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**

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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

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

Where in the World is…

……well….I’m really not sure how to start this post without indulging an extreme TMI. And let’s be honest, ya’ll might like me a little but I’m sure you guys don’t want to know every detail of my life…especially this. BUT, this IS This Brown Queen afterall, and that would be me so…

Where in the world is my postpartum period? Like…king jr is definitely 6 months old in 3 days. And yes, to mine and EVERYONE surrounding me surprise, I am STILL breastfeeding! WHOOOHOOO! If you’re a breastfeeding nut you’ll affectionately refer to this accomplishment as SILVER boobies. Yup that’s what we call them. So what. That’s what I’m going to have. And I’m soooo proud of myself for this! Although I don’t pump as much as I should at work, and king jr definitely has his fair share of formula, when Mommy is around it is all liquid gold aka breast milk :).

That being said…I guess my period just decided it’s just NOT going to come back. Which is fine! I’m not complaining. But I’m getting prettyyyy tired of lowkey freaking out every other day that I might get preggo again. Don’t get me wrong, I love babies as much as the next Queen but I’m pretty sure I’ve shut down this kingdom ;). So if it could just come back and just let me know that it is still around that’d be cool. Until then, I guess I’m doomed to have mini anxiety attacks at every wince, weird smell, and ill feeling -___-.

~

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

Today my husband left to go on tour. He’ll be gone for a month overseas touring Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine. Following my last post I had an idea. Touring never gets easy. Trust me. There’s something really unsettling about seeing your spouse everyday and then having him disappear for days, weeks, and now a month at a time. It’s like this weird situation where you feel bounced between married life and single parent life and it’s quite the experience. It’s been my personal goal to get better at this. To not feel so alone, and lost when my husband goes away. I decided that being the Queen that I am, I can be just as amazing and fabulous when hubby’s away. It doesn’t have to stop! My fun doesn’t have to end! I can still be great! The kids and I can still do family things! I don’t have to sit around waiting until he returns.

One of the things I’ve noticed most about myself (and one of the main reasons I started this blog) was that I tend to put myself last on my list of things to do. Most days you can find me so consumed with my family and husband that I don’t find the time to take care of me! I’ve gotten TREMENDOUSLY better at this but there’s still a ways to go. And regression is a pain. So I’m going to take this month to perfect my craft. To truly be the BROWN QUEEN that I am. I’m going to make this month a personal journey. For the next 32 days, I will focus on this brown queen. I hope you enjoy my life in 32 days!

Day 1.

~

This Brown Queen

5 months Strong! Mother’s Milk!

I’m talking about breastfeeding. And yes I am proud.

I’m not exactly what you’d call a breastfeeding extremist. I don’t bash formula (in fact I feed my son it often). I’m not screaming breast milk is the best milk. I won’t look down on queens who don’t breastfeed. But for my personal journey, I am QUITE excited about my accomplishment of being only a month shy of SILVER BOOBIES!! (My boobs aren’t actually silver but that’s code name in breastfeeding culture for 6 months of nursing). What I will tell you, are my thoughts, my personal experiences, and my decision to breastfeed my son.

I like to think I have unbiased view of breastfeeding. I have two sons, one I breastfed, one I didn’t. I can tell you what it’s like from both sides of the fence. Of course that makes me no expert, but that makes me experienced so here goes.

Shawn is my oldest prince. I didn’t breastfeed him. I was young, easily influenced, and I let mainstream society views sway my decision. I didn’t want to breastfeed. People thought it was weird. People thought it was sexual. My boobs would get saggy (Queens listen…they gonna sag…embrace it). I respectfully declined the invitation at the hospital. No thanks I’m fine. But then we got home and the problems started. He didn’t react well to regular formula. So we switched to Soy. And that made him constipated. We switched back and forth to no avail and so there was an actual period in time where my prince was so uncomfortable that I had to literally help him poop each morning while he screamed at the top of his lungs in pain. It lasted a month or so then all was fine. He caught colds, but he was fine. We bonded just great. And once my milk dried up, my boobs sagged a bit. Oh well. Embrace it. If I could do it all over again: I would breastfeed.

My youngest prince Joey was born. I breastfed him. I was older. I didn’t care. I’m breastfeeding this baby. Who cares what anyone thinks about it. My boobs…well…as long as my husband likes them. Where’s my baby, take this breast. But then we got home and the challenges started. For breastfeeding to be so natural it’s HARD. Those first few weeks are torture! All he did was want to eat. All day. All night. I was leaking everywhere. It was a nightmare. And I ALMOST quit. In fact. I did quit. I told my husband I was done. Thanks for his support. Bought some formula (the kind that Shawn did best with) and was done. Except, Joey didn’t quit. And giving him a bottle was even worse than breastfeeding 24/7. He looked at me like I was crazy and just wouldn’t accept it. He kept searching for his “real milk” and when he got frustrated he freaked. Like crying so hard he turned red. I gave up and let him nurse and the INSTANT comfort he had melted my heart. I couldn’t stop. So I kept at it. And next thing I know, it was second nature. And so here we are 5 months in and I’ll keep going until he wants to stop.

It’s not always easy but the best things in life usually aren’t. But it’s worth it. Going back to work, it’s been bittersweet. Pumping S.U.C.K.S. but our bonding time at home makes up for it. If you were to ask me in public I’d say: There’s no need to ask me if I’ll be breastfeeding my next kid because I’m DONE! But if you were to ask me for real, ya know, between queens I’d say: Well…if I were to try once more for that princess, YES MA’AM I’m breastfeeding!

~

This Brown Queen