Why I Stayed…

DV-Awareness-Month1

With all of the talk about Domestic Violence lately, I figured now is as good a time as any to tell my “Why I Stayed” story. I used to live in a shelter for abused women and their children. It was there that I learned how domestic violence encompasses not only physical abuse, but mental and sexual abuse as well. Before we get into that, let me give you a little history and show you how it may correlate to someone staying in a relationship that is no good for them.

I grew up in a dysfunctional home, much like the rest of the world, but I did not realize how dysfunctional it was until I got older and after I’d had a couple of children of my own. My father was in the Navy for most of my childhood. My mother was a stay-at-home mom but ended up working full-time, outside of the home, a few years before she and my dad divorced. Growing up I saw my parents argue and fight with each other and I always thought that was normal.

Sidenote: I think that kids should see their parents argue but I also feel that they should see them resolve their issues and make-up… I mean, how else can we teach them problem solving skills and to work with people who are different than they are, if they always think that everything is easy and the 2 most important people in their lives never have any issues???

The arguing quickly turned into physical fighting and, even as a child, I knew that this was not right. I saw my dad grab and hit my mother in ways that a man should never place his hands on a woman. I remember wanting to protect my mother, and actually trying to physically protect her a time or two, only to be slapped or knocked unconscious myself. I also remember, as my siblings and I got older, my younger brother and my dad physically fighting like they didn’t know and love each other. It appalls me to think that my father, being the adult and thought to be “mature one” in the matter, thought this was okay.

Continue reading Why I Stayed…

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The Hunger Games

Every battle begins with hunger. Whether it’s wealth, power or freedom…we are all hungry for something. Why does this matter? Well, because hunger tends to affect (and be the deciding factor) on the way that we think and behave. Majority of the areas that I am “hungry” in tend to center mostly around my children. There are very few things that I guess I really want for myself, solely. But, I guess that makes sense…right?

I go to a job, that I hate, 5 days a week and I spend time there, really doing nothing, just to earn the almighty dollar (literally, it’s not much). I get home and I am sometimes too tired to even do anything with my children but I suck it up and drive on. After cooking, cleaning, helping with homework – while also doing some homework myself, being the designated chauffeur to my children, getting dinner in their tummies, taking baths, brushing teeth, and bedtime stories, I honestly want to just go to bed and not wake up for a couple of days. But that’s not an option because who’s going to provide for my children, if I don’t?

So, I get up and do the same routine every single day and I must say that this has taught me a lot about myself. One thing that I have come to realize is that I am not super mom, or super woman for that matter, even if I want to be…it’s not happening! I am just a mom that loves her kids more than anything and am doing the best she can with what she has. And I have come to the conclusion that, that’s okay.

I would absolutely love to be able to quit my daytime job and spend that time doing what I love…what I’m passionate about…what I am hungry for. I am working my butt off right now, trying to get to a better place and space in this life so that I can possibly be the role model that I want my kids to follow. And even if I don’t end up ever getting a chance to truly live out my dreams, at least I’ll know that I tried. Okay, who am I kidding…that will never satisfy me! But I digress…

Maybe I’ll be this award winning author or have an awesome blog that everyone wants to read…maybe I will be the entrepreneur that takes great risks and amazing things will follow…maybe I will say something, record something or even write something that will “go viral” (lol) and take my life in a whole new direction. Maybe… I am hungry for change and hungry for something that I have never had and not absolutely sure how to even describe it but I’ll know it when I see it. For now, I am trying to be content in where I am in life but still working to get to where I want to be when this is all said and done.

So, what are you hungry for?

Intuition

Have you ever had a moment when you didn’t know why you were doing a particular thing but you knew you just had to do it? I was talking to a friend of mine earlier today and during the course of our 15-minute phone conversation, she happened to mention that she just had a feeling that she needed to go and see her mother yesterday. You see, she called me to let me know that her mother, who had always been like a mom to me as well, had passed this morning. It was pretty unexpected to say the least. After I got off of the phone with my girlfriend, I began to think about all the times that I have used the word and phrases that she kept using. Phrases like, “I had a feeling” and “Something told me to“. Sound familiar?

Over the course of the last couple of hours I began to put two-and-two together and something dawned on me…these experiences of being “spoken” to are not a coincidence and they are certainly not a fluke. I believe that this is one of the ways that God speaks to us and sometimes the way that He warns us of things that are to come. I mean, how many times have you yourself used this type of language when you found out that something tragic, expected or even unexpected has happened? I think we can agree that the old “intuition”, “gut feeling” and “something told me to” talk is pretty common among most of us.

What makes us not just say that “God told us to…” when we are speaking about a particular situation or speaking with certain people? Is it that we have just grown accustomed to saying this, instead of giving God the recognition and glory for warning us of what’s ahead? Or is it that we really don’t know that it was God speaking so, instead of saying it was God, we choose to be safe and use language such as this?

I don’t know. I understand that not everything that is “told” to us is divinely inspired – and yes, there are times when the devil speaks to us also (it’s called worry, fear and doubt) so we have to be able to discern whose voice we are really hearing – but I definitely believe that there is a God (a higher power or whatever you choose to call Him) and I believe that He speaks to us daily. I know that He loves us and wants the best for us. Do you think that He is offended by us saying that “Something told us” or “I had a feeling”? I don’t have an answer to this but I suppose He would probably like to be acknowledged for contributing to our safety and our lives in this way.

What do you think? Do you believe in a higher power? Do you think that God speaks to us? Or do you think that things like this are just a coincidence?

Please feel to continue the conversation in the COMMENT section below. And, if you LIKE this post, why not also SHARE it with others? 🙂

The Sky is the Limit…

I was watching Good Morning America and they had Shonda Rhimes and Judy Sheindlin on today. These women may be the epitome of success and may even be where some of us see ourselves in the future. Robin was given the honor of interviewing Shonda and, I must say, listening to her speak re-awoke something in me that I buried deep inside.

Now, for those of you that don’t happen to know who Shonda Rhimes is… I will tell you. Shonda is the creator of some of our favorite Thursday night television shows, to include, “Grey’s Anatomy”; “Scandal”; and her most recent one “How to Get Away with Murder”. This is one busy, and very talented, lady. Not only is she a successful writer but she is also a mom of 3 daughters. Talk about lucky…I wish I was a part of that clan. 🙂

During Shonda’s interview she said something that resonated with me and, my belief is that it will resonate with all of you, in some way. The question was asked, “Being a mom, how do you balance everything?” To which her response was, “There is sacrifice, much like with anything that we want in this life. I am a mom of 3 daughters and I feel very blessed and happy to know that I am in a position to show my daughters that nothing is impossible for women.” Wow! How simple, yet deep, all at once.

Many of us, as women and mothers, feel as though we have to compromise and many of us are not doing what we love to do, whether by choice or circumstance. What would it look like to do what we love and how would that affect not only our lives but our children and all those that come in contact with us?

Also, during the interview Shonda made mention to the fact that she had not been told “No” a lot of times. To which Robin responded, “This is what you were meant to do.” Meant to do? Think about that for a moment. There is almost a sense of regret in my spirit when I think about this however, “…life is not over ’til it’s over”, is something my grandma used to always say. So, there is still time to do what we love until we take our last breath. I don’t know about you but my goal is to be able to show my children that with hard work, focus, determination and Jesus…anything is possible.

If you’ve ever loved court t.v., like I did at one point, you may remember this next feisty lady, wife and mother, Judy Sheindlin, from the court show “Judge Judy”. She has written a new book entitled, “What Would Judy Say – Be the Hero of Your Own Story”.

The thing I love about her is that she is just so real and unapologetic about showing tough love. She takes control of her detsiny and that, in my opinion, is never wrong. What I remember the most about her interview, this morning, was some of the advice she gave. At one point she said, “Success builds confidence so find something you love and that you’re good at and find a way to make a living out of it.” Simple advice right? Yet probably not so simple to do, as most of us can probably attest to. It’s like they say, “If it’s so easy, most of us would be doing and living it”.

Are you starting to notice a theme here? I thought you would because I sure did. I challenge you to figure out what you’re good at, what you love doing and find a way to go and do it because remember, “…the sky is the limit…”.

Giving and Teaching

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and he’ll eat forever.”    

— Chinese Proverb

This may very well be one of my favorite quotes in the entire world of quotes. When I think about this a story comes to mind about my childhood. My grandmother, who practically raised me when my mom and dad divorced because my mom worked nights, used to always use random quotes to get her point across while she tried to teach us unruly kid something about life. One of the quotes that I heard her say was the quote mentioned here. I never quite knew what it meant but I guess I had a good idea, even at that time, and I definitely would find out later in life exactly what these words entailed.

I am the second oldest of 4 but I am the oldest daughter of my sister and I. One day, as I was playing outside on one of the hottest summer days of the summer of 1995, I heard the ice cream truck so I quickly ran into the house, where my grandmother was cooking and I asked her for some money so that I could get some ice cream. Being the awesome and loving grandmother that she was, she gave me some money and I went to the truck and got my ice cream. Little did I know, there was a lesson waiting to be taught and grandma was just about ready to teach it.

You see, this had been my third time that week asking her for money although she would give me money for doing chores and things around the house, I ran through that money like it was “growing on trees” (another fave of granny, lol). As many kids this age – I had just turned 10 years old at that time – I felt like my family was rich and if I asked them for something, they just HAD to give it to me because I was their “baby” and, on top of that, I was the “good” child. Oh, don’t tell me…you’ve never thought that way, right? I know… 🙂

So, one day, during this same week, I had come home from day camp and was, again, playing outside. It was another scorching hot day, and I am still not sure how I didn’t pass out from exhaustion or dehydration because I hated drinking water at that age. I heard the ice cream truck and what do you think happened?… Yes, you’re right… I ran inside to ask grandma for some money but this time my awesome and loving grandmother was prepared. Before I could get a full sentence out, I guess she knew I was coming to ask for the almighty dollar once again, she stopped me and said, “Baby girl, I am not giving you any more money.” You would have thought that I had seen a ghost, I was totally caught off guard by this. Grandma continued, “However, I will help you make some money and even buy some things to show you how to continue to make money on your own.” You see, grandma was trying to “teach me how to fish” and she did. It was in that moment when I truly realized what this old Chinese proverb had meant.

To make a long story short, grandma and I went to the store, I believe it was Sams Club, and bought almost all of the boxes of small bags of chips, juices, freeze pops, nacho chips, ground beef, jalapenos and nacho cheese. Grandma even cooked the ground beef and warmed the cheese for me to make the nachos and before long our house became known as the “Candy Store” and was where all of the kids (both young and old) came to get their goodies. That was the beginning of my little side business and I setup shop every summer from then on, until we moved from that area. The lesson that I learned that day was more valuable than I think I realized at that time and it is now what I attribute my entrepreneurial spirit to today.

So, join in the discussion…share your stories, favorite quotes, anything that has ushered you into becoming the person that you are today. I’d love to hear them and learn about you.

Happy reading!

Stay Phenomenal,

ReNewed Chick

Rewards to come…

I recently read a blog post from someone and it was speaking about how hard it is to raise a child alone. Well, I have 5 of them and I will be the first to tell you that yes, it is very hard…especially as you add more little ones to the mix but it can also be very rewarding and fulfilling and we can all get through it. Much like anything else that we may want in life, we have to work at this thing called ‘Parenting’. Though it will probably take all of our time, energy, sanity and money (what little some of us may have, lol) the rewards of a “job well done” are endless. That is the goal…it’s my goal anyway. To know and be told that I have done a exceptional job raising my children.

Along this road there will be (and, in my life, already have been) many mistakes, times when we just don’t get it right and failures. However, we can also expect to have many triumphs, victories and battles won. Not all of this is bad, and it’s definitely not impossible, but some days it may seem that way. Please know that you’re not alone in this feeling.

I absolutely hate it when I cannot be myself so can I be real with y’all? There is no perfect life and no perfect person, on this Earth, so please believe me when I tell you that I am not here to judge but to help lighten your load in any way that you will let me. I am not a perfect mother but I strive for perfection everyday. Much like you, I want my children to grow up and have good memories of their childhood and, most of all, I want them to have good memories of me. And, in my opinion, that means that I have to spend time with them and make an intentional effort to be more involved in their lives on a personal and emotional level than just on a physical and rule-rendering level.

Whether you’re a new mom, an expectant mom or a seasoned mom…you are not alone. Moms, from all stages and areas of life, are here to come alongside of you and help pick you up when you fall but are also here to cheer you on when you get it right. I would love to be able to be a part of your support system and continue on this journey with you. Whether you just need a friend to listen to you, a shoulder to cry on, advice on how to deal with divorce and the court system, work/life balance, fashion and outfit ideas, kid-friendly/budget-friendly recipes, dating advice, info on all things ‘baby’, info on raising multiples, or parenting advice on things to come in your and your child’s life…please know that I am here for you.

I would also love for you to be my support system because, as most moms find out within the first few days after having a child, I do not have it all together and I need help too! So, let’s get through this together and reap the fruits of our labor in the end. Looking forward to new beginnings with you!

Stay Fantastic and Be ReNewed 🙂

Signed,

A Fellow Single Mom

I got 10 on it…

Top of the morning to ya!

Ok, maybe it’s not the ‘top of the morning’ but you get the idea. And whoever came up with that phrase? Anyway, this is my 10th blog post on here and I am like super duper excited. I have always had a passion for writing and have always wanted to share my life story with the world, in some way, and now, with the take off of social media, this is much more able to happen. Yay!

So, what shall I talk about? Decisions, decisions… I guess it’s only right to start by introducing you to myself, since I totally didn’t do that at the beginning, so here goes. Well, I am a 29 year old divorced female and single mother of 5…yes, you heard right F-I-V-E, 5 little ones and like Michelle Duggar says, “Yes, I gave birth to every one of them.” 🙂

I love to write, sing, learn, I’m all about family, love kids (not just my own) and I’m one of the biggest movie buffs you will probably ever meet in this lifetime. Anywho, enough about me, let me tell you about my brood. They range in age from 10 years to 3 months old, at the moment, and there is a set of multiples in the middle. (Yes, I wonder how I keep my sanity too.)

I live in a rural/city/suburban area (ok, you probably can tell that I don’t exactly know how to describe my town at the moment lol) and I love/hate it. I am your typical woman, in the fact that I wear make-up to hide my blemishes, wear spanx to hide (and hold up) everything else and am leaking breast milk as we speak, while at work (more on that later) 🙂 but I am NOT your typical woman, in the fact that I am very competitive, always give people more chances than they probably deserve and tend to be extremely okay with the thought of being a submissive wife to whomever is to be my future (and final) husband (more on that subject later too).

So, anyway, there is obviously so much more about me than I have shared here but let’s continue down this road together and hopefully you will see all the things that I haven’t shared in this initial introduction post. Can’t wait to begin this journey with you. Be sure to tell all your friends and leave comments as you see fit. Thank you all in advance for joining me and ask me anything…I’m happy to answer your questions.

Until next time…

Stay fierce!