Categories
Lifestyle Parenting

The Sweetest Embrace….

This is one of those stories that I struggled to share. Actually, this is one of maybe ten stories that I struggled to share. Before I went public with my blog, I thought that this “open book” thing was going to be easy.

Yeah….

I started struggling with my weight when I was in high school. Between being sick and going through puberty, I became disgusted by my body. My hips started spreading, and I had the slightest pudge in my stomach. I hated looking in the mirror. I often wore my middle school wardrobe as motivation for the weight that I wanted to be.

I remember the morning that I was discharged from a hospital stay when I was in the 9th grade. I put my size 11 jeans on. When I stood up, my pants feel to my feet. I thought that I had forgotten to button them. When I pulled my pants back up, I noticed how wide they were in the waist.

I was shocked and excited. I lost weight! Due to the various tests and procedures that I had undergone, I was placed on a strict diet. I just didn’t notice that this diet would have a big impact on my body. I was able to fit my older sister’s size 7 jeans! My clothes from middle school fit like a glove.

Literally…. My breasts were developing, so those shirts were tight in the chest area.

Once I was allowed to return to a normal diet, the pounds came creeping back. In no time, I was back in my size 11 jeans. It was so frustrating!

I started my first homemade “diet” when I was in 11th grade. I ate one Granny Smith apple a day, drank a lot of water, and had 1 hour of exercise a day.

I dropped 30 pounds in a month.

I started wearing my middle school clothes to school again. I knew my shirts were too short, but they clung to me and showed my flat tummy. I just knew I was cute.

I nearly fainted at school a week later. My father was understandably pissed off that he had to come pick me up. He was working second shift, and sleeping during the day. My mother was working first shift and had a lengthy commute from home.

I confessed to my father that I hadn’t been eating. I had never let my parents know about my issues with my body. He yelled at me for a good portion of the ride home:

“You know damn well you’re supposed to eat!”

I felt like I couldn’t talk to my parents about this issue. It was something that haunted me for years. I decided to just let them think I was acting stupid.

I started eating a regular diet and wearing my normal fitting clothes again. It was time for me to accept the fact that I wasn’t going to fulfill my dreams of wearing crop tops and low-rise jeans.

I gained about 60 pounds when I was pregnant with Ariana. It didn’t bother me much because I was able to use pregnancy as an excuse. I had to gain weight for the baby, right? Most of that extra weight went to my breasts, stomach, and face.

After I had Ariana, I began to lose the weight. I credit postpartum depression for that. I remember admiring my flattening stomach while I was in the psychiatric hospital.

After several months, I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight. I was impressed by my ability to be able to keep my weight in check for years. I actually started to accept my curves. The guys loved the curves.

I always craved that attention from guys. I was always jealous of my older sister for getting it. I didn’t know that I was seeking to wrong type of attention. I loved it though. My self-esteem was higher than ever.

Maybe I was never fat to begin with!

I started gaining weight again when Ariana was three. At that time, I was in my first marriage, and I had stopped putting so much into my appearance. I was never into appearances. It just didn’t matter to me. I thought that my husband wouldn’t care because he loved me.

WRONG!

Another damn expectation placed on the woman.

When I was pregnant with Amariyah, the weight started piling on.

My thighs had never rubbed together before. For the first time in my life, the first number on the scale read “2”. I was gutted. I never thought that I would see the day.

After I had Avery, I completely let myself go. I didn’t even want to know what I looked like. I avoided the mirror as much as I could. I didn’t even do my hair in front of a mirror.

I was forced to confront my appearance after seeing a picture of myself from Avery’s first birthday party. It was a very humbling experience. Everyone feels like they look good until that picture is taken.

I’m not talking about a deceptive selfie…..

I reconnected with a grade school classmate on Facebook. It turns out that she had become a nutrition coach. After catching up for a few minutes, she introduced me to the Medifast diet. She gave me her testimony on how it worked for her. I was intrigued.

It was expensive, but I was desperate. My then-husband and I were having trouble paying our bills, but I could tell that he was excited at the idea of me losing weight. At a time when my marriage was quickly deteriorating, I thought that it was the least that I could do to salvage what was left.

The food was nasty. I had to eat five meal replacements a day, plus cook a healthy dinner. I added exercise into my regimen after a month. I was impressed by how fast the pounds were falling off.

I had one cheat day. A friend blessed me with a lunch date at Red Lobster. That endless shrimp was heavenly! Don’t get me started on the Dr. Pepper!

I stepped on the scale a couple of days later. I had gained three pounds. I could tell that my husband was annoyed. I was understanding. We were shelling out a lot of money for me to do this, and I slipped up.

After six months, I lost a total of 70 pounds. I felt fantastic! I graduated from my husband’s clothes to some new, cute clothes that I treated myself with. My husband even acted like he was attracted to me again. That didn’t go unnoticed. As bad as it sounds, I was loving the outside attention that I was getting as well.

After I separated from my then-husband, I gave up the diet. It was more important than ever to solely focus on providing for my babies.

I never entered the official maintenance portion of the diet, but I was able to keep my weight under control with small food portions.

When I started dating Donnie, he knew that I had been struggling with my image. Being the sweetheart that he is, he told me that I didn’t need to diet.

That was easy for him to say. He never saw me at my heaviest weight.

We had both actually just experienced a drastic weight loss. When Donnie and I found out that we were going to have a baby, the weight started creeping back. I craved cantaloupe and Dr. Pepper all of the time.

After I miscarried, I started relying on bad eating habits again. After a a couple of months, I was pregnant with Julian. Again, I put on a lot of weight. Again, I didn’t let it bother me because I needed to put on weight for the baby.

After I gave birth to the twins, I was at the highest weight of my life. Once again, I was forced to confront my appearance.

I took extra pride in doing my hair. My hair is something that I could always count on. Even when my hair was going through different phases of damage(illness related), cuts, and styles, it never let me down. I never had a problem growing my hair. I told myself that as long as my hair was done, the rest of my appearance didn’t matter.

It was nice to have the reassurance of my husband, Donnie, though. He has never made me feel like I am unattractive. He has always loved me. Knowing this made me take some pressure off of myself.

Maybe I don’t need to keep a certain appearance to please a man! The right man! The man who loves me unconditionally!

Sure, people got their fat jokes off at my expense. Good for them. For the first time in my life, I didn’t care because my husband loved every inch of me. My husband helped me love myself. I know that I’m not perfect, but I’m me. What can be better than that?! Certainly I’m not being miserable and cracking jokes on someone else.

Still, I knew I needed to lose weight for health reasons.

I also wanted to look better for me. Why wasn’t I blessed with good genes?! I have seen larger women with great figures:

Titties? Sitting. Ass? Poked. Frame? Hour glass.

Me? The opposite…..

Google told me that I was shaped like a damn apple….

My parents tried to blame my child-rearing for the weight. I mean, food is also good… When I’m depressed, I have an unhealthy relationship with food.

I started a Keto diet when the twins were two years old. I was impressed with the quick weight loss. Unfortunately, my weight loss stalled after losing 25 pounds.

Next, I tried the Atkins diet. It seemed similar to the Keto diet. It was a cute diet, but my weight loss was not cute. I gave up on that quickly. I tried a few more weight loss applications. They just didn’t do the job for me.

I was skeptical about Weight Watchers. This is the oldest diet that I had heard of. I was hesitant because I had to open my purse again. This time, the damage was far less.

I started the program in January of this year. I was actually impressed. You just track and eat in within your point allotment. You don’t have to worry about keeping track of carbs and fat and micros and macros… You know, those pesky numbers that indicate that you are overdoing it….

I think that my favorite part was the lack of food restrictions. I could literally eat what I wanted. The downside was that the portions were extremely small, compared to what I normally would eat. Sometimes I would find myself craving a 17-point Big Mac with only 2 points left.

Huge sigh!

I started losing weight at a normal pace, and I was happy with my results. I was no longer obsessing with the scale. I was obsessing over how amazing my new clothes fit.

One thing that I learned about myself from doing Weight Watchers is that I need to stop putting expectations on myself. I will probably never be tiny again, and that’s okay with me.

Part of the reason why I was failing at these diets is because I only had my eyes on the end result. I didn’t celebrate the small victories. I was only focused on being skinny instead of making realistic goals.

My goal is to be healthy and happy. Salads may make me healthy, but they don’t always make me happy. Oreos may not be healthy, but I will be happy eating them. Thanks WW!

It’s all a work in progress, and I’m still working. I’m not where I want to be, but I’m not at my highest weight anymore. Success!

Unfortunately, I’m human. I fell off of my program during my most recent confrontation with depression. I am currently taking things one day at a time until I am fully able to recommit

I want this story to promote happiness and acceptance.

I want to let you know that you don’t have to fit into a box that was designated by man. Break the norms. Fat doesn’t have to equal unhealthy or unattractive, and skinny doesn’t have to equal sexy or desirable.

Stand confident in you. Love you! You weren’t put on this earth to make people accept you.

Thank you for your support, and feel free leave feedback!

Also, don’t forget to check out my other website for some affordable jewelry:

www.antoniasglamsc8pe.com

Categories
Lifestyle Parenting

The Pros And Cons Of Early Preparation

I am an early preparer because I have a large family. I’m talking about packing for a July vacation in May. I’m talking about Christmas shopping in August. My paranoia tells me to “get it done while you have the money” or “pack now because you will have a lower chance of forgetting something”. It has worked out beautifully until now….

COVID-19 turned most people’s lives upside down in March of this year. I discovered on the news that surrounding counties were closing down schools for the last two weeks of March. As soon as I got the call from the district office, I knew. I knew my kids were going to drive me crazy. I delayed the delivery of the news until Donnie came home from work.

The celebrations commenced after I told my kids what the deal was. These kids literally turned on a movie and asked me to make popcorn. I think Amariyah is the only one who genuinely likes schools. Still, she was happy. We all thought it would just be a short break.

FYI, I was not the one who stockpiled tissue, bread and milk during this time.

It was April, and the kids were still out of school. I decided to finish up my school shopping for the next school term. I actually started shopping in November of 2019. I had all of their essentials purchased by February. I always size up because children grow overnight. It just makes sense.

May arrives and the kids are still out of school. The Governor cancels school for the rest of the school term. Again, my kids were delighted. I wasn’t, as I was struggling to help them finish their 500 remote learning packets. I decided to use the old-fashioned pencil and paper because it was the easiest way for me to keep track of progress and make remarks.

What did your kids do during your state’s Stay-At-Home order? My kids ate. They ate and they ate. It wasn’t until late June that I remembered the fortune that I had spent on school clothes. My kids had gotten taller and wider. Despite my genius attempts to size up, I had to face the reality that the clothes probably would fit anymore.

I was correct about some of the clothes. Now I have a big donation box sitting in my room. I was given the option to homeschool my kids for the upcoming school year. In an effort to keep my children safe, I agreed to keep my kids in virtual school. While I get to bless some other children with new clothes and shoes, I don’t have to worry about purchasing anymore school clothes.

I will not let this unfortunate circumstance deter me in the future. I still say that my method works. On to Christmas shopping next month!

If you are interested in jewelry, I sell paparazzi jewelry through my business, “Antonia’s Glamsc8pe”. Feed your $5.00 habit at my online store:

https://www.antoniasglamsc8pe.com

Categories
Lifestyle Uncategorized

I’m Not Working For Love….And Neither Should You!!!

In my opinion, love is a natural emotion that can develop immediately or over a period of time. It cannot be bought or worked for.

God loves us all. He gives the purest form of love. He loves us no matter who we are, what we do, or where we’ve been. We can’t buy God’s love, favor, or grace.

So, why are you buying or working for love from your significant other? Why are you earning “love” based on favors or purchases? That’s not love. Love is not material. You are buying satisfaction. The truth is, that person will never truly be satisfied.

Sure, your significant other will love the home cooked meals, foot rubs, sex, & massages for about five minutes. Unfortunately, you will have to eventually come up with other ideas to keep that person “satisfied”. As long as you are doing the catering, your significant other will keep doing the stringing. Your significant other will want the pleasure of being catered to while being able to do whatever he or she wants. It’s a win-win situation for them, not you.

Don’t get it twisted. There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with giving gifts or doing favors, as long as they are not in exchange for love or commitment.

You’re terrified and insecure. You’re terrified that if you don’t keep up with the charades, your significant other will entertain someone else. That’s insecurity. If he or she wants to cheat, they will cheat. There is NOTHING you can do to stop it. It is NOT your fault either.

Stop with the mentality that “If I don’t do it, someone else will.”. You are not your significant other’s parent. That person has been raised. You already have doubts about your relationship if you are worried about someone “wrecking” your home.

*Newsflash!!!!! No one “wrecked” your home. That was an inside job, my dear. Your satisfied significant other allowed access, and that person took full advantage.*

When someone is heartbroken over another person, the first thing they most likely said was, “After all I did for you!”…..Think about it. Favors & objects are temporary. True love is timeless & priceless.

Your worth is priceless. If you are telling yourself that “I need to have my hair done everyday for my baby.” or “I need to have dinner on the table for baby every night at 5.”, you are automatically telling yourself that you alone are not good enough

Your soulmate is someone who loves you for who you are, and NOT for what you can bring to the table. The truth is, everyone has something to offer(sex, money, gifts, etc.), but who are you as a person? Who is your significant other as a person?

I have been with my husband for six years. I love Donnie because he is a genuinely good person. I love how he loves our children. I love his selflessness and dedication. I love that he puts no expectations on me. He just loves me. I don’t just hear it. I feel it.

I don’t know why he loves me. I can’t answer for him. I can tell you right now that I don’t have dinner on the table every night when he comes home. My hair is standing up on my head more than 50% of the time. I shave my leg hair maybe once a year. I’m a stay-at-home parent of almost 6 years who had no earned income(I recently started working again). Donnie met me at a size 14. I’m not there anymore(I’m working on that for me). He knows the most painful and shady parts of my past.

Donnie has never made me feel like an obligation. He has never made me feel unloved. Our relationship foundation is strong.

I’m never going to work to keep his love. He knows that he never has to work to keep my love.

You deserve commitment. Continue to acknowledge that the love that you deserve is priceless. You should never have to work for it. You are not a slave to your significant other.

If you are interested in jewelry, I sell paparazzi jewelry through my business, “Antonia’s Glamsc8pe”. Feed your $5.00 habit at my online store:

https://www.antoniasglamsc8pe.com

Categories
Lifestyle Parenting

The Most Thankless Job.

We are in the group of the unacknowledged “essential workers”. Stay-at-home parents know EXACTLY what I mean. Our job is the most demanding, but least appreciated.

I was only working on the weekends at the time I decided to stay home with my kids. My husband, Donnie, worked during the week. I had three children at home at the time. My husband and I traded childcare duties

There are many reasons why stay-at-home parents are created. Finances didn’t initially sway my decision to become a stay-at-home parent. I was pregnant with Julian, and I wanted to rest.

Before I had Julian, I suffered a heartbreaking miscarriage. It happened in May of 2014. I had been spotting on and off for a week. I began to heavily bleed around Mother’s Day. Donnie and I were devastated, but I later accepted that God had a reason. Others would say that it was because “You don’t need anymore kids.”. Okay….

I found out that I was pregnant again in July of the same year. I was highly stressed at work, and I just wanted to take it easy with my pregnancy. I just quit. I talked to my husband first, of course. Donnie was fully prepared to take on the burden of our household finances.

I’ve been a stay-at-home mother for almost six years. As time passed, I had more kids. Daycare was not something that would fit into the budget.

I absolutely hate it. Am I allowed to say that? Yes, I hate being a stay-at-home mother. My kids are not the reason why I feel this way. I just feel inadequate and lazy. Some days I feel held back. I feel like my contribution is the least important.

I’M THE ALARM CLOCK.

My weekdays start at 4:00am when I wake my husband up for work. My oldest children are out of the bed between 5:15 and 5:30. We all know that the kiddies need to be woken up at least five times. By 5:50, it’s time to dress some flailing toddlers!

All of my kids depart for school by 6:35am. All except for Jessica. She will start Pre-K this fall.

I’M THE SECRETARY AND ACCOUNTANT.

After I get Jessica settled, it’s time to create the household budgets. I actually enjoy doing this part. I don’t know if it’s the task of creating ledgers, or the the thrill of making financial miracles happen. Aren’t unexpected bills the best?

Handling business phone calls takes place in Le Master Bedroom. The downside of talking on the phone is that the sleep deprivation in my voice tends to shine through at some point.

I’M THE RECREATIONAL COORDINATOR.

I know there are parents that don’t believe in letting their kids watch much television. I’m not “parents”. With 6 kids, television has saved my life! I’d rather not have a conference call with Geico and my 4 year old.

Jessica constantly asks to watch Doc McStuffins. How many times have I watched the same three episodes of Doc McStuffins? “Time for your check-up! Time for your check-up!”

Sometimes Jessica will lie in an effort to spring me from my work. “Mom! My tv turned off!”.

As I walk to her room, I hear the familiar theme song, “Time for your check-up! Time for your check-up!”, followed by a tiny snicker. Why is she like this?

Playing “pretend” with dolls should be a crime. Somehow, I always end up with the doll who is missing hair. I also have to give the dolls voices. Jessica stays on my neck.

On a beautiful day, we might go outside. Jessica’s favorite activity is “Hide and Seek”. I love pretending that I don’t see her hiding behind that tree.

Julian has half days, so he gets off of the bus at 12pm. It’s time for lunch. While the kids are napping, I try to get some cleaning in.

I’M THE CHEF EXTRAORDINAIRE.

Before I know it, it’s 3:15pm. That means it’s time to cook dinner. On a good day, my family is getting a five-course meal. On a stressful day, everyone is eating a “big ole pot of spaghetti”, as my mother calls it. I’m constantly finding new ways to diversify my menus, but my kids are so picky. Donnie is just grateful to get a bite to eat. Bless his heart. My kids start getting off of the bus at 3:45, with the last child arriving home at 4:45pm. Dinner is on the table at 5pm.

I’M A TUTOR.

First of all, common core is from the works of the Satan. I have to relearn what my kids are learning in order to help them with homework. What the Hell is a number bond? I try to refrain from teaching my kids how I learned growing up because I don’t want to confuse them. I’ll just be confused instead. Donnie arrives home at 6:30pm, just in time to dodge the chaos.

I’M THE HOUSEKEEPING MANAGER.

It’s time for chores. Call it controversial, but I call it teaching responsibility. The kids will not die from sweeping a floor, trust me. My older kids have a set list of chores to do every evening. This lasts about 30 minutes…..unless one of them decides to throw dirty laundry in a closet or hide trash under a bed. Sigh!

I’M A GUIDANCE COUNSELOR AND MEDIATOR

Sometimes I notice that one or more of my children seem unusually quiet. They hate the repeated “Is everything okay?”. I genuinely want to know. Let’s figure it out! Sometimes school is difficult because of other kids or schoolwork. Sometimes one child may feel like he or she is getting a little less attention than the other.

Being the mediator is fun. How many fights have you had to break up? Do you love mediating stupid arguments? All of that comes with having multiple children. It’s annoying, but as siblings grow, they start getting on each others nerves. They still love each other, I promise.

DOWNTIME(sort of)

Once chores are done and booties are washed, my kids have earned electronics privileges. After overloading the WiFi bandwidth for an hour, my kids are sent to bed. This doesn’t mean they are sleeping. Julian and Joshua spend at least an hour jumping around and kicking the walls before the silence happens.

Now it’s time for me to get my life together before I lay down for the night. My “night” includes maybe 3 hours of sleep. As a matter of fact, I’m up at 3:00am writing this.

Being a stay-at-home parent is not for the selfish. It’s just another sacrifice that parents make for their families everyday. The reward will come one day. In the meantime, have a pitcher of margaritas on standby, and enjoy your kids before they start smelling themselves!

If you are interested in jewelry, I sell paparazzi jewelry through my business, “Antonia’s Glamsc8pe”. Feed your $5.00 habit at my online store:

https://www.antoniasglamsc8pe.com

Categories
Lifestyle

“Black-Owned”: Let’s Get Into Some Things!

This writing is dedicated to all of the black entrepreneurs who feel marginalized because their business isn’t “black” enough. You have probably seen those direct or indirect posts on social media. So much for “Unity in the Community”.

In a time of racial tension, the black community has resurged the sentiment that black people should only consume black-owned products. “We should be supporting each other!” With a few stipulations, of course…..

This latest wave had me revisiting the “crabs in a barrel” phrase because that’s exactly who we are. We claim to “love” and “support” our “brothers and sisters”, but we are also picking and choosing who is worthy of support within our community. We are congratulating on the forefront, but engaging in sabotaging behavior behind the scenes.

“Crabs in a barrel”

It’s no secret that I sell jewelry pieces under the name “GlamSc8pe”. I started “GlamSc8pe” as a way to earn extra money for my family. My short-term mission is to be able to help my husband pay off our debts so that we can find better housing and a better school system for our children. We have three children who have special needs. Two of those three children are severely autistic. We currently live in an area that has very little resources and money. This means that my children are not able to get all of the resources and help that they need.

My supplier for “GlamSc8pe” is Paparazzi Accessories. Paparazzi Accessories is not “black-owned”. This fact doesn’t qualify me as a “black-owned business”. That is, according to numerous black people on several social media platforms. This is just one scenario that I have seen scrutinized and deemed unworthy.

Before I get into some things, I just want everyone to know that you are not entitled to support for your business. I don’t care who you are. People are going to spend their dollar wherever they want to spend it.

Are you really buying from a “black-owned” business? Yes, you are creating a transaction from a black face, but did you check the pipeline? Do you know the suppliers? Did you know the supplier’s suppliers? Do you know where some of the revenue is really going?

Every business has at least one supplier. I don’t care if they create their own products or are selling products that they purchased. Unless someone is selling their own piss water, they have suppliers. If that direct supplier is black, do you think they checked who the supplier’s supplier is? Everyone is using something that is not black-owned to run their business. How does that make them different from me? I, a Black woman, purchased something that I profit from. Isn’t that called “Business”?

Where did you get your seed money to start your business? Did that money come from a corporation that is not black-owned? This could be a paycheck from a current or former employer. Did you use that stimulus check? Did you go to a bank for a loan?

You have a building, correct? This could be a home that you are leasing or a building that you are renting. The revenue from your customers is going to whoever owns that place. Not to mention, taxes have to be paid on that building by somebody. Let’s not forget the utilities. How is the electric bill getting paid? Who is paying for water and sewage?

You need supplies to create your product. Where does the fruit come from? Where did the seeds come from to create the fruit? You make shirts? Did you buy those shirts for wholesale price? Who was paid the cheap labor price? Jeff Bezos didn’t get rich on his own. Chances are that you purchased some supplies from Amazon. Was the third party seller black? Well, that third party has to pay Mr. Bezos a portion of his or her revenue. How about your skin care line? We could do this all day…..

How do you handle your transactions? Do you use Square App? Square App was co-founded by Jack Dorsey. Jack Dorsey owns twitter. Square App charges transaction fees after a certain amount of money that is exchanged. Do you use Cash App? Cash App is an extension of Square. Who does your business bank with? BB&T, Wells Fargo, Bank Of America, Chime……

You need to promote your business, correct? What is the easiest way to promote your business? You got it! The use of social media. Where are you advertising it? Facebook and Instagram have been great options. Those platforms are owned by a white billionaire, Mark Zuckerberg. I stated earlier that Twitter is owned by Jack Dorsey. How do you think these people are getting rich?! Social media has been lucrative.

There is so much irony in the fact that someone who screams “Support black businesses!” would use their Samsung or Apple device to tell me on Facebook, Twitter, or instagram that I don’t have a black-owned business.

Dear consumer, when you are shopping “black-owned”, just know that they are sending their revenue to a non black-owned company. There’s nothing wrong with that. I just wanted to point out the hypocrisy. Somewhere down the line, a business stops being “black-owned”.

To the people who slight direct sales consultants:

If my supplier doesn’t make qualify me as “black-owned”, what does that make you?

We don’t have to slight each other to support a cause. We all have a mission. We are all trying to survive by providing for ourselves or others.

Don’t call me your “sis” with the same tongue that you badmouth me with. Don’t look down on my business because we hustle differently. Look down on my business because I served you bad business. We all hustle differently, but that doesn’t make us any less.

If you are interested in jewelry, I sell paparazzi jewelry through my business, “Antonia’s Glamsc8pe”. Feed your $5.00 habit at my online store:

https://www.antoniasglamsc8pe.com

Categories
Autism: From the outside looking in.

Explaining This To My Kids Who Aren’t On The Spectrum.

One thing that I think is really challenging for me is having to explain to my daughters about their brothers’ challenges. Donnie and I are still trying to learn our sons, so we can only give them as much information as we know.

I don’t like to Google specific behaviors and decide if they are specific to my sons. Everything that you find will be textbook anyway. I want to know my sons individually. I want to know how they learn. I want to know how they cope. I want to know what makes them mad. I want to know what soothes them. I know who my kids are, but their behaviors constantly change.

It took me awhile to realize that I need to be considerate to the feelings of all of my children. As a parent, I need to have compassion for my children who have special needs and my children who don’t have special needs.

I try explain to my daughters all of the time about what is going on with their brothers. Jessica is too young to understand. She treats Julian and Joshua like her children, and is best friends with Avery. She’s so cute. Ariana and Amariyah understand some things, but their understanding doesn’t stop them from asking a lot of questions or being concerned.

Their understanding also doesn’t make them exempt from frustration. The other day, Julian had several meltdowns. That’s pretty normal for him. He then proceeded to go into Ariana’s room and smash her piggy bank.

My first reaction was shock. I mean, if you hear ceramic break, it’s pretty startling. When Ariana realized that her piggy bank was destroyed, she was livid. I immediately became irritated with Ariana because in that moment, I expected her to be sympathetic to her brother’s feelings.

Julian, Joshua, and Avery have destroyed a lot of property out of anger, excitement, pica, and curiously.

I had to have a “come to Jesus” moment. Ariana is 12 years old. She is a moody, emotional, pre-teen. She is also in that annoying phase. It’s a lot to ask a child not to get mad at their siblings, but it’s a bigger feat to ask them to be understanding towards their autistic siblings.

It’s a lot to ask a child to understand why we can’t attend certain events. It’s a lot to ask a child to understand why we can’t stay anywhere for too long. It’s a lot to ask a child to understand why these behaviors are normal for their sibling(s). It’s a lot to explain that our children with special needs require more attention.

I always have a moment when I need to check myself. Itself not just hard on me. It’s not about my husband or myself. This is about our children.

If you are interested in jewelry, I sell paparazzi jewelry through my business, “Antonia’s Glamsc8pe”. Feed your $5.00 habit at my online store:

https://www.antoniasglamsc8pe.com

Categories
Lifestyle

Do We Matter?

If a cop murdered me today, what would you say? If a cop kneeled on my neck and suffocated me for almost nine(9) minutes, what excuse would you use? What would you dig up from my unflattering past to justify my death? Would you say that my autoimmune disorders murdered me? If that’s the case, why did three(3) other cops stand around and let it happen? Why didn’t they save my life? Why wasn’t I given other options? Why did you hijack “Black Lives Matter” and replace it with “Blue Lives Matter” or “All Lives Matter”? Why do you need to “wait for all of the evidence”? Was the video of me pleading for my life for minutes not enough? Why are you dismissive of my fate? Why do you tell us how to feel? Why do you tell us what we are or are not experiencing?Why do you interject with “What about Chicago?”? Why do you only care about Chicago whenever my brothers and sisters highlight the injustices in the black community? Why are you so full of hate? Where is your compassion? Why can’t you see that we are hurting?

Why can’t you see that we are scared for our BLACK LIVES?

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https://www.antoniasglamsc8pe.com

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Lifestyle

Why I Switched From Publishing On Medium To Creating My Own Website.

First of all, thank you. Thank you for the support that you have shown to me. Thank you for encouraging me.

As many of you know, writing has been my therapy. I want my stories to help people get to know me, share experiences, and open some dialogues. I first started writing back in 2018, but I lost my confidence. After a hiatus, I began writing again. I thought that if I published my writings, I could reach people. I first heard about Medium from my husband. I decided to register because it was free to do so. I never expected to amass the amount of views and reads on my first story. I didn’t expect such positive feedback. I even received some followers. That reach gave me confidence. As I published more and more stories, the amount of views and reads took a nosedive.

After I received my most recent Medium follower, I decided to look at each profile of my followers. Most of the profiles seemed to have the same common trait: They were brand new accounts.

My heart melted. Several friends and family created Medium accounts to support my writings. Unfortunately, Medium has a rule that only allows paying members to read an unlimited number articles a month.

Was this the reason why my stories weren’t getting many views anymore? Were my stories just not good? Was it a combination of both?

It was at that moment that I decided to create my own website. I want my supporters, new and old, to be able to read my stories without any strings attached. I’m very excited to share my content with you all.

Welcome to MommYsc8pe!

If you are interested in jewelry, I sell paparazzi jewelry through my business, “Antonia’s Glamsc8pe”. Feed your $5.00 habit at my online store:

https://www.antoniasglamsc8pe.com

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Lifestyle

Quitting Made Me Happy(This Time)

Many of my fellow upper classmates were putting in their college applications during the 2005-2006 school year. I was not optimistic about college at all. I was ready to get the ABSOLUTE hell out of high school. I didn’t even know if I was going to graduate at that time.

I remember firing up my mother’s dial-up internet so that I could submit an application to George Mason University. Filling out that application made my self-esteem rise a little bit. After I filled out my application, I asked my father to front me some money so that I could submit my application. My father was reluctant to pay that NON-REFUNDABLE, $40 fee for my college application, but he did it. 

As my father entered his credentials on the keyboard, I just knew that he was having flashbacks of all of the D’s on my latest report card. My father is very blunt and more realistic than optimistic. I was a lazy student who did just enough to get by. He might have not believed that I would get into George Mason, but it meant the world to me that he was willing to waste his money. 

Yep, he wasted his money. I knew that thin ass envelope was a rejection letter before I even opened it. I decided to just focus on trying to graduate and then I would get a job. 

I was able to play catch-up in most of my classes. I knew I needed grace from God Almighty to pass Physics. Do you know why I elected to take Physics? It sounded like a class that would make me seem intelligent if I had it on my transcript. I didn’t know that this class would be a hybrid between science and math. My worst subjects in one existed package.

I was several points shy of passing that class for graduation. I needed an A on my final assignment. Where was this A going to come from? It certainly wasn’t coming from me. 

My Physics teacher was OBSESSED with the Pittsburgh Steelers. I mean, this man’s classroom was decked out in memorabilia. The decor was more interesting than the class. The Steelers just happened to advance to the Super Bowl in 2006, along with the Seattle Seahawks. My teacher wagered a deal for all of his students: If the Steelers win the Super bowl, every student will get 60 extra credit points added to their final assignment. February 5, 2006 was the first time that I watched a football game. 

I anxiously watched the Super Bowl game on my 19 inch Durabrand television. I had no idea what was going on. I just knew I was rooting for the Steelers. My parents knew why I was watching the game. Let’s just say, they were not amused. The Steelers ended up claiming the victory, and I was clear to receive my diploma. My father, the realist, wanted to see the diploma in my hand before he would accept that as reality.

As the school year was coming to a close, a lot of students began bragging about college acceptance letters. I was slightly jealous, but I had a job interview to look forward to. 

My mother took me to a job fair at an IKEA on a Saturday morning. For some odd reason, I volunteered to the interviewer that I was terrible at math. To my surprised, she still hired me. I began working part-time because I was still in school. I had completely pushed the idea of college out of my mind.

After I graduated(My father got his proof), I started working full-time at IKEA. I didn’t even finish working the summer before I was fired. I got another job where my older sister worked because she was know as a hard and excellent worker. There was no interview. I was always known at work as “Angelica’s sister”. I think five people actually called me by my government name. 

I made a few friends at work. I was always hanging out when I was not working. Little did I know, I was about to go through a life-changing experience.

Nope, I still didn’t get into college. In February 2007, I found out that I was 7 weeks pregnant. I was terrified, and I had so many factors working against me. However, I decided to parent my child. I gave birth later that year, and I had no idea that I was in for one Hell of a ride. 

My mother wouldn’t let me sit around and feel sorry for myself. My mother and father were young parents. They raised five badass children. We weren’t the “My kids are going to save the world!” type of badasses. We were the “You better be grateful for a mother’s love.” type of badasses. My mother knew how hard life was going to be. Still, she believed in me. She was the optimist.

I made the decision to attend college because I was convinced that I would make bank if I had a degree. I needed good money because I had a child.

In 2010, I first attended college at a local campus. I briefly enrolled in cosmetology, before switching my major to Business. The atmosphere reminded me of high school all over again. Students were late. Students slept. 

I was “Students”. Still, I managed to complete my work and make decent grades. Unfortunately, I wasn’t getting what I needed from this school. I was taking classes that I didn’t necessarily need. I became discouraged and withdrew from school. Are you sensing commitment issues? 

A dear friend introduced me to the University of Phoenix online school. I enrolled at the end of 2013. Only 17 of my 36 community college credits transferred. I was PISSED. Still, I carried on. 

In June 2015, I finally obtained an Associate Degree in Business Administration. I immediately jumped into the Bachelor’s program. I was on a roll. I devoted so much to my schoolwork. I was working during and after childbirth labor. I even carved out time for schoolwork during my annual family vacations. 

Up next, was my Bachelor’s Degree. After I completed 18 class credits, I was awarded with a certificate in Business Administration. In 2017, I  obtained my full Bachelor’s Degree. I took some time away from my studies for a few months before getting back to work. This time, I was hungry for a Master’s Degree. I wanted to maximize the amount of money that I could earn. A higher degree meant a higher pay, right? 

I was worn out. Being a stay-at-home mom and keeping up with my schoolwork was starting to take it’s toll on my mental health. My grades started slipping, and I ended up on academic probation. I was crushed. Nothing else that I achieved mattered the moment that I saw that “academic probation” status. I took another break before I started my last three classes. I felt like I owed myself that much. After I exhausted my leave of absences, I returned to school.

I begrudgingly began the final classes of my Master’s program. I did fairly well in the next class. In fact, my GPA rose a little bit. It seemed like every A spiked my overall grade by .000001%, but every F would tank my overall grade by at least 500%. 

Going into my second to last class, I was optimistic. Unfortunately, my teacher was a harsh grader. I was writing two papers every week. It seemed that my teacher was never satisfied with my work. I framed a lot of my assignments around being a stay-at-home mom because I wasn’t a rocket scientist, like my classmates. I guess that wasn’t good enough. Still, I escaped that class with a B-.

I entered my last class with very little gas in the tank. I had another teacher who was a tough grader. I was OVER it. 

I was dealt a harsh blow. My teacher gave me an F on my week one assignment. I didn’t understand his rationale. I spent many hours on this paper. I broke down. I cried on and off for two days. I watched my grade drop from an A to a G+. 

Once I recovered, I did what I do best. Can you guess what that was? Yes, I dropped out. Yes, I did. I dropped out of school just one class shy of obtaining a Master’s Degree. It was late in 2019.

I was no longer able to handle the emotional toll. I was a 31 year old wife with 6 young children. I was putting an unreasonable amount of pressure on myself, and school just became too much of a commitment.

As soon as I submitted my request for withdrawal, I could feel my brain cells repairing themselves. I felt a huge wave of peace wash over me. I knew in that moment that I had made the right decision.

As expected, my academic advisor called me. I almost immediately regretted answering the phone. He kept pushing me, but I wouldn’t budge. He knew what my home life was like, but it was almost as if he wanted me to put my family on the back burner. I began to think that this man was going to get a check if I graduated from my program. 

Well, I apologize for stopping his bag, but I was firm in my decision. His pushy attitude was not helping to reverse my decision. My advisor continued to call until I put his number on the “Do not disturb” list. 

Honestly, I didn’t even like school. For all of those years, I held onto the mentality that having a college education would guarantee this massive income. I had been studying for a Master’s Degree and was still unsure of what I wanted to do for my career. 

That’s no different from today. I was sure that  if I did not have children, I would not have gone to school. I genuinely felt like I had wasted my time.

School was never for me. I had to have this realization about myself. School became a way for me to impress my parents. I never did this for me. Obtaining degrees was a way to make me feel worthy. Going to school never made me happy.

I enjoyed the praise that I received from my parents. I was in an imaginary race with my siblings to become the favorite child. I loved my name being attached to something other than birth certificates.

Yet, people still believe in me. Despite my struggles to believe in myself, there are people who still cheer me on. My mother, the optimistic, still prays for me. My father, the realistic, still loves me. My friends still encourage me. 

 I went to college to get more knowledge. Surprisingly, I learned more about myself than I ever knew.

Today, I enjoy my peace. I enjoy not having to worry about deadlines, or being judged for how I interpret different lessons. Most of all, I enjoy not feeling validated by a piece of paper.

I may not have my feet on the ground yet, but I think I’m close to landing.