Happy Father’s Day

To all you wonderful men out there that are fathers or who are role models to young men and women. We salute and honor you for being you. Your continued support is invaluable to our children.

I pray that you have an amazing day and you know how appreciated and valued you are.

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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 @mskeeinmd.

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Skipah’s World

When I got an email from Double T recently asking if I wouldn’t mind spewing my special brand of B.S. on her website while she would be down for a bit, to say I leaped at the chance would be an understatement.  I mean seriously, one of the most intelligent women I have the pleasure to call a colleague in the blogosphere asked this college flunky for a post, I would have been an idiot not to say yes.  That still doesn’t excuse the fact I’m an idiot, but I mean we are talking DOUBLE EFFING T asked ME for a guest post.

Double T is one of my sisters from a different mister.  We’ve both dealt with divorce, single parenting, and the mysterious phenomena known as family law.  It’s been so long ago I’m not exactly sure what brought our paths together.  It’s the wonderful thing about being a regular blogger, you meet people (not literally, but Double T and I almost did meet last year when I was in her part of the world for a couple of days).  I just remember reading some of her earlier posts about her precious “Munch,” and it just brought a warm and fuzzy smile to my face.  I was in the middle of an ugly custody battle that I ultimately lost and reading Double T’s blog and how much she looked out for Munch always had a connection with me.

Plus Double T and I are similar bloggers.  We just speak what is on our mind for the most part.  Baby momma/daddy does something stupid, we put them on blast with our words.  Remember now I’m an idiot, it cost me a ton of money legally, but I’m still pounding out meaningless words on a keyboard and meeting interesting characters along the way.

So who am I?  I’m the Skipah, a nickname that has stuck with me since I was a young teenager.  I got into this crazy little world of blogging back when I was blindsided by a divorce in 2014 fresh off a three day stay at the hospital after an unsuccessful attempt at perfecting the Klonopin diet.  I thought eating thirty of them would help me sleep a little better or, like, forever, but thankfully it didn’t.  In a state of confusion that I wouldn’t wish on anyone, I thought what the hell let’s start a blog.  Second chance on life, no reason to go back to the status quo and thus, Skipah’s Realm was born.

What started out as a nightly series of my own personal “keyboard” therapy as I was figuring out life while going through a divorce and one of the nastiest custody battles this area has ever seen quickly morphed into a passion.  The early days of my blogging career were literally me figuring out life on the fly, looking out for my daughter every way I could, and learning very quickly that the aforementioned family law game doesn’t work on common sense and facts.  More like the best lawyer(s) and the threat of a suicide attempt held over your head at every turn.  Of course, my little digital love child definitely didn’t help, and I learned quickly that a family law judge can pretty much make up the rules as he sees fit regardless if they are considered “legal” under criminal court.

Always centered around my daughter first and everything second, my blogging days morphed into just telling my story on a semi regular basis in hopes that some soon to be divorced dad would maybe stumble upon my little sector of the internet and figure out that life doesn’t end with an unwanted divorce.  In fact it is quite the opposite. Your child(ren) become your rock and keep you distracted when yet another legal bill comes in the mail and you are torn between peanut butter crackers or a can of Campbell’s soup for dinner because frankly that is all you can afford! After my divorce and suicide attempt, I really don’t get to rattled now when things don’t go my way.  Sure I bitch and moan (I am a man after all), but at the end of the day things usually seem to work themselves out.

Blogger world got a whole lot more interesting for me though on July 28, 2015.  I had been on a few dates post divorce, some went ok, one went into the batshit crazy zone, and one inconspicuous date had me travelling 45 minutes from home to this podunk little piece of Americana better known as Madison, Indiana.  Coincidentally it would be the last date I would go on with someone I had never met.

When Miss Madison (now my wife) walked into the land of Skipahsphere, that next year was easily the most fun I’ve had in blogging.  Between her, my daughter’s former KGB spy hamster (now deceased…R.I.P. Hammy), my future step-children, and good lord all the travelling Miss Madison introduced me to, Skipah’s Realm was a fun place to visit from time to time when you were missing out on something to read while killing time at the airport or sitting in the car rider line at school.

My proudest blogging accomplishment would be back when I did a little freelance work for Credit.Com and had an article featured in the financial section of Time.Com and the Yahoo finance page, as well as a few of the bigger newspapers in the country.  When I received a grant to go to the Dad 2.0 Blogger Conference in San Diego last year was pretty exciting also.  Throw in some big ticket product reviews and overall my career as a blogger has been eye opening to say the least.  What started out as my personal therapy really grew into something I would have never thought back when I hit publish for the first time.

So anytime you are bored and need to something to read to fall asleep, come on over to Skipah’s Realm.  These days it’s a series of bad jokes, me bitching about millennials, enjoying life with my new family, and currently trying to get this damn pool cleared up in our new house we just moved into a few months ago!  It’s never dull and boring around here, so come on by, hell you never know what we are up to around here!

Now before I go, my mom would rip my ass if I didn’t thank my buddy Double T for the opportunity to say a little piece on her site.  When I get back to the D.C. area I’ve already promised Double T dinner on me and we are eating some of the finest seafood the Chesapeake Bay can offer!  Give “Munch” a high five from me, and keep doing what you are doing as a single mom!

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This post was submitted by my friend Gary over at Skipah’s Realm. Check him out.

Daddy

I know it’s Mother’s Day weekend and I’m sharing a post about my daddy, but I had to share this. I was asked to be a part of an incredible project by Dr. K E Garland. Her next book is called Daddy: Reflections of Father-Daughter Relationships and will be released next month (pre-orders are going on now and hard book copies will be available June 2, 2018).  This is an amazing book and I wanted to share my write up for the upcoming release.

Daddy is going to give you insight into the importance of father-daughter relationships. All relationships are important, but I tell you growing up without a dad changed me. In good ways, but definitely some bad and I’m not alone. So, I wanted to share my story.

I’m so excited to be a part of this project. It was therapeutic and I know that you will enjoy the book, so please check out my interview via DADDY CONTRIBUTOR: Tikeetha Thomas

Also, look out for me promoting this awesome book for everyone and think about getting it for Father’s Day as a gift to the many men in your life that are raising daughters.

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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/.

Happy Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day to all the men out there who are making an impact in their children’s lives. Whether you are a first time dad, a father figure or you’ve been a dad for many years know that you matter. It is important that a child has a father in their life and today we honor you.

It may seem that you don’t get the recognition you deserve, but trust that is not the case. You are and will always be an irreplaceable piece in your child’s life. Never forget it. You matter. You are loved. You’re appreciated for all you do. Even when you think no one else is watching.

To my love who raised his son by himself and is getting ready to send him to college, I salute you. I know that it wasn’t easy being a single parent or a single dad, but your unwavering determination to raise your son into the man you know he will be comforts my soul. He is an absolutely beautiful young man and you deserve the accolades for doing a wonderful job. The way that you love and raise your son makes me honored to know that you would do the same for mine. Happy Father’s Day babe.

To my son’s father…I know that we are like oil and water, but I never doubt your role in our son’s life. Munch is a constant reminder of God’s unwavering love of us when he blessed us with him. Continue to love him and support him without pause and know that you matter to him. You are and will always be his dad. I am thankful for that. You are to be honored and celebrated today.

Happy Father’s Day Everyone!

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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/.

Motivational Monday Moment – 3/6/2017

I want to talk about grace today. Grace as a noun means favor or good will. I never really thought much about that word until recently. So, my Motivational Monday Moment is about grace and how it is not the same as forgiveness.

Let me tell you how I discovered that they are not the same…

I went home last month to Tennessee to see my father. It was uneventful, which was good. He’s recovering. He’s not doing what he’s supposed to do. His family is helping him out.

I flew in late Saturday night and drove almost two hours to my grandma’s house. I got lost. The outlets in the rental car didn’t work. I had 10% of cell phone battery left. It was trying. I got in and went to sleep.

Sunday morning I went to church with a friend of mine to hear him preach and later that evening I went to check on my dad. We sat and talked for a couple of hours. It was good. He asked me to take him to McDonald’s and get him something to eat.

So, off we went and he started to talk about how his family mixes things up. How they get information confused. His mom (who is deceased) and/or his siblings. It was random, but he mentioned how the first time he brought his girlfriend Arlene to town from Chicago, people had assumed she was white.

I listened to him talk. I said “I remember Arlene.” He replied “You never met Arlene.” I said, “Yep, I did. It was one year that we happened to be in town and my grandma made us come over to visit your mother. Your family. Funny thing is that she didn’t even tell us you were in town. We found out by visiting. I wanted to walk down the street to the local park with some of my friends. I asked you could I go. You told me to ask Arlene. Why? She wasn’t my mother. She was the first woman that I met and you thought that your girlfriend should give me permission? She wasn’t entitled. You were the parent. I felt disrespected. You didn’t provide support for us. Neither did Arlene. Non-financial people shouldn’t have opinions. Especially not girlfriends.”

He just listened. He changed the subject. He doesn’t remember that I met his first girlfriend outside of my mother. Only that he brought her to Tennessee. I, on the other hand remember everything. I have a long memory.

My memory won’t let me forget the pain inflicted by my father. I’ve tried. Other things happened which I will tell you about later. I didn’t understand. I hadn’t felt bad in a LONG time. What was happening to me? I shouldn’t be feeling the pain of longing for a father who wasn’t there.

I came home the following Tuesday and met with my therapist that week. I told her what happened. She asked me “Why do you go and visit him?” I told her that God told me to forgive him. She inquired whether or not God told me to build a bridge with him? I told her that he only told me to forgive him. She told me “You haven’t forgiven him.” I told her “Yes”. She said “No, you’ve given him grace. You’ve not forgiven him. You have too much residual pain left.” She went on to explain that the pain is both normal and understandable considering the years of abandonment, but she needed me to think about what forgiveness looks like.

I sighed.

For the last four years of my life, I thought I gave forgiveness. I gave grace. They are not the same. The weird thing is that I never knew anyone who gave grace. I thought God was the only one to give grace.

I was wrong. We can give grace. I allowed him to occupy a space in my world after almost 30 years of no relationship by thinking I was doing as God instructed…forgiving. But, now I see I was only giving grace.

I was being graceful by allowing him to be a part of my life. I was thinking that I was forgiving him by letting him spend time with me and dealing with the parts of my life that were painful. The parts that were caused by him and others. But, I wasn’t forgiving him. I haven’t forgiven him.

I’m struggling with this uncovered feeling. I’m trying to process what I need to forgive him. It’s hard. It’s a process and ultimately, I need to both obey God and forgive my father. God forgives. God gives grace.

I am not God.

So, my Motivational Monday Moment is spent somewhere in reflection, thought and understanding of grace and forgiveness. I ask the question, “Have you forgiven or have you given grace?” Let’s focus on both this week.

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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/.

Dead Beat Parents

Okay, so I have a bone to pick with dead beat parents. The ones that know that they have children and they do nothing to financially support their children. This applies to both male and female parents. I’m not picking on one gender.

Let me explain this clearly…

It costs money to raise children. You can’t raise children on sunshine and rainbows. Can they eat that? No. Can they walk to school or catch the bus on cotton balls? No. They need shoes. They can’t go to school naked. They need clothes.

I don’t care if you make minimum wage or a million dollars you have to provide for your children. That is a parent’s responsibility. Don’t want to be a parent? Don’t have sex. EVER. Why not? Because it is a possibility that you could become one.

I will NEVER EVER believe that it is okay for a parent to shirk their financial obligations to their children. The minute they were formed in that woman’s womb and you knew you were going to be a parent you should step up and do more. It is possible. Anything’s possible.

I provide support for my son. My ex-husband provides support for our son. It is not 50/50, but it’s acceptable. I provide my son’s health, dental and vision expenses solely. We split childcare. When my son is with him he feeds and clothes him. When he’s with me, I do the same.

I provide about 60% of my son’s care. This means that I pay for all his activities (swim lessons, guitar lessons, soccer, etc) and supplies (guitar, soccer cleats, balls, swim trunks, etc). I buy school supplies and tennis shoes. His dad buys school clothes. His dad isn’t working at the moment, but is still keeping up his end of the bargain with getting his son’s hair cut, feeding and clothing him.

Oh and he does the extras that I admire even though he’s not working. Being available to take him to doctors/dentists appointments on my week, following the school bus the first day of school to make sure that his son got on the right bus and got off the bus, getting his hair cut and splitting childcare expenses.

Now, if my ex-husband who is not working and is able to provide why the hell can’t some of these dead beat parents do the same? I mean what is the issue. I don’t care if you have to get a part-time job or sell yourself on the side to make ends meet you should always be able to provide something for your child. There is no excuse.

What’s even worse is that some of these parents think this is acceptable parenting. Let me help you…It’s not. When you don’t pay child support and you don’t have custody of your child it is a damn shame that you don’t buy your kids school clothes, tennis shoes, birthday or Christmas gifts. You then sit up there and act like you’re parent of the year.

You are not! You’re a joke. You need to step up and do better. Male or female. You need to know that these children have needs and you need to be able to meet those needs. Financially.

Okay, rant over!

Father’s Daughter

This is a piece that I wrote in December of last year

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I am my father’s daughter were the words that ruminated in my mind as I boarded my plane home from Tennessee last night. I smiled. I felt the peace settle into my spirit and realized that I am truly happy. Happy to know my father.

I shared my story earlier this year about how my father was an absentee father and how I learned to forgive him. I did forgive him. We started to build that bridge and get closer. I thought we had all the time in the world until he asked me to call him. It was early October.

I did call him. “I have cancer daughter” were the words that he uttered. I broke out in tears. The sobs of a child in mourning were muffled as I covered my mouth and closed my office door. “What” I stammered. “I have cancer baby” he replied. I went numb. He talked about seeing the doctor and his acceptance.

My dad had accepted that it was okay to not want to do treatment. I’ve lived a long life he says. “Dad, you’re 60, that’s not long” I muttered. However, he seemed okay with that. He was tired he told me. He wanted to die. I wanted more time. I wanted memories. How could I make up for the last 31 years missed if he was checking out? How could we get to a place of peace?

I realized a critical point in my life. I had to try. I had to truly forgive and get back to knowing this man. That’s all I could do. I cried. I left work in tears because I couldn’t bear the thought of the man that I was publicly admitting that I loved to not be here anymore. Time was slipping. Time was invaluable. Time was what I wanted. More time. I booked my flight home to Tennessee the following month and began about the task of making sure that I could create some memories.

Memories were just what I created over Thanksgiving. I spent days with my dad and family. Laughing, crying, eating and just visiting him. He spent many days in a melancholy mood obsessing over the past. He was remorseful when he talked about seeing me in 2004 and how he ignored me. He let the tears roll down his face as he said, “I’m so sorry baby”. I smiled and with tears in my eyes I said, “I know daddy. I forgive you. The same God that has granted me grace and mercy all these years has given me the gift of forgiveness.”

I learned so much about my dad and my dad’s family during my brief visit that I am in awe that it took this long. This long for me to know my dad. To know his family. To know his life. To hear him openly talk about his other children with other women. There are at least eight of us. I am the first born girl. The oldest girl he says with pride.

I don’t know if I’m happy that there are so many children that I don’t know, but what I do know is that I will no longer hold on to the past. I will no longer hold him hostage to the pain in my heart because time with him is of the essence. The time we spend is more valuable than holding on to the pain. In this space between peace and forgiveness is a grown woman who openly proclaims that I am my father’s daughter.

I have his eyes. I have his stubborn nature. I have his laugh. I am his. He is mine and even though our time is not known, I promise to spend every minute loving and appreciating this man for who is now.

© Tikeetha Thomas

Three Things That I Want You to Know – 11/28/15

Hi Everyone,

I’m home in Tennessee today and here are three things that I wanted you to know:

  1. I like coming home to Tennessee. It gives me a great sense of family and appreciating what God has blessed me with. I spent Thanksgiving with my grandmother (on my mother’s side) and my aunties, uncles and cousins. It’s a fat girl weekend whereby I will be walking my butt off (as long as it’s not too cold outside) while I’m here.
  2. I hate traveling on Thanksgiving. Although there were no major delays or issues, I just hate traveling on Thanksgiving. I arrived late for dinner, but thankfully a dinner plate and some desserts were hidden away for me. Yes, I’m spoiled and I’m thankful that my family supports this weary traveler.
  3. I’m home because my dad has cancer. My goal is to gather as much knowledge, strength and support that I can to be here for the man I’m just starting to get to know. I’m capturing our time with photos and my desire to make sure that my dad knows that I forgive him for not being around and that I love him. I thought we would have had more time, but it was not in the cards, but I’m prayerful. He has a lot of children and at the moment I’m the only one who wants to have anything to do with him.

Those are my 3 things for this week and I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend. We’ll chat on Monday!

Check Out My Latest Post on My Brown Baby

Hey loves,

These last few days have been a wonderful whirlwind experience. After the last couple of weeks it has been good to get out of my funk. I had submitted a Father’s Day piece to Denene Millner’s “My Brown Baby”, but I never heard back. Then yesterday she contacted me to say she’s sorry she missed it and would like to publish it. Yay!

Her exact words:

TIKEETHA! This piece is all the things. Every last one of them. THANK YOU for sharing it with me. I’m sorry that I’m just getting back to you and that it’s too late for it to run for Father’s Day. But I think it stands on it’s own. It will kick off the posts this week; what a lovely message to send first thing on a Monday morning. I went over to your site; it’s beautiful! I love your writing and look forward to reading more of your work. I scrolled through and found the pic of your baby and father; I’m going to use it to illustrate your post. I hope that’s okay. If it isn’t, just pop me an email and I’ll find a substitute pic first thing in the morning. The post will be live at midnight.
Thank you so much, again, for sharing your piece with MyBrownBaby. I’m sure the readers will be grateful for your sharing your heart.

Awesome sauce! Can you believe it?

I was excited because of three things:
  1. She wants to publish my piece.
  2. She’s a NY Times Best Selling author who loves my writing. (Key halo music)
  3. People read what I write and I’m growing my followers.

I’m thankful for it all. So there you have it folks. Check out my latest piece on My Brown Baby by clicking here: My Piece

 

Happy Father’s Day!

Today is father’s day and I want to wish all the men out there who are father’s or play a fatherly role to a child, Happy Father’s Day! We salute and honor you for all that you do. I know it seems that no one recognizes you and all your contributions, but trust me they do. More importantly, the children recognize your importance.

Here’s a poem I wrote in honor of my son’s relationship with his dad. I wanted to share what I think that my 7-year-old thinks about his dad. The first person that held him. The first person that kissed him. The first person that changed his diaper. His dad.

I AM HIS

Strong

Powerful

Reliable

First love

Survivor

Friend

Guardian

Protector

My dad

Always knows what to do

Protects me from the dark

Holds my hand always

Tells me he loves me everyday

Even when I can’t be near him I

Call to remind him of my voice

He smiles and laughs and says

“You know I will never forget” and I nod

But, there is something about my daddy

That makes me want to always check-in and

Share

The small things that happened

Talk about my day

For this man whose eyes and smile are a reflection of my own

Loves without thought

Gives without concern

And knows

That he is raising a king

His king

Enjoy your day loves!

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