“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.

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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

 

Pregnant after 30…

Lately, I have been entertaining the thought of having a final baby. Only because I have started to really consider a friendship turned into a relationship and possibly marriage is the next discussion. But, the thought of having a baby after 30 is scary to me, especially since I am 34..

How could I not have a baby for my husband?

My friend at work was discussing that her aunt had her final baby at 43. She had tried for a girl 4 times and finally conceived her on her 5th try. I’m kind of glad I got one of each because it truly gave me the opportunity to say I could stop at two, but Idk…

I was definitely born to be a mom, but I also want to enjoy some of my life too without very small children depending on me. I still say that at least by 40 I would have an adult child, a pre-teen and then maybe if I had one within a year or so, one starting school…

There is so much to think about when it comes to starting and raising a family together. Especially, when it comes to starting over as a blended family. The last few years if I would date a man and he wanted more kids, I would instantly stop dating him. I was convinced I was done. However, just recently my little ovaries has been jumping when I see a baby. Preferably another baby girl.

Then I hear the horror stories about the women in their mid 30s going through very rough life threatening pregnancies. God knows I was sick as a dog during both my pregnancies, suffering from severe morning sickness, but I survived.

I keep thinking to myself that my desires only come from the fact that my children are getting older and more independent. As a mom, you can have the tendency to rely on your children needing to be nurtured by you as a way to establish your identity.  So as your children need you less it can be scary.

Maybe it is the fact that my son is finally off the breast and starting school soon. Maybe it is because my daughter will be a teenager this year.

As parents, when we are going through the tough baby phase we cannot wait until our children grow, but as they grow you tend to miss the same moments that stressed you out.

At this point in my life, if the relationship grows into a beautiful marriage, I will be open to having another baby.  However, I am not planning on more children without a solid foundation of trust and security. Even then it is not always promised that things will work out. Still, I will remain positive and let God lead.

Mom life is a beautiful life. Family is a blessing. Only God knows what life is in store for me.

  • Tahnee Cole

F*ck him, how is that for therapy? #parentingwithanincarceratedparent

Hey Mamas,

I started therapy a year ago.

In secret. I didn’t want my family to judge me. I didn’t grow up on therapy, I grew up on prayer.

To be honest, it was surface level at first. I didn’t truly want to step out of my comfort zone because, “I’m strong”.

As a matter of fact, I am identified as one of the strongest ones in my family. So how was I supposed to be vulnerable? Especially, with someone who doesn’t know shit about me.

So I looked at therapy to discuss the issues I had with others (their faults) and downplay my own.

I’m not the problem, they are. It’s Tahnee’s world and they just live in it.

However, just recently Heaven attended therapy with me to discuss her issues she was dealing with, in regards to her dad being incarcerated.

Then my eyes were opened.

We had a group therapy session and my daughter let the cat out the bag.
I was insensitive about her dad being away. I had grown to have a fuck him, he made a poor decision, attitude. Which was different from how I use to feel.

The truth is, Heaven’s dad was my official first love and I was crushed when he had been sentenced to 25 years in prison.

But the distance and burden of me having to raise a young child on my own had turned me cold towards him.

The allegations involved declared him guilty for the murder of a woman known as a prostitute.   Yet, even though the evidence that was used to convict him was sketchy, I remember feeling humiliated in court. Sexual favors for cash? And now because of his foolishness my daughter could never have a father & daughter dance.

Of course, I was his ride or die chick pleading to the judge letter after letter, visiting and accepting those high ass phone calls.

I remember one day he had asked me to buy an electronic and I snapped.

How the hell was I going to support him and my daughter? Who was supporting me?

His anger for being locked up made him take things out on me and we slowly began to fall apart. I mean we never stopped talking, but things have never been  the same…

Fast forward to today and through therapy,  I realized that my material over-compensating for his missing presence was not helping my daughter heal. Nor was it filling the voids.

The fact of the matter was, he was missing and she was missing him.

But I was confused, she didn’t want to visit him in jail and they spoke on the phone often so..what was I supposed to do?

I was instantly defensive, “Heaven what am I supposed to do, he fucked up not me, I’m here?” 

The therapist let me speak and then said , “Heaven can you tell me how you feel about your mom’s statement.

No she’s right. I love my mom, but she feels how she feel.” Heaven said with her head down.

I was about to get defensive again, but I was quiet.

Heaven had basically showed me the issue. I was shutting her down when she had explained her feelings about her dad and now my baby wasn’t comfortable talking to me.

I had my dad so I had no understanding of how she felt and showed no compassion (not intentionally).

My heart meant well, but my delivery was shitty.

I spent days explaining to my daughter the statistics of children with an incarcerated parent, and drilling in her head that she has to succeed regardless of the numbers.

Explaining to her not to use her dad’s absence as an excuse to do less in life and to survive off the one parent she has, that is rooting for her.

Telling her to get over the fact her dad was missing, is not right.

This hard truth has helped me realize my flaws as a parent, but also as a woman who obviously has not healed from this situation.

To be continued…

They only see you leave early… #WORKINGMOMCHALLENGES

A mom friend and I had a discussion about moms vs the workplace…

We both agreed that we realized how difficult working mom life can be once our children hit school age.  For many career moms, it appears to be more difficult when your child is an infant. First, there is the separation anxiety. At this point, you are faced with the many adjustments such as:

Selecting and surviving child care,

deciding on a nanny,

home-care of a daycare facility.

It is possible that you may find a little confidence when your children finally hit preschool. Unfortunately, with parenthood you realize that your routine is constantly changing especially when you get comfortable. LOL. They start school and you have to adjust again. Honestly, school brought on its fair share of challenges, as it relates to my career life.

Here is my perspective:

Well or should I say lemme (let me) break it down..

There is Summer break, Thanksgiving break, Christmas/Winter break, Spring break, random holidays off and of course our famous EARLY OUT DAYS.   The truth is many moms work in careers where the school hours are not conducive to the career mom schedule. Which means that we have to either find more flexible careers or save up plenty of PTO. We may even have to stay in constant communication with our employer. In layman’s terms, let them know what the hell is going on so that we can cover our ass and keep our job. Remember, we are not only required to be great moms, but to also still be considered a valuable worker.

I noticed once my daughter started school that 3 pm dismissal was not working for me.  For most moms the school hours are not flexible enough to drop off or pick up their children. If you can do one or the other your are lucky. So moms are trying to figure out transportation services, before and after care, bus routes, carpooling, etc. And again, the early out days. At this point, there is nothing left to do besides LEAVE WORK EARLY. Make sure you say it again and listen to those echoes behind.

It is not a sin; however, my friend and I also discussed our experiences with co-workers when they found out you had to leave early. Especially, if it had something to do with one of your children. I can say that the current company I work for is very family friendly. Yet, in the past, I have worked for corporations that were not as forgiving about leaving due to personal family issues.

I remember I had a situation myself when I was leaving work eight minutes earlier and one of my coworkers had the audacity to look at his watch and say is “your watch fast?”. He was joking, but I was not.  I wanted to say, ” Excuse me a$$hole, you come in work late every single day, your performance is mediocre at best and you have the audacity to check me!” I didn’t care if he was joking I was sick of people only acknowledging anything negative.

Not many people understand the stress and struggles of the working mom. The constant need to balance being a great mom and a great employee is challenging. Plus, I never heard anyone joke about the days I was there extra early, or the nights I worked from home after hours, or the weekends I was putting in.  Or the days I hauled ass into work after being up late when a crying baby, or a sick child with a fever. Or how about beating it into work after running back to the school to give my child a backpack or lunch they forgot. So please, a few minutes early out should never be a major concern or to be put on spotlight.

Sadly, that is just some of the discrimination that career moms deal with on the day to day basis. Despite it, we still keep moving and do our best to debunk any theories that we are less than the average worker. We strive to prove that we are more efficient and proficient than our counterparts. It is just a shame we still have to do way more than we need to prove ourselves. When in my case, the numbers don’t lie.

 

Tahnee Cole

HAPPY HOLIDAYS, HAPPY NEW YEAR AND HAPPY WINTER! (WINTER NEWSLETTER ENCLOSED)

Hello,

I am committed to working on all the projects that will keep my mom tribe engaged and encouraged.  Every season I will be uploading a seasonal newsletter. My last newsletter was for the Fall Season. If you enjoyed that edition, please check out my Winter edition. Download it and  read it whenever you want.

What you can expect out of this issue is :

  • Winter activities to do with your family

  • My favorite mom must haves

  • Preparation for the new year

  • Holiday treats

I am sorry I was a little late, I was trying to stay present with my family during the holiday season. My initial plan was to upload on the Winter Solstice, but it is always better to be late than never. Follow the arrow and get your copy today.

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WINTER NEWSLETTER 2019.2020 official

 

STAY POSITIVE, STAY FOCUSED, STAY COMMITTED

LOVE, TAHNEE COLE

Last Minute Gift Ideas for a Tween Like Mine…

If you are looking for last minute ideas for a tween girl like mine, here are 10 gifts she will probably love. This is not all tweens, but girls who are like my baby girl Heaven!

  1. Nails/ Nail polish- My daughter has quite a nail collection. She enjoys doing her friends nails for some pocket change (future business woman), and she also likes buying press on nails. The press on nails are so nice now they look like you got a manicure from a professional salon!nail polish

  2. Anything Justice- Heaven has loved Justice since she was 6. She loves the clothes, jewelry, accessories for her room, back packs, lunch boxes, and much more. The store is specifically for girls and you cannot go wrong purchasing a gift there. justice

  3. Phone cases- My daughter has an iphone. I broke down and bought her one earlier this year, but she  has to have a case that can match her many outfits. You can find phone cases anywhere, but her favorite place is Claire’s Boutique. phone case

  4. Lip gloss- No make up yet, but she is into the sweet glossy (extra glossy) lip stage. She also likes to make her own. So I also purchased her a lip gloss kit which is a great gift. Hey, they can use the kit to start their own business. #girlboss #kidboss

  5. Bookbag purse and fanny packs- My daughter is really into purses to match her outfits. It funny because I remember being into bookbag purses and fanny packs when I was her age. Girls love bags so it is a great gift idea.

  6. Colored Extensions- It took me a minute to get into this trend, but I gave in. Heaven loves colored hair, so I allow her to buy colored extensions to add in her braids for fun. . It’s a unicorn, Vsco girl phase I guess. A lot of girls are into either the clip in extensions, or even the spray in color. We use to use spray and Kool-Aid! lol heavegiftblog2

  7. Scrunchies- All Vsco girls like scrunchies to wear around their wrist, so load up on different colors to match their outfits. You can get them from dollar stores all the way to department stores.

  8. Bath bombs/ smell goods- Bath and body is one of my daughters favorite stores. Most girls like to smell sweet and good. So buying a young lady you know some sweet smelling lotion or body wash will definitely be a hit for Christmas.

  9. Journal/ Books/ Planners- Girls like to write about their goals, dreams, their days, who their best friends are and their plans. They also like to read. This year I bought my daughter all three. A journal to write her daily life goals and secrets. Plus a book called The Confidence Code for girls by Katty Kay & Claire Shipman.book

  10. Gift cards- Lastly, you can never go wrong with gift cards. If you just don’t know what to get just buy a gift card and they can buy what they want!! Some popular gift cards are ITUNES, APPLE, AMAZON.

Beating the Busy Mom Blues During the Holidays!

Tis the Season to be jolly, busy AF, overwhelmed, happy, depressed, broke, etc…

Listen Mamas, life does NOT have to be the exact same, year after year. You have to find ways to make things better. Life is about learning what works and doing it.

As I get older, I am learning to find ways to make my life simpler. Especially, during the holiday season.

Below is a list of things I do to make the holiday season less stressful.

Legggooooo…

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  Take a moment, breathe and observe the beauty of the season….

  • If you live in Cleveland, Ohio like me, you will probably see snow. Although, most of us are sick of the snow; we will admit that it looks pretty during the Holiday Season. It is nice to see the Christmas lights and eat holiday treats. The ambience of the season makes me feel so warm and snuggly. So try to find something you love to look at and focus on that. I love to make the house look really pretty and festive. This year I wanted a lot of red, so I bought some beautiful silk poinsettia plants.

 

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You don’t have to attend all those holiday parties Sis…

  • Unless it is mandatory, stop burning yourself out going to every holiday party. Pick and choose the ones you want to attend. It can be a burden because then you are worried about holiday attire and if you have to bring something (say potluck) it can get very expensive. Spend this holiday season doing what you like and not forcing yourself to be everywhere.

Create Traditions instead of hitting up every event…

  • This is similar to my last tip. I like to do a lot of stuff with my kids, but there is so much to do. I try to make sure that I am not overdoing, trying to attend every festive kid event. With the kids having school parties I am involved in, Church events and family events, it can become overwhelming. So I stick to some of our traditions and add a few new ideas. We always go to The Polar Express reading time at Barnes and Nobles. Then we take pictures with Santa where the kids draw pictures for the children at Rainbow hospital. It is a free event, but I always donate money. We also take a family Christmas picture. This year we will be adding to the year by going sledding and picking out a real Christmas tree. We are keeping it fun, but staying organized.

 

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Have a drink…

  • I don’t care if is wine, tea, hot chocolate or eggnog. Sit back turn on your favorite show, kick up your feet and relax. It is a must to take some time to yourself and live in the moment. My favorite drink always makes me smile. I am going to try something new this year. I’m thinking something creamy with just a tad of liquor in it. I might even throw a peppermint in it to make it festive. LOL

Get some help…

  • Order your groceries, find a gift wrapper, gift shop online and find a babysitter. Do whatever you need to do, to eliminate stress from trying to do so much. We often think we have to do it all, but we do not.

Make things convenient…

  • Either have the holidays festivities at your house or don’t. Do what makes you feel comfortable and what is convenient. This year I had Thanksgiving at my moms and Christmas will be at my house. Christmas is easier to host at my house so the children don’t have to leave their gifts. But do whatever you like. Just make sure that convenience is your top priority.

I could go on and on with all types of tips, but I wanted to keep it simple.  I hope you (my lovely tribe), will enjoy this holiday season. I am sending prayers to anyone suffering a loss, because it is usually magnified during the holiday season. I pray for your peace, happiness and prosperity. As always I love you all!

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Love Tahnee Cole

Being the only black working mom…

Usually, I never feel out of place because I don’t compare myself to others. However, I felt really weird after having a conversation with a group of moms at our kids reading time. One mom in particular.

We were all at a round table, drinking coffee and peeking in at our children to make sure they were behaving. I didn’t pay attention to me being black until one of the moms said, “it is so nice to see some color and not just moms like me.” I smiled and then there was awkward silence.

“Are you from around here?” she said.

One of the other moms who was also caucasian looked annoyed. I could tell she was thinking enough already with the awkward small talk.

I was wondering where she had been, because we attended this reading event frequently. I was not a newbie. If I was not mistaken, I had seen her a couple times and she usually never said anything.

Today, must have been a good day to be nosey. Maybe she had friendly intentions so I decided to entertain her a little, with very little info.

“I’m from a different suburb, but my mom lives over here.” I said after taking a sip of my coffee.

I pulled out my laptop and she wanted to continue the conversation. Instead, she just made a general comment amongst everyone.

“Isn’t it good to be out of the house ladies? Stay at home mom life can be something else.” She said as if she was sighing.

A few of the moms laughed in unison and shook their heads in agreeance.

She went on..

“Granted, we still have to chase them around the library, but at least it is nice to let the Librarian keep their attention for a moment.” she said.

She focused her attention on me. I was certain she could tell by my business suit and laptop that I was probably not a SAHM.

“I only know about career mom life, but I get you.” I said smiling.

“Omg, how do you do it? I would miss my kids so much and would not want anyone else raising them.” Her face was turned up as if I had given my kids up for adoption.

The other moms looked surprised that she had the nerve.

The irony of her just being happy having momentary freedom, but then speaking on missing her children if she had a career made me chuckle.

I smiled and remained classy.

“I wouldn’t say raise them per say. My definition of raising might be a tad different from yours though. I’m the sole provider so I have to make a living. Besides, having multiple strong influences, and individuals assisting me with taking care of my children is vital to my family structure. I love having a strong village to help support me, while I take on the world. I am dedicated to showing my kids I am multi-talented and capable of achieving my goals.  Providing them with a living example of success and perseverance.  Yes, I miss my kids, but I would be missing me if I was not living in my purpose. I spend plenty of time with them even when I am exhausted, like right now. The librarian is watching over my son now, but she is not raising him. It is great to stay at home, but that is not the life all moms desire. Nor do all moms have that opportunity, even if they did want to.” I said.

She smiled and looked a little embarrassed. Then spoke, “oh no, I meant no harm or offense, you are commendable. I wish I had the drive.”

I handed her the card to search my blog.

“Different strokes for different folks. All mom life is a challenge…

“Agreed” said another mom winking at me.

-Tahnee Cole