Category Archives: Mommyhood

Loving this mommyhood journey

Let The Boys Be Boys!

Check out this great article by Celeste Brinson.  As a mom of two boys, I can absolutely relate:

Boys will be boys.

As simple as that might sound, it is the utter truth. Boys and girls are not the same: not physically, not psychologically, not even spiritually. The spirit of a little boy is a burning desire to touch, build, fix, destruct, fight, and love. My son is a co-sleeping snuggle bug who loves fiercely. He often gifts me with pine cones and other treasures, and he wipes my tears when I cry. He’s a gentleman.

And, he’s a rough and tumble little boy. He likes to play with sticks and rocks and throw things and splash water and push and be pushed and chase and tag and flip and flop. He’s loud. Sometimes his dinosaur roar even scares the little ones. And I know how people feel about his behavior because I see the way they look at him and me: as though we are wild criminals who have fled from an asylum just to come bother their perfectly-behaved child. Like it or not, those perfectly-behaved children are most often little girls. Comparing a girl to a boy is like comparing an orange to a shoe. Just don’t. Save your time; there is absolutely no point.

Continue reading at: A Plea of Boyhood and Rough Play

It’s All About The Team

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#TeamFleming

I’ve seen things this week that break my heart.  Kids … with no respect or regard for their own lives, let alone anyone else’s.  Reckless, lawless, gutless behavior.  They seem to feel bold and courageous, when in reality they are cowardly and their actions ignorant.  I believe in a lot of cases these kids want to be a part of something … anything.   And when parenting doesn’t provide the needed input, when an adult doesn’t model a positive example, when they don’t feel a part of something worthwhile …. they fall apart.

We have to realize the importance of all people, and especially young people, with being a part of a team.  A team does so many things for you.  It . . .

  • Gives you a sense of belonging
  • Provides a sense of importance
  • Lets you know you are cared for and loved
  • Helps establish a stronger sense of self-esteem
When you have nothing to identify with …
  • You are more susceptible to fall into negative identification (gangs, violent groups, cults)
  • You don’t care about yourself, because you think no one else does
  • You don’t feel loved or supported
Parents, caregivers, teachers, aunts, uncles, grandparents – this is where our youth are lacking today.  This is why they are hurting.  They don’t feel a part of any positive team.  So they turn to negativity where they can “belong” and be a part of something, even if it is harmful.  Please turn off the TV, put away your cell phone, schedule one less meeting, decline a lunch date.  Instead, eat dinner at home, see them off in the morning, hug and kiss your young one, tell them how much they mean to you, do an activity that THEY want to do – not one convenient to your schedule.  And PAY ATTENTION to them.  Every time you think of buying them a gift because you missed an event or couldn’t be there, get them the greatest gift you can give instead – YOUR TIME.
Everyone wants to be a part of a team.  The team your kid identifies with is up to you.
#TeamFleming

Champion Kids Nuggets – Train Them Up

Group of Friends Smiling

The Bible talks about the importance of parents training kids up according to the Word of God. Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go. And when he is old he will not depart from it.” I love the admonition of putting the Word of God into our children, so that it takes root in their hearts, and remains to guide their lives. However, I believe that this verse is talking about more than just teaching our kids scripture. I believe it is speaking of training them up in every facet of life.

We need to be training them up to be business-minded entrepreneurs. We ought to be training up our children to have a strong work ethic, not an entitlement “gimme what’s mine” attitude. We should be training up compassionate, giving children; children that care about the world around them and are willing to work to make a positive difference. We must train children who are goal-oriented and focused; children who understand the importance of education not merely for the sake of good grades and memorization, but for the sake of knowledge because knowledge is power.

Take the time to train up your children in the way they should go.

 

How to Start Homeschooling – Do You Really ….

Homeschool #1
Yeah for me!  I am delving into my second year as a Homeschool mom.  Year one had it all – drama, intrigue, comedy, horror …. okay, maybe not quite ALL, but it was a fun year full of adventure, growing to understand my boys, learning tons about me, and falling even more in love with them in the process.
Today, I want to just dispel a few myths about Homeschooling that made it scary for me.  See, I thought about homeschooling years before I actually tried it.  But I let other people – with no homeschool experience, may I add – persuade me, that for a variety of reasons, I couldn’t do it.  Nothing could have been further from the truth.  I think anyone who truly has the desire, is willing to put in the work, and is up to exercising true patience, can do it.  Speaking from experience, it can happen.
So here’s to killing a few sacred cows.
MYTH #1:  I can’t just “teach” all day.  I mean, what do you really do all day?
You don’t just “teach” all day, if your definition of teaching is having your child sit behind a desk while you instruct, in a typical school-type fashion.  You do teach all day, however, if you make it fun – read in the living room, play a game to review geography, let your child read on the back porch.  You have to open your mind to see school as more than just sitting behind a desk.  And as for the all day part …. the number of hours you spend learning and involved in academics depends a lot on the age of your child, as well as your child’s temperament and learning style.  I happen to have a kid that would spend all day reading and doing worksheets if I let him.  But we’ll dive more into that later.
MYTH #2:  I wasn’t very good in (whatever subject).  Can I really teach in that area?
There are scores … and scores … and scores of curriculum choices available to homeschool.  Some are very regimented and will give you lesson plans, guidance and instruction every step of the way.  If you feel really lacking in a particular area, maybe you consider that type of curriculum.  Or maybe you supplement through classes with a local co-op, or look into online/virtual programs.  Do you know another mom gifted in that area?  Maybe you share teaching skills for each other’s children.  There’s no limit to the possibilities.  Science is just not my strong point.  I felt like I could have done a better job last year for my Science-enthused son.  So this year, I’m ordering a complete experiment kit, plugging into our homeschool group, and doing a second science (yes, two).  That’s his interest, he will be self-guided in a lot of ways, and I’m letting him go for it!  And praying it turns out well in the process.
MYTH #3: My kids won’t be able to socialize with other kids.  Do they really still make friends?
Now this one is touchy for a lot of established homeschoolers.  I now understand why.  There are so many ways for your child to be involved in social activities …. from co-ops, sports, church, competitions, play dates, and the list goes on.  However, i cannot invalidate this question.  Because we did have trouble with the social part last year.  You see, my son came out of a traditional school setting.  So he was accustomed to seeing, and playing with, his friends every single day.  It took adjustment for him … and for me.  However, I became a social magnet, and put a lot of work into placing him in settings where he would interact with other kids.  I saw the most amazing thing happen.  He came out of his shell, and opened up socially.  I was proud of him.  He grew a lot as a person.  So it’s right to be concerned about social, but in the sense of knowing there is work both you and your child may need to do to assure that part of their life is properly fed.
MYTH #4:  I have to work, to make a living.  Are you really able to homeschool your child and work?
I am a freelance writer, social media evaluator, and a homeschool mom.  I have to schedule interviews, attend events, and still juggle schooling.  I’m here to tell you it can be done.  Even if you work outside of the home, it can be done.  Keep in mind your homeschool might not look like everyone else’s – and that’s okay!  The key will be to structure your lives in a way that works for you.  As mom/chief teacher, you will be required to be organized in your life so you can smoothly steer the ship.  You’ll have to plan lessons in advance, gather materials, prep supplies.  You may have to take advantage of online learning options.  I know some families who’ve had Dad do some teaching during the day, and mom come in and finish at night.  You’ll have to find what works for you.  But it can be done.
I will continue to blog about How to Start Homeschooling.  But at this point, just know that if you are considering it, if maybe God has been tugging on your heart to take on this noble calling, or school circumstances for your child dictate the need for it, then you CAN do it!  Stay tuned….

I Watched His Profile

Blog - Profile

 

I Watched His Profile

 

As he walked so big and tall

No hand to hold, like when he was small

He’s proud and confident, strong and secure

With each step, his walk is sure

 

I Watched His Profile

 

Curious, inquisitive and full of wonder

I longed to hold him, like when he was younger

My little baby is a baby no more

They grow up so fast.  For me, he holds the door.

 

I Watched His Profile

 

This should get easier, when you say goodbye

Sports events, camps, what’s that tear in my eye?

He no longer lingers, so ready to go

I’ve done well, I know it.  I just miss him so…

 

I Watched His Profile

It’s No Accident

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My little boys and I were cracking up at a vintage episode of The Cosby Show. Before I could get to the remote to fast forward, a commercial break, complete with a woman pulling off her clothes, filled the screen.

My boys and I were out on errands and heard a song with a great beat in the store. Next thing I know, the boys are asking me the meaning of words they have no business hearing.

We’ve taught our boys that there are certain words they do not say (the closest a kid can come to swearing without saying the actual word.) So imagine my surprise when my 8-year-old son showed me the words in one of his favorite kids’ books.

Parents, we’ve got our work cut out for us.

– See more at:   “It’s No Accident” via Gospel Today

Freedom from Addiction

Overcoming an addiction of any type is never easy. You always hear that the first step is to admit that you have a problem. I couldn’t agree more.

Hi. My name is LaKeisha, and I’m addicted to being busy. I don’t know how to relax, enjoy spare time, or not multi-task. Help!

I’d say that’s a pretty good admission.

In my last blog, I said I’d tell you how I am making steps to overcome my addiction. That’s exactly what I’m doing – making steps. It doesn’t happen overnight. And boy, is it not easy! I can’t tell you how many times in just a few short weeks, I’ve been tempted to just add one more thing to the calendar, or swing past this event (really quickly of course), or stop by this happening. I realize that resisting my own self imposed pressure to “just keep going” is going to be harder than any external force could put in place.

Blog - freedom-307791_640

 

So how am I doing it? Here goes ….

First, I’m putting myself on a schedule. I will put in set times for homeschool, set times for writing, set times to have fun with my husband, set times to enjoy the kids, and set times to relax. To some of you, a schedule might sound like more stress. But as a person who likes structure and wants to stick something in every spare moment, making myself take several hours or a day to relax is necessary. At least at this stage of the game.

Next, I am cutting down my to-do list. My lists were epic. I could have twenty items on a to-do list, all of which I expected to accomplish after a full day of homeschooling, making dinner, spending time with the family, and getting everyone off to bed. I’m laughing now – it’s insane, really, that I operated like that. Trying to keep each day to five items, max. I’ve already broken my rule several times, but at least the boundary is there, to reel me back in.

Third, I am really focusing on prayer and devotional time. I have to remember that God created rest! It’s something that’s good, beneficial and necessary for us. As I stay focused on Him and His Word, I find it easier to remember what’s important, and why.

Which brings me to my next point. I’m doing a better job of prioritizing. I’ve always thought organizing and putting things in order is one of my strengths. Well now I’ve turned it up several notches, because I have to prioritize my top priorities, if only five are going to make it on the list. This is really hard. But the more I do it, the better I’m becoming at succeeding.

And the all important learning to say no! When I first started blogging, my first blog was devoted to learning to say no, so I didn’t destroy myself and my family with my craziness. I learned that lesson, and proceeded to undo all I’d learned by getting crazy busy again. So, this also has to be turned up a notch. I’ll be saying no to several good things. It doesn’t mean I don’t love you, it doesn’t mean I don’t want the best for my kids, it doesn’t mean I don’t want my husband to succeed. And it sure doesn’t mean I don’t want success! But everything just can’t get done. Not humanly possible. So that’s that.

Lastly, it is one step at a time! Seriously. So I added too many things to my to-do list today. Okay, breathe. Be patient. Start over. Tomorrow’s a new day. Man, before I knew it, that “yes” to accept that invitation was out of my mouth. I should have said no. It happens. Regroup. Do better next time.

Here’s to victory. And staying free. One “no” at a time.

My Addiction Got Too Big To Handle Alone

BLOG - Drowning - Addiction

I have an addiction that I’ve dealt with for years. I’ve fostered it, denied it, admitted it, thought I’d moved past it, only to sink right back into it again. It’s affected my marriage, my family and several friendships, not to mention my own well-being. It’s a quiet addiction; many people face it and don’t even realize it, or are still in denial. But I’ve passed that point. After weeks of being too dizzy to see straight, being nauseous, horrible to deal with, and not knowing whether I was coming or going, I’ve decided to face this thing, head on.

Hi. My name is LaKeisha, and I’m addicted to being busy.

I’m seeing your blank stare right now. Being busy? Is that all? Big deal. After all, who isn’t busy these days? Multi-tasking is now an art form. For some people, it’s a badge of honor to see who is the busiest, almost a game of one-upmanship. “You think you’re busy? You wouldn’t believe my schedule,” they say.

I used to be that person. I loved that people always thought I was “on my grind”, always “about the hustle”, making things happen, making moves, making strides. I was that go-to person when you wanted something done. And I was busy doing it. It felt great.

After having my first son, I continued in my get’er done lifestyle, while also seeking opportunities for him. Now this is where it gets really interesting. I started to realize that I had a problem with always wanting to be busy, and was missing out on valuable time with my little boy. So I started turning down film and TV production projects. Started focusing more on him. Started slowing down. Briefly. Ever so briefly.

Why? Because I started getting him involved in projects, in events, pursuing interests. You like to spell? I’ll find every spelling bee out there. You want to help people? Let’s do it, larger than life. Basketball, soccer, guitar? Sounds great, let’s go for all of them. Oh, and entering other academic competitions? No sweat, I’m on it. Researched, found, entered.

And I was the volunteer queen. Room mom at school, check. Helping out at church. Check. Neighborhood board member. Check.

Now in and of themselves, there is nothing wrong with any of these things. In fact, it should be a parent’s heart to want to help their child develop all of the talents and gifts God has given to him. And if you know anything about me, I go hard for my kids. For my hubby. Real hard. Anything they aspire to do or want to be, I throw my all into making it happen.

The issue became when I couldn’t find myself anymore, because I was so deep in being busy helping everyone else. And that, coupled with my own pursuits, had taken me to a place where I no longer wanted to be. I didn’t find enjoyment in anything I was doing. I just wanted to finish each thing, so I could be on to the next. I always had my to-do list in mind. If I had a spare inch of breathing room, time to reflect, actually enjoy my children, or rest, I was filling the time.

Blog - Chain Break - Addiction

I heard my body. You’re breaking.  You’re doing too much, slow down, you’re getting sick, get some rest. And I did. Long enough to get well. A quick break to recover. Then back to over-committing, suffocating, drowning, in a sea of to-do lists, and crossed out items; many of which I can’t even remember.

It was a maddening, frenetic way to live. And I wanted no more of it. I’d had enough.

Stay tuned for how I am finally making steps to overcome my addiction.

Working Mom … You Pulled What Out of that Purse?

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It’s the big moment you’ve been waiting for. The CEO of the company you want to work for just spoke at a networking event. You’re about to cross her path, and can’t wait to meet her. Next thing you know, you’re in front of her. It’s natural, organic, not forced. She likes your ideas, she says, and would love to talk more. Then, the kill … she asks for your business card! Though you know you grabbed the big “mom” purse – you know, the one you take on play dates and field trips – instead of the cute “business” purse, you take comfort in knowing that you’ll definitely have business cards in there. But your short-lived euphoria turns to sinking dread.

You go in your purse for a business card, and instead pull out …. (take your pick):

Legos, Goldfish, Pampers’ baby wipes, anything half-eaten, crayons, kids’ meal coupons, an Octonauts action figure, American Girl doll clothes, bubble gum, pictures of your kids, pictures of you and your kids, a permission slip, or even lipstick . . . but no business card. You do have the days-old napkin you used to wipe ketchup off the car seat, though. And the crayon is red, so you’d be able to read her number and email …. Ah, look her up on Linked In, she says. Okay. Suffice to say, you didn’t land that job.

I know the feeling, working momma . . . you never know what’s coming out of that purse.