Heavy

September 2008

Heavy is the crown that comes with trying to be a good employee, wife and mother. I am failing miserably. There is not one day that goes by that I don’t see the looks of disgust as I leave on time to get my son. I have no help. I am a mother first.

H

I chose to be a mother. But, apparently I’m not afforded the same privileges as my co-workers that have children. I have to choose work over mothering. How the hell can I do that? Why would I do that?

I can’t help that I’ve been out on leave for the last 6 months and that as soon as I get back to work, my husband is now sick. I have a strict schedule. It’s the only thing that makes sense about the situation…

  • I get up at 5 a.m.
  • I shower
  • I get dressed
  • I pack Munch’s diaper bag
  • I leave the house at 5:45 a.m.
  • I arrive at day care at 5:58 a.m.
  • At 6:01 a.m. I am handing him to the teacher in the infant room
  • I leave at 6:05 a.m.
  • I arrive at work at 7:30 a.m.
  • I leave at 4:30 p.m.
  • I arrive at day care at 5:58 p.m.
  • I leave for the hospital to see my husband
  • I arrive at 7:00 p.m.
  • I stay until 10:00 p.m.
  • I get home by 10:45 p.m.
  • I get the baby bathed and in the bed.
  • I crawl in the bed at 11:45 p.m.
  • I sleep to start it all over again.

Heavy. My life is so heavy right now. But, I will choose my son over it all. I just need to work to make sure that the money continues to roll in. We have bills. We need two incomes. I am so very tired. No one understands that there is no choice but me. I watch other people afforded the opportunities that I don’t seem to have.

I sigh.

Adjust this heavy crown. Do it all again. Each and every day. Why? Because I’m a mother. I’m expected to figure it the hell out.

 

This post was part of the A2Z challenge and the letter “H” is for Heavy. My posts will be written as a journal style for the challenge and will be on the theme: Mothering While Black. I hope you enjoyed it.

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

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Effort

July 2013

It requires a lot of effort to fake indifference at my lot in life. To get up each morning and put on a smile and try for the sake of my son to be present in the moment. To not stress over the bulls*it games. To disengage from the noise and focus on being there regardless of those weapons formed against me.

But, I will not give up. Effort is exerting. I am tired. I’m trying to focus on the positive of my situation and accepting that Munch will be okay. I have to smile, show up and love. Love without limits and give freely of myself.

How can I do that though?

As he sat there packing his clothes to move out, he told me today that he could sue me for full custody and take half of my retirement. I couldn’t breathe. Life stopped. What were mere seconds felt like an eternity. How could you?

I don’t care about money. I care about Munch. I squared my shoulders and said “I don’t know who is filling your head with this BS but I will leave this house, put everything in storage and move in with my mother and get the best attorney and fight you with every thing I have. I will spend my yearly salary on an attorney, but you will not take him from me and when I’m done wasting your time and money in court, you will have 83 days a year instead of the 182 I offered.”

Silence. The thickness of my words filled the room. He stared at me.

The truth in my words lay like at his feet. Only death would keep me from my son. I wasn’t going to die.

Rage. I was filled with rage.

It takes effort to fix your mind when the person you loved the most tries to take the one thing you live for. The one person you breathe for. The person that needs you now more than ever. I have to stay strong. Munch needs me. I need to keep my sanity. Keeping my sanity requires effort.

I pray that God will continue to have mercy on me and give me the strength to keep moving forward. One foot in front of the other. I must keep walking for Munch. For me.

No matter what.

 

E

This post was part of the A2Z challenge and the letter “E” is for Effort. My posts will be written as a journal style for the challenge and will be on the theme: Mothering While Black. I hope you enjoyed it.

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Divorce

March 2013

It’s over. I told him in January that I wanted a divorce. He wanted to take time to think about it. Think about what? We’re not happy. We deserve to be happy. It’s not getting better. I just have to cope with this change. Wake up and repeat.

Some days are better than ever. I’m an emotional wreck. I don’t want Munch living in two separate homes. But, this is what I signed up for when I asked for a divorce. I just have to get used to it.

What about schools?  What kind of school will Munch attend? I don’t really like the public schools in my area. I picked out a great Catholic school. We both went. Munch is allowed to spend a day with them to get used to it. That’s good news despite the stress.

I’m trying not to think about the fact that Munch is now another statistic. A child of divorce. Will he be okay? What have I done? I don’t think I thought about Munch. Am I being selfish?

I pray not.

I have to focus on one thing at a time. This is stressing me out. I need to get my mind right. Focus on the logistics; the parenting plan, finding a school and getting through his day care graduation. I feel like everyone is looking at Munch and I when we go anywhere. Am I wearing a big “D” on my forehead. I’m consumed with thoughts of how Munch will survive and whether or not he will survive this. Truthfully, I wonder if I will survive.

It is as it shall be. Another black boy from a broken home. This was my worst fear realized. I never wanted to raise a child alone.

D

This post was part of the A2Z challenge and the letter “D” is for Divorce. My posts will be written as a journal style for the challenge and will be on the theme: Mothering While Black. I hope you enjoyed it.

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

courtship-vs-dating

Welcome To My Love, Dating & Relationships Podcast

Hey everyone,

This will be short. I want to take some time out to thank everyone who has supported all my posts, blogs, vlogs.  Now, I want to introduce to you my new podcast about love, dating, and relationships.

I’m already on episode 03 Courtship vs. Dating.

If you’d like to hear the first two podcasts, follow the link below.

For those of you who have already read my blog on Courtship vs Dating, I expound on the subject even more on 3.26.18

Please click the link below, and then click the follow button on the home page to be notified whenever a new podcast is released. You can follow with Facebook, Twitter or Google+.

If you have any questions that you’d like to be addressed on the show, please submit them to:
relationshipsetcetera.com/contact

Subject: JustLsn Podcast

 

Thanks in advance!

 

 

The Power of Constructive Conflict

Continuing from yesterday’s post entitled Cursing and Conflict

 

Mr. C is probably the best person for having healthy conflict. He believes in fair fighting. In case you didn’t know, Mr. C is a Beta male. I’m an Alpha female. We get along well. I’ll discuss the Beta Male comparison in another post, but the point is that Mr. C doesn’t believe in a whole lot of arguing, fussing, fighting or cursing. He isn’t disrespectful or cursing me out my name when we are in disagreement. He believes that two adults should be able to have a conversation and work through their issues. Sounds simple right?

In reality, it is simple with him. I spend a lot of time researching ways to effectively communicate with my love. I do this by investing in quality conversations. We discuss our feelings and we do relationship check-ins. Remember my fear of telling him that I didn’t want to marry or the fact that I didn’t want to buy a house or adopt children? It was an enormous amount of adjustments that he had to accept, but I had to make sure that we could communicate through it all without harboring negative feelings.

I’m a business woman and I think in terms of black and white. There are no shades of gray. Gray is indefinite and I need definite answers for everything. Yes, I know that I can’t always get what I want that way, but you can give me a time frame. Things need to be time bound and relevant to work with me.

That’s when I learned about constructive conflict and started using it in our relationship.

Constructive conflict refers to conflict in which the benefits exceed the costs; it generates productive, mutually beneficial, shared decisions. In constructive conflicts, the process becomes as important as the end result. Individuals come together to redefine or strengthen their relationship for the greater good of the parties involved. – Differences Between Destructive & Constructive Conflict by Colette L. Meehan

I was dealing with our communication and conflict from the only logical way that I could think of…the business sense. In constructive conflict we both see the benefits of communicating our needs effectively no matter the cost. We understand that no matter what we say that we will be able to work through it. We don’t argue, yell or curse each other out. There is no disrespect. Only a strengthening of our desire to make sure that we are tackling our issues together because together is the only outcome we want.

So, we focus on the process. It was weird at first because I never knew that you could have healthy conflict in relationships. Hell, I grew up in a loud and disrespectful environment and I was embarking on something I never had…peace. Peace of mind to know that the person you love isn’t your enemy and they can disagree with you without cursing you out or calling you out your name.

That’s it. He’s not my enemy. He’s my love. He’s my best friend. He’s the person that I trust with all the pain that I’ve endured to not belittle or discourage me. He’s my supporter. Knowing and accepting that allows me to understand how conflict can work and apply it in our relationship.

I’m not perfect. Neither of us is perfect, but we we are committed to focusing on our relationship and keeping it strong and healthy. We know that it is a process and we’ll keep working on it. Why? Because we’re worth it.

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Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Cursing and Conflict

One of the things that I’m trying in my relationship with Mr. C is to make sure that we have constructive conflict. Conflict happens as part of any relationship. It’s normal. It’s natural. But, many people (myself included) either avoid conflict or we aren’t taught how conflict is supposed to work.

My marriage was an example of this. We didn’t have healthy conflict. We saw many therapists and one relationship therapist turned us on to Gottman’s method for couples :

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The goals of the Gottman method are “to disarm conflicting verbal communication, increase intimacy, respect, and affection, remove barriers that create a feeling of stagnancy in conflicting situations, and create a heightened sense of empathy and understanding within the context of the relationship.”

It sounds awesome in theory, but it was hard to do.  We didn’t get too far. It wasn’t our therapist fault. I got put on bed rest and couldn’t continue in the therapy sessions. My pregnancy was high risk so I didn’t want to discuss stressful things that could endanger my baby. So, I chose to stop it. The baby’s life was more important to me than working on my marriage.

I stifled the pain and frustrations of my marriage and focused on my baby. I was determined to carry my pregnancy to term so we in essence avoided the conflict. It wasn’t healthy. It was unsettling. We didn’t fight fair. Our foundation wasn’t built on solid ground and it began to crack after Munch was born.

We couldn’t communicate to save our lives. Neither of us had learned how to effectively communicate in relationships and that has moved into a major reason why we don’t communicate well now. Good communication is essential to anything you want to do in a relationship and let’s be real…co-parenting is a relationship.

I realized that I couldn’t do it alone with co-parenting, but I had to shift how I let things affect me. However, in my relationship with Mr. C this shift in poor communication was not something that I was willing to sacrifice. I was okay being alone. Learning how to communicate mainly through texts and emails was something I’ve gotten used to in co-parenting, but I needed a man that would talk to me, lead me and love me through our issues. Especially those that involved communication.

I am learning to be more open with Mr. C. To express my discontent on issues or frustrations in a way that he will hear me, but not make me feel as though I’m blowing things out of a proportion. I needed to make sure that we are practicing healthy communication behaviors. So, I did what I do best and began to research effective ways to communicate and how to have healthy conflict resolution.

I focused on my communication skills and wanted to research “fair fighting” and healthy conflict. I needed to know how to communicate my dissatisfaction in a relationship without it escalating into World War III. I wanted to be able to increase intimacy, respect and affection like in the Gottman method without either of us cussing each other out and I wanted to make sure that we understood our end goal was always to be heard and respected.

-To Be Continued-

 

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.0

I Don’t Want That

Last week, in my post Marriage Isn’t For Everyone I told you that I’m freaking out because I’m not sure that I want to get married again. EVER. Not that I’m unsure about Mr. C.

He’s actually the only thing that I’m positive about when it comes to imagining my future. He’s the known. It’s the unknown that scares me.

In that, I’ve been having a lot of anxiety around our future. Last week we had a conversation and I shared with him how I was unsure of whether or not I wanted marriage again and asked could he be okay with that. I explained that I loved him and wanted to spend the rest of my life with him, but I didn’t know if I was the marrying type.

I told him that we’d essentially been there and done that and I asked would he be willing to be with me and live with me at some point with no prospect of marriage. He paused. He always pauses when asked deep and introspective questions, but this pause seemed to drag on for eternity.

He asked “What will we tell Munch?” I responded “The truth. That families come in all different forms and that we are a family and the love we have for each other supersedes. I’ll tell him that we love each other and maybe we’ll get married some day, but at this point, I don’t want too. I want to live and build a home and a family with you.” He asked could he get 24 hours to think about it. I agreed.

We resumed our conversation and he said that he could accept that I may never want to marry one day. He wanted to know would it be one-sided. Basically, if I woke up one day and said “Hey, let’s get married now and he didn’t want too would I be okay with that.” I paused. I hadn’t thought about that. I assumed that he would be okay with a “Hey, let’s get married now announcement.” But was it really fair? No. So, I told him “Yeah, I have no choice. It’s both of us. It’s about our family and our legacy.” He said he was fine with it.

I didn’t know if I believed him or not. I gave him a lot of information to process. I prayed that he understood that I loved him, wanted to be with him, raise my son with him and grow old. However, the male ego is precious and I didn’t know if my declaration about not wanting marriage would roar it’s ugly head in another way. Was I really being fair to him if we wanted two different things?

– To Be Continued –

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.