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 Uncategorized

THE DREADED ELECTION: Take Two!

While my household slept, I walked to my polling place to submit my vote. It was a cold, November day in 2016. It took me less than two minutes to reach my destination. As usual, I was swarmed by small office candidates. I honestly had no idea who they were. Still, I smiled as I accepted the fliers.

I went to that poll knowing damn well that Donald Trump was not going to win the 2016 election. I normally vote, but I didn’t want to vote in that election. I voted anyway because I knew my mother would ask if i had.

I reluctantly placed my vote for Hilary Clinton. I didn’t really care for Hilary. I just knew that I had to be realistic. Somebody was going to win this election. I just didn’t want it to be Donald Trump.

After I cast my ballot, I walked back home. Everyone was still sleeping, so I laid back down.

My friend came over that afternoon to braid my hair. We talked about an array of subjects, but the election was heavy on our minds and in our hearts. History was about to be made! Whether we cared for Hilary Clinton or not, she was going to be the first woman president. As a woman, I was kind of excited.

I flipped the living room television to CNN. This network was also quite confident in Hilary Clinton’s chances.

As polls closed, the map was starting to look a little funny. I was slightly worried, but no big deal! The margin of error warning was there for a reason.

At around 10:00pm, I watched in horror as the state of Florida turned red. “It’s over!”, I cried to my friend. Tears began to roll down my cheeks. I couldn’t believe what I was witnessing. Hell, even Right-leaning Fox News had Hilary edging by.

I was visibly shaken for the rest of that night. I cried myself to sleep. I was sure that the “Access Hollywood” tape scandal would’ve done him in.

Not. One. Bit. It was so crazy how much bullshit people were willing to overlook. Don’t get me wrong, Mrs. Clinton has a ton of skeletons herself. I guess you could say that everyone was overlooking a lot of bullshit, no matter who they voted for.

Unfortunately, we slept on Donald Trump. We got complacent. I was one of millions who underestimated him. We can cry about “Russia” all we want, but the fact of the matter is that Trump out-strategized Hilary.

We did make history. We elected the first reality star and celebrity elite to the highest office in the land. I thought Republicans hated the celebrity elites….

Throughout his term, I knew that there was no way that Trump would be removed from office. Democrats were so obsessed with finding ways to destroy that man. I knew better. I knew that the only way to get rid of Trump was to beat him. We had to vote.

The impeachment trial was a waste of time and money. I knew damn well that it wouldn’t hold piss water. Yes, Trump will have the stain of impeachment on his record, but the senate refused to remove him. Who didn’t see that coming with a Republican-controlled senate? Is Trump guilty of misconduct(not necessarily election related)?Absolutely! Did that stop him? Nope!

For four years, Trump and his supporters continued to get under the skin of millions of people. I was confused. “If Trump is so great and he is for America, why do his supporters make it seem like his presidency is a punishment for the opposition? Wouldn’t they want him to turn all of the opposition?”.

Every day there was a new lie. There was a new insult. There was a new projection. There was another disgusting story. There was another conspiracy. The truth is, Trump made a few strides during his term. Most of his opposition didn’t notice because his crass nature and petty attitude spoke louder.

When COVID-19 came to the United States, there was a fear. I think it was a valid fear. It was so spreading, and still is spreading like wildfire.

You know that I have ore-existing health conditions, including lung inflammation. I wanted no parts of Rona.

Yes, I understand that the survival rate from Covid-19 is very high. However, I would never chance it. I’m still not confident that I would make it out alive if I became infected. Besides, I have too much to lose.

I hated the way that Donald Trump downplayed the virus. At first, he seemed serious. I even tuned into the task force meetings. It seemed like the more the economy suffered, due to shutdowns, the more Trump kept downplaying the virus.

He put his ego before the country. That point was solidified. As a businessman, Donald Trump is all about the numbers. He spent more than four years eerily obsessed with Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton. Sounds like “derangement syndrome” to me. There was no way that he was going to be outdone.

When Trump and his family became infected with COVID-19, the reception was mixed. A lot of people were excited and a lot of people were send well wishes. Some people thought he deserved to be sick because he constantly disregarded the safety precautions. I don’t play about karma, but I didn’t shed any tears.

The optimism in me thought that if the president healed from COVID-19, he would be humbled and show some redeeming qualities to his opposition. I was wrong. After Trump and his family recovered from the virus, he continued downplay the virus and disregard safety measures.

Even as numbers continue to rise, Trump continues to hold large campaign rallies. Say what you want about Trump, but the man(child) can pull some large crowds. Unfortunately, he doesn’t care that we are in the midst of a pandemic. Once again, putting ego over country.

Don’t get me started on the disgusting conspiracy theories that Trump continues to spread. Apparently, the Democrats are running a covid hoax in order to gain sympathy votes. He claims that “States will open back up on November 4th”. Also, he touts the conspiracy that doctors are making bank by inflating infection numbers.

Everything and everyone is out to get Trump, according to him. It’s always about him. His supporters eat it up. Father save us all!

Donald Trump continues to show that he only works for his supporters. He constantly emboldens them with his various dog whistles. He continues to berate and taunt his opposition. Many of his supporters follow in his direction. It’s almost cult-like.

Here I am four, long, years later. We are approaching another Election Day. We are casting votes for the lesser of the two evils. We are seeing an assortment of intimidation tactics. Social media has become more toxic than ever. Family members are disowning each other. Friendships are breaking up.

I never cut myself off from Trump voters. I never understood their rationale, but i still found some nice people.

After four years, I’m finding it harder to accept Trump voters. Social media really makes you believe that they are all bigoted, racists, and nutty. That’s why I had to step back. I didn’t like the feelings that I had about those voters. A lot of them love that he says the quiet part out loud. Some of them genuinely believe that Trump is the closest thing to Jesus.

I’m annoyed with the Democratic Party. No, I no longer identify as a Democrat. After doing my own research, I came to the conclusion that neither major party hold my best interest. I have since changed my voter registration to reflect “No party affiliation”. I decide to vote based on candidate rather than party.

Anyway, I’m annoyed with the Democrats because they have once again produced a lackluster candidate. I’m sure 50 people ran for the nomination. Not one candidate stood out to me. Here we good again.

Joe Biden does stand out from Donald Trump, though. He’s not a bully. I think that is what people are riding on-that small, but stark difference.

Call me a snowflake all you want to, but I like presidents who are more interested in the country, versus presidents who are obsessed with creating conspiracies and belittling others. I also prefer my president to be meltdown-free on Twitter at 3am. Joe Biden also seems to care about taking Covid-19 seriously.

I didn’t vote for Joe “You ain’t Black” Biden because he’s a well-rounded candidate. Who is? I voted for him for the same reason that I voted for Hilary-I want “Look at my African American” Trump to go. Indeed, I had to overlook a lot of bullshit. The fact of the matter is that one of these two candidates will win this upcoming election.

I’m nervous as Hell, but it gives me hope to see people taking this election seriously. Trump did not lie when he said that he could “stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot someone and not lose any supporters.”. I think this is one of the rare times where he told the truth.

I’m just telling my story. No matter who you are, or who you support, go vote. Make your voice heard. Don’t forget that the Congress seats are just as important! Either way, someone is going to be mad at the end of this. I’m not sure if we will close that gap of division anytime soon, but I’m holding out hope.

A Joe Biden presidency will yield a boring news cycle. I’m not even mad about it one bit.

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Lifestyle Parenting

Parenting Through Depression

That’s exactly what I’m doing now.

Over the past several weeks, I wrote down my thoughts, with full intention of sharing. However, I changed my mind. Writer’s block had set in so badly that hated everything that I typed. Everything just felt mediocre. I’m not saying that I’m a top-notch writer, but I usually like the content that I put out, and I hope you do too.

I’ve been struggling to keep up with everything that matters to me- parenting, my blog, my business….

Depression is something that I have learned to live with. I have some lows and I have a lot of highs. Unfortunately, the lows are not very fun.

For the first couple of months of virtual learning, there was never a problem with me hopping out of bed before my alarm even rang. These days, I find myself struggling to cope with a new day. Everything just seems overwhelming. It’s not the fault of my kids. Depression is no stranger to me. I have dealt with it since I was a teenager.

However, my depression seems new to my kids. I hate that they noticed this time. I’m usually able to hide my episodes of physical and mental illness from them. What’s beautiful is that my kids have been patient. Honestly, they are still hardheaded as Hell, but I could feel their empathy. It just doesn’t feel fair to put them in that position.

Today was the first time in awhile that I actually felt a burst of energy. I don’t know where it came from, but I’m not complaining!

I filled out the mountain of paperwork that I have been avoiding for months. I made some important phone calls. I also cooked a meal from scratch! I know that sounds simple, but it’s really an accomplishment for me these days.

Next on my list? I need to wash my hair. It’s been a hot minute. Not gonna lie. I have been keeping up with the girls’ hair. Normally, when it is time for me to wash my hair, I dread the process, but I go and do it anyway. Doing three heads of hair every other weekend is a job, honestly.

These days, I’ve been keeping my hair in “two fat braids”. That’s what my mom called the hairstyle when I was growing up. It was her go-to hairstyle for my sisters and me when she didn’t feel like doing anything elaborate. It’s safe to say that I need some “Hair surgery”. That is what I say when it’s time to do hair. It’s really a transformation….

I really surprised myself though. I was doing really well during this pandemic. When Donnie was home for two months, I thought it would be such an annoying experience. Look, I love my husband with every breath, but we all know how a significant other can get on your nerves when we spend a lot of time with him or her. I thought I was going to be lie, “Seriously, this is my territory. I’m the stay at home parent. Please go back to work.”. We just didn’t get on each other’s nerves. I showed Donnie the ropes of watching the four walls all day and listening to the kids argue. He was very hands on, which I loved.

We also got to work on our marriage. Nothing major was broken, but you know that you have to perform maintenance to keep the operation going. We actually became closer, and I was very grateful.

Having my husband go back to work was such a crippling experience. He immediately went back to working 60+ hours a week. I really miss having him at home. However, the bills must be paid, and until my kids pay their invoices, I’m not bringing home any bacon for my services.

I acknowledge that I need to get out of the house. Where would I go? I could step outside for some air and nurse my bug bites later. Because of the pandemic, the five recreational activities that were available in town are now gone.

It still pains me that we had to miss out on our annual family beach vacation this year. That one week over the summer is literally Heaven on Earth. The beach is my sanctuary. It’s probably one out of three places that I visit throughout the year.

Right now, I feel crummy. In reality, I will be fine. I always make it through. You will too. The most important thing that you can do for yourself is to move. I don’t mean pop in an exercise tape or go for a 5 mile jog. Start with something small. Every small move is important and significant. Even if all you did was just wake and get dressed, you are going in the right direction.

“I need you, you need me.
We’re all a part of God’s body.
Stand with me, agree with me.
We’re all a part of God’s body.
It is his will, that every need be supplied.
You are important to me, I need you to survive.
You are important to me, I need you to survive.
I pray for you, You pray for me.
I love you, I need you to survive.”

-I Need You To Survive by Hezekiah Walker

Get into it!

Also, don’t forget to check out my business website:

http://www.antoniasglamsc8pe.com

Categories
Lifestyle Parenting

The Cursing Parent? Let’s Talk About That Sh*t!

First of all, cursing doesn’t make you a bad person at all. Honestly, I don’t even know how these choice words even got their bad stigma. All I know is that when someone hits a pinky toe on the wall corner, their first instinct isn’t to yell, “Oh for heaven’s sake!”. Some people feel embarrassed because they “slipped” and said a curse word. The truth is, it’s natural to drop an F-bomb when one experiences such excruciating pain.

Okay…. so what does it mean when you curse in front of your own children? It means absolutely nothing!

Look, Spongbob Squarepants called curse words “sentence enhancers”. There were no truer words spoken. Nothing drives your point across quite like “Sit your ass down!”. Don’t act like your kids’ behavior doesn’t frustrate you. Don’t you get tired of telling your child the same thing over and over again? Eventually, frustration is going to win.

When I was younger, I never heard my mother say a curse word. My daddy wore that crown. My mother wouldn’t even let her kids tell each other to “shut up”. After raising kids for more than 30 years, my mom has let the sparks fly. It’s refreshing, honestly. I mean, you are made to believe that there is a bed waiting for you in Hell for using these words.

I actually went through a couple of periods of a vocabulary cleansing. It was more of a “spiritual cleansing” in my eyes. At that time, I felt like God wasn’t going to bless me or I was damned to Hell for cursing. Oh brother!

Cursing doesn’t have to have emotion behind it. Let me introduce you to the casual curser. The casual curser has curse words imbedded in their vocabulary. They might even be “doing the most” by using 90% curse words in a simple sentence. Leave those people alone. Have you ever played Mario Kart with your very experienced kids? I rest my case.

Unless you keep your kids locked up and plugged up, they are going to hear cursing from somewhere.

Yes, my kids hear me curse. Yes, one of my kids has repeated a curse word. I took Avery to enroll in pre-kindergarten 4 years ago. I was signing his paperwork when he suddenly let the F-bomb fly repeatedly. I was embarrassed. No, my child shouldn’t have been cursing. The administrator laughed the incident off, but I could tell that she was uncomfortable. I apologized profusely because one thing that I don’t want to do is make someone feel uncomfortable or disrespected. There are people who believe in something so strongly that they will use the “I’ll show you” approach against the opposition. Those people are assholes.

Do I want my kids(at their current ages) cursing to other people? No. Are they doing it in places like school? Most likely. I never uttered any curse words in my parents’ house, as a child. You bet your ass I did at school. The first time I remember cursing was in 3rd grade.

Donnie and I curse often when we have conversations. We aren’t fighting. We just casually throw those bad boys in there. One thing that I love about Donnie is his sensitivity. He also doesn’t like to offend or disrespect people either. There are certain words or phrases that rarely will or never will leave my mouth. Certain words and phrases just bother me. Some of those words are synonyms for a vagina. Whew, girl! No ma’am….

I believe that most of the behaviors that children, who eventually become adults, are learned behaviors. I’d rather my child learn a curse word than to learn hate any day. I’m not sitting around cursing my kids out. If you are worried that your child will be a bad person because of words, you have nothing to worry about.

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

Dear Essential Workers……

Technically, every worker is “essential” to someone or something.

Healthcare and grocery are especially essential right now. Unless you have been hiding under a rock, you know that Covid-19 has been spreading around the world. It has morphed into a pandemic with unfortunate consequences.

A lot of people haven’t necessarily been happy about the government response at the state or federal level. Party affiliations aside, you have to admit that the response could have been better on all fronts.

The financial response was terrible. It still is terrible. With the number cases back on the rise, will we see another lockdown? What about the people who haven’t received any financial relief? What about those who have become permanently unemployed?

Donnie was out of work on March 30th. He was supposed to return to work on April 8th, but that didn’t happen. I was worried. We had $1400 in savings.

Congress was negotiating a stimulus check for Americans. Of course, both sides of the isle throw fits when they don’t get what they want. Unfortunately, it’s the average people like my family who end up suffering. Save your “But the Democrats…” this or “But the Republicans….” that. Both sides are complicit, and have been since day one. Both parties have been manipulating us all into pointing fingers. We aren’t the enemy. Our government is the enemy.

I just got off track. It happens.

Anyway, my husband is one of the workers who was not deemed essential during this time. My husband was one of the people who had to take advantage of a stimulus check and unemployment benefits so that his family could survive for 2 months. Praise God that he even had a job to go back to.

Some people were fortunate enough to be able to work during this pandemic. Let’s recognize that essential workers also had their lives turned upside down. They were and still are risking their lives on the front lines. Do they deserve extra compensation? ABSOLUTELY! Who should they direct their misplaced anger towards? That’s correct: The Government! One thing that this pandemic has highlighted is that wages are not high enough.

But we already knew that. Getting someone to care is another story.

Why are there so many “essential workers” pissed off at people who were temporarily or permanently laid off through no fault of their own? Do they not also deserve extra compensation for that unfortunate inconvenience?

I apologize that my husband didn’t pass on his extra $600 a week to an essential worker. There were people who were getting that government assistance, and it still didn’t match their salary. I’m sorry they couldn’t help you either.

Hm….It sounds like you need to take that up with YOUR government, instead of writing “who else can say that they worked everyday during the pandemic?” or “who else paid their bills without a stimulus check?” on social media. Congratulations! You are blessed. That’s not everyone’s story. Furloughed workers didn’t do you dirty. Your government did you dirty.

Donnie didn’t get his first post-“stay at home” order paycheck until June. It was such a blessing to have. I was sad that he had to go back to work, but it was a blessing for him to have a job to go back to.

My point of this post is that EVERYONE had their life turned upside down. This is not a financial competition. The financial relief is temporary, and cannot replace an actual job. I wish I could say that Donnie and I invested a new home with our relief income. NOPE. Why? The bills didn’t stop. They never do.

Workers, like my husband, were told to sit at home for months with little to no income. You’re mad at them for what? I’m mad that tax payers who were dependent last tax year didn’t get a check. I’m mad that there are people sitting at home on unemployment who can’t go back to work. I’m mad that small businesses failed. I’m mad that big billion dollar businesses are getting bailouts. That’s right, though. Get mad at my husband for getting $600 a week and a 1 time stimulus check. Makes perfect sense….

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 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

My Return To My 100% Natural Hair…..

I say “return” because my hair was natural at one point. Everyone’s hair was or still is….

My mother relaxed my hair for the first time when I was 12. I remember my parents arguing about the issue. My father was against relaxers, but my mother just wanted our hair to be more manageable. I didn’t complain. I hated getting my hair done for hours. I hated the feeling of combs breaking against my scalp because the teeth were caught on a knot. I also longed to shake my hair “like the white girls”. I didn’t know much about my hair texture when I was a child…..

I was excited to get that relaxer. I could show off the true length of my hair, and tuck it behind my ears without resistance.

My first relaxed hairstyle was a roller set. I was pissed off. I wanted straight, flowing, hair. I was pissed off at my mom. I combed my curls out and my hair was frizzy. Now it was my mom’s turn to be pissed.

I started putting in my own relaxers when I turned 18. I put one in every couple of months. I was able to straighten my hair the way I wanted to. That way left me with creases in my hair….

By the time I was 21, I started experimenting with shorter haircuts. I knew that my hair would grow back. I eventually cut back relaxers to once a year. I really missed the volume in my hair. I naturally have thick hair, but with the relaxer, my hair is much thinner and very fragile.

In 2018, I did it. I did the big chop. I had 12 inches of my hair cut off. I was inspired to make this decision after consulting a friend and watch several YouTube videos. I had also just done a chop on Ariana’s hair because she wanted her natural curls back. I didn’t want her to feel alone. I washed my hair and put my husband up to the task of cutting it.

My first impression of my new style was regret. What was I going to do with it? My hair was coiled in the back, but loose and wavy in the front. I figured that Donnie had left some relaxed hair in the front of my head, so I cut another inch. Nope, my natural hair in the front was just loose and wavy.

The positive thing about my natural hair was that I was able to twist my hair in some cute styles. The negative thing was that I shed a lot of hair. I was shedding more hair than I was when I had a relaxer.

I was doing weekly washes and twists. I never put heat in my hair, except when I deep conditioned. It was the same cycle: wash, deep condition, regular condition, detangle, trim, oil, leave-in conditioner, custard, twist. Pairing the products perfectly was rough.

I was burned out after awhile. I had four heads of hair to do in total. Two of those four heads has 4c type hair. I’m not good with doing 4c hair. Having multiple children means that you have to study multiple hair types. This was not for me. I needed to get all of this hair done quickly. With so many kids, I didn’t have the time or patience for my hair.

After a year and a half of completely natural hair, I slapped a relaxer in my hair. There was something about blow drying my hair and then being able to just slap it in a bun. The only thing that I regret is that my hair doesn’t hold moisture as easily as it did when it was natural.

It’s been a year since my relaxer. I think I might hold out a little longer.

I’m not opposed to my natural hair state. I wouldn’t mind trying it again. I just don’t have a lot of time to devote to my hair like I use to. One day I might go back. For now, the once a year relaxer works for me. I get just enough of the benefit of manageability.

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

“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