Get a Plan

My visit to the ER was the scare that I needed that had my worst fears going at 100 miles per hour. Death. Heart attack. I had to make a change.

I am still restricted from working out due to surgery, but I needed to come up with a plan. It hit me the following week when I had Munch with me.  I noticed that Munch struggled to get out of the pool. He was literally throwing his body on the pool floor and trying to lift his weight up out the pool. It was rough to watch.

Two things happened when I saw that. First I realized that he was not utilizing the ledge in the inside of the pool to step on (which was weird as heck) but second I realized that we both needed to get healthy and increase our upper body strength. This was my opportunity to do it with Munch.

So, I reached out to my fellow blogger, David, over at Chape’s Fitness and asked for some suggestions. You know what? He gave them to me. He gave me some work out plans to help strengthen my ten year old son’s upper body. We had a plan. So, the next thing was to figure out how to tell Munch.

I casually mentioned it to him last week that we needed to work on his upper body strength, but I don’t think he got it. So, when he comes home tonight we will talk about our fitness goals. We will do this together. Not just Munch.

My plan is for us to do the following:

• Step on the scale and write down our weight

• Follow the plan that David sent over together

• Walk the track at the high school down the street when the temperature goes down

• Go to the pool together

• Eat more fresh veggies with our meals and less carbs (he loves rice and I love bread)

• Hydrate by drinking our water

• Track our steps – I just bought a Fitbit and I’m looking to get Munch one.

I don’t expect it to be easy, but I’m hoping that he will enjoy just doing these things with me. That it will allow us the opportunity to get meaningful workouts in and just enjoy getting healthy together. I need to strengthen my core, keep my heart strong and be here for Munch.

I want us to both be healthier. I’m not trying to kill him, but I want our health to be a priority. I want to model the behavior that I’m trying to get him to adopt. Healthier choices. More exercise. Keeping our heart healthy and living longer.

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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*Mothering Violence

I had to share this post because I’m a mother and in between watching your son grow up, shuffling him to activities and helping with homework and watching him sleep at night, you pray that you will never ever have to bury a child. But, this mother and many mothers do have to bury their son’s.

via *Mothering Violence

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.

Your Shoes are Fake

I sat there stunned thinking about all the times that I’ve heard the saying that “women can’t raise boys because they can’t teach boys how to be men”. Today I wondered was there any truth to it. I mean Munch and I are really close and I know he’s still innocent, but would I be able to navigate him through the trials of life when he comes to me with a situation? I honestly felt inadequate at that moment.

I thanked God for the opportunity to love and raise this little boy and for all the men in my life that I call friends to help me navigate unknown territory because it was them that I called on for advice. So, here’s what happened…Munch’s feet are growing like crazy. He’s gone from a kids size 7 shoe into a men’s 9 shoe in one years time. Honestly, he only has a little room in the 9 and he’ll be off into a 9 1/2 shoe probably by the end of summer. I wasn’t ready.

He’s 10. He hasn’t gone through puberty yet. Do you know how much men’s shoes cost? I have always believed that my son should have nice clothes and shoes. It was something that I felt was required because he should always be presentable. That said he will always have name brand tennis shoes. I prefer Nike, but will buy a nice running shoe as he’s hard on his tennis shoes as evident in his daily playground time.

We went to the store last weekend and I had him try on tennis shoes to find the ones he liked. Munch hates tying his shoe laces and so we found a great pair of Jordan’s with no laces. Perfect for the remainder of school and through the summer. He hated shoe shopping and we wrapped it up and headed home.

He was excited to wear his new shoes to school on Monday and off he went. But, on Tuesday when I picked him up he asked me “Mommy, are my shoes fake?” I was stunned. Munch knows nothing of name brand shoes. I had gotten his shoes on sale at Foot Locker and stores don’t sell fake shoes. I responded “No baby, why would you ask me that?” He began to tell me how a girl at school had told him that his shoes are fake and that they aren’t real. He said that she told another little boy and they were saying the same thing. He said she told me to take off my shoes so she can see them.

I was livid. I calmed myself and explained this one rule…never take off your shoes. That’s how someone can steal your shoes. I told him to ignore her. To tell her that your mom doesn’t buy you fake stuff and to mind her business. But, I wondered was it enough? Was I equipping my son with the sharp witted skills required to respond to ignorance?

I called three male friends who are parents and asked for their advice. I needed help. What am I supposed to do to encourage my Munch?

-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 @mskeeinmd.

Mom You Lied

This past weekend, Munch and I went out shopping on Saturday for new church clothes. Later that evening Munch came in my room and asked me could he talk to me privately. I said “Sure.” I have to tell you that I was really proud that he closed the door and asked me to talk privately. I eagerly awaited what he had to say.

“Mom, I felt like you lied to me today” he said. I was caught off guard. “About what Munch? Why do you feel like I lied to you today?” He said “About the store earlier. You said it wasn’t going to take long and we waited in line for a long time.” I had to catch myself. I was ready to say something smart, but I’m practicing the behavior that I want him to emulate so I said “Munch, do I work at that store?” He replied “No.” I then asked “How do you define a long time?” He didn’t respond. I continued “I had to wait in the same line and they had every register open. But, I am asking you to remember that God wants us to be patient and what you are exhibiting is your frustration at the fact that we had to wait. Wait in line while picking up clothes for you. Remember that you must have an attitude of gratitude all the time and right now, you’re not being gratuitous. I didn’t lie. You didn’t have a realistic expectation as to the time it would take and neither did I.” I asked him was there anything else and said good night.

I almost lost it. I couldn’t believe that my child was blaming me for the long lines in the store. I didn’t know if I could continue down this positive parenting journey. It was stressful to reign in my emotions and then to try to explain how disappointed that I was without losing my mind. I did it, but sometimes I wonder if I’m even making sense to Munch.

I didn’t lie, but his interpretation of the fact that I said it shouldn’t take long had told his brain that I lied when he had to wait over a certain amount of time. I didn’t know what to do. I was literally making it up as I go along. I thought about it over the next couple of days and expressed to him that we needed to take the time to process what he said and his expectations. I explained that his expectations are his, but he needs to practice reasonableness. I discussed that because he’s in an awkward size in dress clothes that I need him to be present and that I try my best to shop without him, but that may not always be the case. He needs to be prepared that sometimes he will need to be present.

I don’t know if he understands. Talking to other people only increases my anxiety about my choices because they don’t understand what I’m doing on this positive parenting journey. I’m being firm but allowing him to have choices. To openly expresses his feelings, but to level set with him. I pray that I’m not messing him up.

 

 

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 Mother’s Day

Wishing every last mother a big fat happy mother’s day! You are to be honored this day. Your hard work may seem to go unnoticed, but know that you are making a difference in the lives of the children you raise. Stand strong Queens! You got this!

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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/.

Reflections on the A-to-Z Challenge

It was my first year doing the challenge. It was hard. I learned a lot about me and my ability to come up with posts for thirty days. Thankfully, it is over. LOL. Here are my reflections:

  • I needed to pre-plan my posts and actually schedule them. I usually had a rough draft and concept done, but I didn’t plan them in advance. That probably would have saved me time when life got in the way and I didn’t post that day.
  • It was hard trying to think of words that matched the alphabet that weren’t always really simple. You know how hard it was coming up with X and Z? Whew!
  • I like the idea of a theme but would probably find a different one next time that was a little easier. I am proud of myself for jumping out there with a difficult theme, but I probably should have picked an easier one for the first time.
  • It was good to be writing consistently. It’s hard to blog some days when you feel like you have nothing to talk about or life gets in the way. Planning what you’re going to post forces you to get comfortable blogging on a consistent basis.

That’s about it. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and I may participate again later this year. If you missed any of my posts you can check them out here:

Anguish

Black

Cleveland

Divorce

Effort

Fear

God

Heavy

Insurance

Jordan

Knowledge

Love

Mom

Nursing

Objective

Perception

Querulous

Responsible

Saved

Trayvon

Unjust

Version

Wise

Xerarch

Yearning

Zappy

 

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/.

The Truth About Parenting

Yesterday when scrolling through Facebook I see this great post that was shared to a group that I’m in:

la0508

The post angered a lot of people. They felt judged. I get it. But, should you feel that way? Yelling at your child early in the morning starts them off on the wrong foot. We’ve got to do better. Speak in normal tones to them. If you set them on edge first thing in the morning, how do you think the rest of their day will go?

I saw this video below a couple of years ago and it really solidified in my mind that I was doing right by Munch.

There were many opportunities to start the child off on the right path and each adult that he encountered was determined to make his day suck. Yep, it was the adults fault. You are the ones that set the tone for how their day should be. Can they have bad days if you do everything right? Yes, absolutely, but how they start their day matters. Just like eating a healthy breakfast in the morning is best, it is also imperative that we put our children in a mindset of success and peace.

I commented on the Facebook post in my group with this…

capture0502

This mother commented that compared to you I must be doing something wrong. I laughed and said “No, we do our best. I only have one. I chose to do my best and pour the very best of what I have in raising him. It’s important that I get up each morning and fix him a hot breakfast. That I make sure he is presentable and in a positive mood each day. It’s my job as his parent. I wasn’t raised in the manner I’m choose to raising my son. Not a bad thing. I chose to raise him differently.” I’m not in competition with other parents. I am just choosing to do what I believe is best for Munch. Some days are good. Some days are a struggle. But that’s to be expected, right?

The other day Munch was taking his sweet time eating breakfast (38 minutes) and I was going to be late getting him to Before Care. I calmly called downstairs and asked him was he finished eating? He said he wasn’t. I then told him that I needed him to come upstairs in 7 minutes because we were late. We had to go. He started to talk about how he wasn’t finished. He still had food to eat. I explained that he was being distracted by watching his Ipad and not eating his breakfast. He complained that he was not. He then wanted to argue with me. I calmly replied “This was not a choice. I asked you to follow my instructions because you need to finish so we can get dressed and leave.” He did as instructed and we finished getting dressed and we left.

When I chose to practice positive parenting I knew that there would be days that would be overwhelmingly frustrating, but I’m sticking with it. I’m choosing to teach him positive behaviors and not to mess up his day with my own frustrations. Because that is what it is…my frustrations. I need to learn to control me.

I’m different. I do things differently with him. I trust that he will be grateful for the lessons that I’m teaching him and understand that I only wish him peace knowing that it starts with me.

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/.

Zappy

April 30

Today is the last day of the A to Z Challenge. Woohoo. I survived. It was hit or miss some days, but I made it.

Z

More importantly, today is Munch’s 10th birthday. I can’t believe that I have a child in the double digits.

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It’s been an amazing journey these last few years. This little boy who was determined to survive in my womb regardless of all the things going on around him has proved that his spirit is unbreakable. I remind him of that.

He’s a fighter.

When I thought I had lost him and when I got to sick to continue being pregnant he fought. He was my God send. Ten years later I still feel the same way.

He woke up zappy this morning. I fixed him his birthday breakfast and added a candle to his fruit. He loved that. He asked for breakfast in bed next year. LOL. I’m taking orders now. As we drove to school he asked that I call the school and ask them to make an announcement that today is his birthday. Really?

Only my child. He has to be the center of attention. I am still glowing from birthday kisses and birthday hugs that made my day just as special.

We celebrated all weekend and with each passing moment, I was even more in awe that I am raising an incredible young man. He’s smart. He’s funny. He’s the best thing I ever did. I guess I can’t say he’s still my baby, but he will always be that to me.

This post was part of the A2Z challenge and the letter “Z” is for Zappy. My posts were written as a journal style for the challenge 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 pagehttps://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Wise

April 26, 2018

Dearest Munch:

Sometimes I can’t find the words to impart the wisdom that I want you to have about life. There are not enough words or moments. Our country is in a state of change. But, I believe that it will get better.

I want you to focus on the wise words by these great men in history. These quotes were picked to inspire you to live each day being a better version of yourself. Life won’t be easy. However, you are powerful beyond measure. Trust that. Trust you.

When times get weary or lonesome, reflect on the wise words of your ancestors…

“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.” – Booker T. Washington

“Ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.” –James Baldwin (No Name in the Street)

“There is in this world no such force as the force of a person determined to rise. The human soul cannot be permanently chained.”- W.E.B. Dubois

“Racism is not an excuse to not do the best you can.” —Arthur Ashe

“There are two kinds of worries—those you can do something about and those you can’t. Don’t spend any time on the latter.” —Duke Ellington

 

Love,

Mommy

W

 

This post was part of the A2Z challenge and the letter “W” is for Wise. 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/.

Version

March 30, 2018

The version seems to be the same…I was afraid for my life. Another black boy dies. Gun downed. Another acquittal. No charges. The characters may change, but the version remains the same. Different cast. Same roles. More black boys die. It doesn’t matter. Our lives don’t matter.

The sins of the father are visited upon their offspring. What the hell did my ancestors do to make our children a target for violence? Their version always ends in a chalk outline and a community in outrage.

No more tears.

No more.

There should not be separate versions.

Only one.

The truth.

V

 

This post was part of the A2Z challenge and the letter “V” is for Version. 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 pagehttps://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.