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…

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…

arrow

  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.

 

  • pointsettia-e1574892856197.jpg

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.

 

20171203_134052

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!

tahnee cole1

Love Tahnee Cole