I did not stress about Thanksgiving. I will not stress about Christmas.

I refuse to stress myself, especially with all that I have been through this year. Holidays are supposed to be for enjoyment. You should not be stressed. Holidays are mainly meant for reflection, cheer, family and memories. With the pandemic taking lives, bringing changes to routine and the economy. The primary focus should be the value of life. The pandemic has forced me to focus on what really matters and to take nothing for granted. What matters most to me is family and memories.

I made sure that when it came to Thanksgiving I did not stress. The same will take place for Christmas. If you celebrate those holidays then you know that they can become stressful. You got to make sure that the food and the gifts are perfect It is as if, we are constantly in a competition with the last year. With Covid knocking everyone down a tad bit, we need to put our focus on things that will not make us stress. The memories I make with my kids are so important to me. The simplest memories by far always mean the most. Today, I want to share with you five tips on how I make sure I do not stress during the holidays.

5 TIPS ON STRESS FREE HOLIDAYS!

  1. We gon’ eat Yeah, straight like that. That means, I am not stressing over food. I am not spending long hours in the kitchen because I cook everyday, all day. The cooking has increased even more since my kids are mostly homeschooling. People spend Thanksgiving stressing about food and it can truly take away from the meaning of the Holiday. My kids ate and we are blessed to have food, but I am not going to go crazy trying to be a chef. Nor do I expect anyone else stressing themselves out. My mom and I worked out Thanksgiving together, but we did not make a big thing out of it. It was more like a traditional Sunday dinner. Keep it simple, keep it cute!
  2. I help others– Giving back always keeps you grounded and makes you remember the true meaning of the Holidays. There is nothing more real than seeing people struggle with real life. Meanwhile, your spoiled ass is complaining about what you want to eat. There are people who do not have a choice and we are complaining over choices. In order to keep yourself grounded, we must always put ourselves in a position to help others. Give old coats or buy a coat and donate it to a coat drive. Donate toys to a shelter. Help prepare food for a food bank. Do something to make you remember what life is about. Count your blessings.
  3. We make memories and create new traditions– Covid has made many of us more creative. Many places we love to go to is now closed. Plus, we just don’t feel comfortable going to places we use to, because we don’t want to put ourselves at risk of catching Covid. The holidays is for creating new memories and traditions. Being creative will make your creative memories that can last a lifetime and become regular traditions. Make some holiday treats, crafts, decorate the house or come up with a totally unique way to celebrate.
  4. I am buying meaningful gifts– Some people just want to have 800 boxes wrapped under the tree . It makes your look rich right? Now you are broke because you bought six hundred toys for your kids. Meanwhile, they can’t even fit in your home. Plus, they will collect dust because they don’t even play with them. Too many to catch their attention. Stop that now! You are stressed because you are living above your means. A bunch of gifts do not equate to love or wealth. Some of the most wealthy people buy their family bathrobes, meanwhile the broke people are buying Gucci socks! Honestly, the older I get, the more meaningful my gift-giving.
  5. I Don’t do, what I don’t want to do– Parties and events can stress you. Even before Covid I had this mentality. If I don’t want to go somewhere I kindly decline the invite. There are still some people having events despite Covid and if you don’t feel comfortable, don’t go. Explain to them your concerns and if they don’t understand, peace! When you feel stressed about doing things you don’t want, it takes away the joy from the holiday. I say do what makes you feel good. Even family events, don’t feel compelled to go in environments that steal your peace.

I hope that you can use some of these tips to make your life more enjoyable. Share some tips that you use with me. I would love to hear traditions, tips or even holiday horror stories, LOL. Thanks for reading!

Tahnee Cole

Career Mom Motivator!

5 TIPS TO HELP CAREER MOMS TO SUCCEED

So, I know I joke on my social media platforms about my go to when surviving motherhood: wine. But wait, in all seriousness, there is so much more. Mom life will make you go through many trial and error lessons before you finally find a groove. Even then, situations are subject to change and then you will have to adjust accordingly. For instance, this pandemic. It had caused me to abandon some of my old routines and create a new set of systems.

Well, today I selected a few basic tips that should help you regardless of your routine changes. They are a basic set of principles that should help you manage #mommyhood and be successful.

A Solid Self Care Plan

Eating healthier, exercise, some type of mental and spiritual stimulation and spending time recharging. Your choice, your way.

 

love romantic bath candlelight
Photo by Breakingpic on Pexels.com

Flexibility In Your Career 

Your employer or you (if you are your own boss) needs to understand that work life balance is mandatory and your family is priority. In order to effectively work, you need peace of mind when it comes to knowing your family is well cared for. A solid mind is more productive, that’s a win, win.
woman in white long sleeve shirt and overalls
Photo by Ogo on Pexels.com

Quality Childcare

 That is school. After and before school. Summer camp, even extra-curricular activities. While your children are out of your presence, you should be at ease that they are being cared for.
closeup photo of assorted color alphabets
Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

Money Management

Career moms make money, but need to still make sure that their finances are in order. Due to busy schedules it may be harder to keep track of finances, but budgets and money managing professionals can be useful for career moms to maintain stability and meet financial goals.
bank notes bills cash currency
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

A Solid Schedule/ Planner/Organizer

A career moms schedule can get super busy. So we need career moms to get their schedule in order. Once you have created a solid schedule. You are in control of your time and time management is a key to success!!!
personal organizer and pink flowers on desk
Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

As always remember that you are doing a great job. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Make adjustments and keep pushing!

Tahnee Cole

Fall Family Updates

Hey Fam,

It has been a minute. I can’t lie I have been so occupied. I have been working, assisting my children with virtual learning, dog training and trying to maintain some type of social life. I hope you all have been well. I wanted to take some time out today to give you some updates on our family.

First, me, well I am doing pretty well. As I type, I am recuperating from a migraine. It was so awful that I took the day off. I think it was triggered by this change in weather. It is October and cold in Cleveland. Which isn’t unusual, because honestly Cleveland weather can go from 0 to 100 real quick. I have been doing some meditating, focusing on finances and working on crushing some big goals. I put a major goal to the side so that I can manifest exactly what I want. I been trying to focus on some health goals and personal self development.

Jr. has started going to half day in person school. It was a tough decision for me. I am still very concerned about Covid and not sure if I will send him during Flu season. However, I do agree that the smaller children need more in person, hands on learning. They need someone to help them and be more attentive to their questions. I can’t do a great job at that while I am working. I did my best, but trying to facilitate meetings and attend a school Zoom call has been challenging. I am still going through major challenges on Friday, because Jr. has Zoom lessons since in person school is only Monday -Thursday. He is enjoying school and only struggles with getting up on time. Other than that he is doing super in school, receiving high scores on his test and making new friends (from a distance, LOL). I’m super proud of my big boy!

The kids are not the only one in school. Yes, our little puppy Mr. Apollo has started obedience training. I am so excited about this because Apollo has been a little rumbustious. I love him dearly, but trips to the park and the Vet had been a nightmare. I love that Apollo has great energy and protective over our family, but I want him to know when and where his behavior is appropriate. He started his first class this past Saturday and will be attending class twice a week for 5 week sessions. The class is pricey, but I think it is totally worth it.

Sidenote: Apollo did great during his first class too. I’m a proud Fur Mom!

Last, but not least my baby girl Heaven. Heaven will be a teenager very soon and has been struggling a little in school. Virtual learning is tough and I had to remind Heaven to take notes. She is very smart, but she didn’t think taking notes was important. I explained the importance of her taking notes so that she will remember her teachers lecture. I also told her to help save all of her assignments on her laptop in folders. So we sat down and created folders for all of her classes to keep her desktop neat and organized. Learning by computer is a total transition, but I wanted my baby girl to know that I am here to help her succeed along the way. I am confident that if she follows my lead she will definitely succeed. I’m still super proud of my daughter for doing her best during this transition.

Overall, my little family is doing pretty well. We are enjoying our favorite season together. Very soon we will be making some of our favorite fall recipes and I will probably post them on the blog. I hope you and your family are staying healthy and happy.

Love, Tahnee Cole

“The Mommy Motivator”

10 Questions answered by the Creator!

Hey it’s Tahnee Cole. Let’s keep it fun today. I want to share answers to a few questions I have got over the years. Enjoy!!

  1. One word to describe motherhood?  Courage. 

  2. The last piece advice you gave a mom?  Be prepared to be flexible, but stand your ground.

  3.  Favorite thing to do with your kids? Picnic , anything that Involves eating and water. We love to eat and watch water.  Our new home will definitely have a huge pool.

  4. When they ask who the Favorite kid is?  I tell them they get on my nerves equally.

  5. Dream Job? Famous Writer.

  6. Do you want to get married or be in a relationship again?  Ummm, I aspire to always be content. If it cost my happiness I don’t want it.

  7. Favorite mom influencer? Dayna Bolden

  8. Hidden talent? Not really hidden but I play piano.

  9. Favorite meal? Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, corn, green beans and cornbread.

  10. Who inspires you? I inspire myself but outside of me, my babies & my parents.

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…