Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: Single Mom War Stories

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I can tell you first hand accounts of being young, with child, and single. I can tell you “war stories” from without and from within. It’s all in my book, Healing the Single Mother by Nicole Jackson. But, on this day, if you are a newly single mother of young children or teens, by way of divorce or NOT (I was not) I want you to know one day you will look back and realize, “This TOO HAS PASSED.”

All of your sleepless nights, tears (bottle up by the Creator), fears, mistakes, lessons, and heartaches/breaks, perhaps the lack of participation from the other parent, lack of respect from others, the statistics, will all pale in comparison to the child(ren) you are trying to raise into productive, respectful, law abiding, compassionate adults. One day, you will look at them in awe, in bewilderment, and wonder, “Who is this amazing person?”

If you are trying to instill morals and values into them be relentless at it. I hope you let them know it’s not okay to hate other people because of their race, gender, or sexual orientation or to mistreat people because of their occupation as the janitor or trash employee (which make a decent wage in some cities actually). Stress the importance of an education, higher learning, a trade, or being an entrepreneur. Talk to them about finances and good credit. Teach them how to learn from their mistakes and your mistakes. You know, you do make mistakes and it’s okay to let your children know that you are not perfect.

If you are doing something and it’s not working, it’s okay to try something different. What worked for us as children, or your parents, may not work for this generation. But what does work and will always work is spending quality time with your children without distractions. Game nights will always work. Listening to them, allowing them to express their feelings and thoughts always works. Discipline always works. Real life conversations will always work. Getting out in nature, the park, will always work. Loving them through the teenage years and hard knock lessons, will always work. Encouraging them, cheering them, correcting them, will always work. Saying no will always work even if they don’t like it or understand. Saying yes will always work. Being their perfectly, imperfect parent…will always work.

~Nikki

Parenting Young Adults: Ignoring Clear Instructions

 

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I bet you thought I was talking about the young adult? No, I was talking about the parent “ignoring clear instructions.” Today I was driving taking the long way home so that my college student and I could change the scenery and feel some fresh air. We had a discussion. After the discussion, I could sense she was thinking and feeling something. I asked what it was and she said she didn’t want to talk about it. I pried. She said I really don’t want to talk about it but…

She did. And she said I really don’t need any advice or support or encouragement. And what did I do? I did not try very hard to resist giving just that; advice, examples, support, etc.

Transitioning from parent to guide isn’t easy. Some parents never make the transition. I mean you are forever a parent but your role changes several times. As a parent we want to be more, less, or the same as our parent (s) were depending on our experience. Personally, I try to be there in ways my parents didn’t know how to be or in ways they didn’t understand were important. I learned today that I was doing something I don’t like done to me. Sometimes when I am in my thoughts and feelings, I just want to be there. She wanted to be “just be in her feelings and thoughts.”

This wasn’t a life changing, threatening, urgent, put on my Life Tour Guide moment, it was a “Oh. Okay. Let me turn on the radio or go to my own happy place and space” moment. Oh well, you live and learn in this PG (Parental Guidance) life. I’m just passing on a “take it or leave it” tip.

~Nikki

HELLO BEAUTIFUL and then what?

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After they tell you how beautiful you are, send you a billion messages, then what? Then nothing if they never take the time to see your true beauty that lies within. Then nothing if they take for granted your beautiful spirit. And definitely nothing if they abuse your beautiful heart.

~Nikki

Just standing here with my beautiful spirit…with my lamp and my oil.

The Separation of Self, Church, and Relationships

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I don’t know what I would I do if I were  married to a person that was not motivated or disciplined enough to achieve their dreams and goals. What if you wanted a better life and they were okay with just getting by? I would be so miserable in either situation. I have known marriages to break up over one not wanting to advance, while the other one did and I have seen another break up because one was content just getting by. I’ve seen hardworking men and lazy women, hardworking women and lazy men. I’ve also seen Churches command people to say in these marriages and I’ve seen people encourage others to stay in misery. I mean yes, try, try as many times as you can, get counseling, etc. but at what point do you walk away? I guess only YOU can be brave enough to make that decision and that is the way it should be. You should be able to make it without judgement and without guilt. You should have the support of friends, family, and your God. After all, God is like a Father and I wouldn’t think any loving, caring, father would want you to be miserable in any relationship. And just remember, back then and even now in some countries, women had no say in who they would marry. I don’t think that was of God either! I think it was more cultural than anything.

Well, what about those of us that are dating, in a relationship, living with a significant other? If you see they are not motivated or disciplined enough to pursue their dreams and goals how does that make you feel? Are you slowing down to be their 24/7 cheerleader? Are you doing things for them they could do for themselves? Filling out applications and calling to see if someone is hiring? Googling and researching how to start a repair shop? These are things they can DO FOR THEMSELVES. We can get so involved in helping others we neglect our own dreams, goals, and visions.

Listen, I am about to say something to those of you that are NOT  married. You need to continue to go after your dreams with all of your might and heart while you are not married. Especially, if you have a partner that seems to be lethargic. I mean if your fire doesn’t light their fire, if your encouragement is not enough, if your support and help is not enough, it never will be. I’d rather see manifestation before I say I do, than to see it after and the person lives off of my success. I don’t think there is enough love in the world for me to marry someone that wants to struggle, makes crazy decisions about finances, or that is unstable in employment. I guess in the past, I may have been so blind and so in love, I would have. BUT now that I am more mature and have a better understand of myself, I couldn’t. I wouldn’t. If it’s a strain NOW it will be a BURDEN later. The same stands for me spiritually. If I am in a spiritual place they are not in, if our souls are not aligned, I must say good-bye. I don’t have the time for them to play catch up at my age (44). I mean to be 3 miles behind is different than being 30 miles behind. Our ideals, hearts, minds, souls, have to line up somewhat, close I would think. Not perfectly, but certainly not miles and miles and ideals apart which leads to and unequally yoked environment. Personalities and temperaments matter! Comprehension levels and upbringing matters. Maturity levels matter! No relationship or marriage is easy or perfect and I get that. But, should I be sad, mad, 5 days out of 7? Should we be pretending to be okay at church, in front of friends,  and on social media?

I don’t know what the other person is going to do if they are not trying to build a stable life, live out there dreams, or grow. I just know that I have chosen to go forth, full steam ahead, making stops and slowing down to help those that are trying to help themselves as far as dreams and goals are concerned. I don’t want to be bound by Church to stay and I don’t want to be bound by a relationship. I have a right to peace and happiness. Contrary to popular belief, God does care about my peace of mind, my happiness, and what I am called to do. I don’t know if I will ever marry, I hope so. I want to. But, I would have to be 100% certain. In the meantime, I will continue to wait on Divine Intervention. 🙂

~Nikki

 

Sunday Morning Coffee Musing: A Castle of Peace

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It’s been my ritual to get up in the mornings before everyone (my daughter or when we are on vacation, friends and family) and to have my time to myself. I enjoy quiet mornings or time to myself when I may do what I am doing now. Blogging and watching CBS Sunday Morning before I go to church.

My mind is on a home of peace. I am quiet by nature. Although, I can get loud and talkative. I like having a good time and I understand that we all have ideas about a good time. I also know myself. I can be easily annoyed and I don’t really like loud noise. I understand as a parent and an aunt, children are loud. There is no question about that. However, even children should learn to tone it down and realize how their noise interferes with others’ peace or ability to hear, sleep, study, exist (lol), etc.

When dating or living with your mate (yeah I said that and yes I am Christian and what others do is really not my business), you want to be sure  you can tolerate your mate’s annoyances. You need to know if you can deal with their personality, their quirks and their habits. Do you know why? Because these are the things that disturb your peace and cause you to be annoyed.

We often take annoyances lightly as if they can’t affect the relationship. But, it is the little foxes that spoil the vine. These little things often come up in conversation and arguments. A messy mate, a mate that doesn’t help with household chores, a mate that is loud and obnoxious at the wrong time, a mate that only thinks about herself, a mate that nit picks and on and on. Some of these things are not small things like are you and your mate on the same level spiritually? What about drama? What about a mate that is childish? After you take off the rose colored glasses, what do you really see?

We don’t hear much these days the saying “A man’s home is his castle.” There are women with castles, estates, mansions, homes, condos, and town homes and apartments. You don’t rule alone if you have a mate or children. I am use to a house of peace. I have lived with and raised a daughter. Do I conform to a house of noise? What if it’s not in my nature? What if I am noise sensitive? I am. I also suffer with anxiety and depression. I think this has an impact on things as well. Your mental state is affected by a lack of peace in your life, home, job, relationships, which all of these things make up life! My mate learns to pipe down and I learn to tolerate a reasonable amount of noise or we can’t coexist. And if we can’t coexist, we can’t be together. There would be conflict daily. Sometimes, it’s a reality that needs to be faced, but some people hold on because they are afraid to be by themselves. I use to be like that. However, these days I like a castle with peace and occasional parties and noise is okay with me.

~Nikki

 

Sunday Morning Coffee Musing: Throw “That” Back

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What a week! Drama and Resolutions. Busy Mom, Sister, Daughter, and Auntie (which I always enjoy family), working on a project and just well, life. By the time Friday evening arrived I was exhausted and my legs (fibromyalgia) were giving me pure hell up until this morning. I finally have relief. This morning’s coffee musing is all about “throwing that back” and I don’t mean from the world of rap and hip hop where you shake your butt!

If something is not what you want or desire in your head, heart, and life then “throw that back.” If you are fishing and you pull up a shoe, I am sure you would either throw that back or recycle it. But trust me, the drama, the lies, the games, the people that want to stay sleep walking through life,  does not need to be recycled. Just throw all of that back. Back to the pits of hell or wherever it came from. If it arrives at your door unannounced then throw it back out. In fact, refuse to let it in. Once you realize that it is negative, a time waster, hurtful, then you need to get rid of it or neatly file it away under “not my problem.” We waste time on issues that people don’t want to resolve. We waste time on drama where people clearly enjoy drama and I say leave them to their drama and destruction and just be there to help pick up the pieces. You can not, CAN NOT,  help people that are:

1. Not telling you the whole truth and nothing but the truth

2. Love a life filled with hellishness

3. Don’t even know or care they have a problem

4. Just want attention

5. Don’t heed the advice give you

6. Have issues beyond your expertise

7. Liars and manipulators

8. Not ready for change

Now, if you find yourself getting into a funk about people and things out of your control(like I did this week), and it bothers your thoughts, throw all of that back. In my mind I picked up all the bull—- they brought or I went and got and put it back on their porch.

“Here ya go. Sorry I picked up this “crap.” I thought you needed help disposing of it but, I can clearly see this has turned into a crap slinging fest and it’s really messy. I don’t like messy.” -Nikki

 

 

The Sweet 16 Flashback, Flash Forward

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When I first found out I was pregnant, I was filled with fear. I didn’t know what to do. I was not married, the daughter of a pastor, and the father of the child broke up with me to be with his long time, off and on, high school sweetheart while my heart was shattered into a thousand pieces. I was in my mid twenties, making decent money, and free to change my mind, location, and clothes at a whim. My sister was the first one to know and the first one to support whatever decision I wanted to make. You see, the shame of being a single mother in the church and in the world, AND a black woman, was and is tremendous for some of us. Also, the double standards are real today just as much as they were 16 years ago. You know, women who have children out of wedlock are heavily criticized and penalized in the church and in society. The man goes scotch free pretty much to be promoted in the church and in the world. However, I found out my dad did not share the same view of the church as he told me “That’s my grandchild and we will do whatever we can to help you and the baby.” Also, through a prophesy a woman told me “God never made a mouth that he could not feed.” I am sure she sense my worry of provision.

I didn’t know the entire time I was carrying my child if I would have a boy or a girl. The second decision I made after deciding to keep my child was to arm myself with as much knowledge about being pregnant and parenting. I wanted to know all about the stages of a developing child during and after. I ate right M-Saturday noon and I had what I wanted Saturday evening and Sunday. I remember thinking, if something is wrong with my baby when he or she is born , I can have a clear conscious it was not my fault. It’s the same way I parent. Be strict when I need to, discipline if I need to, be flexible enough to try a different method if what I am doing is not working, education first, God is a must, admit when I am wrong, have fun, protect, loosen the rope of parenthood and give her more freedom at the appropriate time, be okay with her being mad at me, not understanding why I say no sometimes, because I have to be able to know I am doing the right thing and she will not like it or me all the time, but she will still love me and thank me later. Do all of that and more, so that when she flies the nest I can say, I did the VERY BEST I could.

So here we are at 16. She’s sleeping late like any teenager during spring break. Her room is messy. She’s a smart girl with good grades, a good heart, a funny child with a uncanny sense of humor, wise at times and naive at other times, you know….just a child growing up. She’s enjoyed her first trip to Atlanta, the World of Coca Cola, the Georgia Aquarium (saw a dolphin show), and shopped until “I” dropped. I gladly forked over my money, my family made accommodations and sacrifices to make the trip possible (as I am not working due to permanent health issues). I forgo my usual birthday plans happily (we share the same birthday month and our birthdays are three days apart) for her happiness and a memory of her Sweet 16 she will never forget.