Saving Money… DIY

I got up at 5:30 am. I took Apollo outside and then I had a craving for a frozen coffee at Dunkin. Oh, what I wouldn’t do for a frozen coffee. The memory of it made my mouth water. It soothed my tired soul and cheered me up. I felt like a prisoner to a new addiction. How did I even get this started? I was very disciplined at one point when it came to any caffeinated drink. I was that mom who did not drink caffeine while pregnant or breastfeeding. Now, I was suddenly depending on this drink to start my morning. And even though the drink is not super expensive, weekly trips add up. As I was working on my budget, I thought it would be funny to check my account and add up all the frozen coffees I had for a month.

65 dollars I said? Naw, this can’t be right. I went back and counted again. Yep, I was spending 65 dollars on coffee a month. And even though it is not much, compared to my salary, it was 65 dollars I could be saving.

Perhaps, I could make my own. Sure, it wouldn’t be like Dunkin, but it would be a great substitute. Plus, I would be saving money. I googled frozen coffee recipes and coffee smoothies. To my surprise I had all the ingredients in the kitchen. Coffee, ice cream, milk (almond milk), ice cubes and a mug. I put a table spoon of coffee, poured in a half cup of milk, two small scoops or ice cream and added a few pieces of ice. The texture looked very similar to what I had ordered at Dunkin.

Yeah right. I bet it will taste like crap, I thought before pouring the mixture in my mug.

I decided to put it in the freezer for a minute. I ran to the store and picked up a bottle of whipped cream. When I got back the mixture was a little frozen. I smiled because it looked so much like the little drink I ordered daily. I put the whipped cream on top and took a swig.

Wow, this was good. It tasted just like the drink I had been obsessing over. Hell, it might even taste better. I looked at the drink and remembered that I had plenty of ingredients left to make this treat daily. That would be 65 dollars I would be saving this month.

The moral of the story is: DIY. When you are saving for a goal, look up ways to do things yourself. You might just be pleased with the results. And if you get a chance, try this drink, its good!

-Tahnee Cole

After Work… Unwind

My music selection was Toni Braxton. Matter of fact, it was her latest featuring HER called “Gotta Move On”. How befitting to how I felt. I had cut off a man who I was on the verge of being in love with last week. He was an emotional liability. To be all the way honest, I am emotionally handicap. I can’t feel the way I use to. Nor, can I contain another persons insecurities while trying to reach my goals, survive during this pandemic and raise solid successful kids.

I needed a spiritual and physical detox.

I had my phone on low. Since my kids were away I couldn’t put it on do not disturb. I laid back in the tub and let the bubbles touch my ears. Candles lit, darkness and wine.

Just me, myself and I.

I had hit 35 and refused to settle for less. Inadequate relationships whether platonic or romantic, was a hell no for me. Hell, I wasn’t even eating anything that wasn’t bring me satisfaction. My expectations were high and I wasn’t letting that shit change for anything.

As I set back I thought, damn, I need to do this more often.

It felt good to relax. Of course my phone ranged. I glanced to make sure it wasn’t important. it wasn’t. I closed my eyes and drifted into relaxation again.

On most days I was moving around. Cooking and cleaning like a slave. Trying to make sure the house was blogger mom perfect. It felt damn good to unwind. I deserved it. I needed it. My mind, body and soul had been craving it. Why was it so difficult to put myself first? Why had I got to a point where I felt guilty about doing for me? Why was I so damn concerned about everyone’s needs, but my own? When it came to fulfilling my needs, I was hesitant.

All of these thoughts in the tub. To some people a simple bath is just a bath. To me it was as sacred as a baptism. The Most High provided us with water. Water is the most powerful force on earth. Being immersed in this water was providing me major healing. It was revealing to me how dehydrated I was. Not in a sense that my thirst was quenched. But that my physical body needed to unwind. To release. To replenish. To be fulfilled.

The need to unwind after work was definitely needed…

THE “BABY MAMA” SERIES: MENTAL HEALTH

Let me tell you the double standard…

I was talking to some coworkers about a story on the news. A dad was so stressed out that he came home killed his children and himself. As we discussed how sad it was a few of my co-workers started bashing the mother.

surprised

What type of mom let the dad have custody? She had to be a shitty mom for the dad to get custody. She knew his mental state!

And of course my favorite: If they were the mom, their kids would not have been with a dad like that.  

I listened before I gave them my 20 cents. I would say 2 cents, but yawl know that I am long-winded.

I started my speech with, ” But if she didn’t send the kids to their dad’s she would be considered a bitter baby mama or bitter bitch. Judged for depriving her kids from having a healthy connection and relationship with their father.”

So I guess its a lose, lose for this mom. She may have very well told the court system, police or even family that she seen some mental imbalance in her children’s father, but it is very hard to prove that in court. Especially, without a thorough medical diagnosis or a criminal history,

The baby mother is the most criticized stereotyped party in the baby making pair. I often hear people say things such as: She needs to get over it, and move on. Let that man see his kids. So does it truly matter the mental state the dad is in? And the audacity to give the dad a pass for his mental state; however, moms are expected to be strong despite their tribulations.

I can’t help but feel like every breakup where a baby mama is involved,  it turns into a bash party. So if she takes a stand to protect her kids, she is a bitter bitch.  It doesn’t matter is she is sending her kids to the dads house, and he has an unstable girlfriend. One who secretly hates her just because she is the mother of his child (there are women like that). How safe is that environment for her child?

She better send them.

It doesn’t matter if dad has a hoe house with different chicks watching the kids while he is out kicking it.

She better send them.

So baby mamas are put in rough predicaments and placed under huge judgements and scrutiny.

Let take a minute and think about your friend(s) who was discarded, left by the baby daddy of perhaps things just didn’t work out. This woman is now dealing with raising a child/children on her own , many times completely alone. Honestly, visitation does not equate to shared custody. Hell shared custody sometimes ain’t 50/50. Many times, the mom has to deal with mental overload. The emotions of her child due to the back and forth tug of war, as well as, her own emotions.

I remember when my son was still small and was going to his dad’s house. I was still nursing him, I remember as my breast were filling up with more milk I was developing more anxiety. It didn’t help that when I would text his dad to check on him, he would be petty and ignore my text.

That was a lot to handle for a mom suffering postpartum depression, having a small child spend nights away and still trying to maintain sanity with working and raising another child.  Moms constantly worry about their children and there should be respectable communication between the parents. But hey, send him to dad right?  Society says, “toughen up baby mama!”

Never mind the importance of a child being nurtured and cared by their mother during their vital early years. Never mind the emotions a woman has postpartum, and the support she needs as well. Never mind that it is difficult to properly nurture your child when you are dealing with distress, drama, lack of stability and a fucked up judicial system.

The general consensus is that the mom has to give her baby over regardless of the mental, physical or emotional abuse she suffers. On the flipside, the moms who do hand their child over are judged when shit goes wrong. Just like the mom I told you about earlier.

Of course, every situation is different and there are some baby mamas who are the cause of many issues. But that doesn’t represent all. My point is think twice before you judge anyone and you don’t know their story.

It is extremely important that we acknowledge and support our baby mothers too, as they play a major role in shaping our future. Instead of being looked down upon they need to be uplifted and cared for. The village is not just for the child. We are a village and we must keep uplifting all parties that reside in this shared space.

-Tahnee Cole

It’s My Birthday!

Today is November 13, 2017 and I am 32 years old. There will never be another day like this and I am truly enjoying the change God has brought into my life. Some good changes, some unexpected changes and some huge plot twist. I woke up this morning and I was honest with myself. I decided it was time for a change and that I was the one to make it. No more excuses about the cards that life had dealt me. It was time to play the cards and win. I am a walking success and I have to claim the greatness God has placed before me.

I have been blessed with many talents and most of them I have hid due to insecurities. Others talents I just took for granted. Then of course, there were the talents that I  used when they were convenient for me. However, ignoring the gifts that the Most High gives to you is a form of disrespect. There is no higher respect than the respect that I have for my Creator. So going forth I am required to show my appreciation and honor for his gifts.

Most of us question why we are not happy. Happiness is truly a choice and I realized that I have been existing rather than living. I decided for my birthday I would give myself the gift of living through enjoying my life and pursuing my purpose. Not waking up and going through the motions, but waking up and living for a reason other than paying bills and required responsibilities. I no longer want to live only out of guilt that my children need me around. Obviously, I am still alive so I have a special mission to accomplish. I could have been killed many times, but I was offered the gift of life and it is up to me to live. It is up to me to be happy and to be a blessing to others.

My purpose is to help, inspire and encourage others. My gift is through writing and my voice.  Going to college was my security blanket just in case my dream did not work. However, what is meant to be will always come back around. Although, I am proud of my college degrees and certifications; I understand that there is a deeper burning desire inside of me. I wake up and go to sleep thinking about writing. I envision encouraging other moms to live their lives, raise their children, have financial freedom and pursue their dreams. For my birthday I made an oath to dedicate the rest of my life perfecting my talents. I will also enjoy a fulfilled life as a mom, wife, daughter, friend, sister, aunt, grandmother, cousin, motivator, and so forth.  Yet, most of all as a vessel from the Most High utilizing to my full potential the power he invested within me.

From the Desk of

Tahnee Cole “The Mommy Motivator”