When We all Just Can’t Get Along…

Every blended family is different. Unique. What works for your blended family might not necessarily work for the next, or vice versa. And that’s okay. I do believe there is one common factor amongst us all though. And that’s that the majority of us (or those that would even be reading this) want the same goal: To all just get along and co-parent effectively. Some families can do this off the bat. Others take time. And others never get there. Everyone likes to read and write about the situations with the happy endings. The rainbow and unicorn families. But what about the other side? What happens when we all just can’t get along?

Let’s face it. Sometimes you may find yourself in situations where you just can’t get there with another person. Not just in blended families but in life there are people who are “difficult” for you to deal with. I’m no expert in this field but I most definitely experienced my fair share of co-parenting with a difficult ex. I hope this post helps you find ways to cope when you find yourself in a situation where you’re dealing with a difficult co-parent.

1. You have no control over another person. Make peace with this statement. Make absolute and clear peace with it. No matter how hard you hope, wish, pray a person to change if that is not in their spirit they wont. Understand that and it’ll make everything else just  a little easier.

2. Change how you react. In my past I’ve learned that many times things escalated due to my own reactions. I soon learned that I don’t always have to have such a dramatic reaction or a reaction at all. Take things in stride. When the other person comes at you with nothing but accusations, finger pointing and negativity, you do NOT have to take active participation in the confrontation. Choose how you want to respond. Instead of being hype and defensive try cool and collected.

3. Don’t lose track of what’s important. In these situations the children are what matter most. Sure you can’t stand that your ex doesn’t call everyday. Or yes it gets on your nerves that the kids show up late each drop off. Choose your battles. If it’s not worth the fight, and the kids are happy, then the mission was accomplished.

4. It’s not your fault. I say this moreso for my personal life. Sometimes I get so frustrated at my circumstances that I start to blame myself. Afterall, the first thing I pointed out here was that you can’t control another person. Someone has to be at fault so that someone ends up being me. Feelings of guilt that I failed my son have burdened me far too often. Don’t do that. Do your best and keep it moving.

5. Count your blessings, not your problems. I wanted to scream this from the rooftops on Father’s Day but I held back. I seen so much negativity that it was easy to get caught up in it. To dwell on what’s not right in your life or family. That gets you nowhere. If you focus on negativity, that it what you will receive. Instead I focus on the positives and what I do have. THAT’S what important.

I hope this helps someone dealing with a tough co-parent. Like I said…I ain’t no expert! But, I live this so I’ll gladly share my experiences if someone else can gain from it.

Peace, Love & Blessings

~

Tyshia Shante
Founder & Editor of This Brown Queen

**Stay Connected! Follow me on Twitter @thisbrownqueen & Instagram @tyshia_shante**

My Top 5 Favorite Celebrity Fathers

Keeping in line with celebrating Fathers this week, I thought I’d share with you my top 5 favorite celebrity fathers! Enjoy!

Will&Jaden

Who doesn’t love Will Smith? Maybe I’m biased because he’s from my hometown. Or maybe it’s because I just took my boys to see After Earth. Or maybe it’s his loving relationship with his kids. Either way, ya’ll know how I feel about my Smiths so of course Will was gonna make my list. And that Jaden is too cute!

Brad Pitt

Two words. Brad Pitt. I love big families so seeing a father strolling down the street with all his kids in tow is my kinda guy. And it takes a special kind of person to adopt children so he gets cool points for that. That and being lucky enough to be with Angelina (i.love.her). I just think it’s something so refreshing about their family and I love seeing him interact with his kids!

TI&Children

T.I. Ya’ll seen the show right? T.I.’s way of parenting is hilarious to me. I love all his kids and his family reminds me a bit of my own. Again, I love big families and I’ve been on my fair share of road trips, at least 3 children in the backseat, to see Daddy perform so I can relate! I think T.I has a genuinely good relationship with them all and I love watching them interact.

David&Sons

David Beckham. Besides the fact that he’s just so nice to look at *side eye*, he’s another father with a larger family. I especially love his bonding with his boys. Love me some boys…clearly I have 3…so seeing David out with his boys gets me every time! And he’s another one that lucked up in the wife department. Victoria!

Barack & children

Barack Obama. I mean. Seriously. Did you think I was going to have a top 5 celebrity father post and not include POTUS? There isn’t enough room on this post to go in on how much I love the first family. Just know, I do. And I’m proud that our brown children have such a positive example of family, success, and fatherhood.

So there they are! Who am I missing? Who are your favorite celebrity dads?

Peace, Love, & Blessings

~

This Brown Queen

To Whom Much Is Given…

“…from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.” ~ Luke 12:48

I don’t really know why I chose this scripture for this post. It just kind of resonated with me. Like many Queens, THIS brown queen does it all. And no, I’m not boasting or bragging. Don’t you know that I would LOVE an assistant, a mother’s helper, a clone, ANYTHING to help me with my day to day tasks?! I’m sure we all do! But, I don’t have those things. It’s just me (and the Mr.) So I gotta do it all. There’s motherhood and marriage. Then there’s my 9 – 5 and entrepreneur aspirations. That alone is enough to fill 24 hours in a instant. Seriously. When 8 hours is supposed to be devoted to sleeping and 8 hours is spent bringing home the bacon, you’re only left with 8 hours to live! Really?? Whose idea was that? So in 8 hours I must raise my children, maintain my home, nurture my marriage, and grind to achieve my dream of being an entrepreneur.

So what happens? I’m sure ya’ll know the answer to this! Things get crazy. I mean real crazy. And 8 hours of sleep? What is that? Somebody let King Jr. know about this because clearly he doesn’t care. Like at all, about no 8 hours of sleep ;). Life becomes a constant flow of this and that. Days pass by faster than they feel. And nights feel nonexistent. It’s easy to get caught up in it all and feel overwhelmed. I know ALL about that. I can write a book about it. No literally I could.

Mostly, I try to maintain balance. Multitasking is my middle name, but I still leave certain things for certain times as it should be. This is key to my sanity. When it’s family time. It’s family time. When it’s time to work I’m in my zone. And I strive to do my best at my job just as I would in any other aspect of my life. Certainly most times you can find me iPhone in hand, baby on hip, two kids in tow. And I’d have it no other way. But BALANCE is key. When the time calls to put down the iPhone and eat dinner (which we do every night as a family!) than that is what must be done.

My point to this entire post which may seem like random ramblings is to say…I was blessed with my husband and my children. With my job and my talents. With my dreams and my goals. So if that means I have work a little harder in life than the next person so be it. I was given these blessings so it’s only right I’m expected to make the very most of this life!

Peace, Love, & Blessings.

~

This Brown Queen

Happy Mother’s Day!

I’d like to start off by first saying a very Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers, stepmothers, godmothers, grandmothers, adopted mothers, honorary mothers…Today is YOUR day! Enjoy it to the very fullest.

For this brown queen, my day started off with breakfast in bed from the Mr. A sausage omelet and a green smoothie ;). Simple and exactly what I wanted. Then the princes came in and gave me hugs, cards, poems and lots of love. King Jr. had a card he “made” at daycare that was beyonddd cute!!

My presentsss: I love homemade gifts from my kids!

photo-3

One of the most notable moments this Mother’s Day though, was when my (step)daughter called me bright and early to wish me a Happy Mother’s Day. AND her mother sent me a Happy Mother’s Day text….Ya’ll don’t hear me though. I am beyond excited that we have come so far in our blended family where our daughters mother can have her call me and they both wish me a Happy’s Mother’s Day. I wished her the same and let my oldest as well. I hope one day all families that are in situations like mine can come to a point like this. We are ALL mothers. We have the same struggles, the same joys, the same goal. To be as great mothers as we can be!

So, today I kick up my feet (for all of 5 minutes cuz this macaroni and cheese ain’t gonna bake itself…and no, I love my husband but we’re not letting him be in charge of that!), chill with my babies, and have dinner with the moms of my family. Wishing you all a very enjoyable Mother’s Day & God Bless!

Peace, Love, and Blessings!

~

This Brown Queen

Let’s Eat This Week!

Decided on this name for my meal planning series. Here I hope to help other Queens eat good, healthy, and easy! Follow me on this journey to healthy fulfilling eating for my kingdom!

Sunday: BBQ Chicken, Velveta Shells with cheese (low fat), brown rice, broccoli with side salad

Monday: Spaghetti! Whole wheat thin spaghetti noodles, with your choice of pasta sause (I usually use whatever jumps out at me) with fresh chopped red and green peppers, Garlic bread with side salad.

Tuesday: Beef and Broccoli (my at home take out!) with fried brown rice with peas and carrots

Thursday: Comfort Food! Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and Corn on the cob with side salad.

Friday: Kid’s Choice. Make your own pizza from scratch. They. Are going to be. PUMPED!

Saturday: On the road, traveling to see princess dance show. So dinner will be grab and go!

Meal planning is coming along amazing. You really have no idea how much time AND money this saves! It also saves brain space. Brain space is something I need. My days are already so jam packed, to have one less thing to think about is a plus in my book! Once I’ve officially mastered regular daily dinner meals I’ll move on to breakfast, healthy creative snacks, and trying new recipes. I have Pinterest boards just itching to be put to use! But everyone knows how hard it is to actually get OFF Pinterest and go DO what you pinned ;). Right? Or is that just me?

THIS BROWN QUEEN TIP: Choose a day to do your meal planning. Usually grocery day or day before. Survey your pantry and plan your meals around things that you already have. Saves money and helps not to have those random foods lingering in your cabinet and freezer forever!

~

This Brown Queen

How My Husband Feels…

…about my natural hair! Me and a natural friend of mine were lounging around talking about all things Natural Hair. We were comparing types, products, going through our journey, our feelings, thoughts. It’s really great to have friends that are going through the same journey as you! We’re both at different stages in our journey and our lives so it was interesting to have this Natural discussion :). I’ve known this girl going on a decade and her going natural was a complete surprise to me. She is the one who taught me how do my own weaves in college! She has always told me how much she loves her weave…And now she’s natural!?! I am so amazed and proud of her. She’s a bit farther in her journey than I and she’s a single independent Queen! One of the things that came up of course was learning how to embrace our hair in its natural state. She made a comment when I said her fro was cute that went something like, her biggest obstacle was learning that her hair WAS cute. Getting out of the mindset that long and straight is not the end all be all to be beautiful is tough when you’ve been accustomed to this way of thinking for so long. I understood where she was coming from as I’m sure many of us that decide to go natural experience this in the beginning. She then continued to say that for me, it was different, I didn’t have to worry about being cute because I was married, she had to find someone who would embrace her natural hair in a society where the majority of us brown queens have weaves down our backs. I kindly told my sister that NOOOO it was harder for me because my husband met the relaxed Queen. The one who paid hundreds tor “Remi”, and hundreds to get that remi sew-in. The one who had hair down past my bra strap. That’s the Queen he married! So for me to go natural was scary because…what if my husband DIDN’T like it. What then? Do I stop? Do I tell him get over it?

Thankfully that is NOT how my husband feels 🙂 🙂 :). He’s yet to see it in person but we skype everyday and of course there’s Instagram ;). To put it simply he LOVESSS it. Yesterday during our daily skype session we were chatting about the kids and his tour coming to an end when he interrupted me midsentence to tell me how much he is loving my natural hair. He said it’s gorgeous and he only wishes I would have had the confidence to do it while he was home. He then did a little dance singing about how much he loves his natural queen. Then did a victory dance about never having to spend money on weave again and proclaimed that he never ever wanted to see me in a weave or relaxer again. Gggoosshhh do I love that man <3! He is so supportive. And honestly I think he’d support whatever decision I made with that same level of enthusiasm because that’s just the kind of guy he is :)….nevertheless I can still be elated that he is supporting this journey of mine!

~

This Brown Queen

Meal Planning 102: Cuz I’m Getting Better

This weeks meal plan and preparation. I’m hungry! Enjoy!

Sunday Meal Preparation:

1/2 bag frozen chicken wings

1 bag frozen turkey meatballs

1 lbs boneless chicken breast

1 lb lean ground beef

1 lb tilapia

I cook ALL these meats on Sunday. Simultaneously. Yup. At the same d@m time! Also on Sunday I slice and divide my fruits and veggies for my smoothies for the week. I package in ziplocks for each day to make for easy grab, blend, and go in the morning!

Dinners & Snacks:

Sunday – Meatball Sandwiches with Salad          Snack – yogurt smoothies

Monday – Tilapia, brown rice, broccoli/carrots/cauliflower steamed with cheese            Snack – fruit juicers

Tuesday – BBQ Chicken, cheddar broccoli pasta, corn on the cob            Snack – grapes

Wednesday – Chicken Penne with spaghetti sauce, salad               Snack – uncrustables

Thursday – Chicken Lo Mein with asparagus stir fry               Snack – Goldfish

Friday – *Kids Choice* Make Your Own Beef Tacos (whole wheat tortillas)            Snack – frozen bananas with whip cream

For Breakfast for me (the kids eat at school), I’m starting off slow. Making smoothies all week with my pre-cut and packaged fruit and veggies from Sunday. Mixing a little of this and that to find combos I enjoy. I’ll post those when I find them out!

~

This Brown Queen

Meal Planning 101

Saved my whole life this week Queens. And my princes lives too. Who would have thought something so simple could have such a positive impact on my life!

As part of My Life in 32 Days, I decided that I wanted to develop healthier eating habits for myself and my kingdom. I, like many of us, am always so busy on a day to day basis. I work daily, and I have afterschool activities for the kids, along with activities for my husband, working on my craft, and the list can go on…like forever…but we don’t have time for that here. Point blank I’m ashamed to say that Take Out was my best friend. I can honestly say that we would eat out 90% of the week. Not only was this ridiculously unhealthy, but insanely expensive. So with hubby gone, I was determined develop, maintain, and be awesome at feeding my family! So that’s what I did.

I started by looking up some simple recipes on Pinterst. I am a really good cook, if I must say ;). But I don’t have TIME to cook. My aim was for simple meals, that were healthy, and delicious, that my princes would eat. Pinterest is my best friend. I picked out a few recipes and mixed in some simple recipes of my own and made my grocery list. Sunday early evening I cooked all my meat for the week. I cooked 2 lbs of boneless chicken breast, 1 lb of ground beef, and half a bag of frozen chicken wings. I froze everything besides what we were eating for dinner that night.

Here’s what and how we ate:

Sunday: Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo

Monday: Baked BBQ chicken wings, brown rice, sweet corn (The wings were refrigerated so I simply heated them up, threw on minute brown rice and frozen sweet corn. 15 minutes TOPS)

Tuesday: Hamburger Helper, peas & carrots (I had completely made the hamburger helper on Sunday and froze it. Took it out and let it thaw through the day. Heated to eat with peas & carrots. 5 minutes)

Wednesday: Leftovers (Need I say more?)

Thursday: Make your own Chicken Tacos (Used the rest of the boneless chicken, thawed the night before and heated with peppers night of. The kids loved this! I set up an assembly line, wheat tortillas, salsa, cheese, sour cream and let them make their own. SUCCESS!)

Friday: Kids Choice! Little Caesar’s pizza Only $5 for a large! (I allowed us ONE day a week for cheat day. It’s a Kids Choice day so they wanted pizza.)

Saturday: Baked Chicken nuggets and Fries 🙂 (Saturday is a simple day. I usually do a big breakfast so minimal to NO desire to be in the kitchen the remainder of the day.

I’m new to this and I really want to incorporate healthier meals but I think I did good for my first week! We were actually able to eat REAL meals! My hubby is going to fall in love all over again! My princes ate EVERYTHING. SUCCESS!! Most importantly they were getting healthy food that I prepared. And I saved money! I’ll post next weeks plan soon. Not that ya’ll care but I’m still gonna share my growth!

~

This Brown Queen

My Life in 32 Days: The First 10

So actually it’s been 13 days into My Life In 32 Days, but whose counting? It has been interesting but refreshing! The first 10 days of this journey I made some simple but lifechanging decisions.

1.) I decided that I was done with the creamy crack aka relaxers and transitioning to natural hair. Check out my “Hair” posts to see how that’s coming along. I was on Skype with my King last night and sporting my first two strand twists…he said he liked it and didn’t understand why I decided to wait until he left to go natural. I told him that he takes up a lot of my time ;).  I don’t think he liked that explanation too much! But it is what it is!

2.) I stepped outside of my comfort zone and had my first freelance make up client. I was FREAKING OUT. Queens, I’m serious. I get compliments all the time on my make up. But it’s me. I don’t really care if others like what’s on MY face. It’s mine. But to do someone elses? I was a nervous wreck. But I played it oh so cool. She loved it! SCORE! I’m still nervous but I suppose I should go ahead a book another. I did afterall buy 2 palettes for freelance work. So that’s what I’m gonna do.

3.) I connected with some photographers to get back into my first love and hobby. Modeling. I used to model pre baby days…until my princes turned my cute as a boot tummy into some type of warzone. I love my babies but stretch marks are no joke! I stopped modeling because who wants a marked model :(. I’m gonna find somebody who does. I’m in the process of booking a shoot right now! Take that!

4.) Meal Planning to eat better and save money. I heard looking good starts from within. And anyone who knows me, knows this Queen is the Queen of fast food. Don’t hate me. I’m ashamed. But I’m changing that! I started meal planning so that I could eat healthier, feed my children better, save money, and save time! So far, so good! I’m LOVING it!

And on the other side of the world:

My husband is currently in Belarus! He was in the Ukraine first. So far he’s done youth outreach to orphanages, performed at Hip Hop International Ukraine, workshops for disabled youth, and master classes. He is changing lives overseas and they are changing his life as well. Miss him like crazy but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

~

This Brown Queen