Growing and Evolving

This is an actual conversation I had with my husband:

HIM: Hey babe, just letting you know I’m going out tomorrow night to see my cousin. He thinks I’m ducking him because I haven’t seen him in a while.

ME: Have you been ducking him?

HIM: Honestly, yeah, a little bit.

ME: Why? He hasn’t changed.

HIM: I know but sometimes I’m just not in the mood for the drama.

ME: I get it. Sounds like you’ve grown and he hasn’t.

HIM: Exactly!

Our conversation, in addition to this new decade, reminded me of the growth and change that takes place in our lives year to year, and circumstance to circumstance. Though we are growing and evolving and reaching new heights in our career, business, family, etc., there is no guarantee that the people around you will appreciate or support where you are now.

In my husband’s case, he can choose to not be around his cousin. I am the queen of cutting people off and letting them go when the relationship is not as fulfilling as it once was. But what happens when the person who refuses to accept your growth and change is your spouse?

A spouse should want to support their significant other in their journey; on the flip side, a spouse should be patient as their significant other makes the adjustment.

If my growth results in me speaking up more when before I was quiet, that will be invigorating for me but a brand new me that my husband may not be ready for. Accepting change is never easy and is often uncomfortable for you and for the people impacted by the “new you.”

My suggestion, talk to your spouse about the changes you plan to make in your life as they will be directly and/or indirectly impacted. Give them a grace period to adjust and adapt to your new way of doing things and don’t expect them to grow in the same way. Your growth/change is about you and no one else so don’t be that person trying to get everyone to become vegan or join a church or write the great American novel with you.

The positive outcome of your own development will often lead your spouse to want to make a similar change in their own life. (Now, if they refuse to accept the new version of you it might be time to question if the change is what’s right for you and your family, or if your spouse is still what’s best for you.)





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Obligatory New Year Blog

It’s 2020. A new year, a new decade, and another opportunity to make promises to ourselves that we may or may not keep throughout the year. I have never been a big fan of resolutions, though I don’t knock anyone who makes them.

I asked my husband, shortly after the ball dropped, what goals he saw for our family this year. He replied that he preferred to take things one day at a time and not look too far into the future. He and I are total opposites as I tend to look TOO far into the future. Time to find a happy medium.

Instead of creating a long list of things I want to see or accomplish, I think I’d rather just start DOING some things in the hopes that they will be habit forming. I could say every year that I want to lose weight or be more active but words are the easy part. Actually getting out of bed, putting on some leggings and walking out the door is the hard part, and most people don’t make it past the first month of a new year.

One of the things I am planning for my family, and for myself, is more travel. And I want to continue on my personal journey of taking better care of my skin. It’s been fun to experiment with serums and creams and develop a routine that makes me feel good and more responsible.

I didn’t take any real time to reflect on 2019 but I do know that last year was my first time feeling completely confident in my body and my abilities; even my walk is different! Only took me 38 years, but I am finally loving the skin I’m in and that is one thing I sincerely hope will stick around in 2020.

This time last year, I was in the hospital with my daughter. She was admitted on New Year’s Eve and stayed in the hospital for about eight days. At the time, they hadn’t figured out what kind of medicine would work best for her condition. One year later, I brought in the new year with my husband, in our home, while both of our babies were sleeping soundly in their own beds.

No matter what happens this year, I will eternally be grateful that I got to bring in 2020 with the people I love the most.

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Pre-Parental Counseling

“You need a license to buy a dog or drive a car. You even need a license to catch a fish. But they’ll let any [butt]hole be a father.” – Keanu Reeves, “Parenthood”

It was the movie quote above and a recent episode of the podcast Gettin’ Grown┬ácalled “Daddy Lessons” that prompted this post.

Before you get married, people often suggest that you and your bethrothed attend premarital counseling. Whether from a pastor or a non-religious counselor, the counseling is meant to prepare you and your soon to be spouse on how to conduct yourself as a husband and wife. The idea is that these roles are so complicated to pull off that people need extra coaching to know how to communicate and how to resolve conflict.

But, there is no such coaching suggested for people prior to becoming parents.

I’m not talking about the childbirth classes where you learn how to hold a newborn, change a diaper, and breathe during labor pains. I mean some soul-searching counseling or reprogramming to prepare people to become parents before conception.

All of us have, in some way, been influenced by our childhood and the way we were raised. Too many of us are so unaware of the damage that may have been caused until it comes out in our own parenting style years later.

To be honest, the trauma from our childhood has a heavy impact on the way we view relationships in general. Addressing what has happened in the past is the first step in healing. The next steps…are up to you. You can choose to forgive your parents, who most likely only did and continue to do the best they can. Forgiveness is normally contingent on whether the offensive party shows remorse but unfortunately, that is out of your control.

Forgiveness is more for you and less about them. Holding on to that anger, guilt, torment, or whatever you feel will only cause you to sabotage any relationships you find yourself in later on down the road, and this includes a relationship with your children.

Better to get counseling now than to ignore your issues and lead your children to seek therapy on their own for any damages you might inflict on them.




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The Evolution of Motherhood

The season two finale of Pose and a conversation with my beautiful cousin prompted me to think about the roller coaster of motherhood and the ultimate sign that you have done your job to the fullest.

Motherhood is rewarding and beautiful and blah blah blah. But it’s also annoying, tiresome, and, to be quite honest, it sucks. It’s a job that is neverending and constantly changing to the point where it is often hard to keep up.

In Pose, the house mother Blanca faces an empty nest as her “children” have gone on to live lives of their own. In the final scene, the attributes of her children are listed and it becomes apparent to the audience, and to Blanca, that this is what being a mother is all about.

It is far too tempting to tie our children’s shoes, make up their beds, cook their meals, and fight their battles until the end of time. That’s what mothers do. We love and protect our young, even when they’re no longer young and can fend for themselves.

Being a mother means that as each season and year passes, you learn to love your children differently. This love may be displayed by teaching them life lessons, giving them extra homework during Christmas break, or not immediately running to them when they fall. It means teaching them how to iron their own clothes, perfect grooming habits, and encourage them to learn more about the world around them.

Everything I do now will shape the kind of man and woman my baby Hawks will grow up to be. I can’t do them a disservice by doing everything for them or by discouraging them from leaving the house and having their own adventures.

I want to grow up to become Blanca. I want the satisfaction of sitting back and hearing about my babies’ accomplishments. I want the peace that comes from knowing my children have taken the lessons I’ve taught them and are living by them as well as passing them on.

That is when my job as a mommy will feel complete.

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I’m Feeling Sexy

If some of you know me personally or seen a picture of me on my FB page (Mom of 2 Wife of One), then you know that I am a thick chick, full of curves and dips and softness. As a thick chick, it is easy to fall into a trap of comparing yourself to others and falling short because you’re not the “right” size. You get frustrated when clothes just don’t feel right and shopping excursions, that most women look forward to, fill your heart with dread.

My self-esteem has gone up and down since I was around eight and my body started to develop. I have moments where I am cool with the skin I’m in and then there are times when I cringe when I look down and see my large breasts winking at me.

This week, I realized something. When it comes to feeling confident, it helps immensely to be around positive and confident people. Their energy will inevitably pour into you. I thought about my inner circle and though many of them walk with their head held high, none of them look like me. Seeing a slim or athletic woman strut into a room doesn’t have an impact on me.

But I was recently at a wedding where two of the women were around my size. They smiled. They danced. They owned every space they entered and it was intoxicating to witness. They did not tug at their clothes or walk around with their stomachs sucked in. They did not compare themselves to the women around them. It was evident that they loved every part of themselves and shined with a self-love that inspired me.

Being around them, leading up to the wedding and during the ceremony and reception, renewed my opinion of myself. As of today, I feel sexy. I feel pretty. I feel confident in knowing who I am, what I can do, and what I am bringing to every room and situation I find myself in.

This feeling is so FREEING and I cannot wait to see where this new attitude will lead me.

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Make Some Time

Just a friendly reminder, if you’re anything like me, you probably started scheduling your child’s summer back in April or May. We all want to make sure our babies make time for travel, playdates, trips to the zoo, etc. In making the schedule for my babies and trying to fill in every day or weekend I forgot one key element: MY HUSBAND!
I had to literally go back and factor in some date nights with the hubby and some family dates for all four of us. When I was a full-time stay at home mommy, I got so used to it just being me and the babies that I often forgot to invite the hubby on our excursions.
Remember to make time with your hubby and, at the bare minimum, have one date night a month. Sometimes, that date night can be a night on the town but other times it can just be playing a game of cards once the babies go to sleep.
That quality time is an essential part of a successful marriage.
This is a lesson I am still learning after almost six years of marriage and almost 16 years together.
At my baby shower for my oldest baby, my Godmother pulled me aside amidst all the gifts and games and baby advice to give me some advice of her own.
She said, “When your son gets here, don’t forget about daddy. Daddies tend to get lost and forgotten when a baby comes along.”
She was so right!
It’s far too easy to get caught up with the whole “mothering” thing. I make it a point to spend quality time with my babies by reading, cooking, or playing with them. And my big baby, aka my loving husband, needs to feel that love and attention from me as well.
So I’m making a point to make sure he feels just as loved and cherished as our babies do.

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Lord, Hear My Prayer

Ever since singer Ciara married NFL quarterback Russell Wilson, and mentioned that prayer was a huge factor, women everywhere have been begging her to divulge the particulars of the prayer.

A podcaster I listen to brought up a good point. She said that people are so focused on what exactly Ciara said in her prayer and less concerned about who she was praying to. Without a relationship with God, your prayers are moot.

My biggest irritation is that these women think that prayer is all there is to it. I want to believe that before Ciara sent up a prayer about the man she wanted, she first prayed that God would prepare her for what she wants.

Wanting a man, or a woman, that is kind, smart, beautiful, or whatever is a great goal to have. But if you are not in a place to receive that kind of person, then what’s the point?

In Ciara’s case, she was hurt and railroaded by someone she had planned to spend her life with. She had to pray for God to heal her heart and until she did that, she ran the risk of holding her new guy accountable for the last guy’s mistakes.

That’s a mistake a lot of us make when we jump into a new relationship or a new situation too quickly. It’s so easy to cry and scream to God about needing something new or better but God will not give you anything you are not ready for. That’s a wasted blessing.

Focus on praying for yourself before you fix your lips to ask for something or someone you aren’t ready for and will not appreciate.

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