Hey Ladies its me again, and this week I have something a slight different. I normally would stick to my niche and talk about some way to better yourself, remain positive, an boss up this year, however the climate in this country the past few weeks has been extremely exuasting and needs to be discussed…….

If you dont know I’m from Norfolk, Virginia, a city (nothing major) below the Mason Dixon line (yes i said it the “Mason Dixon Line). We are considered to be a southern state and waaaaaayyyy back when there was a time this little state of mine was considered to be one of the most racist states in the south. Crazy thing is I honestly dont believe things have changed much. If you tune into CNN, and other news outlets Frequently I’m sure you’re aware of the absolute B.S. our governor has been accused or should I say did back in 1980…..”oh you dont know?” Ok well let me fill you in. Governor Ralph Northam attended EVMS (Eastern Virginia Medical School). Well just as every educational institution they have a school year book where students post childhood, and oftentimes wacky photos. Well among the photos from a 1980’s EVMS yearbook was a photo of the Virginia Governor in blackface standing next to another individual dressed as a klansman. Why you ask?? Hell if I know because the last time I check the 1980’s weren’t an era known for extreme racial tension, and I’m almost positive people were very much aware of what blackface meant.

BUT WAIT THERES MORE!!!!!!! Very prominent Fashion houses Gucci, and Burberry are also In major hot water. Gucci is responsible for creating a sweater which also resembled blackface when pulled over the lower half of the face, as well as Burberry who created a hoodie which contained a drawstring that resembled a noose.

However these very ignorant occurrences didn’t just stop here it continued with an elementary school teacher who thought it was a great idea to allow her class to create blackface mask and use them in a school program. My question to my Caucasian counterparts is how hard is it to think with some sort of logic before you speak, or act. For example I’ve actually had a co-worker assume my husband wasn’t the father of my children her words ” wow I didn’t know your husband was the father of your boys”. I literally stood in disbelief!! Not all Black households are broken, and not all black women have a slew of baby daddies all over creation. African Americans are consistently faced with a variety of stereotypes, racial bias, and among other issues solely based on our skin pigment. I want to believe that we aren’t living in a time where race is a consistent issue however it is. Until all are able to remove these racial blinders nothing will change. We must be able to become more aware of those issues, and be able to discuss them as adults. I want to also believe we can teach those about the struggles of living in our skin, however I also believe history alone can give the needed lesson. There are countless amounts of historical proof of how slavery, all the way to the Jim Crow era has significantly hindered the African American community. Now their question should be how do we right those many wrongs? Until then more representation is needed across the board. We need more individuals from the black community sitting at the tables when important decisions are being made, when fashion designs roll out, as well as when running for political office. I had a close friend tell me maybe we shouldn’t be so quick to judge the Virginia governor of his past actions, because people change. That statement is very true however there is a difference between changing and owning up to what you’ve done and denying those allegations in fear of your political reputation. So take more accountability, in every decision you do in life…………

“To move the world, we must first move ourselves”- Socrates

Signed A Bougie Black Girl….

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OMG!!!! Ladies when I tell you life can be exhausting!!!, I can say I’m extremely happy my courses are over and graduation is approaching in May so I have something to celebrate in the coming months. However life doesn’t stop there, I’m still a full time mother, Wife, with a Full-Time job, so life is still pretty hectic. Despite it all I’m learning to cope with it…..

So now that I’ve vented about my very stressful life, that brings me to my topic for this post.

SELF CARE!!!!

No I’m not talking about girly maintanance such as hair, nails, and girls night out.I’m talking about taking personal time alone, a time for reflection, and personal healing. We tend to not realize that when we undergo large amounts of stress in our lives its due to simply not focusing on self care. It can ultimately interfere with other important aspects of human life such as our own health. If you’re like me then you allow things to get to you, you worry about things that you cant change, and you fear the worst. There have been times when I’ve broken down into tears due to the amount of pressure I felt I was under. It wasn’t until recently when I became aware of the many reasons for my depression, and constant unhappiness. I had to understand that there are things that are beyond my control, as well as people who aren’t capable of changing. We all get to the point where we become extremely fed up and numb to certain situations because its simply not good for our mental health. So there are a few things we all must do to be sure that we always remain our first priority.

Being Honest With Ones Self– We must be aware of the things necessary in order to take care of Ourselves. Self awareness is #1 in this list. Without it you aren’t capable of identifying those things that are required in maintaining self care. I once wasn’t able to notice these things until I’d reached my breaking point in life. Therefore I forced myself to stop for a moment and figure out exactly what my many issues were that resulted in my changing emotions, and lack of positivity. I can personally say that doing this has allowed me to reevaluate and take the necessary steps to successful self care efforts.

Stop Attemtping to Revive Dead Situations– You cant save everyone or every situation. If the people in your life know how valuable you are to them and are aware of the risk of violating your trust, loyalty, or anything else of that nature they will do what’s necessary to correct those wrongs. However you must learn to revert your time and energy on ways that you can make yourself better. How can I heal from constant abuse, and betrayal? These are the questions we must ask ourselves, and then the next step of healing must commence.

Find a outlet– I have to admit I’m a serious homebody, however not having an occasional outlet to just let your hair down and relax can be absolutely depressing. I’m a mother of 3 boys and a wife, and the constant household duties, as well as working full time can be a lot all in itself. I love my family with all of me but I now know that if I need a few hours out to decompress to do so.

You Cant Always be Superwoman– As a Black woman we’re raised to be strong, be the nurturers, never give up, SAVE EVERYONE!!!!! But realistically sometimes we need saving also. We cant carry the world on our back, even the strongest man has a limit. Stop thinking you have to save everyone, and fix everything, it will absolutely drive you nuts to think you can. Allowing someone else to take on the responsibility from time to time, or help you with a particular situation will definitely eliminate stress.

In the African American community we are taught that depression isn’t real, we aren’t allowed to feel a certain way when things get tough. However we have to realize WE’RE HUMAN…… and having those emotions are apart of natural human behavior. Self Care is extremely important, and should be maintained at all cost. I know only because I too have had my own battle with depression, and it’s no fun. So don’t ever be afraid to take time out for You……

Signed A Bougie Black Girl…..

Motherhood in itself can be extremely stressful an often times we find ourselves balled up in our room filling our pillow with tears due to the great deal of stress we face. From our children catching that virus that keeps us awake all night playing Florence nightingale, to PTA meetings, Homework, and after school activities we most definitely have to be light on our feet. I had the pleasure of interviewing one SUPER MOM, who’s efforts to provide, and nurture her family definitely doesn’t go unnoticed. Brandi Sykes is not only a Military wife, but she’s the mother of 5 boys. YES 5!!! We all know how extremely frustrating it can be to deal with curious little boys, however she does it with such ease I was eager to know how she manages, all while staying sane.

Tarisha: What’s the most rewarding part of being a stay at home mom of 5?

Brandi: When I first stopped working in 2012, I did not see anything rewarding about being a stay at home mom. I felt like I had become a burden to my husband and was putting a lot more pressure on him. We went from a two-income home with three kids to a one income family and our fourth child on the way. However, as they got older and started school, I became extremely grateful to be a stay at home mom. The most rewarding part would have to be, being able to attend and volunteer at the boy’s school and any other activities they are involved in. I never realized how much of a factor plays into being so involved in your child’s school life. When I show up to school events or take my youngest two to mommy and me, I see how excited they get that I am there. You can hear them whispering in class, “Yes, that’s my mom she is always here when I need her”. That alone makes me feel like I am on cloud nine.

Tarisha: How do you find free time for yourself amongst the busy mom life?

Brandi: Free time is something I rarely get to have to be honest. Yes, three out of five boys are in school but that doesn’t stop the day to day activities, the prepping for future activities and preplanning for holidays. The free time I do tend to get usually involves a nap or finally reading a few pages out of the same book I have been trying to read for the last two months.

Tarisha: Being a mother of 5 boys, can it sometimes be overwhelming?

Brandi: It can be EXTREMELY overwhelming at times. Between school activities, after school activities, when the holidays roll around, birthdays, unit events, base events, while still managing the finances and the surprise stuff (unexpected school stuff), I tend to want to run and hide in a corner with a glass of wine and factory reset button. However, I feel like I am not allowed to complain about being overwhelmed because there are people out there that have it harder than I do. So, I tend to keep the overwhelming feelings to much 95% of the time until it does become too much, and I just shut down and hide in my room and let my husband take over for a bit.

Tarisha: What is your typical day/ schedule as a stay at home mom?

Brandi: I am a scheduler and during the week, my life runs on a series of alarms. My day starts at 6am Monday thru Friday. From 6am to 6:20am I am making five different breakfasts because I don’t want to hear the “oh, I don’t want that”. After that I go and lay out toothbrush’s uniforms/outfits. I get everyone’s teeth brushed everyone lotion up, hair brushed, uniforms straight, diapers changed, etc. By then, it is 7:20am and I have 10 mins to get dressed and lunches made. By 7:30am we are headed out of the house to walk to school. I do a morning power walk with one kid in the stroller and the other strapped to my front. When I get home it’s cleaning, laundry, teaching, potty training, more cleaning, prepping dinner, and prepping for the next day. Around 3:15pm I head back to the school pick up whoever doesn’t have after school and get homework and baths done. Around 5pm my husband has picked up whoever has after school, so I am redoing the same schedule with them. By 8:30pm everyone is in the bed and I need a glass of wine.

Tarisha: What advice do you have for other potential stay at home moms?

Brandi: 1. Make sure it’s something you really and truly want to do. It is not easy being at home non-stop everyday with your kids with no breaks in site. I love my kids so much that it does out weigh the wanting to go back to work sooner rather than later but they do test my patience’s and sanity often.

2. Have a schedule. It might seem boring or annoying at first to have the same routine day in and day out but, when you do your kids, especially the younger ones that aren’t in school, know what to expect. And on occasion if you are lucky, they might surprise you and go down for a nap at the same time.

3. Make time for yourself. Those few minutes of peace that are few and in between are what I need to recharge what I like to call “mom batteries”.

Brandi: I feel blessed and I am so grateful to have my husband though. Without him I honestly would not have these many kids and I for sure would not know how to manage life with five kids alone. His support helps me make it through the hard times I have when I feel like I am not contributing enough to the marriage.

One important fact in Brandi’s story was left out, she currently lives in New Orleans where her husband is currently stationed, and most of her support system resides in Virginia which means those times when she would be able to reach out for grandma backup doesn’t exist. I give her major Kudos not because she’s a mom but because she’s taken a situation that she didn’t think was ideal and turned it into something that she enjoys doing. The thrill of seeing her boys smile when shes able to attend classroom parties, school programs, and extra curricular activities is what motivates her to keep going. She’s aware she doesn’t have time to hang her head low when she feels as if she could give up. She sets the example for her boys of what a strong black woman consist of, an works tirelessly to always remain the strong nurturing force for her family. For these reasons Brandi is this weeks Luminous Bougie Black Girl.

My life changed dramatically when I gave birth to the three of you. I didn’t realize how much of a blessing being a mother would be to me. Having the ability to reproduce, and bring life to human beings who would ultimately continue my legacy. However I didn’t realize the fears that would follow as you all become older, and learn how modern society views you. You’ll grow to be young black men who have many stigmas. You’re viewed as thugs, uneducated, and are often said to eventually end up incarcerated. The bronze color of your skin, and the kinks in your hair are visualized as less than pure. You’ll be eyeballed in public by those who are convinced you pose a threat to their wellbeing, and stereotyped due to the influence of pure ignorance. You’ll face many barriers in life due to these things, however it is up to you to overcome. I know I’m extremely hard on you all, even at the tender ages of 8, 6, and 2. However it is my duty to be sure that the kings your father and I are raising continue to ascend to greater heights. Stay consistent in your studies, education comes first, you’re brilliant beyond measure. Use the tools provided in school to mold the destiny you desire. Follow all the dreams you crave to have, and never allow the words of your doubters prevent you from doing so. You are more than just your skin color, kinky hair, and natural swag. You will grow to become successful, God fearing men who overcome the barriers given to you at birth. I’m proud to be your mother, I only want the best for you, and even though you’re too young to understand at the moment, everything that I do is for the betterment of you, your future, and that I will never apologize for. You’re lineage consist of powerful men and women, kings, and queens who once ruled the vast plains of Africa. The Melanin in your skin is the gold you have inherited, so wear it proudly, hold your head high, and be the strong black daring men you aspire to be.

Love, Mommy…..

So the New Year has come and gone, and everyone is in the process of commencing to those New Resolutions. Yeah i know so cliche right? Although there is nothing wrong with setting a New Year goal for yourself, it can be quite difficult to do so when life is hitting you with all sorts of twist and turns. One thing I live for are positive affirmations. If you follow me on either social media platforms you would notice that i tend to post them frequently. I told myself that instead of setting a resolution i would set a few positive keywords to guide me on my path of growth and success.

Consistency– Remain consistent in all that you do for the New Year. Like I’ve said before I became so inconsistent with my blog not because I just refuse to work on it, but because I had a plate that overflowed with so many other task. It became extremely difficult to maintain consistency. In life we all slack off from time to time, but in order to get that booming business or build a following you have to muster up a crazy hustle and work ethic.

Self– No that doesn’t mean think about only yourself all year, however take more time to do things that make you happy. Whether thats traveling more, a few hours out with great friends, and finding outlets to eliminate stress. These are the many things that result in a total break down of anyones moral, simply by not taking enough time out for self. I can say these are things I went through in 2018 and I’ve vowed to make necessary time for myself from now on.

Network– Its definitely about who you know when you are trying to become well established in the industry of creativity, or business owning. Be more open to getting to know others outside your normal social circle. Place yourself around individuals you know that can help you reach the heights you desire to reach. I’ve learned this over the last few months, and though I love my home girls I do think its necessary to establish professional relationships as well.

Push– Push yourself no matter what is taking place in your life. “Push Through the Discomfort and reach for the goal” at the end of the day you have one focus and thats to continue to grow and develop into the best you.

I didn’t say this year was going to be easy, and I didn’t say these keywords will create changes overnight, however these 4 are all the motivation necessary to assist you in keeping your momentum this year. Remember God is always working things out for you even when you feel otherwise.

Signed A Bougie Black Girl…

So it’s that time AGAIN!

It seems as if 2018 came and gone and took my edges with it. Not literally people, what I mean is this year has been a ride. We came into 2018 with so many plans to accomplish so much by years end however all of those plans my not have happened. The bright side is you made it another year unlike most, though you didn’t get that job, start that business, travel as many places as you’d hope you would, it’s ok believe me. There is always next year, and the things you’ve learned in 2018 can set the course for the new year to come.

My year wasn’t what I’d hoped, I spent most of the year stressed out honestly speaking. And I spent half the year catering to everyone but myself. It took me turning 30 to finally wake up and realize enough was enough. Though that was a last minute change half way through the year it was a necessary one. I didn’t get any of the many jobs I applied for however the offers I did receive gave me hope for the year to come. My marriage went through a rocky patch however after praying to God for a better situation things took a turn for both my husband and I for the best! I started my blog Bougie Black Girl Chronicles and though I wasn’t able to stay as consistent as I should have I’m still here!!! The one thing I can say is that with the year coming to a end I did complete the one thing that has taken me years to finally finish and become satisfied with. I have officially completed my Bachelors degree in Homeland Security. This is a major accomplishment for me being the very first in my family to do so, all while working full-time, being a mother and wife full-time, and all on 4-6hrs of sleep everyday. Yes my year didn’t sound like much fun right I spent most of my year living a basic life, however in all my basic honesty I can say I’m still very appreciative of those things that did occur this year. They contributed to my growth, and as I said before has set the course for the new year to come. NO I won’t go into the new year with a resolution because it’s absolutely no need for that. Instead I want to reinvent what I already have. I want to build a stronger more solid marriage with my husband, I want to travel more, I want to make more time for self care, I want to build Bougie Black Girl chronicles into everything I could ever dream of, and I want to use this education and obtain the career I’ve always wanted. Why go into the new year changing a bunch of things you have no intention on sticking by right? Instead create a 2.0 version of yourself, redefine those great qualities and situations you already have. Make them better and boss up in 2019 PERIODT!!! There is always more good in your life than you realize, you just have to learn to stop focusing on the negative and have tunnel vision for the positive. So let’s do this ladies, it’s our year!!!

Happy New Year

Signed, A Bougie Black Girl…

I’ve spent the longest trying to search for my happiness high and low. I thought I could find it in my marriage, however the constant struggles of marital life failed to reveal true happiness. I’ve searched for it in friends however the constant let down of friendships have also failed to reveal true happiness. I ultimately had to search in another place which we most often fail to look. We fail to find happiness in ourselves. I have got to the point where making everyone happy isn’t my focus, I’m over bending backwards for those who fail to reciprocate, and I’m over attempting to change those who aren’t capable of changing. Happiness is when you can wake up and have a true reason to smile, happiness is knowing that you have real reliable individuals in your corner who are rooting for you, happiness is knowing you have a stable personal life with the one you love. When those things give way you lose sight of what true happiness is. Over the past few months I have eliminated negative beings from my life, and I’ll continue to do so especially if their intentions aren’t good. It’s time we show those who have wronged us that their failures to keep their end of the bargain will never alter our happiness, it’s time we prove to ourselves that we can in fact be happy individuals even during struggle, or consistent let down. I have a reason to smile, and though that reason isn’t what I’d always hoped it would be I’m fine knowing that everyday I wake up I have something to look forward to, something that will brighten my day when I feel as if I can’t go on. This is the moment where we do for ourselves, we make ourselves happy. Stop expecting flawed humans to create our sense of happiness. When we are the only true navigators to pure contentment.