Back to School. Well kinda…

I have been known to make lemonade out of lemons, but honey I’m going to make frosted lemonade out of lemons this time. I’m talking whipped crème and cherries on top for a hot sunny day. You know why? Because that is what moms do (claps as I say each word)! Anyways, I wanted to share with you what I am doing to make this a successful virtual school year. I know there will be many challenges, but I am prepared for the ride.  

Here are a few of my tips…

Create a virtual space

I created Heaven and Jeremey Jr. separate learning spaces. I made sure the spaces were outside of their rooms so that they can focus. These areas are only reserved for learning. I tried to make sure that they have everything they need for school and to keep it cute and colorful like a classroom environment.


Meal Prep

Breakfast, lunch, dinner and 300 snacks. The food part is going to be something else. I have created menus and started meal preparation so that mornings will not be so stressful. I am using any meal services that I can such as: Hello Fresh, Blue Apron and ordering my groceries via Instacart. I am fixing breakfast the night before  and accepting any suggestions. The kids school would prefer that they do not eat during their Zoom lessons so that should cut down on the snack intake. So kiddies, use your school stomachs, HA!

Time

Time is of the essence and school will function as normal. The kids need to resume to their regular bedtime schedules. This means go to bed EARLY. I will try to be as consistent as I can, but shifting from Summer vacation to back to school is always challenging in the beginning. Especially, since we are still technically at home. Still I am trying to keep the kids focused. Help them to remember to be signed on and stay on task all day just as they would at school.  

Keep Communication Open

Explain to the kids the expectations and show them how to use their resources was my first goal last week. This week was to get on board with baby daddy, teachers and staff. Remember to communicate with the your partner, husband, co-parent, guardians, teachers, etc.  Hell, I am even having a talk with Apollo telling him that he needs to keep his barking to a minimum. LOL  I will also be communicating with my co-workers due to disruptions and mandatory school meetings. I will have to be present when it comes to my children’s learning as well as be successful at work. Days will be busy, but nothing runs smooth without communication.

Have Some Grace

Be patient and have some grace when it comes to the kids,  yourself and the school staff. Even damn technology because we know how that can be. Nothing will ever be perfect, but if we are a team it will all work out. Just remember not to be so hard on yourself or anyone else. Take breaks, take time off and laugh at the chaos. You got this!

Well its my babies first day, so please wish them good luck!

Do you Co-Parent with a Toxic Mom or Dad?

It’s unfortunate that coparenting is not always a happy time, regardless of the effort you put in. It is also very unfortunate that the mental well-being of a child can be severely impacted  when there is a parent or parents that refuses to work cooperatively because of bitterness, animosity or simply just personal issues. The court systems can’t always pinpoint mental imbalances such as borderline personality  disorder or narcissism. Which leaves children placed in circumstances that cause emotional trauma. Mom or dad may not look harmful on paper because of no criminal history, but mentally they are not always fit.

We all know mental deficiencies are harmful as well. The toxicity of a parent can be just as harmful as an absent parent, if not worse. Those parents spend time putting the child down to hurt the parent. Using the child as a way to gain power over the other parent. Unnecessary competition. Using miscommunication to keep distance between the child and other parent. Using new spouses as a way to create scenarios of jealousy. The unfortunate part is so many narcissistic and toxic parents behave as if they have done nothing wrong.  They refuse to acknowledge their behaviors. Most of them grew up with dysfunctional relationships with their parents so they are incapable of having a normal healthy one with their own children.

There are 3 things you must do. First, before you do those things remember that you are not crazy. Abusers, whether physically or mentally will always say you are overreacting or that there is something wrong with you. Ignore that!

1. The best thing to do when coparenting with a toxic person is to set your expectations realistically. Yes, normally coparenting with a normal parent will be better and better if the effort is put in on both sides. However, with a parent who refuses or has the mental inability to cooperate, there will rarely be compromise. Unless the compromise benefits them. Usually their main goal is to despite you. They don’t look at the benefit of the child it is all about them. Their mission is to destroy you publicly and how you view yourself because they think so low about their own self.

2. Secondly, focus on you. You will look crazy arguing with them because they will always try to twist your words or make simple requests into something bigger. Toxic parents are bitter beings who need help. You have to pray that they get the help they need, but focus on your parenting. Do not stress yourself arguing with them because it’s a no win.

3. Lastly, sit down and help to de-stress your child. Children will more than likely be stressed, confused or even hostile when they come back from parents that spew negative vibes. Allow your children to understand that they did nothing wrong. Let them vent any frustrations, but encourage them to keep being happy and doing the best that they can. Don’t talk down the parent. Encourage your child to see the good traits in their parent and set out prayer intentions for their relationship to strengthen and evolve. Good luck!!!

Virtual Learning vs Career Mom

I’m sitting in this Zoom meeting under the covers. For a minute the covers felt like an escape, as if they were sheltering me from something. I could hear my kids voices raising again and Apollo barking at the neighbors outside. I was going to yell and say for the hundredth time I was in a meeting but, f*ck it. The phone is on mute and the camera is shut off. I had nothing to say anyway. I was all out of words. My days were filled with words. Either at a Skype meeting for work, or instructing kids all day. Life had totally changed. I’m not going to say I am angry at the change, I’m just exhausted.

I scrolled down the call to see if  JR’s father had joined the call, just in case I dozed off he could fill me in. Once I saw his name, I felt a sigh of relief. I had trouble focusing the whole day. My mind had been on new opportunities at work, grad school, this entanglement I was involved in and finally this whole adjustment to virtual learning. My mind was so full that I had a minor migraine kicking in. I rested my eyes so that I could ease the anxiety and prevent myself from scrolling on some social media network.

I had to let go a little. I wanted to look at the meeting from a bubble bath, but I had a phobia that my camera would mysteriously turn on. Suddenly boobs and booty all on the camera. That didn’t seem like a great way to meet my kids teachers, especially being a new parent and all.

I poured a glass of wine and closed my eyes again, but I was slightly startled when I heard the Director of the school speak loudly in the phone. She was about to give us information on how we were to adjust to this virtual learning. Prepping parents to step up to the plate and make sure we got our children on board to be motivated. We were to help our children learn like normal. To act as if they are in class, even though they would be at home looking at their Chromebook screens. We had to establish routines, normalcy.

Meanwhile, I was taking the information in,  but thinking look lady I love this talk about preparation, I am all for it. I thought I was the Queen of prepared, but honestly these days I am just trying to make it through the day. I can’t say that I am scared or upset about the virtual leaning, but I have my concerns. This new way of life is very hard on parents of all walks of life, but being a career mom, my whole life has shifted.

On one hand, it is awesome. I get to spend more time with my kids and save money. This transition allows me to be more hands on with their learning experience. However, at the same time, breaks are far few in between. Due to the virus, most fieldtrips (which help with changing the scenery) are out of the question.   The kids have many days that they are unfocused and I have a ton of work. It is hard to focus between the kids and the my workload, so I end up working longer hours. Don’t forget that our employers still expect the same quality of work performance regardless of the situation. Plus, I have a major issue with separating work and life balance as is, but now…

I guess at this point, there is nothing to it but to do it…

I’ll keep you posted.

~Tahnee Cole

 

SELF CARE IS… Not Blaming Yourself For Your Child’s Growing Pains.

Parenting is hard. Not only do you experiences changes in yourself, but you also have to deal with the changes within your children. One minute they are babies hanging on you boob, the next they are preteens going through puberty, acne, and those dreaded mood swings.

Self care is protecting your energy. We never think about protecting our energy when it comes to our children. Why? Because we think that we first and foremost have to protect them. That is true. However, that does not mean we are supposed to be their punching bag when they are stressed and going through changes. We are allowed to go away and protect ourselves from stress. It is not our fault.

We neglect our self care when we overcompensate or dwell on why our children are upset. Simply because we are blaming ourselves for situations beyond our control. Your child’s growing pains and the decisions they make, do not directly reflect the quality of your parenting.

We think of our children as a direct reflection of us, good or bad. That is not always true. Think about great parents who still raised serial killers. Were all of those parents horrible? I don’t think so. I will say that parents who do not show enough self care and compassion for themselves could possibly raise stressed out children turned adults. Just like parents who are workaholics may raise children who do not know how to put work down, go on vacation and enjoy life when they get older. On the flipside workaholics may even raise lazy kids who turn into adults who despise working.

A lack of self care can make you a bit of a maniac. And the examples we set can have major impact on our children’s perspectives and actions. Yet, being overly concerned for everything your child does to the point of exhaustion is no good for anyone. It is ok to be concerned, talk to your children, do your best to assist them in any trial they are facing. However, do not make it your fault!

Tahnee Cole

Helping My Kids Cope With Changes

Some days I obsess about how I am going to work through my work at home days. But lately, I have taken a moment to think about my kids and what they are going through. It was all fun in the beginning, staying home and not going to school. Summer breaks are fun and kids look forward to not having homework assignments. Yet, at some point they miss their teachers, their friends and their routine. As a busy mom, I had to take a second and talk to my children about these changes.

I want to help them cope even if they were not verbally letting me know…

Some days they communicated with their body language. Some days I could see the fear in their eyes that things were changing and not for the better.

Would they be stuck in the house forever?

Especially, my five year old. He will be starting his first year of school and it will not be a normal year. I have been looking forward to sending him off to Kindergarten, but unfortunately life is not the same. We are not even sure if he will be attending school or just doing virtual learning as of now. It seems that I will be opting for the virtual option.

Through this challenging time here are a few of tips I use to help my kids cope with the changes. They might help you and your family!

1.Talk it out– Talk to your children about what’s going on. Explain to them the dangers and the precautious. Even explain to them why you are deciding on virtual learning if you are selecting that option. Let them express how they feel. This is the time to put all concerns, frustrations and suggestions together to help the school year go as smooth as possible.

2. Try to keep it normal as possible- I am still buying my kids new backpacks and school supplies, regardless. Kids gets excited about new school supplies, backpacks and lunch boxes. Even if they stay home and learn virtually I still want to provide normality.

3. Let them know that it is ok to feel disappointed- We sometimes get upset with our kids when they get disappointed. Especially, when it directly relates to something out of our control. Why? Because we feel helpless. We don’t want to disappoint our kids, but we have to allow them to be upset. We have to show them coping methods to help them get through this.  This a battle that they have to deal with and life itself will have many obstacles, and they need to learn how to deal with disappointments. They also have to learn to adapt to change. Allowing them to feel will help them heal.

4. Stay connected- Let your kids Facetime their friends and teachers. Allow them to interact with people on the daily so they won’t feel isolated. It is scary to interact in person  because of the risk, but it is ok to find creative ways to keep your kids interacting with friends and family!

5. Keep it fun- Look up creative projects and plans, share them with your kids to keep them motivated about the school year. My latest project is to create a media center in my home, specifically for my children to work through their virtually learning. I will be showing that to you in the Fall!

I hope all parents are confident in whatever decision they make for educating their kids.  I wish you and your babies safety and many blessings for this school year!

Tahnee Cole

The kids are about to wake up…

I don’t know what was putting me off and out my zone more, the headboard hitting the wall or his loud mouth. Should I stick my panties in his mouth or just be done?

“What’s wrong?” He said catching my vibe

”We are getting too loud.” I said in the nicest tone possible.

Switching positions so he could catch the headboard, but nothing was changing. The squeaking of the bed, moans escaping my mouth and him doing what most men do, slap my ass and talk sh*t.

Luckily, since it is the summertime fans are blowing and the air conditioning is drowning out most of the noise.

That’s sex, that’s life. It’s all good until you are sexing a busy career mom like me who is thinking about the kids, what her work day is looking like the next day and when you are going to get off her.

I wanted it too, but the anxiety is present. This moment is supposed to be pure relaxation and pure ecstasy.

You would think that it would help that I am  looking at a fine man. This man delivering all this pleasure is tall, dark, handsome, tattoos, well-endowed, but here I am in mommy mode.

See, I have a thing about having sex with my kids in the house. Makes me feel ratchet, disrespectful, just flat out weird, but same time new man means new needs. It was all fun and games when the kids were away, but what about when he needs it and the kids are home???

It was one thing when it’s the kids dad, but another man felt weird. So many moms constantly suppress their needs, because obviously the kids come first.

I always want to set boundaries with how I am as a mother and woman in my home.

So here I am, can’t even let go because I’m scared any minute I’m going to hear a knock at the door. Especially, from my five year old who finds his way in my bed at 3 am on most mornings.
But mama gotta have a life too, Jodi. Mama is still young and wants to enjoy herself before she falls over.

It is amazing that sexual liberation becomes a distant dream. Not only because of the busy demand of being a career mom. The limitations of your sexy because you are a mom. The parts of your body that make you feel insecure post baby. Or even parts of your body that you no longer identify as sexual.  For example,  many moms see their breast as non sexual because they have been used for nourishment. I’m not going to lie I had an issue with my breast being touched after nursing two kids. It felt weird.

So in order to even gain a healthy outlook on sex, most moms have to look at it as a must, apart of self care and a vital part of life.

You deserve a sex life. You should enjoy your sex life. You just have to make it work. Be considerate of the needs of others, but also your needs and wants. Put your face in the pillow, turn the music up, but by all means get it in!! Especially before the kids wake up…

“Shit, we’ve been social distancing.” -Career Moms

It’s nothing new to me. I mean at one point I was getting together with one of my best college buddies for cocktails. Happy hour was the best thing to do, but that was after making arrangements for who would pick up or watch the kids, trying to sneak in quickies and getting stuck at work to finish up one last project. Then sometimes canceling and having to reschedule.

“Can you meet me at The Cheesecake Factory?” Those words were like,  “you’ve just won a millions dollars”!!  I mean let me not exaggerate, but getting together with my adult friends is so necessary. My other professional mom friends especially. They feel me. They understand when I have to cancel at the last minute and they understand me when I cry during our tipsy girls night out. They get my exhaustion. They relate to the love I have for my family and my babies, but they also understand when I am f*cking tired.

I absolutely love being a mom, but I am human. There are times that I just want to be free. No meals on heels. No teaching. No referee moments. Just me sliding down a pole with my girls, drinking mimosas and being plain little me,Tahnee. The balance of still feeling like me is everything. No demand from work or home. That is the value of having a social life.

However, most moms don’t even know what that is. The strong roles of mom and career life makes it hard to see where personal and professional life begins and ends.

I was making it a habit to create a social life for 2020. It was my goal. Then the Coronavirus showed up like, “nah, heffa”!

 This pandemic has made something that was already damn near unachievable, a distant dream. The fear of never being able to be around your friends,  but to also be comfortable around them. I thought about my best friend who is a nurse. Would I go in to hug her like I usually do?  

Unfortunately, many moms are already distant from their social life. They have traded their wild nights for housework. The majority of our days when trying to get out with our friends or significant others depends on: finding reliable babysitters and getting on a schedule that is conducive to both parties. We have side hustles, varying schedules and our kids activities. In other words, we are just busy. 

What are we doing now? Well, just recently I have learned to get creative. I’ve been spending some time with my friends on Zoom. Interacting on social media via LIVES. More phone conversations versus texting. I’m getting closer to my mom tribe via Instagram. We are sharing recipes and DIYS to improve our homes. We are drinking Mimosas over Zoom and learning new skills like, gardening.

And as far as dating, Netflix and chill has gone to a whole different level, but it’s acceptable now.

Tahnee Cole

Preteen Fashion?

Yes, I am also a girl mom and honey, when I say I struggle with finding my baby girl summer clothes, that is an understatement.

I usually end up buying her a bunch of summer dresses, joggers, and biker leggings to wear under long tank tops.

Her style is still girly and cute, she isn’t looking for Cardi B type clothing. We love Cardi B over here, but Heaven is 12.

cardiI do not own rights to this photo

However, I feel as though shorts and tops now are so short. We basically shop everywhere and my go to stores are Childrens Place  and Justice .

Yet, it seems like whenever I am looking for shorts and cute summer tops, they are all not aged appropriate. The shorts are too short and the tops are way to cropped. The crop tops are cute, but I think they are a little too much for a twelve year old.

It is even harder as our girls gain more curves and it makes the outfits look even more revealing.

There was a shirt that Heaven wanted from Justice. I can tell by the look of it online that it will fit like a midriff, but it was super cute and bedazzled. I purchased it and we will have to see how it fits.

I figures to fix the belly being exposed too much, I will pair it with a cute matching tank top under.

I will update you when the shirt arrives.

Are you struggling with finding your preteen clothing or your children in general?

jeremeyheavenschool
Outfits from Children’s Place

With #mommyhood it is never a boring day!

Tahnee Cole

 

7 things I learned being a WAHM (Work At Home Mom) + Homeschooling during the Pandemic

I’m not going to lie…

I have always felt that WAHM (work at home moms) and SAHM (stay at home moms), had it EASIER than moms who actually had to work outside of the home. Not easy, but EASIER.

Yes, there are definitely perks to not having to commute and being with your children all day. Especially, if you are a WAHM who is also homeschooling.

But I realized this is HARDT ( Yes, HARD with a T) LOL!

Let me tell you why I wrote this post. I am currently at home with my 12 year old (yes a preteen) , my preschooler and my puppy.  I am trying to create an accurate report for a conference call that I am facilitating. Not just a regular meeting, a meeting with Several Account Managers to discuss financial debt for a very high profile business. I manage a financial portfolio for 170 customers.

Meanwhile, I am telling my 4 year old son that he CANNOT have another popsicle ( it is his 4th one).

I am bargaining with him to be quiet, so I end up agreeing to buying him a PS5 (when it comes out). Just so he will sit down and work on his alphabets on his tablet quietly.

tablet JR

I have to WORK.

I have to be PRODUCTIVE

&

I still have to MOM!!

Our puppy Apollo joins in the chaos by whimpering. He’s pissed that I had to lock him in his crate for a few minutes to calm him down from his mid morning zoomies. Plus, I am yelling at my 12 year old to get up so she will not miss her Zoom lessons (currently all learning is virtual).

Yes, we are in the middle of a Pandemic and quarantine life, but either way this WAHM life is challenging.  I had a conversation with a homeschool/wahm and she said it takes major trial and error to get into a groove.

Aside from this being flat out challenging there are 7 things I have learned:

I HAVE TO SET LIMITS…

I have to set a schedule to complete all of my work duties instead of spacing everything out throughout the entire day. Simply because homeschooling and taking care of kids requires me to take more breaks, more often. Most nights I find myself working until 11pm to make sure I finish everything I want to complete during the work day. However, I still need to maintain work/life balance. So it is a must I create limits and boundaries to separate when I work and log off.

I MAY NOT BE THE MORNING PERSON I THOUGHT I WAS…

My mind is clearer, thoughts are together and creativity is flowing late in the day. Either it is just more peaceful in my home during the evening or I actually work better later. I am not sure yet. I do know that I have always been an early bird, so I have believed that I am more productive during early hours. But honestly, I feel I am way more alert and productive from afternoon to late evenings. It makes me wonder if I would be better working a later shift.

I EAT MORE AND I AIN’T MAD ABOUT THAT…

At work, I am not getting up to go into the kitchen all day.  I rarely pack myself anything when I go into the office. Working at home, I have access to the kitchen and I find myself eating more snacks throughout the day. However, I have been sticking to healthier choices and they actually feed my brain and help me function better. WAHM life has probably packed a few pounds on me.

I HAVE TO KEEP REMINDING MY KIDS THAT I HAVE A JOB TO DO…

Seeing mommy at home without her usual business attire has made my kids think we are on vacation. I have to remind them that yes I am at home, yes they can give me hugs and ask me questions, but at the same time they have to respect that I am working. They have to give me space to think and be quiet when I have meetings. I always give them a prep talk before conference calls. I also try to get things prepared so they don’t have to ask me many questions and I can focus. That means tablets powered up and loaded with activities.  Plus meals and snacks in reach.

PEOPLE ARE MORE FORGIVING THAN YOU THINK…

I thought people would be annoyed during a conference call/ video chat to see my 4 year old walk up and hand me something to open. But honestly, most people enjoy seeing the kids and encourage them to speak during the calls. I think people understand a lot more than you think they do. Many times we are harder on our situations that others are.

I”M NOT AS GOOD WITH MULTI-TASKING AS I THOUGHT

Trying to do everything at once puts me in a frenzy. It also makes me forget things that are important. Doing one thing at a time, while relying on my time management/ scheduling skills is the best way to tackle this new normal. Quality over quantity.

kid blog pic

I GOT TO BE A LITTLE MORE FORGIVING & RELAX…

I am learning to give myself and the kids grace. We are all dealing with a lot right now. Nothing is normal. So I let them have a cookie if they want, and I am ok about the house not looking perfect. Once, you realize that it is ok to just let things be and do your best, things will flow smoother.

I hope you enjoyed some of my learning lessons and can relate. As of now, stay healthy and safe.

XOXO

Tahnee COLE

 

Stupid Sh*t People Say to Career Moms

A lot of people look at the career mom as a Super- heroine. A lot of people make me laugh with their misconceptions and small mindedness.

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Many women are working outside of the home nowadays and maintaining lucrative careers.

Women are breadwinners and for many that is admirable. Women of today are being praised for duality and viewed as strong, resilient and examples of leadership. Slogans like, The future is her… is an example of the evolution of women.  Many of the most successful women also hold the title, “MOM”!

 However, there is a latter, and we know that no good deed goes unpunished, and no decisions comes without judgement.

The truth is, WE career moms are still ridiculed and talked about by others often. We are always asked how we balance everything, as if there is a definitive answer.  As soon as my child misbehaves in school I am blamed for my career taking top precedence in my life versus being a mother. We are accused of being selfish women, who are more concerned with our professional and monetary success instead of the well-being of our children.

The suggested well-being is for all moms to stay home and nurture their children ideally until they are able to attend school.

While I am for the idea of nurturing and spending time with your kids, I am sure that all moms would not benefit their child or themselves with this arrangement. Truth is, some moms work best when they get time away from their children to take care or fulfill their dreams. Is that selfish? Well that’s a personal opinion…

But how productive and how happy will a mom be if she spends days with her kids while feeling like she is neglecting her dreams financially and personally? Many women who do this often resent their life and sadly their children. With resentment comes triggers that may even cause mental health issues.

I made this post because I have been told some stupid things when found out I am a career mom and I’m honestly sick of the ignorance.

Below are 5 of the most stupid things I have heard and my response to the comments and questions.

1. Don’t you miss your kids?

Five words come to mind when I get asked this question, “you gotta be freaking kidding me!”  That is certainly a milder version of what is actually in my head. Honestly, what kind of question is that? Me being the smart ass I am, I usually say things like, “Absolutely not.”  Why wouldn’t I miss my kids and asking me does not make me feel any better. I am sure I am not the only mom to hear this foolery.

2. If you could have a million dollars, would you stay at home with your kids?

First of all, being at work does not always equate the need for money All career moms are not just money motivated. It may just be a personal desire of the mother to have a career. However, there are many moms who are concerned with financial compensation so obviously that is why they are working. If we had a million dollars we all would probably be making different choices but seriously…

3. Do you feel like someone else is raising your kids?

Of all the questions and comments this ranks high with disrespect. How dare could you compare raising, to me involving necessary helpful partners to accompanying me with my children’s development. First of all, it takes a village to raise a child and whether you like it or not, other sources will be necessary in the proper development of your child. Your child will need other people besides you at some point. Other perspectives and expertise to help them grow and be more multi-dimensional.

4. Do you feel bad when you miss out on events?

My first thought is: What makes you think I am missing out on all the events? Obviously, as a working parent there will be things that I miss. Honestly, I try to make as many events that I can. Me not showing up to support my kids is extremely rare. But seriously, no parent wants to be asked a question like that because the answer is pretty evident.

5. Do you feel like your kids would benefit better from you staying home vs working?

This question used to bother me a lot because growing up with a stay at home mom I could obviously see the benefits in how I was nurtured. It made me feel like I was slighting and depriving my children from a enriched life. However, I am learning to stop comparing my childhood and circumstances to my children. I also believe that whatever is best for my children will present itself and become our reality as long as I am aligned with my purpose.

With that being said, I hope all career moms understand you are not alone. People will support you and others will judge you. Keep going, you got this mama!

Tahnee Cole