I am / You Are / We are more than just a stay at home mom.

My husband always says I’m more than just a stay at home mom & he appreciates me and that I’m a good wife & mother to our children.  So it got me thinking.  Because honestly in past times when someone would ask me, “what do you do for a living?”  I’d kinda timidly say, “Oh I’m just a stay at home mom or homemaker” unknown that I was demeaning my role.  After some thinking tonight, I’ve come to the conclusion that I took my own role for granted.  I’m much more than just a stay at home mom or homemaker.  If I was paid for ALL I do, I think I’d be much wealthier than I actually am presently.

Being a mom & a wife has given me experience to wear many hats & fulfill different titles.

Bookkeeper

Personal Advisor

Therapist

Financial Advisor

Cable Technician

Publicist

Tutor

Teacher

Physical Trainer

Live in Nanny

Maid

Painter

Instructor

Activist and Advocate

Founder

CEO

Language Intrepreter

Manager

Supervisor

Musician

Singer (I can’t sing)

Gamer

Movie Critic

Plumber

Mechanic

Chaueffer

Mental Health Expert

Lawyer

Driver Instructor

Comedian

Spiritual Mentor

Personal Banker

Payroll Clerk

Administrative Assistant

Receptionist

Answering Service

Stockbroker

Investment Broker

Fashion Designer

Personal Shopper

Personal Chef

Housekeeper

Seamstress

Leader

Team Captain

Accountant

Crisis counselor

Medic

Nurse

Uber driver

Door Dash driver

Librarian

Cheerleader

Life coach

And an expert in Pig Sty’s

I have become all these under the role of being a wife and mom.  And I believe other parents might agree for their role.  I value my roles and my lived experiences because they’ve only given me knowledge, wisdom and much understanding.  All these and so many more unlisted, are in relation to different stages of life and learning “on the job” training, rolling with the punches, and continuing to put on and take off many different “hats” as I live on.

Thanks for being here once again. And for following my articles.

Continue reading “I am / You Are / We are more than just a stay at home mom.”

An amazing night for my son! #Hope #Inspired

Gotta love my son’s energy & enthusiasm. Be sure to click the links within the article and you’ll see the video clips.

This passed Wednesday I received a last minute phone call, unexpected while I was watching t.v. It was the coach from specialized recreation activities center and he asked, “Hey, what are you guys doing tomorrow night?” I hesitated and slowly said, “Umm, nothing really, why what’s up?” He said, “I have a really unique opportunity for Erik and you guys to go to a baseball game.”

Initially I thought the coach was going to say he needed my son to fill in as a team player for something. But then he mentioned baseball but had minimal information for me. He said another coworker of his would be contacting me with the details.

Long story short, the coworker called me and asked for my permission to give my number to someone else who would call me with even more details.

I have to admit we are not the “baseball” family but we have gone to a couple minor league games before. And I admit I grew up around baseball, softball my entire childhood because my dad and mom played, so I know the game well. Just not a fan of the sport, maybe because I was forced to go to every single game, tournament and travel for them too as a kid.

Anyways. So I got the call from the person in charge of this unique opportunity and he explained that he is with a non-profit organization called “Sons of baseball” and they host families with developmental disabilities or life-threatening illnesses. Their mission is to provide a unique opportunity to give a great experience, all expenses paid and to make it a special event for the child with the disability or life-threatening illness. And he said my family and my son, came highly recommended and selected by someone he reached out to.

My son arriving at the stadium. Shaking hands with their media guy.

Initially we were told by the coach, that it would probably be a meet up time around 530ish in the evening. So that would be doable. But it was actually 3pm. So what did this mean for us?

I would pick up my son from school early because he needed time to come home and complete his daily routine, eat his snack and do everything he normally does after school. I was hoping for the best possible outcome. But I’ll be honest, I was uncertain and I was prepared to leave before game time since the game wouldn’t start until 705pm.

I have to get straight to the good stuff. Not only did my son do SOOOOO good, he managed to make it from 3pm until 1030pm when the game ended, and he truly enjoyed himself thoroughly. He even surprised us by working through his sensory issues of the fireworks that were lit off with every home run. Of course, I went prepared, I brought his music ear buds and his noise reduction headphones to put over those. There was even an unexpected fire evacuation and he was a trooper, and didn’t freak out. It was Star Wars night so initially when the alarm sounded, we all thought it was a sound effect from Star Wars but it wasn’t. And we had just gotten food and sat down to eat when this occurred so there was many unexpected challenges through the evening and I have to say I was so proud of his growth and this evening proved to be another milestone for his development and maturity.

My son with his personalized jersey before entering the gate.

Had this been a few years back, we would not have lasted for more than an hour and either the fire alarm and especially the fireworks would have scared him to the point of having tunnel vision and demanding to leave, while screaming bloody murder, but he didn’t! Not to mention, my husband was expected to be able to ride with us to the event, but got off work later and met us there. So usually my son, would become impatient and demand to have us both present and have a tantrum, but he was so well behaved.

He received royal treatment. Tony Parks is the man who was the host and his sister. These two were amazing and genuinely passionate about their involvement. I could tell their heart was in it and not just going thru the motions.

They made sure we were comfortable at all times. Erik was given a baseball to have the players sign, unlimited concessions, got to go out on the field before the game, sit in the dugout, meet the players, and we were all given personalized jerseys sized to fit each of us. We were given the tour of the stadium and the media room. He was also honored on their streaming baseball channel. The most memorable moment of the evening, the announcer mentioned all our names and also thanked Erik for being there, and my son replied with a very loud, “YOUR WELCOME, YOUR WELCOME!” I gotta love this kid!

On the field while the players warmed up.

This was the most amazing eventful day. And it showed me that prayer does work, my long years of not giving up on his developmental issues has paid off and Erik proved me to remain hopeful for his growth and future development. This would not have happened had it not been for the Sons of baseball organization and Tony Parks, his sister Tiersa and the person who recommended our family. It felt good to be honored and to just have others doing something nice for my son.

Tony, Erik, Tiersa. After the game was done. Proud moment. We made it!

I shared all the details to hopefully spark some hope inside another mom who has been thru the daily struggles of raising a child with special healthcare or mental health challenges or both. Never give up hope! What doesn’t happen today, might happen tomorrow. Just because its not now, doesn’t mean it will never happen for your child. Celebrate the smallest achievements.

Blessings to you!

Living with purpose. #AbleNotTheLabel

See the able, NOT the label!

This is my son, His name is Erik. He was just a baby here, he is now nearly 17 and able!

My son far left, with his teammates.

Yes he has developmental delays but he is living his life just as anyone else would. Able and capable to try new things everyday. He has overcome many obstacles.

My son at his dance class

My son at cooking class, washing dishes.

My son working out with my husband, his dad.

For those other parents who might feel hopeless. Don’t give up on hope. It can get better with time, patience, prayer, hope, and support. And to think 17 years ago, he died twice, was on life support, suffered seizures, and doctors didnt give him much chance of survival! Well we proved them wrong! And he isn’t a vegetable either, like they said he would be. We were told he would probably never talk, walk, or be able to eat normally. To God be the glory!

Keep hope, stand on your faith, and stay encouraged, even when the clouds are dark and the news is bad. The outcome is better than where it all starts.

Live with purpose.

Thank you for being here.

From bitter to better. Moving Forward without you. #Truths #Stigma #MentalHealth

If I can be honest. If I’m allowed to express my truths. If I can tell others how it feels to experience those chapters of my life when my youngest son died twice in my arms on two separate occasions, when he was discovered to have significant developmental delays.  When my oldest son experienced anxiety, depression, and was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder. When my youngest daughter experienced severe depression that it lead her into a mental break and also had a seizure, and diagnosed with Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy.  When our world was flipped upside down and the people who we thought would be there, weren’t and the people we didn’t expect to show support, did.  When the trust became broken, when the pain became very unbearable, when we were thrown into the fiery furnace, when I had to quit my job once again, when I had no support from the ones I expected, when life became at a halt, when people said hurtful things, when people gave advice that wasn’t relevant to me, when people thought we didn’t need help but we did, when our faith in God was tested, tried and ridiculed, when people who I thought were my friends, suddenly became “busy”, when there was no one else but God, when prayer didn’t seem to work, when my light became dimmed, when I couldn’t see my way through, when doubt began to set in, when I got tired of being misunderstood, when I got weary, when I felt at my weakest, when our lives changed, when the wind blew everything our way.  WHEN my older daughter and mom treated the rest of us like we had “evil spirits” or what we were dealing with was contagious and could spread to them!

First and foremost to Jesus Christ who is my Lord and Savior, I thank Him for being my strength when I’m weak. For being my one and only consistency. For being my only hope in the midst of bad news. For being my peace when things became chaotic. For keeping me in my right mind, while everything and others were against me. For allowing me to see clearly just WHO to dismiss from my life and WHO to keep around. To realize that blood isn’t what bonds me to another, but it’s the sacrifices of love from others that withstand any genetic makeup.

Secondly, I have to honor my husband, who is my ride or die kind of guy. He is my biggest supporter, best friend, lover, companion, secret keeper, and cheerleader.

And to my children who have stuck around. The ones who supported each other, who overcame, who loved on one another, who fought together, who learned forbearance, kindness, patience, compassion, and who have always respected and honored my role as their mom, caregiver, voice of reason, annoying advice, correction, and views on life. I love you.

What I want others to know, is that my journey has not been “the dream” that I used to envision as a little girl who wanted a family. But it has been different and full of life lessons about love, forbearance, patience, anger, frustrations, family, compassion, empathy, sympathy, truth, honesty, fairness, division, strife, and how to move forward.

The trauma that my children have suffered has me on edge most days. What they may not comprehend is this. Just as their lives have been impacted, changed, not the same, and challenged, so has my own, as their mom, as myself, as a human. I too, have to learn to move forward, to survive in the aftermath of the traumatic events of our past.

For example, every time I’m away from home, running errands, on a date with my hubby and I hear a siren or I see first responders with flashing lights speed past me, my mind goes to thinking I need to hurry up and get back home to my kids. I begin to wonder if their okay. My moment of free time and enjoyment gets overshadowed by thoughts from my past. So now while I’m suppose to be enjoying my free time, my thoughts and conversation becomes consumed with the topics that exhaust me at other times. There is so much more little things that I am hypersensitive about now, like the tv shows I watch I feel as though I’m on eggshells if one of them comes to sit down. Especially if it’s a scene about depression or other familiar topics that they have experienced, so then I change the channel.

Things I want to express to people who hurt me. You became just like those who stigmatize and demonize people who live with a mental illness. You said very hurtful words that have caused damage beyond repair. You have been allowed to inflict pain in my life one too many times. You have now been dismissed. You have now become a chapter in my book. You are a thing of my past and will likely not be involved in my future. As for reconciling, that ship has sailed.

What I want you to know is: My love and my life cannot be brought. I don’t want your money. I don’t want you around me, when you truly feel a certain kind of way about me and my children. I don’t like being used, manipulated, persuaded by guilt. I value myself more than you see me as worth. I will no longer tolerate willfull ignorance. I am better without you. I can accept your apology but this doesn’t mean I want you around. I have forgave you not because you deserve it, but to forgive myself for being fooled everytime. I needed your love and support in the most trying times and you chose not to be around, stating you were busy. I will no longer make you a priority. I’m making myself a priority. I want no dealings with you. Family or not! I’m moving toward becoming a better me without you. I have no ill feelings and I wish you the best in life.

The truths, I have found more love, support, guidance, direction, instruction, correction, hope, inspiration, motivation from people on the outside than I have from some of my own family!

One positive thing I can grab from the bad moments in my life is that, while I was over here suffering, forbearing, battling, warring, praying, fasting, believing for better days to come, God was strengthening me, he was revealing to me the heavy weights, the people who caused me the most pain, the most stress, the ones who I had ALWAYS been there for, would drop what I was doing and come running to their aid, he showed me that when it was my time of need, these same people were no where to be found. He showed me who was only here by their own convenience, their own motive, their own selfish gain, and only when things were good.

I’m over you and I deserve better for my own self. I will no longer put an emphasis on the people who don’t, didn’t, or won’t support me. Instead my focus is on the people who did, do and will support me in both trying times and good moments. Because for my own self care I don’t need to keep being a lifeline for others when I could hardly breathe myself. There came a time when I was broken and in need of fixing. I was once weak but God sustained me and he strengthened me. I was running on empty with nothing more to give.

I needed someone to pour back into me. I needed a shoulder to lean on. I needed someone to pick me up. I needed you to see that I’m prone to becoming weak too. I’m not always strong. Don’t get me wrong, don’t get it twisted, I realize and I can understand every body deals with their own turmoil, struggles, hardships but it’s when I knew you were just choosing to not come around, choosing not to be supportive, choosing not to answer my call for help, choosing to avoid or ignore me, and to these same people who I had ALWAYS came running to rescue, sometimes in the most inconvenient times for myself, or interrupting my sleep hours, and yet I got nothing but dead air in return. So I get it for those who had their own obligations, but for my own family to treat me/us like this!? You get the picture. Time for me to let it go.

My picture of self-care. What do you do in any life threatening emergency situation? If a plane is going down, you put your own oxygen mask on first and then help others.

Before you enter a burning building you put on your own proper fireproof gear so you can effectively attempt to rescue others.

Self care is important. I hurted a little while but I’ve moved on. I’ve found that I’m better without the toxicity that some people brought with them. I’m working toward becoming a better me. I learned through all this, that I cannot expect others to understand what they either can’t understand or refuse to learn to accept. I won’t continue to waste my good energy on people who refuse to change. I won’t drain myself to empty while I continue to keep them filled up. I can’t afford to lose myself in someone else’s story anymore. Instead I’m sharing, writing, and telling my own!

So basically I said all that to say this, For all the times you didn’t call me back, didn’t respond to texts, pulled a no show, didn’t come through, said you were busy, and yet I gave you understanding. Just know when I don’t call back, I don’t respond, and I no longer come running to your aid, and I’m NOT busy, you’ll understand too! You’ll figure it out without me.(wink) 😉

Thanks again for listening and for allowing me to be candid. Thank you for respecting my journey. I hope to inspire the readers to make themselves a priority for once, and to do whatever is necessary for you own self care. I know I speak for others as I speak for myself. Please take care of YOU!

Have a blessed day.

Mental Health First Aid #MentalHealthMatters #EndTheStigma #MentalHealthAwareness

I cannot stress enough how much everyone’s Mental Health is just as IMPORTANT as their physical health.

And knowing what to do during a mental health crisis, is necessary. What to do, what to say, what not to say, how to help, what actions to take, how to identify the type of crisis and treatment needed. Would you know where to turn for help, who to call, where to start, what to expect?

My husband and I took a mental health first aid training class. I have to say that being a mom of a child with bipolar disorder and a child that has had a psychotic break due to stress, this training was not only accurate, but informative, educational and eye opening.

There was even an exercise that the class did to attempt to give the idea of just how challenging and difficult it can be for an individual while experiencing psychosis. This really hit home for us, because although we don’t have mental illness ourselves, nor can we truly say this exercise exemplified what an individual actually goes through while in psychosis, it gave enough of the significant examples of how the mind is challenged to try and concentrate on outside things, conversations, ability to focus, while hearing auditory hallucinations at the exact moment that so many other things are going on at the same time. It hit home because we witnessed our children suffer through psychosis and it was admittingly so, a very difficult and extremely hard period of time to work through. All I can say, is register today and educate yourself.

It would be wonderful if it was priority to EVERY person, especially those in the line of work such as, first responders and public educators. EVERY parent, sibling, just EVERYONE.

It would be life-changing if we as a whole could END THE STIGMA that surrounds mental health. And if we could invest our time and money into finding a cure for these brain disorders. If we could look at them as medical illnesses and not just something to be dismissed and isolated.

Change is necessary. Mental illnesses are brain disorders in my own opinion. Mental illnesses don’t discriminate, they impact whomever they want, wherever they are, and without prejudice of a person’s religion, belief, gender, race, culture, weight. Mental health organizations lack in funding and this has to change!

The harsh truth is that people don’t support what hasn’t impacted their lives. People won’t support what they can’t understand. People only jump on board once their lives have been touched, my plead, is PLEASE don’t wait to be in a mental health crisis to finally get training, education, facts.

If you were experiencing cardiac arrest, and you flatlined wouldn’t you hope and want someone around you to call for help and perform CPR and do it properly? Allowing you the chance to be resuscitated and getting you help in those first few crucial moments?! Don’t wait to be in crisis, be prepared.

Thanks for listening! Remember mental health matters! Self care is important. End the stigma, educate yourself. I hope to change the way you see mental illness. Everyone has a journey, and their own walk of life. This is just a small part of mine. This is my experience, my views, my own opinions, my own plead for change. I’m NOT a doctor, NOT a mental health professional, but I AM A MOM AND ADVOCATE who has walked in my own shoes. I’m writing about what I know to be my truth, and not about what I saw in the media or what I heard 3rd party from someone else. Again thanks for being here!

It’s called a mutual understanding. #MentalHealth #Stigma #AngryPhase #MovingOn

I ask myself. Am I wrong for feeling this way?

Since some of my own family & those who claimed to be a friend, has chosen not to be here in times of crisis and a need for emotional support, but instead has decided to “demonize & stigmatize” because suddenly mental health disorders have impacted my children. You know what, they can kick rocks!

It sickens me to know that family who share the same blood & people who said they were a true friend, have the audacity to act this way! It’s bad enough fighting against stigma from outsiders! This moment in my life was here to expose who’s real and who’s fake. If you couldn’t be here in the most significant times, don’t bother coming back around when things are going great! Like right now!

MOVING FORWARD…

Thank you for allowing me to vent today! And for the continued support. I hope I didn’t offend anyone. However, I’m confident I’m not the only one in this boat. Have a blessed day!