AFMS – TOP TEN POSTS

AFMS is nearly a year old.  In celebration of this milestone, here’s a list of the top ten posts.  How many have you read?

  1. Hair Growth Tips
  2. The Move
  3. We Detox Our Bodies But Forget Our Minds!
  4. Fun Cherie Facts
  5. Yes, My Belly Was Big
  6. First Plane Ride Without Her
  7. How To Survive Your Toxic Family This Holiday Season
  8. Houston, I Am Tryna Come Back
  9. Why I Drink Hot Water
  10. Just Like That I Have A Lil Champions Green Belt

MOLLY IS STILL ALIVE!

Good ol’ Molly is still alive! I am thankful to report she is now a year and a month old and she’s still alive. (I have never worked so hard to make sure a fish is taken care of.)

She has had 1 babysitter so far and that was Grandma when we went to Disney World! Thank you, Mommy. (My daughter actually called her grandma every night we were gone to check on her fish).

We were all scared last month when the whole family packed up and went to California for 7 days and Molly was left alone. I felt like a parent who wasn’t being responsible, oooh the guilt! I now have faith in the 7-day Beta feeders (thank you, Petco). We were all rushing to try and get in the house before her to make sure Molly was gonna be okay. Just so happens as soon as we boarded the plane coming home, our sweet flight attendants name was Molly! My whole family gasped for air and it became real thick while my daughter said all excited, “O.M.G. You have the same name as my fish. I am going home to see her now.” The flight attendant was so sweet once we were sitting, she had a talk with baby girl about her fish and brought her extra cookies because of her great choice in names. I still think we were all holding our breaths! Before the plane could get in the air, we were all praying, “Lord, please not only bless this flight but please let Molly be alive when we walk in that house!” It was unspoken because we didn’t want to alarm her but the terror in our faces was undeniable.

When the car pulled in the driveway it was almost a race into the house. We all wanted to get there before my daughter, but she won. Hahahaah, she beat everyone to Molly!! THANK YOU MOLLY IS ALIVE! What we didn’t know was my mother had already made a side deal with her days prior that if Molly had died while we were gone as soon as we got home her and my daughter would turn around and go right back to Petco to buy a new fish. Lmfao

My mom’s a genius! My baby was happy Molly was alive but screamed, “Grandma, we good.  No need to go to Petco.” If Molly was gone I think she’d have been okay too. The fact that she has a good handle on the circle of life sure does make us all feel comfortable.

Btw, my baby girl said Molly made it because she left a picture of herself for Molly to look at, so she didn’t feel alone. Hahaahahah, she had a picture frame right next to the fish bowl!

HOW TO CO-PARENT

So many emotions are stirred up when someone decides to leave a relationship. The hardest thing for some of us to do is to accept the fact that things will never be what they once were, but while the universe has changed your focus can’t. Once we become parents our life is no longer fully ours. It’s about creating a healthy environment for our children to flourish.

The most important thing you can do is to set a business-like tone. Remove emotions and replace it with what’s rational. Collectively, the first conversation you need to have should be about the intention to have a compassionate and supportive co-parenting relationship. Believe it or not, the person that was once your “everything” does not have to suddenly become the enemy. Remember the big picture and that’s your child’s mental health. If you can’t be great together as a unit, then you’re going to commit to be the best co-parents you can be.

One of the biggest issues is people fail to create an extended family plan. It’s bound to happen that someone will start dating again maybe even marry. Often, it happens too soon for one of the parties involved. Energy transfers… this is where checking emotions is important because children shouldn’t have to carry either parents’ feelings or burden. They have enough going on within themselves when their parents break up. It’s important to agree on the roles extended family members will play and the access they’ll be granted while your child is in each other’s charge.

Keep the lines of communication open. Never use your kid as a messenger. It is not their responsibility to become the go between both parents. This makes a child feel stuck in the middle. I guarantee you not only will they drop the ball at times and completely forget information they were supposed to share but things will get lost in translation.

Communication about co-parenting is extremely vital for your child’s healthy development. You don’t have to remain quiet if something about your ex’s co-parenting is troubling you. Just remember to approach everything with love and respect. Watch your tone and your approach. No finger pointing or “you-keep-doing-this kind” of talk. The best approach when communicating is to make your child the focal point: “I see the kids doing this-and-that after they return home from their visit. Any ideas of what we can do?” Notice there’s not one “you” word in there. No accusatory tone or finger-pointing either.

Don’t hear but listen…listen to understand, not to respond. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes for that moment. Leave your own feelings and emotions out of what they are trying to communicate to you. I know it’s hard but it is beneficial to all parties involved.

Showing restraint is vital. Train yourself not to overreact to your ex. This is especially important in front of your children. Realize that communicating with one another is going to be necessary for the length of your children’s entire childhood, if not longer. Teach yourself to be numb to those buttons he or she is trying to push, and over time your ex will be forced to communicate in a more effective manner.

Last but not least, always be considerate. Share those milestones with the other parent, let them know about school events, big projects and accomplishments. It’s not about whether they are there daily or not, it’s about celebrating and encouraging your child.

The picture in an artist mind is not often what’s translated on canvas, but it doesn’t make it less beautiful. Happy co-parenting!

WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT

We are seeing a lot of these Women Empowerment Movements but what does it really mean? Women and girls make up the majority of the 1.4 billion people living in extreme poverty. Women’s Empowerment is about educating and empowering women with the resources and confidence necessary to secure a job. Not just any job but often their dream career. It’s about equality and leveling the playing field. Reaching back into the community and giving a sista the helping hand she needs. Where otherwise she may had been overlooked.

We all have heard this is a man’s world. Truth told… only because women allowed it to be. I believe in the next 30 years we will see a major shift! More women now than ever before are CEOs, doctors, lawyers, attorneys and scientists.

There is an edge that men have over women that we should take notice to and take notes from.

First, men run off rational thoughts while women run off emotion. Where men have pride, it’s our emotion we have to overcome to win. When you allow anger or apathy to get in the way of the things you set out to do, you do a disservice not only to yourself but also to those around you. The biggest disability you can have is being a person with a bad attitude and allowing it to control you. Don’t allow your attitude or how you feel to control you, you have to control your attitude if you want to win.

Secondly, women spend too much time worrying about what you stand to gain instead of taking responsibility. Emotion tells us to look after our personal bottom line but seeking out responsibility is a test of our self-mastery. When you let go of acquisition and exercising your rights, you are free to accept the responsibility that leads to genuine respect. Stop living in the now and look at the future. Pointing a finger at someone else doesn’t solve the problem, it just hinders getting the problem resolved.

Men really support each other, there is a brotherhood and mentorship that happens where they rise together. Women tend to feel this threat and fake competition between one another that hinders us from really supporting each other’s mission. We want to see others do well just not better than us. We really need to let that go!

Lastly, we need to stop second guessing ourselves. Women need to learn to trust that gut instinct and run with it. It’s okay to recognize your win, while learning from your loss. We are all so much stronger than we give ourselves credit for. We often just don’t know it until after we have resolved an issue and obtained our goal.

While many of us are taught to be humble I am telling you if you want to be a real boss you have to be confident and be bold, it’s okay to be border line cocky, just never catty!

A CONVERSATION BETWEEN SISTAS

A lot of you may know I am homeschooling my 4-year-old daughter. I am not an educator, so I often reach back to my village for advice. Some are moms, others are educators. After having a conversation with Brandy about whether I was going to give spelling test or not our conversation ended like this.

Blue is me. the other is Brandy and I am not being messy. I got her permission before sharing as you can see in post.

 

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cherie - brandy convo2

Thank you so much, Brandy for making me really think. Ladies, we have to do better! A sista took me to church today!

TEAMWORK MAKES A DREAM WORK

The most successful people did not become successful alone. The one thing all of them have in common is a great, strong team. Whether the team consists of 2 people or 300 people, each has important jobs to make their unit thrive. Having a good strong team consists of many important components.

First is communication. This doesn’t mean that there is constant chatter or barking orders. This means everyone has a clear-cut understanding of their duties and responsibilities. There is a due date set and the lines of communication are open for input.

Secondly focus on goals. With every business a monthly goal should be set and shared with the team so that each member can work on completing their tasks.

Third, make sure work is evenly distributed among your team. Everyone does their fair share and holds their own weight. There is nothing worse than being micromanaged by someone who barks orders and does very little. People will work a lot harder when they see their leader busting their ass for the greater good of the whole team.

Fourth, when your tasks are completed it’s always a great gesture to offer support to anyone who may need the extra help. Maybe looking at things with your fresh eye can bring a whole new prospective to a daunting task.

Diversity is important and my favorite. Working with people who come from different backgrounds can teach you so much. People from different cultures can look at the same thing and see it differently depending on their life experience. This is where your company can really grow and thrive. Diversity invites a whole new demographic of consumers to enjoy our product.

Leadership starts at the top! A lot of bosses forget the whole lead by example ideal. I will personally work a lot harder for the boss who comes in early and stays late over the one who schedules a meeting then shows up a hour after it was supposed to start expecting me to jump at their beck and call because they decided to show up.

Last but surely not least organization is everything. This is one of my biggest issues. As a writer, I have a ton of content. Some is on my laptop, my phone and spread through different emails. What has helped me tremendously is designating an email where I simply send everything I write so it’s easy for me to find. No matter what device I write it on, it gets sent to the email. Find what works best for you! Everyone has different systems.

Have fun and enjoy every day. It will make a difference.

DID YOU KNOW 70% OF ALL CEOs WERE INVOLVED IN EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES AS A YOUTH?

When I was pregnant, I read that children involved in extracurricular activities are more likely to go to college. Right then I knew I would encourage my daughter to find something that held her attention and she loved doing! She takes swimming lessons and Tae Kwon Do. Swimming was not her choice but it’s an essential life skill I feel strongly about her learning. Taw Kwon Do was all her choice. It was important to me that she picked her own path not lived in the shadow of her parents. We are thrilled she has picked Tae Kwon Do!

Benefits of Taekwondo

  • Ability to defend yourself
  • It’s a social activity
  • Goal setting & discipline
  • Increasing your self-esteem
  • Cardiovascular health
  • Bettering your focus
  • Increase your flexibly
  • Making you happier and a better person
  • Strengthening your muscles
  • Relieving stress
  • Learn respect for authority and life
  • It’s good for your brain. New research has found that practicing martial arts is good for your brain. The benefits are not just physical, but mental also.
  • Learning the ability to fail – Part of the instant gratification problem is that it has created a generation that is afraid to fail.  Students in Taekwondo will fail at some time.  They may get kicked in the head gear by a sparring partner, drop a weapon, lose at a tournament, or not pass a belt testing.  Allowing children to fail in a safe environment lets them see that failure is not an end, but the beginning of a great story. My daughter knows that “No” isn’t definite. Often it means not right now!

Martial Arts teach students to set “SMART” goals.

    • Specific – set an exact goal
    • Motivating – set a goal that motivates you
    • Achievable – set a goal that you can accomplish
    • Relative – set a goal that means something to you
    • Trackable – have a timetable and ability to judge success.

I understand extracurricular activities can be expensive and a lot of people live on a budget but if you check places like your local YMCA, they often have programs that will assist with funding.

FOCUS ON THE CHILDREN

June is graduation month and while we should focus our attention on the accomplishments of those that worked hard to achieve their goals, I am sad to hear some of the stories from blended families.

I had conversations with different friends. In one situation, the birth mother was pissed that the stepmother told the parent, “We are here celebrating our son.” (She’s been in the boy’s life for 10 years.) A stepfather was pissed that the absent sperm donor was invited to graduation because he had never been there before.

Note to parents, it’s not your day period. You’re there to celebrate the accomplishments of your child! The mental health and happiness of your child is more important than adult feelings. Celebrate this new chapter for your baby and put those adult feelings aside. You made a choice to join this blended family. The children are stuck in the middle. Raising mentally healthy young people is what it is all about. I wish more parents knew how to at least pretend to be mature for the greater good of their children.

(Some of y’all need family therapy NO SHADE.)

Bravo to the parents who have figured it out! Once you become parents, life is about them.

MY DAUGHTER’S NEW FAVORITE SCHOOL SUBJECT

My daughter’s favorite school subject has become social studies, thanks to the amazing layout of these books. It’s big for my daughter to see her own likeness in books and they have done a great job at representation of all. My Story takes children on an amazing colorful adventure through all the continents and the waters. I tend to teach a more secular curriculum but MASTERBOOKS is bible based. It makes a few references per chapter but not in a way that’s overbearing so I don’t mind it. I want her to be educated on all religions so it’s a nice intro to understanding conversation pieces that will be made through her life by Christians.

My Story and the World Around Me is a lower elementary social studies course that introduces students to history, politics, sociology, economics, and geography, while providing an understanding of God’s world and the cultures of the countries. Level 1 begins with children in their homes, helping them to think about their lives from their immediate families and beyond, as well as learning about local governments. Equivalent to a first-grade level.

Life is an adventure. Why not spend the school year with your children traveling the world?!

My Story 1 & 2.

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My referral code

https://www.masterbooks.com/r/V3bEoJlk/

THINGS WHITE PEOPLE DO THAT WE DON’T THINK ABOUT!

O.k. why is it that when kids graduate from junior high school, we (Black people) reward them with a shiny new stereo instead of something that has to do with what he accomplished? Something that might make their future brighter. I grew up in a place called Westlake Village, the suburbs of Los Angeles, California. I definitely noticed a big difference in the way I was raised, and the way my fellow classmates were raised. See, I was one of the only African American children in my school. At most, there were 5 African Americans at my school at one time, but it only lasted a year. I have always been very observant, so I noticed that my friends were getting bank accounts, stocks in their father’s company, mutual funds and bonds, even inheritance. I also remember saying to myself, “That sucks all they got was a piece of paper.” If my mom had handed me a piece of paper saying when I turned 18, I would have a certain amount of money I would have been pissed. I would not have understood that she was doing me a favor, because that was not the way I was taught. But now I realize what those other people were doing is investing in their children’s future. As an adult I understand, because no one had anything to invest in my future and because my mother did what she was taught. Needless to say, I did not grow up rich. By the way, just for the record I’m still playing that stereo!! So, thanks mom I can’t complain.

It is very important to teach your children healthy money habits. This is a lesson that should start at least by the second half of elementary school. Don’t just hand them money, see, easy come, easy go. If they earn it, and they are taught they have to work for money. Not only are you teaching them an important life lesson of responsibility but you are also teaching them how to appreciate what they get, and the harder they work the bigger the reward. I understand parents want to give their children what they never had, but when you hand them things too easily, they don’t learn the value. Take them to the bank. Teach them how to withdraw money and make deposits. Also, how to put money away in a savings account, and to invest. Help them to put a percentage of their money in a savings every month, then twice a year invest 50 dollars. Teach them to read their bank statements and watch their money grow. Believe it or not, get them interested in their money and they will value what they have more and what you do for them more. It is important to understand the value of money.