Where Have You Been?!

Where Have You Been?!

Since the last time I posted, life has been coming at me FAST!

Let me catch y’all up to speed on what has been going on in my life up until now.

In January, I got my provisional license to counsel and have been working on my hours towards full licensure. (Yay!)

I obtained a job conducting group therapy with clients that suffer from severe mental health diagnoses such as Schizophrenia, Bipolar, Major Depression, etc. Let me just say, I have been loving it! Although it is draining and only mildly rewarding as far as seeing progress from the clients, the amount of knowledge that I am adding into my counseling bucket, along with the sheer entertainment of the clients’ unfiltered comments, far outweighs the agonizing exhaustion that I feel on a daily basis.

I had an amazing Mother’s Day/Mental Health awareness brunch event! The amount of work that went into the event was absolutely worth every bit of the doubt, fear and frustration that I had while planning the event.

I will have a separate post to discuss the details of the event and how it came together. I must say that this being my first event that I have organized and sold tickets for; I am EXTREMELY proud of myself! BUT, I can’t take all the credit. My food blogger friend,  Brunchin’ With Gelle collaborated with me on this amazing initiative and helped to pull it all together.

All of this has been taking place while a little 4-year old boy runs around screaming “mommy” and telling me how hungry he is every 5 minutes. Not to mention, I have been trying my hand at having a social life which to be honest is a job all on its own. *insert tired GIF*

But now that the event is over and I have some of my time back, I plan on getting back on #MomCrushMonday posts and highlighting some dope moms, as well as bringing y’all some tips, tricks and vents to indulge in!

I appreciate all of the love and support and for supporting me through these silent times. I am working on my consistency so I can continue to bring some good content that hopefully will help in some way.

If you have any suggestions for #MomCrushMonday or any topic that you would like for me to hit on please feel free to reach out via email or DM on Instagram @_melaninmom !

#MomCrushMonday

#MomCrushMonday

My name is Henrietta Dixon, I am 34 years old. I am a currently a 4th grade Science Teacher and a proud mother of two amazing little princesses, Skylar (4) and Sage (2months). I am the wife of DeAndre Dixon the most amazing husband in the world. I love and adore my little family. Being that I’m a mommy of two, I am definitely learning how to find balance and still be able to not forget about myself. I am very family oriented but enjoy spending time with my friends. My family is my entire world! 

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Initially, I wanted to know about the similarities and differences between Henrietta’s two pregnancies. I naively assumed that since there was just a 3-year age gap that there would be more alike than different. Well to my surprise, Henrietta informed me that there were several factors that played into her contrasting prenatal experiences. 

For one, Henrietta’s age during both pregnancies was a definite factor, one that I did not quite consider until she mentioned it. When Henrietta was pregnant with Skylar, she was 29 years old. At the age of 34 is when Sage came. I don’t know if you’ve heard, but for women, 30 is when you slowly start to feel those changes in your body where you don’t quite bounce back or recover like you used to.

For Henrietta, those changes became even more apparent with her second pregnancy. She recalled how easy her pregnancy was with Skylar but how much harder the symptoms were to endure when she was having Sage. She spoke about the constant bodily pain, the sickness and the challenge of just getting a good night’s sleep. There was also another factor that may have changed the trajectory of her next pregnancy.

Henrietta revealed the devastating news of her miscarriage that took place in between having Skylar and Sage. She talked about feeling guilty and how she felt that she was somehow responsible for the miscarriage. This is not the first time that I have heard a mom talk about their feeling as though they could have done something different in order to prevent the miscarriage. I reminded Henrietta how our bodies are going to do as they will leaving us little to no control over the outcome. I recounted to her the previous mom’s that I had the pleasure of hearing their stories about their miscarriages and how similar the conversation felt. The commonality of the shame that was felt along with the silence that accompanied such grave loss became even more apparent. Henrietta stated that once she got the courage to talk to her close friends and family about it, then she was able to realize that she was not alone in her feelings and was able to find comfort in knowing that.

Having one child is a tough battle to fight so I had to know what Henrietta did to juggle all of the tasks of motherhood, being a wife, working full-time and staying social. She spoke about how crucial it is to make time for her family despite working a full-time job catering to the needs of children that are not her own. She stated that when she gets home, regardless of being drained from the day’s work, she is adamant about making time to read, play and interact with her children, as well as “trying to find balance” in making time for her husband.

One of the most honest statements that I have heard a mother say was when Henrietta said, “I don’t like being pregnant.” When she said this, I sighed a breath of relief. Although my pregnancy pales in comparison to the two that Henrietta endured, I completely understood why she would feel that way. Although she felt very supported by her husband and family throughout both of her pregnancies, the actual act of carrying a child for 9 months can be, at the VERY LEAST, uncomfortable.

As our conversation came to a close, I asked Henrietta the million-dollar question, “do you want to have anymore?” I wondered since she has two girls, if they foresaw the need to “complete” their family with a boy. Her response, simple and concise: “Hell no!” I chuckled in complete understanding. After all that her body has been through in these last few years, I recognize her desire to stop at two.

Lastly, I asked “what advice would you give to moms or future moms based on your experience thus far?”

“Motherhood is the best, most rewarding job. Motherhood is a blessing. Don’t take it for granted. Enjoy your kids.”

#MomCrushMonday 1/14/2019

#MomCrushMonday 1/14/2019

The first #MomCrushMonday of the Year!

Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of hosting a playdate with two of my closest friends. One of which is Stephanie Tom, who I have known for almost 10 years now, and is this week’s #MomCrushMonday!

Stephanie is 29 years old from Missouri City, Texas. She is married and just had her first child, Sydnney, in September 2018. I had the pleasure of befriending Stephanie at Lamar University, pre-babies and pre-marriage and preformation of our prefrontal cortex. (Oh, the stories we could tell. It seems like just yesterday). Stephanie graduated Lamar with her Bachelors in 2011 and her Masters in 2017.

We were able to sit down and have a honest conversation about her pregnancy, mother and how background shaped her to become the mother that she is today.

Steph, as I affectionately like to call her, grew up in a 2-parent household where she was the middle child. Steph recalled her Christian upbringing and stated that she felt that her “parents were always a little harder on” than her two other siblings (older sister, younger brother), otherwise known as “middle child syndrome.” She also brought up feeling as though her mother had “unrealistic” expectations of what it was like to be a teenager, which forced her to not be as forthcoming with information as she would have liked to be. Steph stated that now having a daughter of her own, she expresses not wanting Sydnney to feel as though she is not able to talk to her about things that she may be dealing with as she grows up and not wanting her to feel judged if she does decide to open up to her at some point.

As we continued our conversation, we discussed how she came to be with her husband and how having a child shifted the dynamic of their relationship. Steph talked about how her free-spirited life of traveling and “getting up and going” abruptly came to a halt when she found out that she was pregnant just weeks after completing her Masters program.

*Insert Sebastian yelling “mommy” and Sydnney crying from hunger*

After taking a few minutes to get the kids settled, we were able to talk more in-depth about her pregnancy and what her experience was like. When asked to describe her pregnancy in one word, she used “uncomfortable.” Even though majority of her pregnancy was uncomfortable, Steph used it as a “test.” The test that she felt that she was learning through the pregnancy was about adjusting within motherhood. She stated that “motherhood was going to be uncomfortable” and she was going to have to do things that shifted how she maneuvered since now having to put the needs of her daughter before her own.

Steph touched on her delivery and how she went in with the expectation of having to have a C-section due to her baby being breech. She admitted that she wanted to have a natural birth but knew the chances were slim of her baby turning around on her own and did not want to take the risk of using other medical procedures to do so.

She described the recovery process and felt that it was “inconvenient” due to her husband having to return to work immediately and her in-laws working a lot as well. She mentioned how the doctors ordered her to be “off her feet” due to needing to recover from the C-section but not having “a maid wait on me hand-and-foot” as she liked to put it. This left her with taking on majority of the tasks of taking care of a newborn all while attempting to recover from a major surgery. Just two weeks after giving birth, Stephanie was admitted back into the hospital due to having high blood pressure from not allowing the proper healing time to occur and taking on majority of the responsibilities on her own while her husband and in-laws were at work. She was discharged after a few days and was able to get back to the proper health that she needed to be at.

Steph was honest about how she felt that her mental health was “tested” throughout the entire process of finding out that she was pregnant to now, post baby. However, she felt that her support system helped her maintain a positive sense of self. She stated that she also used sleep, talking with family and friends and going on outings to the movies and to eat, as a way to find balance when she was not feeling at her best.

Words of Wisdom: “Being a parent is a wonderful feeling. It’s not easy but anything that is worth having in this world is not going to come easy. That’s it!”

The End of the Road…

The End of the Road…

As we leave behind the roller coaster that is 2018 and embrace the newness of 2019, I would like to take some time to reflect on what this year meant to me.

Overall, I can say that 2018 has been a hell of a ride. The year was extremely heavy for me personally, however the heaviness made room for the abundance that was received in these last few months of 2018. Based on my beginning months of 2018, I could have never imagined that it would end with such a joyous bang.

The knowledge and understanding that I have acquired throughout this year has absolutely surpassed that which I have learned in the course of my life. It’s almost as if a shift occurred and my eyes have been opened to a completely different world. Some of the things that I have learned caused a deep level of acceptance as well as mourning within myself. I had to let go of things that I have known all of my life because it no longer suited me. With that came a period of mourning and feeling as though I had lost myself. Little did I know, that shift was making room for me to be more accepting of others and let my guard down enough to allow people to experience who I really am and not who I was “programmed” to be.

I feel as though the information that I have acquired caused me to view people and perspectives in a way that I have not been used to. I had to discard what I have come to know thus far and replenish my understanding with valid and justifiable information as opposed to seeing things through mine, and others’, distorted lenses. Does the old saying ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ sound too cliché in this moment. Because it is absolutely fitting. However, that book is not just people but experiences as well.

Now I see people, events and perspectives on my own terms instead of through the eyes of those people who made a huge impact on my life (i.e., parents, grandparents, teachers, mentors and even friends.) I took on a lot of feelings, mostly pain and anger, from other people; and now I finally realized that those were never my feelings to begin with and not my battle to fight.

With all of that being said some questions came to mind about how I feel that my 2018 went and how I want my 2019 to go. These are some questions that I asked myself and I would like for you to do your own “year-end review.”

What are 3 things/traits/views about yourself that you want to leave in 2018?

What is one thing you learned about yourself this year that you didn’t already know?

Do you like the person that you were this year? If not, what would you change/do differently?

What is one thing that you wanted to accomplish this year that you said you were going to do in 2017? Did you accomplish it?

What is something that you wanted to do in 2018 that you did not? What is the reason for it not being done?

How did you use your negative experiences throughout the year to create a more positive environment for yourself? Was it successful?

Overall, how do you feel like your year went?

If you could sum your year up with one word, what would it be?

Lastly, what is one major goal that you want to tackle in 2019? (no small thinking here)

HAPPY NEW YEAR AND SEE YOU IN 2019!

All of These Blessings Keep Falling in My Lap

All of These Blessings Keep Falling in My Lap

The way that my 2018 started, I would have never imagined that it would be end the way that it has. Toward the beginning/middle of this year, I was questioning my existence on this earth. I had no motivation, no hope and felt that my purpose was waning. There have been so many important milestones and events that happened that I could have never understood how it would change the entire trajectory of my year.

I received my masters degree and shortly after, I moved into a new apartment that was a lot quieter and more conducive to my sense of peace. When I moved, I realized how important it is to let go of old/negative energies and environments. After doing so, I almost immediately felt a shift in my emotional and mental state. I had lived in my previous apartment for 3 years and it had so many memories and people, both positive and negative, tied to it. That apartment was always full of live because of all the activity going on with always having friends over and all of the arguments with my ex. But it was also where a piece of me died because of all the emotional trauma that I had endured there as well.

Once I got my in my new place and got it set up the way that I wanted it, I felt like I had a renewed sense of who I was and who I was destined to be. I felt revived, rejuvenated and my outlook on life was entirely transformed for the better. I also think, well I know, that the break up that I was going through at the time of the transition into my new apartment had a lot to do with it as well. The energy from that relationship began to turn toxic and I knew that it had to come to an end for the sanity of the both of us. Once the relationship completely dissolved and I was settled in my new home, I was able to embrace being by myself, in every sense of the word. It felt amazing!

It got to the point that I preferred to be by myself as opposed to leaving the house to do anything. I barely wanted to go to the grocery store because I knew once I stepped foot outside my door that that much desired peace would slip away, even if only briefly. After a while I realized that the connection of peace that I had to my home was one that I wanted to be able to take with me everywhere I went. I didn’t want to only feel good when I was sitting in solitude but also when I was out, maybe with a group of friends or even just perusing the aisles at the store. So I worked harder at it. I no longer allowed other people’s energies, ideas or moods to consume my space and began to master the art of not giving a fuck. Who knew?

I’m August I launched my blog that I had been talking about all 2017 that I wanted to do. I created goals surrounding it and really began to step into my purpose. September through November was busy yet quiet. I was working diligently on creating and maintaining a self-care routine that was actually working. I also got to step back into the social scene with a significant weight loss, both physical and emotional. All in all, I was satisfied.

December though?! All I can say is WOW. He has been showing out. I passed my counseling exam and 2 days later I celebrated my 31st birthday. I decided to treat myself to a HER concert and a trip to DC. The next day after returning from my trip, a car dropped in my lap. It was completely unexpected and not in my plans at all. I had been struggling for a while with trying to decide if I was going to continue to put money into my car or if I was going to get a new one. I had it made up in my mind that I was going to get it fixed and keep it since I only had a few more payments left on it. I was prepared to ride it until the wheels fall off, literally. Well, God had other plans. I took my car in for an estimation on repairs and walked out with a new car with all of the features that I ever wanted. It was almost as if that car had my name on it. Things are funny like that right?

If this is any indication of what my 2019 will be like, bring it on! I feel so good about the path that I am on even though there are some things that I still need to work on.

For 2019, my desire is to continue to field people and things that are no longer benefitting me and my sense of peace and step even more into myself.