Solo parenting vol 1 2016

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SoLo Parenting CORRETTA DOCTORR “Generational Parenting” A single parent’s journey

Mental Fitness for the family

“Bullying” From a child’s view

Parenting Tip: To Be the Best Parent FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016 PREMIER ISSUE USA $3.95


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From Wendy’s Desk

During my plight of single parenthood in the early 90’s before the explosion of the World Wide Web and the massive era of social media there were limited resources for single parents. Now there is a plethora of blogs, on line publications and resources for single parents at your fingertips.

Single parenting is no longer a “hush- hush” topic it has grown into society as an epidemic of sorts globally. In spite, of the large numbers of single parents, male and female, and the number of children fatherless or motherless, we all address the same issues of education issues based on your zip code, lack of financial means, demands of the work place, the fight/flight of child support, child care, safe living environments, comprising in coparenting and we can go on and on.

The vision has been born to make SoLo Parenting Magazine a leader in the media mainstream and society, to show the positive forces of strengths in parenting “SoLo”. The negative connotations will be forever broken so you can build an advocacy in support, encouragement and love for yourselves and your children to come. Hope you enjoy our premier edition of SoLo Parenting Magazine and check out our website at www.soloparentingmag.com Peace, love and blessings, Wendy L. Harvey

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SoLo Parenting Magazine

CONTENTS Vol. 1 Premier March 2016

Publisher Desk/ Wendy L. Harvey

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I AM/Randy Coleman

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How to find Scholarship Money/Ashley Hill

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A Parent’s Resolution/Deborah Tillman

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Underline reasons/effect of Bullying/Chante Whisonant 11 Selecting Your Agent/Deneen Swann 16 Counting Cost/Kim M. Sudderth 18 Generational Parenting/Corretta Doctorr 21 Single, but not a single parent/De’Lys Marie 25 The “C” Word/Carlotta Geiser 26 Mental Fitness/LaVonya Moore 30 Dressing Warm/Teresa Lyn 32 Detox/Healing Chef Whisonant 34 Recipe/Chef Cheeks 36 Real Family/Samonia Whisonant 38


Life / Inspirational

I AM‌..Me I AM... who God said to be I AM... who He truly sees I AM... the one He chose I AM... the reason He rose I AM... unique and rare I AM... built with care I AM... truly a special gift I AM... that one who lifts I Am... to simply be I AM... no one else but me I AM... His child, his son I AM... and I've begun. Written by: L’Dolph 01/12/2016

February/March 2016 / SoLoParentingMag.com 5


PARENTING

Proverbs 29:17 Discipline your children, and they will give you peace; they will bring you the delights you desire.


CHILDREN/College Scholarship

HOW TO FIND SCHOLARSHIP MONEY Written by Ashley Hill If you are not sure how to find scholarships for college, you are in the right place.

Can you imagine knowing what you are looking for but have no clue of where to find it? It’s beyond frustrating because you not only want to find it, but don’t want to spend any more time than necessary to find it. This is exactly how the scholarship searching process is for many students and their families. But, the great news is that it doesn’t have to be this way. If you focus on your achievements and talents, you can attract scholarship opportunities rather than spend hundreds of hours searching for them.

You need a scholarship search road map because no two students nor their academic abilities are the same. In other words, following generic scholarship advice will only take you so far. To go all the way (and save time and frustration), you need to create a method that consistently gets results.

First, you need to create a personalized scholarship resume. A scholarship resume contains all of your qualities, special talents, volunteer experience, and leadership experience. This resume represents the endless possibilities of scholarship opportunities available to you. Your scholarship resume also gives your insight into what types of scholarships you should be searching for as well as where to find the scholarships that best fit you. February/March 2016 SoLoParentingMag.com 7


CHILDREN/College Scholarship

The best way to create a scholarship resume is to spend time brainstorming your special talents (singing, poetry, etc.), qualities, and experience. Spend time asking others who know you very well to contribute to your scholarship resume capturing all pertinent information. Don’t forget to include your industry or association memberships, local organizations, and your parents’ industry or association memberships as well.

The next step is to organize the information by categories (talents, association memberships, etc.). If you have items that won’t fit with the other categories, feel free to create general categories.

The final step is to now go to search engines and local sources (library, school counselor, etc.). You will take your scholarship resume and search for scholarships that pertain to the specific talent, skill, or association. After completing this specific search, you will need to search for general scholarships (gender, desired college major, geographic location, etc.).

February/March 2016 SoLoParentingMag.com 8


CHILDREN/ Parenting

A PARENT’S RESOLUTION Written by Deborah L. Tillman

As we are well into 2016, let’s make a real resolution to be the best parents that God created us to be. These words are easier said than done.

BEST?

What do I mean by

I am glad you asked. Webster’s dictionary defines the

word best as: that which is most excellent, outstanding or desirable. Immediately upon hearing the definition, it becomes a lot more difficult to accomplish. However, remember that just because something is difficult, it doesn’t mean it is not possible. Our most important responsibility as parents is to Lead By Example and as we seek to do so with the help of God, we will be setting our children up for not only a successful present but also a successful future. As I have worked with families across this country, I have come to the conclusion that great children are made by great parents who were able to implement the five habits below:

First, if you are going to be your best, begin by speaking positive and eliminating negative self –talk. Take the time to look in the mirror and declare that you are a great parent and that you are able to raise successful children. If you are not able or willing to speak life into yourself, how can you ever expect to speak life into your children?

Second, stop comparing yourself to other parents.

God only makes originals

not copies of another version. News Flash! There are no perfect parents. Thus, stop striving to be “perfect” and just strive to be your best. February/March 2016 SoLoParentingMag.com 9


CHILDREN/ Parenting

Third, leave your past behind. I often tell parents that you cannot drive forward if you keep looking back in your rear view mirror, you will crash! Learn lessons from the past but move on. Be ready to contend that “My past has not defined me, destroyed me, deterred me, or defeated me; it has only strengthened me.” You do not have to dump the baggage of how you were or were not raised onto your children. Give them a fresh start by releasing your past so that you may embrace the future.

Fourth, Invest in YOU. Take time each day to meditate and to reflect on what your vision, goals, and mission statements are for you and your family. People who say they have no time to meditate are people who have no time to live their best life. Billionaire, Warren Buffett says, “the best investment you can make is in yourself”. When you do, you are able to be present for your children and your spouse in a way that won’t create a deficit.

Fifth, keep growing and as you do, you will be able to make daily deposits into the lives of others. Our children are the future and if their future is going to be bright, it is our responsibility to prepare them today. Teach them self–control, resilience, wealth building principles, character development and…teach them to LOVE themselves and others. That is the greatest gift that you can give not only to your children but a gift you can give to the world. So step up and Make the Resolution to: Make this year the BEST EVER! I am praying and supporting you on this journey.

Love and Peace, ~ Dr. Deborah L. Tillman

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CHILDREN/A child’s point a view

Underline reasons and effects of bullying Written by Chante Whisonant

People think bullying doesn’t have any effects on their victims. And people think bullying doesn’t affect the bullies. The truth is the impact of bullying causes a lot of long term mental/emotional problems for the victims and bullies BOTH.  Some of the effects for victims: Loss of sleep, suicidal thoughts, always seeking validation, low self-esteem, always feeling suspicious of others, lower academic outcome, isolation, depression, and turning into a bully. A lot of bullies bully people because of problems that weren’t handled. What ever they are going through, they take it out on others and want others to feeling their pain. Now this isn’t always the case, but a lot of times it is.  Reasons people may bully others: Low self-esteem, to fit in with their peers, low finances in the household, history of family trauma, abuse going on in the house hold, witnessing parents fighting, and always feeling ignored.

I had a huge heart when I was younger, and I still do, but people had a habit of taking advantage of that. I’d be friends with anybody just to be nice, even after they hurt me countless times. Now I know better of course. But when I was younger I was used to getting my heart crushed. One of my so called best friends started to bully me because the “cool kids” was making fun of her. So she decided it was easier to make fun of others than instead of doing what’s right. In another case my other friend had a lot of home problems I wasn’t aware of at the time. So once she got me to trust her, she started bullying me. February/March 2016 SoLoParentingMag.com

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CHILDREN/Child’s point of view It made me feel worthless, like nobody wanted me. It made me feel stupid. And one thing I learned is hurting people, hurt people. For a couple of weeks I started to bully one of my friends before I got a hold of myself. I’d make her eat crayons, I’d push her around, I’d laugh at her along with her sister and the other kids on the bus, and I’d bring glue covered marker covered candy to school and force her to eat it. If she didn’t eat it I would start teasing her. I felt bad at first, but after a while I pushed my guilt aside because it made me feel better. Having her feel the same pain I felt, made me feel awesome and definitely more powerful. But one day, something she said got to me. She said, “Why are you doing his? You of all people should know how it feels Chante’! I thought you were my friend.” The word “friend” made me stop. Of course I knew how she felt, that’s why I was bullying her in the first place, so she could feel my pain. But I really started thinking about….how she felt. I betrayed her trust. Just like those other girls betrayed mine. My best friends, the main girls I thought I could trust, treated me horribly. I’d go home and think of ways to kill myself. Everyday they “reminded me” of how worthless I was. And that brought a lot trust issues with me. And once I thought about that, I stopped. And I never did it again. Luckily she was kind enough to forgive me and continue to be my friend. My point here is you have to stop bullying at it’s roots. It’s a snowball affect. They hurt me, I hurt you. Some people may grow out of it and overcome the effects of it, but some don’t. That little boy who bullied little Sally grew up to be an abuser. He was only a boy right? Kids will be kids right. And oh yeah, Sally is all grown up now and seeks validation from anyone she can find, and anyway she can get it…


CHILDREN/Child’s point of view

Remember words have power! The Bible says life and death is in the power of the tongue. You have to think, that’s 17 years of mental and physical abuse, depending on if you go to college or not. Getting beat, kicked, getting told you should kill yourself, getting jumped; almost everyday for 17 years soaks into your brain. If I’ve been told I’m trash for years everyday, I start to believe it myself. If you are getting bullied, remember, they will only try and bring you down if you’re higher than them. They will only tell you’re worth nothing if you’re called to be something. Stop letting them define you! You define you! You’re the author of your life. Snatch your pen back and go back to writing, never letting anyone take hold of your pen again. If you are the bully, I want you to put yourself in their shoes. Would it make you feel happy to be called slut? Would it make you happy to get jumped all the time? Would it make you happy to find out you caused someone’s death...? I understand both sides of the coin. Hopefully now you do too. Now, what you do with this information is entirely up to you. But remember, every choice has a consequence. And it’s your job to get a hold of the small things before they become big things to deal with. February/March 2016 SoLoParentingMag.com

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Children won't remember most PRESENTS you BUY them but they will always remember the PRESENCE you gave them. Let's start being INTENTIONAL as we partner with God to raise our children and help them reach their Divine Destiny. Tillman’s book is 100 pages of the TRUTH for Parents who dare to do something different. This book is for Passionate, Powerful Parents who refuse to leave their child’s future in the hands of anyone other than God. Time-out for excuses………. It is time to Parent on Purpose!!!!


FINANCIAL FREEDOM

MONEY TALKS…..WEALTH WHISPERS!


FINANCIAL FREEDOM/Real Estate Corner

Selecting Your Real Estate Agent Hello, SoLo Parenting Magazine Family and welcome back to the Realtor’s Corner! 2016 is going to be a great year to get into the real estate game. Whether you’re a First Time Homebuyer, need something bigger because your family has expanded, downsizing like a lot of the Baby Boomers are or an investor starting or adding to your portfolio…This is a Great time to Buy or Sell! Interest rates are still historically low and there are lots of opportunities.” –Real Estate Agent Deneen Swann

To get this year started off right, I wanted to talk about and add some guidance to a recurring theme I’ve seen over the last few years. It seems more and more consumers are dealing with 2 to 3 Real Estate Agents before they find the person that really provides the level of service they require. Sellers are listing their homes with agents that aren’t good with pricing and marketing, which creates expired listings 2 to 3 times. Buyers are working with agents that don’t seem to really understand the criteria they’ve set for their new home which creates missed opportunities and lots of frustration. To help you better determine if an agent is going to work well with you, I’ve come up with a few interview questions that will help tremendously in selecting your Real Estate Agent. Yes! You should definitely interview your agent and a Professional Agent expects to be interviewed because they will be doing the same with you. First and foremost, the best place to start is with friends and family members who’ve had a Great experience with their realtor. And even then, you still want to have an initial consultation to set expectations. 16


FINANCIAL FREEDOM/Real Estate Corner

Here are my top 5 questions that should be asked: 1. Is this your full-time job? You want a real estate agent who’s not distracted by other obligations and an active agent is more likely to be up to date on the market and Real Estate law.

2. What other services do you offer other than negotiations and settlement? Make a list of what you’ll be paying for. Negotiations, paperwork and contingencies are the minimum.

3. When am I committed to working with you? Many consumers start viewing homes without realizing that they may very well be contracted to work with that agent. Laws vary from state to state.

4. What sets you apart from other agents? Look for expertise and professionalism, not just aggressiveness. This is the most expensive purchase most people make. You want the best advice you can get and a person that will represent you in a professional manner.

5. Can I get references for your last five deals? Most homebuyers are happy to share their experience with others people. And a GOOD Agent will have no problem providing you a reference list.

These are my Top 5 but include these in your own list. Take some time and really think about what’s important to you. There is no wrong question to ask….

February/March 2016 SoLoParentingMag.com 17


FINANCIAL/BUSINESS 101

Counting the Cost By Kim M. Sudderth How many times have you found yourself unable to stay in the business or you starting a new business a few months or years because of a missing important link, whether it is money, time, materials or etc.? Did you really think about the business that you want to start? Did you count the cost to start and maintain it? I like the way Jesus Christ discussed the subject of “Counting the Cost” with his disciples. He stated, “Suppose one of you wanted to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, this fellow began to build and was not able to finish.” Wow!!! I have found myself not counting the cost in a lot of areas of my life when I look back. When I went back to get my BA at City College, I found myself withdrawing from school because of a missing link…money. I didn’t count the cost. I remember taking on a large greeting card order from one of my stores that I could not complete because I did not have enough materials, time or the know how to complete it. I learned a big lesson from that experience. It took a few knock downs to realize that counting the cost is a MUST DO. It's important to count the cost before investing any time and money especially if you seek from others the help. “What’s the game plan?” Here are some areas you need to look at when “Counting the Cost” of you starting a business or any project: 

Money  Do you have enough money to start and maintain your business?  Do you have a source where you can get money? (private lenders) Family and Friends: When dealing with family and friends you need to talk to them about your business before you need the money.

Bank  Develop relationships with your bankers. They need to know your name and what you do before you come to them for help. If they like and remember you they will go out their way. 18


FINANCIAL/BUSINESS 101

Resource  Have you created your power team? (accountants, lawyers, and other important persons that you will need to help start and maintain the business)  Do you know what agencies within your city/state can assist you getting started? Have you made a friend there? Have you reviewed their website 100 times?  Do you know where to go get your supplies? (Wholesalers/trade shows/online)  Do you have or need a certification, licenses or permits? Do you know what paperwork to fill out?  Are you apart of the association, club, or network groups afflicted with the industry your business is in? Time  Do you have the time to start this business?  Do you know how much time is needed to start your business and maintain it on a daily basis?  How much time are you willing to put into your business?  How much time will it take for you to complete the documents and get them to back the correct office? Sacrifice  What are you willing to give up?  Did you discuss your business with the family you live with?  Do you have a support team in place? Someone to watch and pick up the children?  Who is preparing the meals, cleaning the house or do you need to hire someone to do these things?  Is there someone you can talk to?  Are you going to have to take time off from work or put other things that are a part of your daily life on hold? For example, a social club that you hold a position in, a sport team you play on or the PTA at your child’s school. Exit Plan If you are starting a business whether it’s real estate or a corner store you should have a business plan, which should include an exit plan. If the business should fail how will you get out? Do you want to start the business then sell it? Who will take over the business in the event of your untimely death? Your exit plan will cover these issues and more.

What will you do differently now that you have discovered something(s) you did not think about before? It is my goal to always bring light to areas you may not have thought about. Starting a business is a major event in your life and it affect all members of your family especially the ones who lives with you. As you move forward in building your business includes the family because they are a part of your support team.


SOARING SOLO


Written by Corretta Doctorr

enerational Parenting teaches lessons while offering valuable insight to how parents have reared their children over the years. Everything from the support of family, to the social system and technology has played integral roles in how parenting has changed. I am a mid-generation Mom, for the sake of this article. I have raised one daughter who is now raising her own four children and I watch how my birth Mother raises her adopted children, all while I have the parenting skills and lessons from my adoptive Mother instilled in me. I feel guilty. I don’t feel that I was the type of Mother that gave my “all” to parenting. Although I am very proud of my daughter, who is going to be 27 years old this year, I will explain why I have silently failed her. I was raised in the early seventies by a woman who was in her 50’s when she received me. Under a confusing set of circumstances, she and her husband were granted legal guardianship of me when I was six months old. It was the best thing that could have happened to me, I am grateful to them for saving me and giving me a home when no one else in this world wanted me, not even the two people responsible for creating me. Raising a child in the seventies seemed to be much different than what I experienced as a Mom in the nineties. When I grew up, in 1975 I could walk ½ mile alone on a dirt road through a wooded part of the community with no cell phone or mace. I didn’t require a key to enter my empty home after school nor did I need more than $3 a week for allowance. Life was simple. We went to church on Sunday, we did laundry on Thursday and we went grocery shopping on Friday and on Saturdays during the winter we butchered hogs or helped another family butcher theirs; in the summer on Saturdays we visited church members or family members in hospitals or nursing homes. Nothing much else occurred during the week, other than watching the standard television shows like 60 Minutes, Wrestling, Soul Train, American Bandstand, Hee Haw and What’s Happening – that was my favorite. Life was simple. When I got sick, I went to the doctor. When I needed glasses, I got them, when I needed braces, I got them. There were no issues with medical insurance and the costs were not astronomical. School trips consisted of walking from the school, in a straight line, to a nearby student’s home to hunt Easter eggs. Once we visited the local Coca Cola Bottling factory and received a pencil during the tour. My biggest school field trip was my first airplane ride to Charlotte, NC. It was exciting and scary for some students, but certainly it was the highlight of my middle school years in the early eighties. There were no ridiculous laws about prayer in school and there was always a neighbor willing to look after me. I was raised in a community and by a community. 21


/FEATURE PARENT ast forward twenty years. I had my only child in the spring of 1989. I did not have a lot of maternal experience because I was raised in the household with no other children and my neighboring cousins were big, I had no responsibility of having to babysit anyone. I was never around many small babies as I grew up unless they were visiting or I saw them at church. Being raised by older people, meant the people we socialized with were of senior age also. I learned everything about being a Mommy to my baby by reading books and watching television. I was several hundred miles away from my family when I delivered my baby. I had to stay in the hospital just under a week when I delivered my baby. The hospital took time to teach me everything I needed to know. I attended new parenting classes to learn how to properly feed the baby, how to medicate, clothe and bathe the baby. There was even a class that taught me how to properly install the baby’s car seat in my car. Though I was married, I learned everything on my own and managed the baby by myself. My husband was a soldier and spent a lot of hours at work. I became a 19-year old Super Mom with little to no practice. I had to get it right. I learned how to trust, slowly. I decided to return to the work force once my baby was about six months old. The pressures of being an Army wife, a new Mom and away from my family for the first time were way too much for me, so getting out of the house and into the workforce seemed to be the most enticing thing I could do in order to find happiness…..yes, I was unhappy and I now understand it to be post-partum depression. This was not the first sign of depression I had in my life, but it surely was one of the worse depressed times of my life. The moment I delivered my baby, I realized what “motherhood” was all about. I began to let it sink in that I would NEVER lay my eyes on my birth Mother because all of my life, my adoptive parents told me she had died, well, that is all they knew about her. They, like me, were led into a mystery about who my birth Mother truly is. 22


/FEATURE PARENT Years later, many years into my adulthood and after my daughter was grown, I was told that my birth Mother, in fact was not dead. She was alive. My life turned upside down. I knew the woman for most of my life and never once did it occur to me that she could possibly be my birth Mother. For years, I watched this woman raise her adopted children, providing solid and safe homes for them. She cared for them all unconditionally and never let them be without the things that every child deserved. She dressed them so well, made sure they attended school, had a two-parent home and she showed them plenty of love. She gave them hope and a foundation that I see in each of them today. She raised her children in the eighties and nineties. She had four children to care for, three boys and a girl. She was an excellent Mother to them and it showed, at least from the outside looking in, I saw nothing but one big happy family. I wondered if her secret of giving me away played a part on how she unselfishly gave love to her adopted children; I always will wonder many things, but she made parenting look so easy. My daughter became a young mother; her first pregnancy was at age fifteen. She had her first child in 2005 and had such a different system of parenting than I did. Starting from the pregnancy, she had great options for healthcare, I mean at age 15, my insurance didn’t cover pregnancy in minors so it was all about the cash, therefore we could go anywhere our money would take us for her OB care. I knew nothing about healthcare costs because I was a Military wife and never paid money to have my baby. When my grandchildren were born, the hospital stay was short. She would deliver the baby one day and within 48 hours she would be at home. The technology was different, there was distant learning, more in home follow up and the mothers were taught to jump right back into their normal lifestyle a lot faster than when I had my baby. Learning the ins and outs for OB costs and care was a lot to take in, all while dealing with the fact that my baby was having a baby. I had no help- literally. She and I dealt with all of the emotions, the fears, the plans and ultimately the baby. With little experience in childcare, when the baby arrived I had only a handful of friends that stepped in to help. This certainly was not the seventies when the entire community would come forward. My employer, at the time, handed me a check for several thousand dollars and gave me a baby shower to help me adjust. It was well received and I thank God for my corporate family. I had no one in my family that even tried to help. The baby’s Father and his parents were there and did what they could. They were like me, faced with a new situation that none of us were prepared for. They were angry, bitter, but willing to help as much as they could. My daughter eventually took control of the situation, learning about social government programs that gave her help with necessities for the baby. She never stopped pressing forward. She finished high school and finished her college training and received her Nursing certification. She was strong as she grew into Motherhood, but emotionally I became weak. My depression set in again. I was looking at my own life and seeing how times had changed. 23


Strangers would help when family would just observe, chatter and degrade my efforts as a Mother. I expected help, asked for help but realized that it would come from strangers. When I was a child, family would not allow strangers to step in to do anything that family was supposed to do. Times were strictly different. Over the years of watching how generations dealt with rearing their children, I have seen vast differences and it makes me wonder how things will be for my great grandchildren. The strength of the women in my family seems to be endearing, but when it comes to me, I see more strength in the women before me than I see in myself. I raised my daughter based on the life I wanted and not the life I had. She was given everything imaginable to ensure she had a good home, independent of social government support. I worked hard, leaving her in the care of others while I traveled around the world earning top dollars to support her. Yet, while doing the physical and financial parenting, I lost myself mentally. I didn’t focus on nurturing my daughter’s mind, instead I constantly focused on the absence of my birth mother and asking questions about whom I am and why did I end up in the care of strangers. I would start most conversations about myself, trying to uncover hidden secrets. I spent most of my adult life “figuring and proving” and not nurturing my baby girl. She deserved more of me. It was not until the day that my life issues about being adopted and not knowing my birth parents came full circle for me. I crashed and burned internally and gave up on everything trying to validate my existence. I attempted suicide. I chose to end my life so others could peacefully live theirs without my constant barrage of inquiry about my childhood, my heritage and my identity. I am grateful that my daughter was nearby when I suffered such a devastating time in my life, for it is because of her that I am alive. It is because of her look in my eyes as we rode in the back of the ambulance together that gave me renewed energy and the desire to live again. She saved me. No matter the generational difference, love between a Mother and Daughter remains strong. The support from family, or lack of, the technological advances or the government’s assistance for young Mother’s – none of those things matter when we look at the basic requirement for Mothers and their children and that is to love, nurture and support each other. I failed in some areas, but I know that I provided my entire heart to my daughter and I proudly watch my daughter raise her four children with an undying, natural love for her children. We have started a generational trend that is not impacted by outside factors. Love is love when it is real and unconditional. Read more in my anticipated new release, set to be released May 7, 2016 on Mother’s Day weekend. Visit www.CorrettaDoctor.com to learn more. 24


SOARING SOLO

Single, but not a single parent Written by De'Lys Marie

What if I was to tell you that you can be single, but not a single parent? Even though this may sound impossible, it can be done. Man meets woman one night, one thing leads to the other and Uh-Oh the woman gets pregnant. Now in some cases the man may feel that it is necessary to propose and marry the woman on the strength of what may appear to be right. In other cases the man disappears out of fear and irresponsibility. But it is important to understand that things happen in order, and unfortunately when you have premarital sex, this is done out of order. So just because you guys are sharing a child together doesn't mean that you are meant to be married. Take your time, still date each other and if possible date other people, and consider living together until the child is able to understand that mommy and daddy aren't going to get married (if that is what you both decide). This again might sound impossible, but one must take their feelings and emotions out of the equation and focus solely on the child. If you decide that you won't be in a committed relationship, but will still live together, eliminate sexual intimacy or any type of intimacy all together. Consider sleeping in separate rooms and coexisting as roommates until you both are able to support yourself and the child on your own. Coexisting is supposed to allow both parents to get everything in order, build up their finances and get things in order to raise the child in separate homes. Remember this is temporary and when God is ready to move either of you, He will. In the meantime, take this opportunity to better yourself and better the situation. It is only hard if you see it that way, have Faith and look at the bigger picture. In reality everyone isn't built to live in the same place with their child's other parent, and in some cases this can be damaging but if it is done right and with God, it can be achieved. If it is possible to keep the child with both parents until the child is about 2 or 3 then do so, if not let God be your guide. Remember we make mistakes, but God will always use our mistakes for His glory if we allow Him and Trust Him. February/March 2016 SoLoParentingMag.com 25


SOARING SOLO

The “Câ€?word‌.what it means to me? Written by Carlotta "Fabie" Geiser The "C" word entered my life at the early age of nineteen. Cancer is a sneaky serpent and manifests itself as a beast very quickly if ignored. I made the mistake of ignoring medical information and soon found out how all consuming your life quickly becomes to attack and lesson the blow of cancer. Not only does it plague your body, but your thoughts, your physical being and financial capabilities are arrested and your future days are completely altered medically forever. Your reality is abruptly interrupted and your existence of identity is lost alongside all those involved in your inner-circle trying to understand and cope with the burdens. For me, I didn't interpret or process all of the ramifications due to age and naivety allowing my approach of attitude to be aloof. I was more concentrated on graduating college than succumbing to the eradications of cancer. This unawareness benefited my defense and made it appear as though I was filled with strength and determination. Rather, the emotional detachment was a groomed and conditioned stance that I had been taught early on in life. I would soon deal with these emotions whether I wanted to or not. As a southern gal growing up in the Low country in South Carolina, I'd watched year after year my family burn their yards in hopes of gaining greener, healthier grass. Culturally, the "burning of the grass" brought together the families to man the yards so the fire could be contained. Many times, I reflect upon the countless surgeries and treatments and I realize the symbolism of this annual event and how I longed for the "burning of the yard" to gain healthier days. Although, I had very little relatedness as to how cancer would affect my future days, much like not knowing if the burnt yard would give way to greener grass but the routine and engrained habitual nature of doing so at least provided a sense of determined accomplishment. After 7 years of countless surgeries and progressive treatments, the hurdles that cancer delved were remissioned but the road traveled was one that had many pot holes that I'd yet allowed my mind and heart to deal with. 26


Fast forward through the endless oncology visits and many states traveled to in order to gain accessibility to progressive alternative treatment to ward off this serpent slivering round in my body AND being told by many doctor's the probability of becoming a parent would be difficult, if at all. The square dancing to and fro was a needed one, but exhausting at times causing numerous delays, such as graduating from college. Low and behold, like the greener grass growing in on spring days and the smell of dew on the tips of that grass, I managed to accomplish many endeavors, including graduating from college. It never really bothered me emotionally being told I couldn't have children but mentally, I had this "I dare you tell me what I can or cannot do" attitude. I did, in fact, become a mother to a ginger spiced (red-headed) gal and after 14 years of marriage, become a single mother, too. Just like a good ole game of hopscotch on a dirt road, I threw my rock, it landed and I kept on hopping to other destinations. The next deciphering task to be dissected would be through my daughter, who at birth, I knew had medical concerns. She was diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) early on which later translated into Asperger's Syndrome, Autism. Through her diagnoses, I was able to connect the dots and make the picture clear and complete as to why my trial with cancer was early on in life. Those days spent pondering my reason and purpose to persevere and forge forward when all I wanted to do was "hide and give up" gave way to creating and traveling alternate roads of representation for my daughter. Through her needs in being a voice for her well-being, I have traveled down many emotional, physical, and financial roads, some even representing a Deja vu feeling of helplessness and taunting from the cancer days. My understanding of my the emotional endurance and tolerance has been recreated through her personal gains. My former days in being taunted by cancer mentally and physically prepared me for the NOW days. I apply myself as a single mother advocating for my daughter and children with disabilities. Our medical labels are mere precursors to self-sustainment and can be used as teaching tools to show others how to thrive and succeed by sharing our story, OUR journey. Whether it be dirt roads or paved roads, the journey of life is just that, your road map. Travel to the destination and along the way, share your adventures, good or bad, for the key to maintaining your mental health is the identifiable parts of the journey with others. Knowing you are not alone and have experienced similarities define a cohesion among single parents, among those fighting to sustain and among our hearts to feel fulfilled and "just". As my southern mother always stated to me during the cancer days and


SOARING SOLO currently now, as a single parent, "It's not what happens to you! It's how you handle it"! Serenity can often be found traveling down roads allowing the cleansing of the mind to prepare the heart to endure the growth needed to appreciate our "greener" grass: our offspring, our children. I am content and proud to be a southern woman, a survivor, a single parent! Any label is fine with me because my confidence and endurance is branded by how I handle that current label and not by the temporary circumstances in which it came to be. I raise a glass of sweet iced-tea to all the single parents, women and men alike, and commend your journey. Your concerted efforts will pay off in a great bounty by carrying on the traditions of family, much like the "burning of the grass". Take those traditions and add more to keep it evolving and current. Make your family your own. Keep your reason and purpose clearly defined and tailored to the needs of the moment. Be open to change and flexible to recognize and enjoy the trials and triumphs for there are lessons in both. May the bumpy roads of life teach you patience and soothe your spirit for the steps of security lies at your feet.

February/March 2016 SoLoParentingMag.com

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Life /STATE OF MIND

Now and days, there is tons of emphasis on physical fitness. You can hardly channel surf without coming across yet another infomercial for the next fitness craze or weight loss program, and millions have jumped on the bandwagon including me. Don’t get me wrong: it’s a great thing that we are becoming more health conscious than ever before. As one of the unhealthiest countries in the world, we can definitely stand to shed a few pounds. Yet, while we are busy dancing off the pounds, getting ripped with P90X, counting meal points, and eating our prepackaged meals, one thing remains to be neglected: mental fitness. As a society in general, we spend so much time and effort working on the outside while we ignore the “within.” The inner workings are the center of all that we do. How we think and how we feel about ourselves is the driving force behind what we do. It perhaps the reason we fail at our endeavors to change and improve, because we don’t dig deep enough to consider the root- our psychological patterns. Have we ever asked ourselves what causes us to overeat, or consistently eat the wrong thingsthe things we know that are harmful to my health and our waistline. Nor do we consider why it is that we feel so down or lacking in energy that we prefer to sit in front of the television on nice days instead of taking the kids out to the park. To further expand, why is it that we have a tendency to be so labile? How is it that we are happy one moment, and agitated the next? That pattern of instability significantly affects children. They learn how to interact with the world by what is modeled in the home. Further, they also adopt a pattern of boding with others from interactions in the family environment. They need and crave stability. So a parent that is lovey dovey and affectionate one moment and aggressively needs “time alone” the next moment does more harmful than good. February/March 2016 / SoLoParentingMag.com 30


Life /STATE OF MIND

While I am a trained professional in the discipline of psychology, I do not believe that every malady is connected to a psychological disorder. So, many of our mental ills are more simply caused and remedied than you know. The mind is just like the body. When the body is tired, it needs rest. When it’s physically exerted, it needs to be revived and replenished. Moreover, when it is bruised or broken, it needs to be mended. In this society, we push ourselves to the limit in our feats to obtain and maintain success. We load ourselves with “must dos” to a superhuman extent. Furthermore, we train our children to do the same, so that even in grade school they are laden with academics and extracurricular activities. So what do we do? Well, even God took a day off. Taking a day or even a weekend to rest and replenish could do wonders. We have a tendency to deny ourselves this luxury because of all our commitments, but just as the body cannot function for so long without sleep, the mind cannot function without rest. Schedule one weekend per month to retreat for the family, and you don’t always have to go away to have a retreat. Also, penciling in 10-15 minutes a day of solitude to meditate and have a quiet reflection can also work wonders. And wait, I’m going to get really technical here: get some sleep! Sleep is your body’s way of shutting everything down to recharge. While I know it’s not always possible, attempt at least seven hours of sleep per night and to sleep no more than 8 hours as too much sleep can produce an opposite effect. Moreover, practice asking for help. Parenting can be overwhelming, especially for new parents. You have nothing to prove to anyone. Burning yourself out in the early years will not benefit you or your children in the long run. Utilize your support system. Oftentimes, friends and family won’t mind helping out as long as you don’t overdo it. Lastly, seek professional help immediately if you: have reoccurring thoughts of hurting yourself or others; feel out of control or unable to reign in your thoughts; feel moderately depressed on most days without an identifiable cause (i.e. loss of a loved one); your child exhibits a sudden change in behavior that puts him/her at harm. Your primary care provider would be a good place to start. February/March 2016 / SoLoParentingMag.com 31


LIFE/Fashion

Dressing warm while staying cute! Written by Teresa Lyn

W

ith the weather getting colder and colder, all we

can think about is piling on the layers, when we leave out the door. The one thing most of us don’t think about is how to look cute while doing so. It’s not hard to change your winter frumpy get up to a frosty fabulous look with a few key pieces, color changes, and must have accessories. Make sure you start every outfit with a fitted cotton piece of clothing as your initial building layer to hold in your body heat. It can be as simple as a fitted tee. Then figure out which coat you have in your wardrobe. If you’re wearing your new loud puffer coat that you couldn’t wait to wear you know that your outfit can’t be loud also. Don’t just stop with picking out a great coat to wear. Whether you’re creating an entire new wardrobe or enhancing the one you already have, a good pair of knee high leather boots, warm fitted and chunky sweaters and long heavy pencil knit or A-line wool skirts are your essential key items to layer while keeping it cute. Use your cozy sweaters to layer over fitted knits, thin sweaters or a button down shirts. You can pair them with your skinny jeans or your long full length skirt. You can pair your high leather boots with cozy socks for that extra warmth with your skinny jeans or use thermals hidden under your full length skirts to be even warmer. February/March 2016 SoLoParentingMag.com

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LIFE/Fashion

N

o outfit is complete without your must have

cold weather accessories like hats, statement scarfs and stylish gloves. They add extra warmth while giving you that extra style. Add a slouchy beanie to make almost any outfit cute and dressed down or a fabulous fur hat to dress up and warm up any outfit. A chunky statement scarf over your sweater or coat with some long knitted or leather gloves topped with your favorite bracelet will add tons of style while keeping you warm. When choosing your essential key pieces or adding on items don’t forget to choose some color. Most of our winter wardrobes consist of boring blacks, rich jewel tones and 50 shades of gray. Try adding a splash of color. The brighter colors the better. Throw on a bright red or fuchsia scarf with your black or gray for that added punch.

Finally, it’s time to grab your coat, pull it all together and leave out the door feeling fabulous!

February/March 2016 SoLoParentingMag.com

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LIFE/Healing Chef

Why should you DETOX your body/how often? Written by Healing Chef Carlton Whisonant It’s like a way of starting off fresh or becoming refreshed may be a better word. For anyone who is overweight, has bags under the eyes or just feel plain tired as if life is passing them by, a body cleanse or detoxification can be just what the doctor ordered. Why bother detoxing your body?

 Over time our bodies build up toxins from the air we breathe, chemicals in the foods we eat and the water we drink.  Our bodies also absorb chemicals through the skin from perfumes, soaps and other everyday toiletries we may use.  No matter how healthy we try to live, we are surrounded by pollutants and chemicals on a constant basis.  The body can rid itself of some of these toxins but when we can’t eliminate them all they start to accumulate, making it hard for our bodies to function properly.  When our organs, such as the liver, become overloaded with toxins the body cannot break down fat efficiently, causing weight gain.  Other symptoms you could experience are fatigue, digestive problems, gas and bloating, depression, the inability to lose weight and a multitude of other negative symptoms could bombard us.

Improved Liver Function and Weight Loss go Hand in Hand:  One of the most important weight loss tools would have to be improving the liver function. Doing a detox is a great way to help cleanse this hard working organ.  Any good dietary program should include a regular regime to detox your body for optimal health.  It is not just for weight loss, a body detox also helps clean your organs, glands and bloodstream. You will feel more energized with an added sparkle in your eyes, glowing skin and the desire to live life with extra passion. February/March 2016 SoLoParentingMag.com

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LIFE/Healing Chef How often should you cleanse or detox your body?

A body cleanse is something that is fairly easy to accomplish and we should try to do a mini fast once every month. The general rule is:  A 3 - day fast can help rid the body of toxins and cleanses the blood  A 5 - day fast will start healing and rebuilding the immune system  A 10 - day fast can take care of many health concerns and fight off illnesses

Here are a couple of cleanses you can do that are very advantageous:  THE JUICE DETOX FAST - This type of cleanse has become extremely popular because it supplies the body with much needed vitamins, minerals, nutrients, enzymes and antioxidants while you lose weight and cleanse your body.  THE RAW FOOD DETOX FAST –This clean eating is convenient if you don’t have a juicer at your disposal or if you do not wish to detoxify on liquids alone.  THE LEMON WATER DETOX FAST - The benefits of lemon water will amaze you, how can something so simple be so effective with helping the body detox and with weight loss. You'll want a cup of this every morning.  THE LIVER DETOX FAST - This liver detox drink is easy to make. Though effective it is gentle on the system and can be enjoyed even twice a day.

Do you know what is the classic spa water combo? They are cucumbers, lemon, and mint. Cucumber has citrulline amino acid which has characteristic’s that can get rid of ammonia from our liver and kidneys. It is a byproduct of the proteins where our bodies burn for energy. Meanwhile mint helps you to digest efficiently as it improves the flow of bile. Basically, the digested stuff will flow from bile to the liver to the gallbladder to the small intestine and break down dietary fats. On the other hand, lemon embarks the digestive track thus it can help you if you’re having constipation, heartburn, or gas. Ingredients:

 Ice  1 Medium Cucumber  1 Lemon  1 Orange  10 Fresh Mint Leaves  2 Liters of water Instructions: Fill in the water or pitcher with the slice of cucumber, lemon, and orange. Then, let the water to cool in a fridge about an hour. Leave it longer for better taste.

Remember Family……Eat to live…don’t live to Eat!!! Healing Chef C February/March 2016 SoLoParentingMag.com 35


  

 

Seasoned salt and pepper minced garlic Bake in oven 360 degrees for about 30 minutes; internal temperature should be a 155 degrees Remove the pork lion out the oven let it rest for about 20 minutes before you slice it that way it was not break up on you For a visual effect add Pork stove top stuffing in the pan around the pork lion or serve it on a plate Purchase 2 or 3 jars of Heinz gravy depending on how much gravy you like then place back in the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes to cook in flavor.

February/March 2016 SoLoParentingMag.com

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Life /Spiritual Space

Who Is Your Real Family? Written by Prophetess Samonia Whisonant Many of us have cried and shed quite a few tears because of our family. Sometimes it’s been because we have lost a loved one, or maybe we are excited about what Father is doing in their lives so we cry tears of joy. But for many the tears have been because of hurt and pain. In today’s society we have a common term of being a dysfunctional family. Some of you have had family to steal, beat, curse and betray you. You have tried and tried to let it go and forgive but you just can’t for some reason. Well today I hope to shed some light on who God desires your real family to be. We as humans were born into a family with parents who raised us. It has always been said that all you have is family and that you have to deal with the hand that was dealt to you, because you won’t get another one. This is one statement that is further from the truth. To be honest you do have another family, and that family is the one that is in Christ Jesus. We have been taught that our earthly members are number one, but once we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior we all are as one. There are many people who can attest that their brother and sister in Christ has been there for them way more than earthly family. And many people have always had earthly families they could count on and have never had a problem. I’m for one love to hear the stories of a great tight family unit. Truth is that this isn’t the case for a lot of people and you need to know that Father has your spiritual brothers and sisters waiting for you to open up and let them come in and love on you.

1 Corinthians 12:25-26 so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.

February/March 2016 SoLoParentingMag.com 38


Life / Spiritual Space

When Father created man he instructed him to leave his earthly parents and cleave to his covenant wife. Jonathan loved David so much that he whole heartedly supported him. If we would but only remember that once we are in Christ Jesus that we now are a redeemed family and that we are all brothers and sisters we would be rejoicing even more. Actually when you think about it we have one HUGE family. Jesus said,” Matthew 12: 46-50 while Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside wanting to speak to him. Someone said to Him, “Behold, Your mother and your brothers are standing outside seeking to speak to you.” But Jesus answered the one who was telling Him and said, “Who is my mother and who are my brothers?” And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, “Behold My mother and my brothers! It’s not until we truly realize that our spiritual family is as equally important if not more so than our earthly family, that we can walk in peace and love. Yes it’s great to have people you can count on, we just have to realize that Father blessed us with many brothers and sisters. And one day we will have the biggest family reunion that the world has ever seen when Christ parts the sky. So stop your crying if your earthly family has hurt you forgive them, but cling closer to your true family those of us in Christ. February/March 2016 SoLoParentingMag.com 39


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