sleeping hours that I can’t explain. It’s akin to the warm kitchen at grandma’s in the winter time with the table full of goodies on Christmas day.

Now, I’m sure your reasons will be different. But, this was my experience. What I do know is you won’t find them unless you give yourself the gift of nothing today. Be good to you.

Sure work needs doing. Find a good stopping place and Do It Anyway.

A Little Motivation Goes a Long Way

A Little Motivation Goes a Long Way

I have had an interesting year. I started this blog and a few other passion projects seemingly all at once. I’m so passionate about these that I’m delving into them full fledge this summer. With that said, I want to encourage everyone but most especially my single parents to keep going toward your dreams. Life can throw you some curve balls, but you’ve got to swing at them to win the game. Keep pushing toward each goal you’ve set. It’ll happen if you do the work. I don’t care what your dream is. It will happen if you don’t give up.

What’s in you has to come out. Do you know the treasures you possess? If not, it’s time to do some soul searching. If you do, it’s time to make a move.

To stay inspired, I pray and seek God, listen to motivational music, read up on topics I’m interested in or curious about, and keep positive folks around and get rid of the negative. On the road to destiny, everyone can’t go. It’s sad but true. Don’t be shocked when you arrive at purpose and only have a few around you. Those are the ones who were “for” you.

So, what do you do to stay inspired? Leave me a post and let’s inspire each other on the journey.

Dating Don’ts for the Single Mom

Dating Don’ts for the Single Mom

Love eludes me  Who needs a man? I do.

Don’t you just love it when people tell you to focus on yourself and your children and life will be bliss. Well, those folks were likely married, and/or in committed relationships, and (bless their hearts) had no idea what you were going through.

Don’t get me wrong. I believe in focusing on my boobas (kiddos) and myself, but at some point you just want to be someone’s special person to love. I’m all smiley faced thinking about “love”. So, what do you do when you’re a single parent AND dating? Well, for one, you take it slow.

Here are a few of my observations on what not to do:

1. Do not make him your husband before time.
You know what I mean. You date him before you introduce him to the kids and you are all smiles. But, he meets your little ones and it’s not a love connection. It’s hard to find a person in the same space as you and willing to take on the responsibility of raising children not his own. (By the way, kudos to all those blended families out there!) But, we absolutely have to keep in mind the “Does he fit us?” question because it’s a package deal. So, before you get goo-goo eyed, make sure you know “who” he is.

2. Do not introduce every guy you date to your kids.
Why is this such a bad idea? Well, this goes without saying, but do you want your kiddos to think you run a Burger King? No, you want them to think you know what you’re doing. That not only are you looking for a life partner but a good parent for them. And each good-looking hunk just is not going to fit the bill. Be cautious, take your time, introduce a guy when you feel it’s the right time and you are “going some where”. The last thing kids need is attachment to “that guy” they liked but never see anymore. You know, what was his name? 🙂

3. Do not forget to have fun.
Enjoy the dating process. This is where you get to pick who and what you want. It’s that simple. Feel free to discontinue early on if you see it will not be a “good fit”. I’m a pro at saying good-bye. I’m not afraid of commitment. I just know what I want. You should too, before you start dating. Then, you can enjoy the process and not have a deadline and wedding plans and clocks ticking biologically. You know, rushing. Relax, see where it goes.

Hope these tips helped someone. I’ve been a single mom a while. I refuse to become un-single as a financial backup plan, to have a ring and big party, or whatever reasons people marry for these days. I want it all. I want the fairytale. I want the guy who “gets” me, worships me (but not really), loves my kiddos, Jesus, and is an all around good man. When he comes, I’ll let you know. Until then, go out and have a good time while you’re single. Remember, you rock!

Dating can be scary, weird, wacky, wonderful…

Do It Anyway!

It’s almost summer! Where are my kids going?

It’s almost summer! Where are my kids going?

It’s that time of year when the kiddos are almost out for school and we, the parents, have to figure out what to do with them. I say this because a good bit of us single parents work. If you do not have a place for them to go yet , especially if your children are too young to be home alone say not 14 and up, then read on for some ideas.

1. Send them to grandma’s.

I am fortunate enough to have support in my mom and sisters. They usually watch the boys for me if I have things to do like conferences during the summer. They take turns and it’s just good for them to hang around their cousins and bond. You know, be kids. Plus, their nanna enjoys it. My benefit is they are safe, loved, having fun, and are safe. Did I say safe? Yes. A big deal for this mama is safety. Do not ever feel like you have no choices. People, even unlikely people, are willing to help. But, always make sure you trust them.

2. Child Exchange
“What is this?”, you say. Well, I started years ago keeping my best friends son for two weeks during the summer to allow my really hard-working cousin to take a vacation. She deserved it and her son got to be with my boys and have “cousin time”. A win. In exchange, she would later keep my two and they would hang out again and the boys just thought it was rad. In our two weeks without children, we learned to sleep in and pamper ourselves. It was heaven. Let me say something here: Every parent needs a break at times. It doesn’t make you bad, inept, or whatever “perfect people” call it. It makes you human and authentic. Parents and Single parents, especially, need a vacation. So, call your friends up and make a plan to do an exchange!

3. Summer/Church Camp
Now, in the beginning, I could not afford paying for camp. Vacation Bible school was the best I could do and that was half a day. Let me tell you, it helped. As I progressed in my career, I learned how to budget/sacrifice so they could do science camp or do the church summer camp. Some organizations offer scholarships. So, please don’t think you cannot afford it. Look into what is offered and ask about discounts. The old adage rings true: “Closed mouths do not get fed”. So, call them and ask! My boys had a blast at their science camp and church camp. Both were at different times and lasted 4-5 days. Amen.

4. Stay home

If they are old enough or you have an older sibling, friend, or family member to watch them, go for it. I try to let mine have a break and just be when they’re with me. But later, I break out something educational. Since I speak and teach Spanish, I have them practice. I am starting them up intensely this summer because I would like them to be bilingual. I only work them an hour a day. I mean, it’s summer.

5. Ymca
I have never used The Y, but I know they offer full-day programs during the summer. I have friends who have used their programs and liked them. Look into any scholarships or discounts they may offer.

6. Daycare
I know that some daycares will keep older children during the summer and some even have per day rates and even per hour. You want to do your research on this one. They usually include fun field trips, as well.

I hope you found these tips to be helpful. Don’t let school end without a plan! Remember, safety first.

If it costs a lot, but your kids are safe… Yep, you guessed it!

Do It Anyway!

The Inner Voice…are you listening

The Inner Voice…are you listening

As I look at how I’ve matured over the years, the accomplishments I’ve made in life, family, and work, I realize that one thing has kept me going. That singular motivator is my inborn drive or instinct to “Do It Anyway”. This inner prompting I credit to God alone. Who else programmed us to know when something is wrong or to go after a certain dream?

Speaking of instinct, the awesome and very popular Bishop T. D. Jakes has recently published a book titled “Instinct: Unleashing Your Inborn Drive”. I am reading it and love it. He puts into words that thing I’ve been trying to describe all these years. Well, to sum it up, I just use my catchphrase “Do It Anyway!”. You know, it’s that refusal to give up and the internal “keep going” you hear when you want to just drop it all. I hear it quietly speak to me, “Get up.”, “Don’t quit”, and “You can do this”. It’s the tenacity that kicks in after you’ve been down too long. You know the “Is this really all you’ve got” voice. Thank goodness for this voice. Thank goodness for instinct. Now, we just need to listen to ourselves more. Tough decisions will come. Sleepless nights will happen. Bills will be many and money few at some point. And in my case, a kid will go off the beaten path to drive you bonkers. But, do you lie down and whine or do you get up and Do It Anyway? Your future depends on how you respond. Are you listening?

Kaydy

Happy Mothers Day

Happy Mothers Day

Hey moms, you rock! Single or married, with kids or not, life is so much better because you’re here. Remember the great contribution to history you’re making with your seemingly minuscule tasks. But, it’s a safe love-filled world of wonder you create for your babies. You are loved!

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