Health + Wellness, My Life

21 Reasons to be Happy and Why I’m Not

I’ve been unhappy for quite sometime now, and that’s okay. It’s okay to not be okay all the time. What’s not okay is to continue on this path and not do anything to change your emotional direction. I won’t go into specifics of what I’m not happy about, but let’s discuss why I should be happy.

  1. My son is healthy, thriving and hitting every milestone.
  2. I’m almost at my one year mark of breastfeeding.
  3. My Budget is finally working for me.
  4. Debt is dwindling.
  5. My tax refund is going to help me out a lot.
  6. My meal planner is coming out tomorrow! Wooohooo!
  7. I’m finally coming out with a cookbook sometime in March.
  8. My students are progressing significantly in writing.
  9. I’m not living paycheck to paycheck.
  10. I went to the doctor on January 21, and all of my results came back negative and/or normal. I have an absolute clean bill of health.
  11. I can afford to pay all of my bills.
  12. For once in my life, I have no bills that are late and I have nothing in collections.
  13. My son and I wake up every morning: alive and kicking,
  14. I’m finally going to start therapy.
  15. I’ve been able to let go of a lot of toxic people, and I’ve been able to recognize my own toxicity.
  16. I’ve been consistently practicing yoga.
  17. Drinking a falling of water a day has become increasingly attainable.
  18. My skin is clear and my bowels are regular.
  19. I’ve been cooking more and eating out less.
  20. I still have money in the bank from last check.
  21. There’s food in my pantry and fridge.

The list could go on, but with all of these positive things, I’m still unhappy. I’m excited to be starting therapy soon to be able to better understand this emotional turmoil I’m experiencing.

Have you ever felt unhappy despite everything in your life going perfectly well and it’s all positive? How did you cope with it? Did you ever get to the root of your unhappiness?

All Black Everything, Health + Wellness, My Life

God and Religion

I, like most other black millennials, was brought up in the church. I was told we had to go to church every Sunday for worship, and every Wednesday for bible study. I was told I had to be in the choir until I was 18 (church rule). I was told that I had to be baptized and asked numerous questions about Jesus Christ that all the answers had to be “yes.”

When I went off to college, I still went to church because I felt obligated to. Even after college because I was living at home, it wasn’t an option. If I lived at home, I had to go to church. Most Sunday’s, I’d sit at Starbucks until church was over. I didn’t belong to the same church as my mother (for that very reason. I didn’t want her checking up on me.). When when I moved out on my own, I would still sometimes go to church. That stopped 3 years ago.

Growing up, I always had questions about church and why things were just so. If you are a black millennial, or a black person of any age, more specifically a black womanizer, you were taught to be seen and not heard, meaning you question nothing. You sit there and question nothing. That didn’t work for me. I was quite the inquirer.

Growing up, anytime you asked question that went against what you parent said, you were always hit with the “becuase I said so.” That’s not the way to raise or teach a child: to just follow what someone else says. That’s why we are all in the rat race now, following what someone else says, doing what we are told and not thinking for ourselves.

When I would sit in church and listen to the pastor, I felt there were so many holes in their stories. For one, the day “Jesus” rose, changes every single year. Why? In the Bible, Jesus is described as having hair like wool, yet he has always been depicted as this tall white man woth blonde brown hair and blue eyes. There are these 10 commandments that we must follow, which I agree with all of them, but isn’t that more so common sense of things we shouldn’t do? Isn’t that something that is expected?

Jesus was born to a virgin. Be that as it may, why is it that woman cannot bare children today without a man? It’s said that when Adam ate the fruit from the tree, Eve was punished and that’s why women have periods and are made to carry and birth a child. So god punished female animals too, becuase if I’m not mistaken, some femal animals have periods, and they birth babies.

We are told that our bodies are temples. People worship in temples. So in essence, shouldn’t I worship where my body is? It’s also said that avid is within all of us. Doesn’t that make us all God? God is everywhere, so couldn’t I worship my God wherever I choose? So if God is wherever I am, then can’t I worship and pray at home? Is my own home not a temple?

I don’t believe in religion for several reasons. All of these religions apparently worship the same God, they just use a different name. So that leads me to believe religion is man made. Also, religions have these tiles of how things should go (rest on the sabbath, can’t eat certain foods, can’t indulge in too much of this or that, you have to worship this way, you have to come to church, you have to give tithes, etc.). Isn’t religion supposed to be about living a purposeful, righteous, fulfilled life, helping others and being an upstanding person? “Suppose” being the keyword.

I believe that God is within me, therefore, I am God. Do I feel people need to worship me? Absolutely not. Another thing, God created and brings forth life. Don’t women create and bring forth light? I believe in pantheism, in that God is everywhere and is everything that is good. I believe in my ancestors and praying to them for guidance to watch over Malakhai and me. I believe in the spirituality of my history.

I’m not willing to believe in something becuase someone else said so. Most Black millennials don’t attend church and here’s an article on that.

As for the Bible, I think it has good intentions, but much gets lost in translation. It’s like trying to directly translate from Spanish to English: it just doesn’t work.

I will teach Malakhai to believe in a higher power, and that he needs to live his life as a good black man. I want to teach him to have his own mind and beliefs. To know that there is always someone watching him and watching out for him to ensure his safety. If you don’t stand and believe in something, you’ll fall for anything.

I don’t knock anyone who is religious at all. I don’t think anything less of them. I love everyone, no matter their beliefs. I think that once we all find our purpose and live in it, we will lived and lead much happier, healthier, stress free lives.

Health + Wellness

Yoga for Constipation

Many people practice yoga for different reasons, whether it be to tone, meditate, or to become more flexible. However, did you know yoga is a way to help with constipation? No? Well you’re in luck. Just a disclaimer, I am not expert, but I know what works. Over the past week, I have gotten back into yoga and I’ve noticed I’ve been having bowel movements 3-4 times a day. That may seem like a lot, but in reality, it’s not. You should be having a bowel movement after each meal. Let’s look at some poses that have gotten things moving.

Poses that involve side bending, or side bending period, energizes the digestive juices by stimulating the gallbladder and liver. This twisting motion tones the obliques, or love handles, and wakes up the abdominal organs.

This pose is a familiar pose and is one of the most well known ones. Down Dog allows the spine to tract, creating space in the body that’s usually compressed. This is a full-body stretch that permits a release of tension, adding to a build-up in the digestive tract.

This last pose really does it for me. Sometimes I have to stop in the middle of a flow to run to the bathroom. It’s similar to wringing our a wet rag, but you’re wringing out waste. This twisting pose massages the digestive tract to encourage detoxification, or a bowel movement.

These are simple poses for whenever you need to get things moving along. It’s always helpful to add in a little bit of yoga to your daily routine, even if only for a few minutes.

Health + Wellness

Open and Fearless

I’ve never been the one to do the whole “words for the year” thing. It just wasn’t me. Still isn’t. I’m all about manifesting this year and I want to manifest openness and fearlessness. I’m going to be open about just about any and everything in order to not close off any opportunities, relationships, career advancements, anything. Nothing is off limits. But in order to be open, I have to be fearless.

Fearfulness causes you to be afraid and closed off to anything new and positive changes. In order to manifest, you have to feel and say what you want with no hesitation, stipulations, or conditions. For me, I have to let the fear of rejection, failure, and not being enough, die. No more living in the past and going off of past experiences. All of that last fear is going to interfere with future endeavors.

What are you manifesting this year, or do you have word(s) of the year that you want to work on?

My Life

10 Things I’m Leaving Behind in 2018

Thinking back on all that 2018 has brought me, good and bad, there are some things that I want to leave behind.

  1. Letting people and there toxicity effect me. Too often do I continue to give people chances whether they be friends or family, and I have to stop that. It doesn’t matter who you are, your toxicity is no longer welcome and is not conducive to my wellbeing.
  2. Anger from past hurt. I’ve been hurt more times than I can count, and I have continued to hang on to it. The problem with that is I believe it effects my thinking, my emotions, and being an effective communicator. When someone upsets me, the first emotion I go to is anger and my reaction comes off that way. What I want to try is breathing before responding. Let the anger have a chance to come and then dissipate.
  3. Thinking that I will always fail in everything I do, that I can’t succeed. This is why I often start something and then quit. If I don’t see immediate results, what’s the point? This pertains to exercising to lose weight, eating habits, novels, my blog, youtube, past jobs, relationships. I tend to never stick with something because I’m always thinking about the little failures, which honestly could be leading up to huge success. Motherhood is the onot thing that I can’t quit, even if I feel like I may fail him at times, it’s not optional.
  4. Negative self thoughts tend to control every move I make, especially when it comes to dealing with men. It’s sad that when a man flirts with me, I don’t see him as flirting because I’m thinking, “Who would want to flirt with me?” I’m sure I’ve passed up potential future husbands over this past year and because of my negative thoughts about myself, they just moved on. I have to do better with how I view myself. Hopefully therapy will work.
  5. Feeling sorry for myself is probably the most detrimental thing to my mental and emotional health. As someone who can’t stand when a person feels sorry for themselves, I have often felt that way and it’s not okay. Why should I pity myself? I have a lot going for myself to just be sitting there wallowing in my own sorrows. Girl, good-fucking-bye. Brush the shit off and keep it moving.
  6. Keeping thoughts and emotions to myself has been so easy, but it’s just building inside me. I am going to quit that bad habit and start opening up to people when they do or say something that they shouldn’t. I too often let things slide but not anymore. I will no longer let others have control over my mental and emotional health.
  7. Laziness comes and goes depending on what the task is. I want to leave this behind because laziness in one area of my life, can trickle over into other areas and being a mom, you really don’t have time to be lazy. I’ve been lazy with my blog, publishing material that really wasn’t thought out or planned. I just posted something just to post it, and this goes for social media too. I’ve had days where I stayed in bed all day and did nothing but watch Malakhai play, when we could’ve been out and about, playing at a park or MyGym. I’ve been too lazy to record, edit and post videos, frequently telling myself I’ll do it the next day, and the next day, and the next day until finally, it doesn’t happen. Laziness, be gone.
  8. I tend to listen to a lot of ratchet music, and when I say a lot, I mean a lot. I especially listen to it in the car on my way to work, which I shouldn’t because I find ratchet music doesn’t put me in the best of moods. I also listen to it with Malakhai in the car and that will no longer happen. I’m leaving all that ratchetness, well most of it, not all, in 2018, and focus more on listening to podcasts in the car. I find that podcasts are extremely helpful. (I’ll be doing a separate post about my favorite podcasts.)
  9. Masturbating has taken a toll on me. When orgasming, you lose pieces of yourself. If you ever notice it’s like this energy washes over you and then disappears. I’ve been celibate from actual sex for 6 months and I want to be completely celibate. So, I’m leaving masturbating behind. If I give too much of myself to myself, what will I give my future husband?
  10. Finally, I’m leaving behind everything else that needs to stay in 2018. There’s so many things that I just want to leave and will be left. This month I’ll be focusing on getting rid of things in my home that no longer has value to me. I feel like holding on to things year after year is just letting the past keep its hold on you. I want to wrangle out of its grasps and move forward with my life.

What are some things you are leaving behind in 2018?

Vegan Mommy Things

Narcissism

Dealing with a narcissist is probably one of the hardest things to do if you don’t know how to handle them. My son’s father is a narcissist. He’s very controlling and demanding. He wants everything to go his way or no way. Well, the thing is, he has yet to control me.

Sometimes dealing with him aggravated me, but I have to take a deep breath and then react in a way that he least expects. Narcissistic people tend to want to get you riled up. It fuels their behavior. The best way to deal with them is to react the opposite of what they want.

I’ll give you some examples. My son’s father, let’s call him Tyrone (I know right?). Tyrone likes to give me a deadline of when something needs to be done and usually he wants whatever it is done that day. Me being the petty person I am, depending on level of importance, I’ll do it a day, or two, or three, hell even a week later. I’m a grown ass woman. Nobody demands anything from me aside from my son. He can make demands from his wife and our son, but not from me. I bow down to no one.

Another example is when he gives me ultimatums. First of all, if you know me, you know I don’t take well to being required to make a choice. He gives me a choice of A or B and I take F. This is how our “relationship” has been for quite some time.

Narcissistic people get gratification from everything being centered around them and everyone doing what they want, how they want, and when they want. I can’t see myself letting someone try to belittle me that way.

Always meet narcissism with pettiness. That’s the only way to combat it. I could just not deal with him at all, but that would be me hurting my son and I’m not willing to do that. Yeah, my son is young, but I’m just not willing to start a habit that continues on to when he does understand and then I’m the bad guy.

Have you dealt with a narcissistic person? If so, how did you handle them?

My Life, Vegan Mommy Things

Don’t Complain if You aren’t Doing Anything to Change

It’s thanksgiving break and all I can think about ishow happy I am to be at home and not at work. The only thing I’m happy about in my life right now is being a mom to my son. 

I don’t hate my job. I love my job, but it doesn’t make me happy. I’m tired of living in this apartment, throwing money away towards something I’ll never own ($1000 a month). 

I’m not happy that I haven’t been writing another novel, or finishing one I’ve already started. It’s just maddening how quickly I’ve lost motivation to continue writing novels. My last novel was published in 2016: two years ago! I’ve started several since then, but I haven’t even made it halfway through one. 

I thought of writing a novel based on my life, but have I sat down to write it? No. 

I’m unhappy with my postpartum body, and I go back and forth between loving it and not even wanting to look in the mirror.

I think about all of these things that I’m not happy about and how I’ve not done a single thing to change my circumstances. So how can I even complain?

My point is, and I should take this advice myself, don’t complain about your circumstances and not being happy if you aren’t doing anything about them. 

Don’t be like me and say I’m going to start making changes tomorrow or the next day, or the next day. Do it today. Do what makes you happy, but first, find happiness from within.

Health + Wellness

Don’t Let the Holidays Ruin Your Health and Fitness Goals

Many people are on a health and fitness journey and I often hear too many times that people will hault their journey until after the holidays. They do this in order to pig out and forgo any progress they’ve made, basically setting themselves back a few steps.

Why do this? What’s the point? Say you’ve lost ten pounds so far. You’re really going to risk gaining that ten pounds back and some? Priorities are clearly out of sort. 

Being vegan, I don’t typically partake in the food that everyone else indulges in, though I do make my own vegan version of these same foods. The difference is calories, fat, sodium, cholesterol, and what’s called “the itis.”

I am off work the next week, but that doesn’t mean that I am not meal prepping. In fact, I meal prepped before this post went out (last night). I have calorie goals since I’m breastfeeding as well as health goals when it comes to food choices. I’ve been on a roll and I dare not mess that up.

So how can one stick to their health and fitness goals through the holidays? Continue to do what you’re doing. Don’t hault your journey for foods that aren’t going to do anything but put you to sleep and gurgle your stomach. Also, don’t be so strict on yourself. Enjoy those foods, but in moderation. Don’t pig out. 

In order to reach these goals, you have to continue striving towards them, pushing through any obstacles that seem daunting. 

How do you stay on track during the holidays?

recipes

California Kale Bowls

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Here’s my take on the California Kale Bowl.

ingredients:

1 c long grain brown rice

1/3 c almonds

1 pkg broccoli florets

4 c kale, destemmed and chopped

1/2 onion, chopped

2 tbsp grape seed oil

1 can white beans

1 can kidney beans

1/3 c citrus vinaigrette

directions:

cook brown rice per usual.

in a separate skillet, sauté broccoli and onions.

stir in beans and kale. Cook until kale is wilted.

im a bowl, mix brown rice and veggie mixture. Toss with the citrus vinaigrette and top with sliced almonds.

 

 

My Life

The World’s Greatest

Sometimes I sit back and think about where my life is and when I am going to get to where I want to be. I seem to not be able to appreciate where I am currently because this wasn’t what I saw when I saw my future.

So many people say, “Be grateful for where you are and what you have because not everybody can.” That sounds great, but can’t I for a second think about what I wanted my life to be like? Why is it so wrong to not be fully happy with all of the decisions I’ve made to land me where I am?

I think the only thing I’m happy about is my son. I’ve always said I wanted my first child at 30 and here I am, proof that you can speak things into existence. I knew that if I didn’t have my first child by 30, I would never have any kids. Now did I plan this, absolutely not. This wasn’t how I saw me having my first child, out of a committed relationship, but it is what it is.

My career was supposed to be me being a best-selling author or award-winning chef. Did I get either? No, but I am a self-proclaimed chef and I’m also an author. I became both of those things without the accolades and that’s okay. They will come. I’m claiming them both. I could be an award-winning chef with a best-selling recipe book next year. Don’t know what the future holds.

Definitely thought I’d have a house by now. I’m not sure why I set a timeline for things in my life, I just did and it’s crazy. I wanted all of the aforementioned before 30. I always wanted to be apart of that “30 Under 30” because it sounded cool, not realizing there were things I should’ve been doing in my early 20s to get there. The house is definitely on the horizon as soon as I get my finances straight.

Traveling has always been at the top of my list and even though I haven’t been to any of the places that I want to go, I know that I will go to these places. With hard work, dedication and severe budgeting, I will be a world traveler with my mini.

What are some things that you thought you would have or places you thought you would be by a certain age?

My Life, Vegan Mommy Things

Bitter Baby Mama

There’s this notion that all single mom’s are bitter. This stems from people assuming we are mad because we can’t be with the father of our child(ren) or we are made that they don’t want us. Speaking for me and me only, both are false.

I am in no way bitter about anything, but me wanting my son and his father to have a relationship and me being passionate about it, comes off as being bitter. I didn’t, and still don’t, have a relationship with my father and I don’t want that for my son.

I think, and don’t quote me on this, most men who are on child support, are on child support because they aren’t financially helping the mother of their child(ren) take care of their child(ren). Because women are mainly the ones giving care to the child, men don’t see how expensive it can be to do it alone. They want to say we just want to take their money or we are trying to live off of them, when that it most certainly not the case.

Can I financially take care of my child on my own? Absolutely, but that doesn’t mean I should have to, being that I didn’t get pregnant by myself.

My son is breastfed so in order for him to eat, I have to eat. I wash his clothes everyday since he has to be in cloth diapers. That’s water and electricity being used every single day. He has to bathe, right? That’s water again. Then, I have to be able to get him to my moms house and be able to get to work to afford a rough over our heads. That’s gas. He also has to have his booty wiped, his skin cleaned and conditioned, and his hair done. Then there’s toys and clothes.

See how that can get expensive? Then you have a man who doesn’t want to help financially, and thinks that all that’s important and being a good father is sololey just spending time with a child. No, dead wrong. A child needs emotional, physical, mental, and financial support.

As mothers, we want what is best for our children. We are natural born nurturers, whereas men, they just aren’t. I will spend my last dollar on my child for whatever he needs and wants, but I shouldn’t have to.

Next time you want to call the mother of your child(ren) bitter, don’t. Ask her what she needs and how you can help. Make her life easier, not harder. I can guarantee a myriad of men wouldn’t be on child support if they took the time out to sit down with the mother and laid out all expenses to see where he can contribute. All it takes is a conversation.

Now the flipside is there are many women who are bitter and vindictive towards the father, and do file child support to get back at him. What this does is make other women who file for financial reasons only, look like they’re bitter and vindictive.

Mamas, if he doesn’t want you, he doesn’t want you. Let that man and those feelings go. Worry about your child(ren) and your child(ren) only. You can’t be worrying about this man who not only doesn’t want you, but doesn’t want to be a father. Don’t battle with him. There’s a man out there who is going to love you and your child(ren) like his own. I’ve witnessed it numerous times.

What are your thoughts on the term “bitter baby mama?”

My Life, Vegan Mommy Things

“I Ain’t Ever Scared…”

Of course about 5 months ago I didn’t have this mindset. I was scared shitless. I had spent two months at my mom’s house  after having my son, and I had had so much help between my mom and my stepdad. It was then finally time for me to go home. I was petrified at the thought of it just being me and Malakhai,

I wonder if I could do everything I was doing on my own, without the safety net of having someone there 24/7. Granted, they only live five minutes away, but I would be home…alone…with my child. How could I not be scared? What if something had happened? What if I messed up? What if he didn’t like me anymore because he was so (and still very much is) attached to my mom?

As you can see, a lot was going through my head back then. Now here we are, striving and thriving. We’ve settled in to a routine, I’ve become accustomed to it not just being me, and motherhood is suiting me well might I add. We play, he naps, I clean, he messes up a diaper, he nurses, we play, I clean, and it just continues, but I must say, it’s never boring. With Malakhai, there’s never a dull moment.

Sometimes I wonder how I could I be so scared of someone so precious and small that my body knew how to create? This little human loves me, he wants to always be around me and on me. How could I be scared of him? Not only that, I love him to pieces, a love that I never knew existed until I felt him kick, and then saw his face.

I say all of this to say mamas, it gets better, easier and less terrifying. What was/is something you are/were scared of when it came/comes to your child(ren)?

My Life

“Never give up, it’s such a wonderful life…”

Relationships end. That’s just how life goes. I feel like since I’ve turned 30, I’ve developed more of a “fuck it” attitude towards a myriad of things. Whether it be people or things, my tolerance level for “fuck shit” is nonexistent.

My life is amazing right now, and I honestly could not be happier (well, I kind of could but that’s beside the point). My son is healthy and thriving, hitting many milestones early. We’ve been spending every free moment together and there are so many more moments to come. The pumpkin patch last Saturday was absolutely joyous and it was a beautiful day outside.

I’m working on my health and the betterment of my livelihood. I’m not necessarily trying to lose weight, but I am trying to build my immune system and keep my stamina and energy up. My skin is clear and my head is even clearer when it comes to many things.

The relationship between my son’s father and I is getting better. We have actually been having civilized conversations. Are we friends? Of course not, but we are cordial for the sake of our child. That’s all that needs to happen: we have to be able to be a united front when it comes to Malakhai and his well being.

My family is stronger than ever, and I feel like the birth of my son brought us closer. As a single mom, and even as a married or in-a-relationship mom, it truly takes a village to raise children, and my village is built Ford tough (see what I did there? You’ll only get it if you live in Texas).

Work is work. I love teaching wholeheartedly, but I think it’s getting close to time to move elsewhere within the education system. I am working on some things behind the scenes that I am not quite ready to share yet, but I will soon. Sometime next year.

My bills are paid, my son is fed, there’s food in my fridge, we have clothes on our backs, and we are living life. So to those of you, and you know damn well who you are specifically, don’t try to ruin my joy with your bitterness and misery. My life is good, live yours and stay out of mine with your negativity. We are grown now and that childishness, you can miss me with that. It’s true that misery needs and loves company, but I’d rather stay to myself and be joyful and happy.

See, I’ve dealt with negativity from people for so long, from friends to even more so, family, but no longer. I have goals that I am trying to reach and anyone who knows what it’s like to be goal-oriented, knows that negative people will only bring you down and prolong reaching your success. I can see the peak of the mountain, and no one will be an obstacle on my way up. Stay at the bottom if you cannot be a positive rock in my life.

I say all this to say that, not everyone is going to be for you when it comes to your goals and being successful in whatever it is you are doing. Ctrl + Alt + del them with a quickness.

xoxo Moniqua Lashae

My Life

Birthday Blues

Tomorrow is my 30th birthday and I have no idea what I’m going to do. Earlier in the year I had planned to go to Mexico and even got Boo’s passport once he was born. Now, I’m not so sure. It’s too late to plan a trip, though I could take a day trip to Austin.

I’ve always thought about what I would do for my 30th birthday day, and now that it is here, nothing. I am going out to eat a restaurant, but aside from that, I’m not so sure. I’ve never been the one to celebrate birthdays unless it was a special one, and this is a special one.

It doesn’t even feel like I’m turning 30, just like another birthday. I see people who have these huge celebrations for their 30th, but I’m not a party person. Haven’t been since college. Now that I’m a mom, I’m even more so not a party person. Do people really have parties anymore at my age?

What did you do for your 30th celebration?

My Life, Vegan Mommy Things

Dating as a Single Mom and Dirty 30

With my 30th birthday expeditiously approaching (it’s in 6 days), I’ve been thinking about being a single mother and dating. I’m not opposed to dating, I just am loving the space I’m in at this moment. But when it comes to dating, here are a few things I need the potential suitor to know:

1. Can’t have me without my son. Period. We go together like peanut butter and jelly, macaroni and cheese, beans and rice, guacamole and tortilla chips, Mickey and Minnie. Catch my drift? There’s no me without him. You want to be with me, he comes with it. A combo meal.

2. Malakhai will always come first, no matter the situation. He is my number one and only priority at the moment. Should we get married, he’d still be number one, but you would then be a priority as well. I will always, first and foremost, be a mother, above all else.

3. I’m pushing 30 (again, in 6 freaking days, damn I’m old), so all the games and FWB and childish shit can miss me. I’m looking to get married, not waste time. What kind of mother would I be to just be hanging out with a man with no intentions of marrying him?

4. My son doesn’t need a father, he already has one. To whomever I shall date, you need to be a role model, a friend, someone my son can talk to. Stepdads play an important role in a child’s life and I was blessed to have two that loved me dearly. Granted my biological father was nowhere in sight, these two men stepped in and did what he should’ve done. Now when it comes to my son, he needs someone to look up to who can teach him things that not I nor his father can.

5. I pay a good $2000+ in bills per month, so “wyd” texts won’t cut it. I’m not looking for handouts or anyone to pay my bills, but I pay too much per month to be entertaining someone who can’t tell me to get dressed because we’re going out just because. Woe me. Date me. Show me that I’m not sitting at the table alone.

6. I’m an upfront kind of person and I don’t like to beat around the bush. I would expect to be treated the same. From the jump, tell me what you’re intentions are with me. I don’t believe in leading someone on until you get what you want and then leaving. If sex is what you’re looking for, I’m not the one. Like I said before, I don’t need friends. I have all the friends I need.

7. I made a vow that after I had my son, shop would be closed, meaning, no sex, and it’s not up for discussion. I’ve made this vow numerous times even before sleeping with my son’s father. I’m scared to get pregnant again in a noncommittef relationship. Also, should we eventually get to the point of thinking about sex, a full STD check with be required. I know someone who has been an inspiration to me, just let it be known that she has HIV. I’m not playing with my life. So I’m short, sex is off the table.

8. When I’m not being a homebody, I like going to low key places like the park, library, museum, cafes, black owned businesses, vegan restaurants, and just places with an intimate setting. Now of course as Malakhai gets older, children friendly places will be required. I don’t want to meet you at a bar (I don’t drink) or go to the club or lounge. I need you to understand I’m an introvert and I don’t like being around a bunch of people with varying energies.

9. Our families must like each other and they must like us. Family is important to me and it’s important that who I’m dating gets along with my family and vice versa.

10. I’m not dead set on if I want more kids, but doesn’t mean I’m opposed to it either. I feel like my son is enough for me and idk if I want to be pregnant again. It’s not that my pregnancy was hard or the birth, I just don’t think more kids are in the cards right now, but you never know.

11. Ambition and creativity go a long way. I am a content creator both in social media and my blog. My blog is like my second child who I often neglect (don’t call CPS on me). I want us to be able to share passions. I think two creative people can come together and make something magical.

12. Family outings are a must. When dating, it can’t just always be us. Now it will for a while before I’m ready for you to meet my son, but once he’s in the picture, most dates need to be all of us. I hate being away from him and he hates being away from me.

These are just the basics and of course there’s more, but what I need to men to see is that when dating a single mother, you have to be on your P’s and Q’s. We already have a lot going on keeping a child’s love boy ourselves, we don’t need the added stress.

As a single mother, what are some of y’alls dating rules?

My Life

Hello September…

It’s September and I couldn’t be more excited. My birthday is right around the corner. I’m still in the works of planning my bday but I think I’m going to book a local air bnb. Of course Malakhai will be with me. Can’t leave him out of my festivities.

I’ve finally accepted that I have some form of PPD and I have been talking to someone about it. I’ve been ignoring it and trying to make myself believe it was something else but it’s PPD and apparently, you can get it even when your child is an adult. Imagine that.

Last week I wrapped up my Boss Lady series and if you haven’t checked it out, click here. I will be beginning a new series either next month or in November, but I’ll be sure to keep you all posted.

I finished my first week of school (I’m a teacher) and I’m about to start the second week. Funny we have a three day weekend for Labor Day and next weekend will be another three day weekend. I’m wondering who I need to convince to make school four days a week instead of five because that extra day on the weekend is necessary.

Busgeting has been rough, especially for the month of August. I did not stick to the budget and went over in every category. However, I won’t dwell on the past. It’s a new month and that means I can start anew and try again. I’ve learned that with budgeting, it takes time. I can’t continue to beat myself up over the mistakes or going over in one or all categories. Also, I get my first check since coming off of my temporary leave of absence, tomorrow. So I’ll be setting up my budget based on that check for the next two weeks.

I’m renewing my lease in my apartment because I’ve decided it’s best I pay off my student loans before investing in a house. I also need to pay off that emergency personal loan I got over the summer to float me until I got paid. My budget was going so well and I budgeted from when I went on leave, up until now. Not sure where I went wrong, but I did mess up somewhere.

I’ve been making some goals that I want to seriously work towards, one being to pay off my student loans before 2021. It’s definitely feasible, but I need another side hustle, preferably one that brings in an extra $1,000 per month.

Malakhai is starting to try to roll over. He has the gist of it, he just needs to follow through. He’s getting so big now and it’s going faster than I’m ready for. He is definitely a mama’s boy.

Some of my goals for this month are:

• stick to the budget

• cut eating out to maybe 4 times this month

• meal plan every single week

• only but groceries that I’ll be eating that week

• limit my time on social media

• take Khai out more

• make a conscious effort to post at least two blog posts a week (this may be doable)

• be consistent with financial Friday’s and my money FB group

• make a schedule to post videos for IGTV

• workout (I’ve lost all motivation to lose this baby weight)

• go out at least two times to meet ups or take myself out

• better prepare my lessons each week and have materials ready for the week

• get better organized

I know this is a long list, but I do need to get better about a lot of these things.

What are some of your goals for September?

Breastfeeding, Vegan Mommy Things

Black Breastfeeding Week

Today begins Black Breastfeeding Week and I have a short story to share. Earlier today, Malakhai and I met up with some ladies from this Facebook group that I’m in, Awkward Black Ladies. We met at this coffee shop called ThroughGood Coffee, which is black owned (though I saw no one black working there). It’s a nice quaint cafe off W 27th street.

After I sat down and mingled with the ladies, Khai became restless. So I tried to nurse him but he wasn’t hungry. I went to change him and there wasn’t a changing table in the restroom (I find that to be poor customer service but whatever). Three of the ladies left and that left just me, the moderator of the group (let’s call her Malissa since I didn’t ask permission to use her name), and Khai.

By this point, he had become hungry and so I nursed him. Then out of nowhere, I felt someone tap me on my shoulder. It was white woman in her maybe early 30s. She said to me, “I just saw that it was Black Breastfeeding Week and I just wanted to come over and offer my support and tell you to keep doing your thing.” I thanked her as I was in shock because I’ve heard such horror stories of white women coming up to black women breastfeeding and saying some atrocious things that include racial slurs.

Malissa just smiled and when the woman walked away, we both looked at each other surprised. Next thing I know the woman comes back and says, “Sorry to bother you again but I’m a doula and I just came from seeing a new mom and helping her to breastfeed, so that’s why I cam over and I’m glad you’re doing that.” I smiled back and thanked her again.

I just want to say how appreciative I am to see that there are still some decent white people in this world. From police brutality to the cops being called on us to us being called “nigger” for just being black, I was beginning to wonder. So to kick off Black Breastfeeding Week, here are some photos from today.

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My Life

Fall is fast approaching!!

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It’s my favorite time of year and, yes I think I make this post every year, but I can’t help it. Fall is coming! That also means it’s pumpkin season. I’m an October baby so naturally I’m drawn and attracted to this time of year. I feel joyous and in my element. It’s also when I’m the most creative. I love the smell of cinnamon and pumpkin spice, leaves on the ground and sitting on my patio sipping tea.

I know I haven’t been on much and that’s because I have gone back to work. I started last Monday. School starts next Monday so I am doing the final touches on my classroom and getting ready to welcome the students back.

Fall reminds me of my childhood when all of my favorite movies came on Disney channel like Twitches and the Halloween Town quartet.

Though I live in Texas, we don’t typically wear fall wear until it gets closer to December and even then, it’s far and few in between. I remember this time last year I missed fall because I found out I was pregnant and was trying to adjust, also, Hurricane Harvey kind of swept in and damaged everything. I was also in the midst of packing to move into my new apartment. So it was all a blur.

This year, I vow to take in fall and all that it brings, though I’m sure it’s going to bring warm or scorching weather. There are no major hurricanes that are threatening to ruin yet another school year or fall, nine that I know of (🤞🏾).

Do you love fall? What’s your favorite part about it?

Health + Wellness

Forgiveness

People y’all about forgiveness like it’s easy as pie. We’re always quick to say forgive and forget, but how can we forgive and forget something someone did to us that put us in a depression? Hurt people hurt people, but we don’t talk about the severness of the hurt.

I was journaling about the people in my life I need to forgive and the unforgivable things they did to me. Do I forgive all of them? No, but I’m working on it. But what does forgiveness actually do? It allows the other person to no longer have any control over you. You relinquish that hurt and pain and you are able to move on.

Harboring past experiences blocks you from future opportunities in more ways than one. Sometimes we lose trust because of someone breaking their trust with us, then we no longer can trust anyone and say no to everyone and everything. We live a life of suspicion of everyone and that’s no way to live.

I know some people forgive someone over and over again, allowing that person to still stay in their life, when the best option is to let them go. Just because you forgive someone, doesn’t mean you need to continue to associate yourself with them. I recently disassociated myself from someone who was using me, causing me pain, dragging me into their drama, lying to me and sending me into a depression.

Keeping these toxic people in your life makes your forgiving them null and void because you are allowing more chances of them doing the same thing that you keep forgiving them for. People throw forgiveness around like they do love and that’s detrimental to your mental health.

Forgiveness should not be taken lightly and should be thought out. When you forgive someone, it’s not for that person, it’s for you. You’re letting what they did go, but you’re not forgetting. When you forgive someone, it makes that person feel small because they don’t have you in the palm of their hand like they thought they did. They can no longer control and manipulate the narrative.

Think about who in your life you need to forgive, why you need to forgive them and what will come of it.

My Life

Fat, Ugly, and Single

 

 

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Well, I’m not really ugly, but being fat makes me feel that way. Now before anyone comes for me, yes, I know I just had a baby 3 months ago and it does take a while to drop the pudge, however, I lost all my baby weight and gained some back, and still gaining. Mother eff!!!!

I’ve been single for a number of years (I won’t disclose the number because it’s embarrassing). Many of those years were by choice because I was going through depression, self loathing, and financial hardships. Basically, ya girl was a hot ass mess. Still somewhat am a mess but not like before. Now with my postpartum body, I’m feeling depressed. Is this considered PPD?

Anyway, I currently lack motivation to consistently workout. I’ll go for 3 days and then stop for a week. Then do it again. It’s like a never ending cycle. I want to lose the weight before school starts and it’s doable. I have a whole 5 weeks before school starts and would love to lose 20 lbs. Is that doable? Beats me. I’ve never been on a weight lose journey and stuck to it so who knows?

Being single has its ups and downs. Some days I want someone to go out with and take my son  and be a family. Other days I’m good with just Khai and me. It flip flops. Do I get lonely? No, but I do miss male attention and affection.

I always feel inferior to these women on social media who have the kind of body I want. They’re not necessarily skinny but their bodies are my body goals, just I want my body to be on a bit of a larger scale. Basically I want everything to stay the same but have the tummy of these women. Yes, I know I shouldn’t be comparing myself to these women and that a man will love me the way I am, however, I’m not wanting this for a man. I want it for me. I want to feel good based off of looking good.

I’ve always had body issues and then I evenetually got over them. Now that I have a child, I’m back to those same insecurities and I know this weight is due to growing a mini me, but it’s also due to stress eating. My diet is the other part. Yes, I’m vegan but you can be a fat vegan and unhealthy. I eat all the processed foods that I shouldn’t eat and I don’t cook like I used to. However, I need to get back to doing that before school starts or I’m shit out of luck.

Going back to work and doing all that walking will help shed the weight, but I have to have the diet to match. Starting tomorrow, no soy, severely limited vegan alternatives (less processed and soy free), lots more veggies and fruits, more smoothies, more exercise (yoga especially), and more getting my body right for myself and to be around for Khai.

As for the single part, I used to think that if I looked like these women on social media, I’d no longer be single. But hell majority of the women I want to look like are single. These gorgeous, beautiful women are living their best life and single and they’re all in their early 30s like me (well I’m not actually in my 30s but I will be in October).

Before you say, “Oh you’re still young, take your time, don’t rush,” that’s all cool and I actually agree with you. I’m barely 30 and have a lot of living to do. Why should I let the longing for a relationship overpower what all I want to do? I want to show Khai the world and be an awesome mom and have my dream career. Now granted, yes I know you can do all of that and be in a relationship, but I want it to just be me and Khai for right now.

Will the feeling of wanting to be in a relationship go away? Not likely, but I’m learning to be okay with it. Will I look like those women on social media? Not likely, but I’ll continue working on falling in love with myself and wanting to look like myself. Do I consider myself drop dead gorgeous? On a good day, yes, but most times no. I do believe I’m beautiful in my own way and I know there’s a man who will love me just for that.

Do you have insecurities in your singleness? If so, what are they and how do you plan to overcome them?

Health + Wellness

Breakthroughs

I have nothing against therapy, it’s just not something I can do right now, so I have my own form of therapy: yoga and journaling. In my last journal entry I was writing about the negativity I have been experiencing and that has been lurking in my mind as well as the almost unfortunate events it has caused and may cause. Negative thoughts that I created about scenarios that haven’t even happened and may never happen, have cause some negative events and levels of stress and anxiety. Malakhai and I were in almost 3 accidents this week. I realized that those were wake up calls.

At these moments I wasn’t thinking negative thoughts but I had been earlier those days. Is there a correlation? I’m not sure. But I’m realizing that this bubble of negativity stems from somewhere and I finally pinpointed the causes (I can’t disclose them because they involve people close to me and it’s super personal). Now that I’ve pinpointed those causes, I’m on a journey to figuring out how to stop those negative feelings and thoughts when they creep in.

I feel exhilarated right now because I’m finally cracking things open. Journaling is where I came to these conclusions. I’ll admit I do talk to myself and when I journal, it’s basically the same thing. I let my pen do the talking and as my thoughts flow onto the paper, I can see where an abundance of my issues lie. For some reason, seeing it on paper makes a world of difference.

Not all the time do I go back and read my entries, but lately I have been, just to see if maybe I mentioned something before that can trigger something in me or cause me to have an epiphany. I’m always looking for messages or just something in my entires to give me some idea of when this negativity started, why and how I can possibly fix it.

I will continue to journal because it’s extremely therapeutic. What are some ways you deal with things or work out your issues if you don’t go to therapy?

confessions

Confessions of a Single Mom #8: Single Mom Friends

*Disclaimer: This post is to piggy back off of Confession #4.

I can’t stress how important it is is to have single mom friends as a single mom. I used to trip off having single friends because most of my friends are either married or in a relationship, and then there were those who had kids, so we couldn’t really relate in life. It’s funny that I’m having an easier time finding single mom friends than I did finding single friends. Strange, right?

As a single mom, hanging around married moms or moms who are in relationships is not conducive to a relationship because they don’t know your struggle. Their kids have both of their parents in the same household, they aren’t searching for a man to potentially be a stepfather, they don’t have to deal with their child’s father’s girlfriend or wife, unless they were once together and now they are with other people, they have in-house help, they are a two-income household (majority anyway). They don’t have to go through what us single moms do so how can we relate other than both being moms?

I have a group of single mom friends and I’m thankful for them. We don’t get to hangout all the time but when we do, it’s so much fun. Having play dates and chatting it up about motherhood, our kids’s father’s, dating, sex, you name it, is relaxing and makes me feel sane. Sometimes I need adult interaction. Don’t get me wrong, I love talking to my baby, but he doesn’t understand a word I’m saying and vice versa.

Not having single mom friends can make single motherhood stressful and seriously boring and lonely. If you’re in Houston, well technically anywhere, follow @singleblackmotherhood on Instagram and join the Facebook group. I will be posting an interview with the founder, Kim Williams during my Boss Lady series.

Health + Wellness

Journaling Sessions

Since having Malakhai, it’s been quite hard to journal. I’m a lengthy journaler (I know that’s not a word) and it’s hard to not journal for 1-2 hours. Journaling is my form of therapy that works so well for me. It allows me to dump things out and ask myself questions and as o ask these questions, I tend to be able to answer them through other journaling sessions or ones that I’ve already had.

I had a journaling session one night that turned into 6 pages over an hour (thanks Malakhai for sleeping long enough for mommy to go to journal therapy) and when I was done, I felt relieve, like a weight had been lifted and whatever hold was on me, let go. If you don’t journal, I highly recommend it.

I feel like WOC don’t deal with their mental health as they should but it seems like more and more millennial WOC are seeking professional help. One of my fave podcasts is Therapy for Black Girls (which I think I’ve mentioned before). I tried therapy and it didn’t work but then again, the therapist could not relate to me and I could not relate to her nor was I comfortable.

I think now that Malakhai and I are ina routine, I can now guesstimate when a good time to journal will be. Typically I like to journal in the morning, but now I work around his naps. As long as I get an hour a day, I’m good.

Do you journal? How often and is it therapeutic?

Vegan Mommy Things

Exercising for fitness postpartum

Since giving birth to my son, working or has been the hardest to get back into. I lack the motivation to do so. I was stoked that I got back down to my prepregnancy weight, however, I have put on about 5 lbs since then and I am not happy about that. It’s weird because I exercised my entire second and third trimester to prepare for birth and now that I’m no longer pregnant, I find it a struggle to workout.

Beginning last Thursday, I started back doing yoga and I’ve also been taking Boo on my walks. When it comes to yoga and walking, for whatever reason they both don’t seem like exercise to me. I see them both as ways to relax, keep calm, selfcare and bonding time with Boo.

This past weekend, I went to Baby and ame yoga (pics soon to come, will probably be in a separate post giving a review of the yoga class). It made me want to start incorporating him more in my home practice of yoga. Though he slept most of the class, it was nice having him there, comforting in a way.

I ended up having to purchase a new carrier to wear him due to me being top heavy and he was adding extra weight with dangling from the previous one (will give details in another post). So now with this carrier, it’s less stress in my back. I can go for long walks when I don’t feel like fooling with the stroller.

Another way I exercise is by strapping him to me and doing house work: laundry, dishes, vacuuming, cooking, dusting, etc. Having to squat with him is like squatting with dumbbells: gives that extra weight to make you work harder and use your muscles as well as building them.

Once I am completely healed, I’ll be getting back into kickboxing, but right now, I am just keeping it low impact and easing back into my workout routine. What motivates me is the fact that I have a son and they tend to be more rambunctious than girls, as well as adventurous and require more endurance and strength.

What are some ways you workout as a mom after having your kid(s)?

confessions, Vegan Mommy Things

Confessions of a Single Mom #4: Loneliness and Meltdowns

Being a single mom from conception is hard as fuck. I won’t even sugarcoat it. Being a single mom period is hard as fuck. There are good days and there are bad days and the bad days make it seem like they outnumber the good. The past couple of days have been trying.

With the transition back home, I’ve felt a sense of loneliness, even when Boo’s dad comes to see him, which has been almost everyday. At times when Boo doesn’t stop crying, I feel helpless and like I have no one to turn to.

There are times when he’s awake for hours at a time and it’s exhausting to the point of severe frustration. I had a complete meltdown today because he was just fussy. He wasn’t wet or hungry and he didn’t want to play: just screaming and crying. It’s hard because he can’t tell me what’s wrong and I have to do my best and try everything.

I found that 9 times out of 10, he’s fighting his sleep. Even though I can call my mom, I still feel lonely with no one here. It’s funny because I live in the same city as my entire family and all of my friends, yet I still feel isolated and secluded.

Mad I had this meltdown while rocking Boo, he just stared at me and smiled as if to say, “It’s okay mommy, we’re both learning.” I cried even harder. It’s moments like that when he just looks at me and smiles, let’s me know I’m going to be okay; we’re going to be okay.

Motherhood can be lonely sometimes, whether you’re single or married, doesn’t matter. You’re the mother and no one else can replace you. What I’m learning is I need to reach out to my mom friends and meet up with the kiddos. Today, I am going to Mommy and Baby yoga and I cannot wait.

One of the best things to combat loneliness is to get out of the house and surround yourself with people. Being around other people can break some of that loneliness, even if you are an introvert and don’t tend to interact with other adults.

Do you ever feel lonely as a mother, despite having a support system? Do you lack a support system and the loneliness is unbearable?

My Life

Back to Interviews

I really thought that my last interview would’ve been my last interview for A while. No such luck.  Due to being on maternity rave and not qualifying for FMLA (family medical leave), my position was given to someone else. I am a teacher and since I had to take a leave of absence to have my baby, my position was given away.

It’s bittersweet to say the least. I’m going to miss my principal, coworkers and students, however, I do want to be closer to home. So, I went ahead and applied to the district I live in in as well as applied to teach homeschooled students online, which is something I’ve wanted to do since I started teaching. That way, I can be home with Boo.

The commute to my old school wasn’t terrible, and there was no traffic, but say if something were to happen with Boo, it’s a bit of a distance to drive, even though he’ll be staying with my mom while I’m at work.

Of course there were things I disliked, but that goes with any job, no matter how much you love it. Somehow, someway, I think this is some sort of blessing in disguise. Not exactly sure how just yet, but I know it is.

I am glad to have worked with such amazing people and even formed friendships. Now I guess it’s time to think about the future and what that may hold. I wouldn’t even mind getting a clerical or secretarial kind of position in the district.

Have you ever been laid off from a job? What did you do? How did you feel?

My Life, Vegan Mommy Things

My Reason Why

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“Mom” is the best and most important title that I hold. It’s more than a job: it’s a lifetime of love, tears, trials and triumphs. When I became pregnant, I didn’t know how drastically my mindset would change. I think so much differently now. I don’t only think about myself, I think about my child first.

1. Malakhai is the reason I am on this debt free  journey. Getting out of debt has never been more important to me than it is now. I began budgeting towards the end of last year and I was even able to get my savings to 4 digits, which is something I have never been able to do before.

I’ve always been a spender instead of a saver, but now I think long and hard about purchases I make. I have a complete list I run through before I make a purchase, which I will share in another post.

I’m also doing this debt Free Journey so that he and I can travel. By the time he is school age, I want to be able to work part time in order to spend more time with him, teaching and traveling the world. I feel the best kind of education is done outside of the classroom. I want him to be well-traveled and know that America is not the only place there is.

2. Malakhai is the reason I eat healthier than I do prior to becoming pregnant. I now have to decide if what I’m about to consume is going to benefit him. It’s no longer about just benefiting me, but him as well. Since I’m breastfeeding, he consumes what I do.

3. Malakhai is the reason I want to work for myself so that he can see that he doesn’t have to punch in for anybody but himself, hence why I want to be debt free so I can focus more on my business and become a certified health consultant. I want him to be as open minded as I am and to think outside the box.

4. Malakhai is the reason I haven’t lost my shit after giving birth. He’s how I’ve been keeping it together as far as adjusting to motherhood. Looking at his sweet face and holding him, makes me feel like we’re going to be okay, that everything is going to be fine. I am an awesome mother and he is an awesome child. He is why I know I am going to be the best parent I can be for him.

5. Malakhai is the reason I want to better myself: mentally, physically and emotionally. Since he’s a boy, I’m going to have to be in the best shape physically in order to run around and play with him. He’s also more than likely going to want to play sports and go on adventures and I need to be fit to be there for every single thing. Raising a boy into a man, I am going to have to be emotionally and mentally stable to show him that there’s nothing wrong with asking for help or talking your feelings out. I don’t want him to hold anything in. If he’s having a hard time, I don’t want him to hesitate coming to me.

Malakhai is my reason for working towards living the best life I can. He makes me want to do better and be better. It’s amazing how having a child can make you see the world through different lenses.

If you have a child, how did they change you?

Health + Wellness, Vegan Mommy Things

Trap Yoga

Here we are again with Trap Yoga, only this time I’m pregnant!! It’s always fun going to her classes and I wasn’t going to let boo stop me. In fact, I went just to try to move him down. Needless to say, no such luck, but I still enjoyed myself. I can’t believe these pics are almost two years apart.

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I love the photos that were shot and shout out to @ShotbySham on IG for these.