Tips on Beating Those Co-Parenting Holiday Blues for Single Moms

Do you share holidays? Feeling lost without the kids? I’ll be giving you suggestions on how to handle those  tough holidays when the kids are with the other parent. Don’t worry your momma heart will get through it!

the-automobile

10 Tips On Finding Your Rhythm As A Single Mom

Find Your Rhythm Through the Waves

Find Your Rhythm Through the Waves

Do you have a groove? I have a groove and it isn’t my awesome dance moves :) it’s my rhythm as a single mom. I found my rhythm and it works for me, but it didn’t come without some trial and error. Finding your groove takes time, practice and the ability to think outside the box, but your life runs so much smoother when you do, doesn’t it?

Today, I want to give you 10 Tips that may help you find your rhythm as a single mom and make life a little easier.

  1. Spend Time With God. Nothing, nothing, nothing made a bigger difference in my life than strengthening my relationship with God and spending time in the word and prayer. He is your partner, so go to Him every day and let God be your number one priority.
  2. Get Organized. You don’t have to be all OCD, but a little organization in your life will help you keep your head above water. There are different areas of your life that need to be organized, so start out with the one that seems to give you the most headaches. If it is your house, start a plan to organize it in a way that works for you. Then practice maintaining it by creating boundaries for you and the kids. Put systems in place that will make your day go smoother. Write lists, put up a central calendar with everyone’s activities and appointments, put a meal plan together, whatever will make your life smoother do it.
  3. Create Your Community. You need your people! It’s important to have good, reliable and kind people in your life. Reach out and create a community! Don’t go it alone. It’s important to have a support group and to be a support to others. Don’t be afraid to reach out because I can bet you some mom out there is needing you as much as you need her.
  4. Don’t Run on Overload. You are one person don’t try to be everything to everyone it doesn’t work. Know your priorities, don’t feel bad about saying  no, and know your limits. Saying yes to everything all the time will exhaust you and leave you feeling resentful. Evaluate what is important to you and spend your energy in the appropriate places.
  5. Don’t Compare Yourself. Comparisons are the devil. When you start comparing yourself you lose focus on your blessings. You lose the gratitude for all that God has done for you and instead you spend time wishing for a situation that isn’t yours. I’ve seen this time and again with single moms comparing themselves to other families and not believing their family is whole. Your family is as whole as you believe it to be, don’t allow your perception of others to form your reality. Listen, focus on creating the life you want for you and your family and do it!
  6. Keep Your Dreams Alive.Before you were a mom you had a life. You still have a life and it is enriched by your beautiful children, but don’t forget about the desires of your heart either. Go for your dreams! Be a role mode for your kids by teaching them to be tenacious in doing what they love.
  7. Stop Complaining About Your Ex. Listen, things happen, people get hurt and relationships end. All of it is hard. But, at some point you either make peace with your situation or you live in a state of conflict. This can be a long, arduous and painful process, but complaining doesn’t resolve anything it only keeps the hurt alive and leaves you angry and bitter. You are so much better than that! Take action, be an adult and remember what momma said, “if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say nothing at all.” Keeping the strife going  isn’t healthy and keeps you stuck. Also don’t get sucked into friendships with other single moms who make it their life’s mission to complain about their ex because it becomes contagious! Know when to move on.
  8. Communicate With Your Children’s Father. Communication is key and not always easy, but if you want your children to have the best life they can in this scenario then it is key. Follow the schedule, communicate about activities, and allow flexibility when it can be accommodated.  Everyone’s life will be better.
  9. Take Care of Yourself. Everything falls on your shoulders, but if you aren’t physically, mentally and emotionally healthy everything will fall apart. Ladies, take care of yourself. Eat well, exercise, and rest. Your kids need you more than anything so make loving yourself a priority and you will take care of everyone else by doing so.
  10. Think Outside the Box. When I become a single mom I started seriously thinking about how I wanted my life to look. My heart wanted to be at home. So, I started looking for telecommuting positions. Most people didn’t think it would work, but 3 contracts in and 3 years later it is working. Working at home has posed its own challenges, but I’m happier and I’m content with my lifestyle. Create the life you want and don’t allow anyone to discourage you on the journey. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and try new ways that work for you.

Well, there are my tips! I hope you groove your way through this journey and find the rhythm that makes your life work for you!

3 Ways To Allow The Scab From Your Ex to Heal

scab

When I talk to single moms one of the topics that never fails to arise is… the father of their children. Unfortunately, once the subject is broached there usually follows a tirade of emotion. I get it. I’ve been there and it isn’t easy. But, these conversations always makes me think about the healing process and what a complicated and delicate journey it is to heal from a divorce or separation especially when a child is involved. It’s interesting, I’ve spoken to women who have been divorced for years and as soon as the ex-factor comes up it is like they are transported back into time and can recall every single terrible thing they went through. It isn’t surprising because ties are ties and when a trust is broken or violated it sticks with us like a scar and if we start  picking at that scar or scab that old wound just starts bleeding again. How often do you pick at your ex-scab?

My daughter has a ton of scabs from playing, falling and Lord knows what else from school. There are three things I tell her to do with a scab:

  1. Clean It
  2. Don’t Pick at It
  3. Let it Heal

This is not a bad way to deal with our scabs from the father of our children. How you say? Well, let’s break it down.

  1. Clean It- This has more to do with you then him. There comes a point when you have to come clean. Take responsibility for your part, be accountable. When we start the purifying process it takes us looking back, laying it on the table honestly, asking for forgiveness for our own actions and asking God to grant us a pure heart and mind when it comes to this relationship. When you clean yourself from all the dirt, grime, and residue left behind then your attitude changes. Remember it really does begin with you. This isn’t an easy process it may take years but it will give you freedom. When we leave a wound unclean it gets infected and can spread. Stop it from spreading and infecting the other areas of your life with your family and even the possibility of love again.
  2. Don’t Pick at It- What is it about scabs that make them so tempting to pick? Just when that wound is being covered and trying to grow a new skin we want to dig away at it? When we constantly rehash the past and pick apart every bit of that relationship, every argument, every hurt we take away the ability for our wounds to heal. We don’t give that new skin a chance because we keep ripping it off and it keeps bleeding. There comes a point where you have to accept that you fell, you got hurt, but then you have to get up and heal. If you want to have any type of cordial relationship with your ex stop picking at the wound between the two of you. This is hard. But, you have a choice you can either live bleeding and injured or you can live healed with a scar that fades more and more every day.
  3. Let it Heal-Have you ever heard people say that you need to let your scab breathe? Give yourself time to breathe. Don’t expect your scar to disappear in a few days or even a few months. But, take off the band aid, run, play, enjoy life and breathe in all that is good and exhale all that doesn’t serve you. Be kind, be compassionate, be gentle with your injury and take care of yourself and allow time for healing. You and your family deserve it!

We’re going to get lots of bruise on the bumpy road of life, but if we know how to take care of them we can move forward a little easier. Wishing you a healing today!

Ladies Inspiration Day in MD with Speaker Isabelle Williamson

 

If you live in the Metro DC area you won’t want to miss the Ladies Inspiration Day this Saturday from 9 AM-1 PM at University Park Church of Christ. It will be a fun day full of fellowship. I happen to personally know the speaker Isabelle Williamson who is just a truly gifted and dynamic presenter who really speaks into women’s hearts. You will love her delivery, her message, and her humor! The topic is, “Stay Calm and Serve.” In our busy lives and hurried society that we live in I think this topic is right on time for so many of us.

Registration and breakfast start at 8:00 AM. Hope you can make it you will definitely be blessed!

The Address is:

6420 Adelphi Road Hyattsville, MD 20782

*Childcare is available all the more reason to come!

3 Principles For Making Wise Decisions

 

Wisdom Begins Here

Wisdom Begins Here

One of my goals as a mom is to teach my daughter how to make wise choices.Our choices come with consequences…good and bad…long and short-term and our choices determine to some degree how we are going to live our life. I cringe when I think about some of the choices in my past and if I could go back and change some of them I would, especially those that effected other people negatively. The bible tells us we need to train our children and a significant part of that training is guiding them on how to make wise choices. There are 3 principles that I try to live by and to instill in my 9-year-old as she begins to navigate through the many choices she’ll eventually have to make regardless of how big or small.

1) Pray: All wise choices begin with prayer. James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom he should ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault and it will be given to him.” It is so comforting to know that God wants to give us the wisdom we need and he isn’t stingy about it! He gives generously. So we need to ask generously. If we made our first stop God and not Facebook or even a friend we could make choices that were based in his will. Too often we don’t turn to God until after we already made a choice was made and we need God to clean up the mess. Pray is essential in making wise choices.

2) Ask Yourself, Is This a Wise Decision: Is this choice scripturally correct? Does this decision go against God’s word? Does this choice lead to sin?If it does it isn’t a wise decision.  2 Timothy 3:16 states, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” So we can trust that scripture is truth and God intended for the scriptures to guide us in making choices, for teaching and training. Dig into the scriptures, it is a blueprint for our life.

 

3) Think About the Consequences: Some consequences are life long. When you make a decision try to envision how this choice will effect you 5 or 10 years from now. Are the consequences positive or negative?Will they enrich your life or diminish it? How will the consequences effect those around you? Are you able to live with  the consequences? James 1: 15 “Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and sin when it is full grown gives birth to death.” One poor choice often leads to another poor choice that keeps us in bondage. The consequences for unwise choices can literally lead to physical death or worse a spiritual death.

Making unwise choices is a recipe for disaster, but if we use these 3 ingredients we can cook up a delicious life. One that is rooted in the principles of Christ and the freedom that comes through the wisdom that he freely and generously gives each one of us. 

3 Simple Things You Can Do to Reduce Stress

flowerss1

I don’t know about you, but when I’m stressed it affects every area of my life. I become impatient, anxious and even angry. Usually when we’re stressed the ones closest us receive the brunt of our wrath causing hurt feelings and a lot of regret. Stress isn’t a necessary part of life and you don’t have to succumb to choices that result in anxiety ridden days!

Here are 3 Simple Things You Can Do to Reduce Stress:

  1. Say No: It really is that simple, just say no. No to stress, no to taking on one more thing, no to an overcrowded schedule, no to yet another volunteer request, no to working on the weekends, no to a friend who you love dearly but zaps your energy, no to being perfect, no to anything that increases your stress levels. Are you thinking, “I just can’t say no, people depend on me!’ Dear friend, I have learned that when you say no you are taking care of yourself so that you be your best you. So when you say yes it won’t be with resentment but with sincere pleasure. Remember no isn’t a bad word, it is often a necessary reprieve.
  2. Don’t be Easily Offended: How often have you been stressed because someone has offended you? Maybe the offense was small or maybe it was downright egregious, but regardless of the size it hurt and it caused you stress. Maybe someone was laying on the horn behind you and that one stressful encounter ruins your whole day, ask yourself was it worth it? You can count on people offending you not just strangers but even those we are in close relationship with can ruffle our feathers. Can you imagine how much smoother life would be if we weren’t so easily offended? Learning how to let offenses go especially the petty ones will do wonders for your soul and stress levels! I’m not saying suppress your feelings, but use discernment and pick your battles wisely.
  3. Take a Daily Time Out: A few minutes of quiet time quiets your mind. Don’t apologize for taking the time to unwind. When you block out all the junk and sit in stillness you squash stress. Make it a goal to do some self exploration on what quiets your heart and mind and do it every day.

Be intentional about these 3 simple steps and reduce the stress that creeps into your life! Oh and as always pray and spend time with God! Get back to happy!

Send Love…

flowersa1

Yesterday the world lost a treasure…Dr. Wayne Dyer. Dr. Dyer encouraged his readers to go beyond their self-imposed limitations to believe in miracles, love, and transformation. Many years ago when I was facing a difficult transition I came across Dr. Dyer’s books that touched me in a very real way. One particular book, “You’ll See it When You Believe It,” was particularly meaningful to me. He wrote about his father, an abusive alcoholic who left his family when he was a young boy. He grew up never knowing his father and his mother and siblings struggled immensely trying to survive. His father died and after some time he was moved to find out more about him. He then writes of a series of amazing events that eventually lead him to the grave site of his father. What happens next is his decision to let go…to forgive. He speaks of letting go of all the disorder inside of him and instead of anger and resentment he decides to, ‘send him love, honestly send him love.’

When I read that passage I sobbed. It tugged at my heart because I knew the time had come for me to say goodbye, to forgive and to honestly send love to move forward. And I did. Was it is easy? No, but it was healing. Life in its most simple and complex terms is Love. We are commanded to love even when we aren’t loved back, even when our hearts have been ripped out of our chests, when we have been unfairly dismissed by those we trust, we are still called upon to, ‘honestly send love.’ 

I’ve unfortunately, found myself in this position more times than I care to admit. It leaves me hurt, angry, and confused but I’m reminded that each relationship in my life has a very special purpose and journey. I’m to allow it to flow and not force it to go outside of a path than that of its course. But, regardless of the course I am to send love. 

Do you find yourself forcing a friendship or a relationship that has evolved and maybe even ran its course? Are you fighting to keep it alive when it can no longer be resuscitated? What can you do? Let go. Realize that you were part of their path and they were a part of your journey and honor it for it’s worth. If forgiveness is in order than give it freely, but free yourself and the other by sending love…real, pure, honest love. In love there is no failure, no anger, no hurt instead there is gratitude. Gratitude for the shared moments, the life lessons learned and contribution to your journey.

Today, I send love and I hope you do as well.

10 Ways I Supercharge My Day

I love to take a time out to smell the roses!

I love a take time out to smell the roses!

Some days are better than others, but I try to be grateful for each one because I’m blessed to be alive! Check Out 10 Ways I Supercharge My Day!

  1. Get Dressed: Duh right? Of course you get dressed. But, I telecommute and summers can get lazy with me in my jammies way into the afternoon! Getting dressed is a simple way to get my day going and I don’t feel like a slob.
  2. Spend Time in Scripture and Pray: This is essential. I pray throughout the day, they may not be long prayers, but it doesn’t matter I’m in communication with God and it keeps me mindful and grateful for his presence. I try to read scripture usually in the morning and before I go to bed.
  3. Write a To Do List: One of my other must do in the morning is drink coffee! While, I’m getting my cup of Joe in I try to jot down a task list for the day, this helps me keep on track and I’m a nerd I get super excited when I cross off an item!
  4. Make my Bed: It’s a quick fix and a dose of accomplishment and hey bottom line is we all need those, right? Those quick little tasks that I can finish quickly always give me a boost.
  5. Find Time to Exercise: I struggle with exercising in the summer just because my schedule is different, but I try to at least get into crunches, arm weights, and resistance bands which usually takes about 15-20 minutes.
  6. Drink Water and Take a Multivitamin: If I don’t stay hydrated I get really sluggish so drinking enough water and taking a vitamin is a must do every day.
  7. Say I Love You: All we need is love right? I spend time  giving lots of I love you’s to my daughter and I talk to my mom every day which is such good medicine for my heart.
  8. Take a Time Out: Taking a breather from everything make me so much happier! Even if it is for 10-15 minutes that alone time with no distractions helps me to rejuvenate and not be so crabby.
  9. Focus on Gratitude: I’m being intentional about finding at least one thing that I am grateful for each day and spend time focusing on that blessing. It makes all the yucky stuff seem a little less annoying.
  10. Maintenance: Throughout the day I try to remember that maintenance saves me time. So I try to take a few minutes to tidy up around the house or do a few things that will make my weekly schedule less hectic.