Thursday, November 28, 2019

Yes, I will celebrate at 6 months!

First things first, if someone had told me a year ago that today I would be married, I would have laughed so hard. Marriage was never one of those things I actively pursued, in fact, I remember someone once telling me that I don't even seem like the marriage type. I really don't know what that meant but here I am today happily married! Today makes six months since my husband and I exchanged our "I Dos" and on this day I decided to start blogging again because my life has changed so much in so little time. Blogging has always been therapeutic for me and I have connected with so many like-minded persons because of it, so doing this is needed.

When they tell you marriage is not a destination it is a journey, they were right. 

If you know me, you know that I procrastinate; in every area of my life. If I have something to do, I will wait until the due date to get serious about completing it. I am not proud, but this is who I am. My procrastination did not go away when dealing with planning my wedding. Beyond my dress, everything for the wedding was in my head, planned and figured out, but in reality was not done. I remember having to block the wedding planner a few times because she kept reminding me about deadlines that (in her opinion) I was not taking seriously. Despite it all, everything we wanted became a reality when we walked down the aisle exactly six months ago. I enjoyed that summer day to the fullest and seeing my husband smile from ear to ear made me the happiest bride in the world.

Now what?!
We had a late afternoon wedding that continued until about midnight where we drank and danced the night away. Everything about the wedding was true to who my husband and I are as a couple. After we left the wedding site, our friends who flew in for the wedding along with most of the bridal party went up to our honeymoon suite, ordered a crap load of food and drinks and we laughed, drank and partied until the wee hours of the morning. Once everyone left, I remember laying on the bed in my dress looking at my husband and thinking, we are married, now what?!

Every week since the wedding I have selected one of the well wish cards and advice that I received during the wedding shower and the one common piece of advice that I have received is "marriage is not a destination but rather a journey". When people stop me and ask "how is the marriage life treating you", I typically respond with a pure answer and it is usually something like "it is a learning process" or "we are adjusting well". The blank stares I get in response are the funniest. But in these short six months, I have learned the true meaning of marriage is to journey together in love, despite the obstacles, being transparent and honest about feelings, ideas and decisions as hard as they may be.

So here I am, six month later with three things I have learnt after my first six months of marriage:
  1. Communication is Key: I know this may sound cliche but communicating, whether it is good or bad, is truly key. I have no issue saying what is on my mind, but for me learning how to say things in a way that is not disrespectful, is clear and does not set the wrong tone, was a definitely challenge.Ladies, men are much more emotional than we think. Believe me!
  2. Transparency makes everything better: keeping things bottled up does not solve any problem. When I am most transparent with my feelings and what I want, my hubby is happiest. This is not always easy and it is not something that comes natural to most, including me, but it makes all the difference. I would say to be prepared for transparency, it is not always the easiest pill to swallow.
  3. Sex doesn't solve problems: the thing about sex is, it feels good in the moment but when its
    done, anything you had to deal with before still exist. Nothing is worst than not enjoying the after joys of sex because you are upset about a pre-existing issue. Sex is great, but that problem you were facing before the bumping, will be there even after. 
I am no expert on marriage and I really believe that as time continues together we will learn so much from each other that we could write a book (although we wouldn't ever really write a book) but on this day, six months in, I am so excited that I am learning in love and growing with this incredible man. What lessons did you learn early in your marriage? How have you adjusted to marriage life? 

Yours Truly, 
Mrs. Newlywed 
Sunday, January 20, 2019

Mom Crush Monday Feature: Jasmine Chanelle

Jasmine Chanelle
The J. Chanelle Group, LLC

I met Jasmine online about a year ago as I was searching for fellow marketing and pr professionals. Her page stood out to me because beyond her role as a brand strategist, her page really captured her love for her son and family. If you scroll through her page you get a snapshot of what she values most and that includes, branding, motherhood, wife life and creating a successful life, in no particular order. About nine months ago she revealed that she was expecting and I got so excited! I was also a little nervous because I thought, how will she continue to do these great things now with baby number two. Nine months later and she is still posting daily, hosting classes, taking on new clients and being an overall kick-ass mom!

How she does it? 

Jasmine spent some time answering a few questions from me on balancing life as mom and entrepreneur:

What is your career? Is this something that conflicts with your role as mom/ becoming a mom? I am the Principal Brand Strategist and owner of The J. Chanelle Group, LLC. This hasn’t conflicted with my role as a mom because I am able to control my own schedule as a full time entrepreneur.

On average, what amount of time do you spend weekly at work/ pursuing your career? 
I spend 40+ hours a week building my business

On Work Life Balance

You seem to have mastered the phrase "work-life balance" Tell us the secret! 

I think we have to focus on work life harmony and not work life balance. Something is always going to fall through the cracks you just have to decide each day which thing is more important.Becoming a mom helped me learn to set healthy boundaries. In the past I would say yes to a lot of things even if they caused inconveniences to me. Now as a mom I have to use my time more wisely which means saying “no” to things that don’t benefit me or my family. Setting boundaries has really allowed me to have more peace and manage my time better.

Let’s face it, while we all love our little ones, there are times when we as women simply need our own space/ time. Do you ever feel guilty as a mom taking a “mommy break”?
No I don’t feel guilty when taking a break, and I am very intentional with my self care time. I know that the best mommy is a happy and sane one so I indulge in self care so that I can be rejuvenated and calm when it’s time to go back to mom and wife mode.

If there was one thing that hasn’t been invented as yet that can make your job as a mother easier what would it be?

That’s a really good question, I’m not sure what would make motherhood easier other than a second set of arms and another brain lol

Husbae or Baby? Which comes first

Which comes first: husbae or baby? 

That’s a hard one! As a newlywed I’m learning that marriage comes first because we both have to be great partners in order to be good parents but this is something I’ve learned and am still practicing over time.

What advice would you give moms who feel overwhelmed with life balance and not being their “best self”? 
Enjoy the moment! Kids grow fast and those early years are the most formative. Also I would advise new moms to give themselves grace. Motherhood is a life-long journey and you will make mistakes, learn along the way and trust your instincts. I believe that indulging in self-care is super important to balance, how often to you indulge in self-care and what does self-care mean to you?
I indulge in some form of self care every week, whether it’s a nail date or diving into a new book I take time once a week to treat myself to something that makes me feel relaxed or happy. Self care to me is finding ways to give back to yourself as much as you give to others.

Jasmine can be found on Instagram: @_jasminechanelle . Follow her for more #momboss inspiration!
Wednesday, October 10, 2018

My Best Day As Mom

If you are a mom, like me, I am sure you have difficult days. However, somewhere beyond the horizon, there are the occasional great days where you fall asleep with a smile on your face. Then there are the incredible days when you feel so accomplished, you've checked off everything from your to-do list, you've completed homework with time for fun and you've made dinner with dessert. Although rare, best days are indeed possible with a little planning!

Here are 5 Ways I have learnt to make every day the Best Day Ever as a Mom:
  1. Planning - I can not stress the importance of planning enough. Not only does it decreases the amount of time spent in chaos, but it also eliminates the chances of random things happening and throwing your entire day off. Typically, I pack my daughter's backpack and lunch bag the night before ensuring that in the event we wake up late the following morning, there isn't much to do. Along with packing bags, if I am not able to get my daughter's hair braided on the weekend, I try to have this done at night as well. Which brings me to my next point.
  2. Get Help - I remember when I found out that I was pregnant, everyone said I needed to learn how to braid hair ( this along with many other things I NEEDED to learn). Then I said to myself, why stress myself doing everything, when there are people who are skilled to perform these functions. Braid hair, I call the hair braider. Clean the house, I call the housekeeper. I have come to the realization that I do not need to do everything and sometimes it is okay to hire the help you need to alleviate the burden.
  3. Stop and Enjoy the Moments- There was a time when I would be with my daughter on an outing distracted by sending emails or answering work phone calls. It got so bad that she would ask me a question and in my distraction I just answered whatever I thought "fit". One day my daughter called me out on my actions saying "mommy, stop pretending that you are listening to me because what you are saying makes no sense". It was in that moment that I promised myself to stop and enjoy every moment when with family, especially with my daughter.

    Work It Baby Work It
  4. Dance Always! - Even in completing the above, good days are not guaranteed. For me, the difficulty of knowing that I have planned and done my best and the day still ends crappy is pretty daunting. However, I have learnt that sometimes it is better to let go. Perfection is never the goal of life and it certainly isn't the goal of motherhood. Understanding that things won't always go your way is key. Dance. Let your hair down and be proud of what you have accomplished!
  5. Remember that no matter your effort, there is a pair of eyes looking up at you thinking that you are the greatest mom ever and could never be more proud! Nothing gets me like when my daughter tells me that she loves me, for no reason at all; but there is a special fuzzy feeling when my daughter prays and tells God "thank you for giving me the best mom ever". No amount of preparation or planning can prepare me for those moments and its then that I am reminded that my best is more than enough!

Until Next Time Mama Bees,
Sunday, September 23, 2018

Birthing Something New

I have started a blog before, for those of you who followed me in the past, I am sure you remember Anni's Bubble. That blog for me was an outlet. As a new mom, I was faced with the challenge and responsibility of taking care of a human which I knew nothing of. Anni's Bubble allowed me to connect with so many women and mothers around the world and I felt like there was a true sense of community, despite the distance. Side Bar: One of those women started her blog around the same time as I did (but actually remained consistent) and today she is one of New Orleans top bloggers and interior designers; shout out Whitney Jones!

Whitney Jones
Back to why we are here :). Blogging has evolved so much over the last five years but the original purpose of connecting and creating a platform of community is still there. This is the exact reason why I decided to get back on the horse. As a mother, grad student, employee and side hustler extraordinaire life is a roller coaster and that's on the good days. This blog will be my voice to express myself in these various roles and share my passion with a community of like-minded women who can engage, encourage and inspire. 

Kee The Mama Bee

My biggest mistake in life thus far is thinking that motherhood was something that restricted me from doing amazing things. It is time to change the narrative and make motherhood work because it is possible to have a great life as a mom, girl boss and all around super woman!! 

Until Next Time Mama Bees,