Tuesday, February 6, 2018

The right attitude to rain: making the most of the "not so ideal"

A few weeks ago, it all seemed set to be a perfect beach day. The sun was out (in too full a force actually), the lemonade was icy, the beach and bikini were getting whatever body I chose to give it , then voila, without warning, there came the rain.  As my mood sank, I realized I was more saddened for my little miss because she was over the moon excited for her beach outing. 

Think. Think. Think I chided myself and in a few minutes I had an aha moment. If you can't go to the beach, take the beach to you. (not literally of course,  especially since an entire beach once went missing right in Jamaica) :D But indeed I immediately started to think of creative ways to ensure the rain didn't literally or figuratively rain on our parade. From what started off as an indoor activity for a child, emerged several important lessons about the right attitude to the literal and figurative rains in our lives.  Here are a few:

Lesson 1: There is always an Opportunity: In my example, there was the option to call it a day and forget about going to the beach or use the opportunity to turn the disappointment into another fun activity.  Equipped with an umbrella, beach mat and our lemonade, indoor beach time was magical and we didn't even miss the sand.

Lesson 2: Don't Waste time being Upset: Life is all about options and as parents, we can either choose to spend way too much time fuming or using the time to focus on a more positive alternative.

Lesson 3: Perspective is everything: As adults, sometimes we place so much pressure on ourselves to be perfect in every way and when things do not go our way, we often cannot move beyond that.  I was noticeably upset, but my daughter wanted to have fun in the rain. Perspective is everything.

Lesson 4: Give Yourself a Break: This transcends my rainy day example and extends to the many rainy days we all will experience in our lifetimes. work issues? relationship problems? parenting woes? Often we are so focused on all the negatives that we forget to give our selves credit for the things that we have done right, excelled at or even just kept our heads above waters.

Lesson 5: See life from a Child's view: This has been a personal favorite.  Truly, sometimes the best approach is to stop for a minute and see the problem/situation/world from a Child's point of view.  I recall for example a hot summer's day when my daughter wanted to play around in a water fountain.  I told her yes and watched as her eyes opened in amusement each time the water flew forward.  Minutes later, I looked around and she was drenched in the water's droplets.  My first response was to be upset but then I paused, shook my head and cheered her along with a reminder that sometimes we just need to live a little.

Bonus Lesson: Just Try: Of course, before you can take the credit, you need to put in the work.  Parenting and life can often be overwhelming but for us to be the very best versions of ourselves, we have to Just Try.

P.S. Have you been seeing our #JUSTTRY Messages on our Instagram Page? Pop on by sometime

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Cheers to Motherhood! 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

#MomsSay : 10 Things Parents will Regret in 10 years

As parents, we all have those days when we experience some levels of parenting regrets.  It can range from Not listening to your child's birthday party requests to more serious issues such as not taking the necessary steps to limit your child's exposure to child abuse .  Whatever the level of regret, the very word indicates that we were displeased with an occurrence, event, actions or reactions. This often leads to questions around, "What could I have done differently?" 

While I typed this blog post, it seemed eerily familiar and a quick Jamaican Mommies Blog post review revealed that I had done a similar post around Moms say: I wish I had.  Notably, most of the moms (except for about 3) were sharing their parental wishes around kids who were 12 years and under. This post however focuses on moms who are more mature who have taken the time to share some of their most pressing parenting regrets 10 years later or more.  I write to share this primarily as a reference point for 1. Parents to be 2. Parents of Younger children and 3. People everywhere who can learn a bit from the regrets of others.

Some of the Top 10 Parenting regrets as shared by moms 40 and over include: 

1. Missing out too much of years 1-5: They say these are the most impressionable years and boy do they go by quickly.  I have cried every year after my child passed the 5 year old mark, because each year I saw a little more of my "baby" slipping away with every 12 month period.  Even at 7 years old, I often reflect and find gaps that seemed to have flown by way too quickly.  Several of our 40 and over moms cited this missing out on quality time as one of their most profound regrets-often tied work commitments, balancing relationships and being focused on caring for instead of spending time with the kids. 

Monday, January 16, 2017

New Year; New You! Party Over Here

If you've been following Jamaican Mommies on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter you would have been seeing some tiny teasers promising a "Party over here"/ #JamaicanMommiesParty and encouraging you to "Get Excited" 

and worry not because these are not empty handed teasers.  Essentially, while I reflected on all the many wondrous things that "New Year, New You" meant to me, it also got me thinking about you, my fellow mums and some of the things that may interest and inspire us as parents, women,spouses, individuals. Indeed, a new year is a time to get excited-about life, love, health, happiness, relaxation and so much more....

Additionally, as some of you know, Jamaican Mommies has been around since 2009 (to coincide with when I had my daughter) and needed a local avenue to talk about all things mommy and me related. So while I celebrate my own "New year, New You" journey, I simultaneously want to CELEBRATE with those of you who have been on the journey with us from 2009 and even those of you who have just connected with the Jamaican Mommies network! hence the PARTY over HERE concept! and believe us, it is going to be quite a party!

Before you go deciding if this may or may not be for you, remember you still don't have the deets! and nope, it's nothing like you are thinking, So stay tuned!!!

Besides, Would you go to a party or any form of celebration alone? Take a friend along!! Simply have them 
SIGN UP HERE and stay glued to all our Social Media platforms (Facebook Page, Facebook Private Group, Instagram, Twitter ) where we will continue to give you a bit more information each day as we get closer to the big day!

And just in case you are having a bad day, self doubt, 150% tired mom mode, never forget....

so go on and SIGN UP HERE for the party. You deserve it!!

Cheers to Motherhood!J Mom signature

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Moms Say: Stem the Negative Child Abuse trend

Our Moms Say series has been on hold for a bit, but as mothers, we always have things to say and so recently in our Jamaican Mommies Facebook group, we took on a more serious tone and asked

 "With the increased incidences of Child sexual abuse, child abductions and murders, What do you believe can be done to stem this negative trend?"

Our #JamaicanMommies had this to say: 

1. Educate and Inform:
 Educate and inform our kids, tell them we live in a beautiful world but there are bad and good people; and as adults we need to deliberately look out for our neighbors/community kids. Return to the days when it really took a village or community to raise a child.
- C Lewis

2. Talk to our children

Talk often with your child and set a tone of openness. Talking openly and directly will let your child know that it’s okay to talk to you when they have questions. If your child comes to you with concerns or questions, make time to listen and talk to them.
-D Page

3. Teach
Teach your child key safety principles. For instance: Teach children the names of their body parts so that they have the language to ask questions and express concerns about those body parts.  If your child is uncomfortable or if someone is touching them, s/he should tell a trusted adult immediately.Let your children know that if someone is touching them or talking to them in ways that make them uncomfortable that it shouldn’t stay a secret. 
- N.Brown

Monday, October 24, 2016

Garvey the Musical and your Invitation to a Special Screening!

Andre Bernard as Marcus Garvey faces off with Jean-Paul Menou as J. Edgar Hoover.
Photos: Corve Dacosta
"Educate Yourself, keep learning
Educate yourself for you
Educate yourself keep reading
Educate yourself be true
Educate yourself keep searching
Educate yourself be free" -Garvey,  The Musical

On Monday,  October 17, my 7 year old accompanied me to a fitting National Heroes Day showcase of Garvey, The Musical: Roots, Reggae, Rock.

Having always been a big proponent of Garvey's teachings around self-sufficiency, economic development and empowerment for the black race,  I thought a musical was just the right thing to introduce my growing daughter to some of these key messages.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Forget the hashtags, Here's how you can LEGITIMATELY #HelpHaitiForReal

Forget the Hashtags! Want to make a REAL impact and ACTUALLY #HelpHaitiForReal?  here's a serious tip, Be a DOER and Not a POSTER! and the first step is to move beyond just posting #PrayForHaiti to one where you actually SUPPORT via some of the many entities in Jamaica that are seeking to get immediate aid into the country.

For context, our fellow Caribbean neighbors in Haiti have been facing the devastating effects of #HurricaneMatthew.  To date, the death toll has soared to a  devastating high in excess of 800 persons and UNICEF asserts that 

An estimated 500,000 children live in the Grande Anse and Grand South departments in southern Haiti, the areas worst hit by Hurricane Matthew. UNICEF further notes that Up to 80 per cent of homes in the south are reportedly damaged and nearly 16,000 people are staying in temporary shelters. Some 175 schools are believed to have sustained heavy damage and at least 150 schools throughout the country are being used to shelter evacuees...

 The video below shows the painful reality.

Now, I know we have long become a "Let us create an hashtag to show how much we care" society, but in time of crises, it bluntly means nothing if you can't put your resources where your hashtag is. So to encourage you to move from being a POSTER to a DOER, the Jamaican Mommies team is compiling a running list of legitimate organizations in Jamaica that are raising cash and kind to support Haiti. This list will be continuously updated and we encourage persons to share organized and legitimate efforts to be added to same.  Some of the organized efforts to date include:

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