I Had COVID19…

2020 has been a lot of things…I might just tag it as the year of the unexpected. A week or so before Thanksgiving I thought my sinuses were doing their due diligence. The past couple of years I have had a sinus infection around the holiday (it’s kinda like my body telling me it’s time to grieve…I’ll get more into that in a later post).

So honestly that’s what I thought I was dealing with-sinus headaches and all. But a few days into it I was exhausted, like low energy and having no choice but to nap midday. Now if you know my life, midday naps with 6 children and 2 of them being 4 years old and under, is just something that can’t really happen! But I was so drained that I had no choice. And then it happened and I lost my sense of smell. I called my doctor and started isolation.

Yall, it’s scary. My doctor told me to make sure that I was drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated and to keep my lungs clear. I made sure that I was taking my liquid multi-vitamin, vitamin C and D, elderberry syrup, Zinc and Tylenol. But more than that, I had to pray. I prayed for my family not to catch it. I prayed for my lungs to stay clear and that my underlining blood pressure issues wouldn’t cause me to be hospitalized or even something worse.

SO please yall, for the love of everything good…please take COVID seriously! In no way am I saying to be held hostage by this but I am saying do all that you can to slow the spread and stay healthy.

Lives are depending on it…Merry and Healthy Christmas yall!!!

My 40th Trip…

I’m 40 years old. My birthday was a couple of weeks ago and I hit the milestone…my 40th year here on this earth. I cant say that it was hard. It kinda felt right, like “ok, this is a going to be a good year”.

I spent my birthday with family and a few friends. In my backyard. Laughing. Dancing. Just enjoying the moment.

Nothing too fancy or over the top, just a good time. The one thing that I will bring into my 40th year around the sun is enjoy life. Witnessing my sister taking her last breath and seeing the casket close taught me that life is soooo short…sometimes shorter than what we ever expected.

So with this 40th year ahead of me, I plan to live. Do the things. Make memories. Be the best me….

Freshman Year…

Last Wednesday my baby started high school. My first born is now a freshman…a ninth grader…a full on teenager. If I’m being honest, this hit me hard. I was so emotionally wrapped up in the newness that my daughter was about to embark on.

If I’m really being honest…I was having so many flashbacks of what I walked into starting high school. SO many insecurities!!! Peer Pressure. Not fitting in. Being lonely. Not feeling loved or supported at home. BOYS. Bad decisions.

The ninth grade was hell for me. Not only was I insecure and didn’t have a good relationship with either of my parents. I went into high school feeling like I needed to be wanted, accepted and lacked any type of self- esteem. Long story short-I had my first boyfriend, lost my virginity, got pregnant and tried to hide it, had an abortion that was never discussed afterward and then stuffed down all the feelings that came with trauma, depression and all the negative feelings that I had.

More than anything I want our home to be a safe place. A place where our oldest (all of our children) can be encouraged, corrected and taught life lessons. Where the norm is to come to us even when it’s hard and feels more comfortable to hide…that’s my hope and prayer.

To Go or to Stay….

One of the hottest mommy topics has to be whether you’re choosing to homeschool or send your children back to school…and honestly there is no bad choice. Only a choice that is right for your family.

So, here are a few ways to support other moms/families in this not so normal back to school season:

  • Buy and deliver dinner or lunch to a family to celebrate this new school year
  • Stock up on hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes for a family that is returning to school building
  • Offer to pay for a tutor for a few hours for a homeschooling mom
  • Coffee delivery or gift card
  • Send an encouraging call or text
  • Set up a distanced learning co-op with other moms

Whatever it is, be kind and understanding. Continue to pray for our children, teachers and parents. Wishing you a successful school year!

Photo by August de Richelieu on Pexels.com

You Got This…

Can I have your ear for a second??? Being a special needs family is hard. There seems to be no off moments. No time to just be. My mind is constantly running….as well as my feet. I’m always feeling as if there is something that I am doing wrong and as if people might think that I am a horrible mom. Here are a few of the things that I’ve learned:

*Guilt is a part of the game.

the guilt….oh the guilt! I feel bad about being upset. I feel bad about my number five going through so much in utero. I feel bad because my attention isn’t always given as it should. I could go on and on, but guilt has played a big part.

*Talking is essential.

One of the things that I have learned is to talk…talk about whats going on with our number five. Being thorough with his doctor, making sure that I document his changes and be his biggest advocate. And on the other end, talk to my husband. Be honest about having hard days and when I need a break.

*Big ups, you deserve it!!!

Lastly, I have so much adoration and respect for other parents of special needs child(ren). It is so easy for people to overlook the things that parents go through in everyday life dealing with behavior issues, the changes that go on in a household while trying to be a peaceful, loving advocate for your little love(s). Even in the hardest moments parents, You got this!!!

What I Didn’t Know I Needed…

This past weekend, my oldest sister turned 48 years old and she had a party. It was her first party and her only child planned and hosted it (insert tear). If I am being real, I was so apprehensive about going…this was basically going to be a family gathering with all the people I hadn’t seen since our sister’s funeral in November 2018 and prior to that it had been 10 years-and yes you guessed it-another funeral (my mother).

But man when I tell you my heart is full…it is full. To see my sister celebrated by her daughter, after all they have been through, is enough in itself. But for me to be able to spend time with my Only Big Brother…the first man that I ever loved, was what I really needed. To laugh and have heart talks with my mom’s sister, brother and cousins was the icing on the cake.

I always thought that I was ok with not having a relationship with my family…I was so wrong.

I didn’t know how much missed them until seeing them. I didn’t know that what I needed most, I just had to reach out for….

Beauty in the Different…

A few weeks back, I took our son (number 5) to the doctor. This doctor visit was out of pure exhaustion and wanting to make sure that as parents we were putting everything in place so that our child will thrive and have the tools needed to be his best self.

Well, I got a call yesterday morning from his doctor. He had met with his collegues, reviewed number 5’s IEP, paperwork and along with his personal interaction he had a diagnosis…ADHD. If I am being completely open, this diagnosis didn’t surprise me, but it did knock the wind out of me…

We went over the game plan: therapies, meds and follow-up. I was writing all the info down but my head was swimming. Swimming in the what-ifs.

What if my son is labeled? What if he is seen as aggressive and bad instead of as rambunctious and determined? What if an inability to focus is seen as laziness? What if?

Then came the tears…then came the focus: Him. Our focus is to pray, speak life and do everything that we can to ensure our son’s success.

Is it going to be easy? Probably not. But what I do know is that not only am I his mother, I am number 5’s biggest advocate.

Love. Advocate. Learn. Correct. Teach. Build New Rhythms. Create a Pathway for the Unexpected. See the Beauty in What’s Different.

That’s my plan…and I am sticking to it.

My Quarantine Top 5…

Like so many others, being quarantined has been a little rough. However small, there have been some brights spots.

Here’s my top 5 favs during quaratine:

  • Liberex Facial Cleansing Brush -Yall, I have no idea why I didn’t buy this thing sooner but it is amazing!
  • L.A. Girls Ultimate Intense Auto Eye Liner-its stays put and makes it easy for me to do a subtle cat eye (while homeschooling and cooking 430 meals a day)
  • Pocket Planner-I admit I am a planner junkie! But with nowhere to go, my regular a6 sized planner has alot of white space. The pocket planner is the perfect fix!
  • The Office-this show has become a nightly ritual for my husband and I! The dry humor is the best…and I might have taken an online test and had alot in common with Dwight:/
  • Plants-I have became a house plant addict! The fresh greenery makes me smile and is an inexpensive way to brighten any room.

No matter how small, I hope that you have something that brings you joy!

Motherhood is

When I was younger, motherhood for me was so much about what other people thought. yes I wanted to do everything that I could to take care of my children, love them, teach them to love God, and create great moments but SOOOOO much of it was based on looking like a good mother. I wanted other people to think that I was a good mom.

I thought that if people thought that I was a good mom surely then I would be a good mom…because truthfully speaking for so much of my life I felt as if I wasn’t enough, not seen, insignificant, and unwanted, heard that I wasn’t enough and over time that was ingrained into my very being. And if you add on top of that the trauma of having parents who had their own personal/addiction issues that at times kept them from being present and the healthy, best versions of themselves- you have a recipe for disaster.

My motherhood journey started out as me trying to do and be everything that I thought my mother wasn’t. I became a stay at home mom, volunteered or spearheaded every preschool event, became a stickler about behavior and did everything that I could to be the mother that I didn’t have. It was exhausting…tiring mentally and emotionally always thinking that I wasn’t a good enough mom and that if people didn’t know that I was a terrible mom, it was only a matter of time before they found out.

And then things started to change. I think one of the most important breakthroughs that I had was giving my mother grace. GRACE...to simply honor, empathize with and grasp one simple truth: my mother did all she knew to do. It couldn’t have been easy loosing her mother at the age of twelve and being the oldest of five. It couldn’t have been easy being the single mother of three by the age of twenty-two. It couldn’t have been easy for my mother to be in an abusive marriage, do everything alone and not have a safe place to process her feelings and trauma or grieve all of the many losses in her life. It couldn’t have been easy to keep going but she did…Grace not only changed me but changed my perspective on motherhood.

Motherhood is so much more than the phyiscal aspect of having and meeting the needs of a child. It is also dealing with and healing your own wounds so that the picture that you paint for your babies will be so much clearer and brighter and have depth that speaks to the very soul of the person looking at it…motherhood is a picture that will be passed from generation to generation…praying and believing that my picture will be perfect reflection of God’s goodness❤

Our Number Five…

This pandemic has been alot of things…

long. exhausting. restful. restless. a time to think. draining.

Being an introvert being in the house all the time isn’t that bad for me. I can only dream of a time when I could be stuck in a hotel room with my books, planners, Youtube and unlimited snacks. However, being a wife and mom of six has lead to no such thing. My days have been long dealing with virtual learning, staying on watch for completed assignments, breaking up fights and of course cooking unlimited amounts of meals.

The one thing that has stood out more than anything else is our number five struggling with his behavior. In hindsight, we knew that this could be an issue. Number 5 has dealt with alot, even while his was in the womb. His bio mother struggled with addiction, mental health issues, abandonment and trauma after trauma. So Logically, we knew there could be some opposition. Especially since my husband worked in mental health for years…it was never that far from the front of my mind.

Maybe because we have been on quarantine, and his schedule from school is totally out of whack, Number five has been on the struggle bus a lot more behaviorally. I cant tell you the amount of times that I am redirecting, breaking up fights, running after, cleaning up the messes of, and yes much to my regret, yelling. Our days are long!!!! And honestly my buddy is with the mayhem and adventure from the time he gets up (at the very crack of dawn) until the time he closes his eyes- when he closes his eyes (bedtime is a whole notha’ story).

So early last week I decided to make him a doctor’s appointment (after I broke down in tears and talked myself out of running far, far away). It was a moment of acknowledgement for me…acknowledging the fact that I was at the end of my rope and that more than anything I wanted to get the process started on getting our son the help (and us the tools) needed so that he can thrive, self soothe and know that no matter what circumstances he was born into, he was made for our family and that God has so much goodness in store for him.

Getting ready for the doctor’s appointment was harder than I thought it would be– I was acutely aware of the fact that I was a black mom who was advocating for her son who has so much going on in his little heart and mind, due to no cause of his own. All feelings aside, we got the ball rolling. We have started the journey to be parental advocates for the mental and emotional well-being of Number 5, a splendid little soul.

So, I’m rolling with it. I am going with the thought that this hurdle is no surprise for God and that this is all a part of the plan…to love people well…even when it’s hard…even when the road looks to be uncertain…

Come what may…I’m rolling it…