“You can’t pour from a empty cup, take care of yourself first”
Every once in a while we have to take a step back to focus on our mental and physical health. We put so much time and energy into work, our families, & businesses that we rarely have the time for ourselves. We have people depending on us for almost everything. The kids need help with homework, dinner has to be made, grandma needs a ride to the doctor, the car broke down so it's only one car to get everyone where they need to go. Life is still kicking our a** and it often feels like we can never catch a break. We fall short of self care and coffee becomes the best friend. It becomes harder to wake up in the mornings and it takes a little more make up to brighten you up. Your mentally and physically drained. Well I'm here to tell you, your cup is empty and it's time to refill.
I'm going to give you 5 tips to refilling you empty cup:
1. It's time to say "NO!"
It's okay, I know it may be hard for you but in order for you to be able to refill your cup you are going to have to tell some people NO. I say this because your cup is empty, you truly have nothing else to give and people have to understand that. It has to be a limit for what you do for others so that you can make sure you do for yourself. How can you give someone something that you don't have? No one likes the word no but some people have to be told this because if not then they will always expect you to say yes.
2. Find your peace
When it comes to refilling your cup know that your peace has to be protected. When you are mentally drained it becomes hard for you to maintain daily life. Your peace is your everything, nothing should take away your focus. Make time to find your peace. Try reading, yoga, listen to a podcast, or mediation.
3. Be honest
People only know what you tell them. If life is becoming too much for you open up to someone so they know what is going on. You should never have to fight a battle alone. Support is our greatest weapon. If someone can't understand or empathize with your situation then you don't need them aound any way. Allow yourself to be vulnriable in this time of healing. When refilling your cup you have to be able to grow enough to over fill the cup. You won't be the same once the cup is already empty.
4. Self care
Say it with me! "Self care is important." We need it, we love it, we must do it! We cannot go without our self care. Your cup is empty because you forgot about yourself. You put so much time refilling somone elses cup that you forgot to fill your own cup. You cannot help others if you are not your best self. You can't put so much time into someone and then cheat yourself. When I say self care it can be as simple as taking a walk, listening to your favorite song, going to lunch with a friend, eating that junk food. Do something that makes you feel good. You deserve that happiness.
When your cup is empty that is the perfect time to just unplug from everything and just focus on self. Take a break from social media, cut your phone off before 7pm, put DND (do not disturb) on the group chats. Take the time to soley focus on you. Pray and talk to God, Allow him to be your friend. Listen to his word. Take a step away from the outside distractions and make time for you. You can't keep giving what you don't have, You need time to recharge. Your mental health is important.
You can't pour from an empty cup. Every once in a while our cups become empty and we have to remember to take time to refill our cups. We can be super moms but once the battery dies we have to recharge. Make time for God and yourself. Protect your peace and be open about your situation. Self care is your best friend and it's okay to simpy say no. You are in charge of your mental health unplug if you need to. Always rememeber in order to be our best selves we have to be at our best selves 💕
One day I was scrolling down my timeline on Facebook and I came across a post from Tia Mowry about her struggle with losing her postpartum weight. She explained how her insecurities would get the best of her when she looked at other moms bodies who shrunk back down to normal size after child birth. She was seven weeks postpartum and she still looked like she was still carrying a baby. It was her second C-section and both times her body didn’t shrink back down to her body goals.
I can totally relate to how Tia feels. Both of my pregnancy I had to have C-sections and both times I weighed over 150lbs. My first pregnancy it took me a few years to lose my postpartum weight. I felt my stomach fat just wouldn’t go away. I gained more weight after having my son Ayden due to being on birth control. I was wearing a size 16. It caused me a lot of insecurities and depression. I was young and didn’t feel beautiful anymore. My body was changing and I didn’t understand why. It was a long rode to self discovery for me. I had to learn that I was beautiful on the inside and outside. I had to love myself for who I was instead of who I thought I seen in the mirror. I became the home body who never wanted to go hang out with her friends and all I did was work.
When I looked at other moms around me who were my age or older I would see them have their babies and their bodies were SNATCHED, looking amazing and I couldn’t understand for the life of me why my body didn’t do the same. My body doesn’t allow me to lose weight fast like others. It’s a process of eating healthy and working out for me but as a working mom I don’t always have the time to do both. So I have to embrace my right now, my situation, my body, myself as it is right now. I know my body goals will be what I want it be but not right after giving birth.
I had to make myself realize this past pregnancy that 1. I had just given birth to TWO healthy big boys. 2. I have to give my body time to heal on it’s on. Instead of worrying about how I look I should enjoy and reflect on the beauty of being a mother. How I was not like most moms, I got to experience carrying two humans within my body. So whatever happened to my body after labor I would embrace it and love myself. I’m not saying it was easy, that first look in the mirror was depressing in my eyes. I complained a couple of times but my boyfriend, the father of my children reminded me that he loved me regardless of how I looked or felt. After that I told myself I would never look down upon myself again.
Pregnancy is a beautiful thing. It’s something that should be embraced and a happy moment for new parents. When you see a mother who had just given birth remind her that she is beautiful. You never know what she may be going through. Battling with herself on self love. Motherhood is not defined by how we look, but how we love and provide for our children. They love us and feel we are beautiful to them. Love yourself as you are right now and make the changes when the time is right. Remember, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL JUST THE WAY YOU ARE MAMA 💕
At what age did/will you sit your son down and give him the “talk”? I’m not talking about the “birds and the bees” talk but the “Being a black man in America” talk. I am a mother of three handsome African Americans boys and I know that one day the time is going to come where I am going to have to sit them down and have this talk with them. The sad thing is they won’t understand why we have to have this conversation until they get older and experience it on their own.
My oldest son will be turning 8 years old come October and it wasn’t until my mother reminded me that the time is coming to sit him down and have the “talk” with him. On how Philando Castile was shot and killed while his girlfriend and daughter were in the car, how Alton Sterling was killed in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and the police who shot him were never held accountable for his murder, or Eric Garner who was choked to death while saying “I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe.” I will have to teach him that everything is not equal. He doesn’t get to go out and act a fool. He can’t do the same things as some of his white buddies because the risks are too high for him to be killed. He’ll have to understand that he was born a target, this is not something that happened over night. He comes from a long list of black brothers who’ve had to experience the same fears. When the police pulls him over he can’t talk to them any way he wants. To protect his life he will have to keep your hands above his head or on the stirring wheel. He will have to ask before he grabs his licenses and registration because the color of his skin is portrayed as violent.
The subject is touchy, uncomfortable, and heartbreaking. It’s the raw truth us as black parents have to face. No parent should have to fear for the safety of their children all because of the color of their skin. l know it may not be fair, but I would rather have my sons humbled than harmed.
I grew up in a predominantly white neighborhood and I seen how hard it was for my only brother to realize that it wasn’t because of who he was that he wasn’t able to do the same things as his white friends but because of the skin color he was born with. My sons will know that when I call their phones they HAVE to pick up because I worry about them not making it back home. They will always have to work twice as hard to be treated half as equal. Statistics show that the older they get the more likely it is they will become victims of violence. They will also be seen as a suspect, but for no other reason than being a black male. That hanging out with one or more of their black friends outside will be seen as “a gang" rather than friends hanging out. It will depend on who's watching them, if they will be considered "a threat" or not.
It frustrating as a black woman because I often feel I don't have the right to display my outrage at the wrongdoers. If I yell at them to protect my sons it will be portrayed as the angry black woman not as the mother who is fighting for equal rights for her children. Being a mother of three black boys, I have to be extra in making sure they understand how their presence can make others feel threatened, while at the same time help them understand they have value and a purpose. I have to have a conversation with them about how they will be considered as "fit the description”. Sometimes the reason for being pulled over is because you're just driving while being black. As parents our goal should be raising a boy in America, not raising a black boy in America. We live in a world where our sons will be presumed guilty the moment he is born.
I realized that it’s a harsh reality and something black parents have to face every single day. It will be uncomfortable to talk about but the only way we can grow is to be uncomfortable. Yes, it’s heartbreaking that the “talk” has to even happen but it's the world that we live in. We have to protect our sons and protecting them means having these hard conversations with them. Our sons and daughters are the future, we need them, we love them, we know them.
It’s a feeling that is frustrating to explain because it doesn’t make sense to me some days. I can be fine one minute and then before I know I’m biting my nails, heart racing, hot, sweaty, and irritable. My mind starting going crazy and it becomes hard to focus. I find myself worrying all the time. Are my kids okay? Will I have the money for the rent? What if I lose my job? Does he still love me? Why can’t I stop worrying? Some many questions and concerns that I have no answers to. I don’t even know why I be thinking some of the thoughts that be going through my head. I’m constantly freaking out over things that I know I can’t change. Like the fact that I just had twins and was on maternity leave with no pay for 8 weeks. I know that times was going to be hard for a while and once I got back working I was going to be playing catch up but yet and still I find myself overwhelmed with thoughts of how I’m not doing enough when really I’m doing the best I can.
Some days are better than others. I don’t think about harming myself or my children. I’m happy 85% of the time but yet and still I feel off balanced. Yes, I cry sometimes but I blame that on hormones. So what is this feeling I’ve been feeling? Well I did some research on postpartum depression and came across a post about postpartum anxiety. It’s not as popular as postpartum depression but at least 10% of women suffer from it. I want to believe I am included in the 10%.
Unfortunately, postpartum anxiety isn’t the disorder that's talked about most, so many moms, such as myself, aren't sure what to think once they start experiencing these worrisome feelings. Postpartum anxiety can cause changes in eating and sleeping. Dizziness, hot flashes, rapid heartbeat, and nausea can all be signs of PPA, as well as the inability to sit still or focus on a particular task at hand. All these things I’ve been experiencing these past three months.
I haven’t been able to talk to anyone besides my boyfriend about it in fear that people will judge me or say I’m over exaggerating but I know that the only way things will get better is by opening up and talking about my problem. I’m still figuring it out but I know I cannot do this alone. So I’m writing this post to raise awareness about postpartum anxiety in hope that some mommy is out there struggling with the same thing and we can help one another. Let’s keep reminding ourselves to keep going and have faith that God will change our situation.
As a mom we often feel we can handle everything. From cooking, cleaning, washing clothes, working, after school activities, homework, baths, etc. We spend 95% of our day providing for our children until we can’t anymore. We feel that asking for help makes us less of a parent. We want people to believe that we have it all together. Before I became a mom of twins I never asked for help. I was a single mother until my son was four years old. I went to work and school full time while being a full time mom. I lived with my parents and they helped me a lot as far as keeping my son while I worked and went to school. If I happened to not have it I knew that I could depend of them. However, I always made sure we had everything we needed because I knew it was my responsibility as my sons mother. When I found out that I was having twins I realized that I was going to need a lot of help and support. My boyfriend was becoming a first time dad so I knew that us together just wasn’t going to be enough. I also hadn’t had a newborn in 7 years and the thought of having two of them scared me. I had to put my pride to the side and allow myself to accept help.
Sometimes we need those breaks. A time for us to relax and clear our minds. I know it can be hard to ask for help in fear of rejection or negative thoughts. If someone offers to watch the kids, let them. When family and friends come over, ask them to keep an eye on the kids while you take a small nap or clean up. Utilize your resources. Take people up on their offers. If they ask if you need help, say it. People only know what you tell them. If you don’t have the help look for local support groups, other moms.
Being a mom you are automatically connected to other moms. We all have one thing in common, children. We all know the struggles of needing help. We all get tired and weak. We are moms but even mom needs a break too.
Challenge yourself to step out and ask for help today even if it’s something small. You’ll be surprised at the number of people waiting in line to help you.
"We cannot nurture others from a dry well."
Being a mom of boys we don’t always have the time to look our best. We slip on the first thing we find before the boy(s) get up because we know once they are up they’re ready for the day. Unlike girls, boys don’t care about what they have on or if their hair is looking good. Little girls enjoy watching their mommies put on make up, get dressed, and do her hair. Boys on the other hand they want you to chase them around the house to get the dressed, play cars on top of your head, wrestle, have fart contest. We spend most of our time cleaning up messes, making dinner, running to sports practices, helping with homework, all the things that need to be done to keep our households in order. Every now and then we need to take some time out for us. Go to that nail shop, call up your beautician, go get that wax.. Do whatever it is that makes you happy. Self care is very important. If we are not at our best, how can we properly care for our children? We aren’t neglecting our babies and our sons will still love us even if we take some time for us. Trust me, they’ll appreciate it.
Here are five self care ideas for the month of August:
Being a mother isn’t easy. It’s a never ending job. I like to say I have two jobs, my career and my children. I take pride in being a mother. It’s one of my greatest accomplishment. I became a mother at the age of 17. I was terrified but refused to fail. I felt I had so many people to prove wrong and now I look back at that time and realize the only person I needed to prove something to was myself. I made sure to finish my senior year of high school and go to college the following fall. I was a single mother striving to succeed. It was not easy but I had unlimited support from family and friends. I went to school and work full time while being a full time mom. There were many days I wanted to give up and times where I took a break from school. I didn’t let those times stop me from accomplishing my main goal. Almost 8 years later I am now a mom of three boys who keep me on my toes. My oldest son Ayden will be entering the second grade come August 15. I am very proud of the little man he is becoming. He is super smart and loving. He enjoys playing his Xbox, swimming, riding bikes, and playing outside. He is a fast learner and catches on really quick. On May 16th of this year I became a mom of fraternal twin boys Alexander and Ashton. They are such sweet babies. The enjoy spending time with mommy and daddy, tummy time, eating, and sleeping. They are completely different. I’m excited to see them grow and interact with each other. My children are my motivation. The reason I wake up in the morning with joy in my heart.
As mothers we never want to see our children grow but we know that’s the way life works. Our children are the lights of our lives. They are apart of our legacy that we will leave behind. Mold them into the people they need to be. They depend on us to show them the path to success. I encourage all my mothers out there to take some time to reflect on life with your children. Take the day to show them how much we care. Spend time with them We get so caught up in physically caring them that sometimes a little time with them is all they need. Remember.. They don’t stay babies forever ❤️