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You GROW through what you GO through

In the very beginning stages of my blog I promised myself that I would always be transparent and honest with my readers, and I pride myself in doing so thus far. In this small amount of time I have blossomed and developed into a more open and direct person than I have ever been in my entire life. I used to let others' opinions and judgement dictate my life in such a manner that I started feeling like I had to live up to unrealistic expectations. That way of thinking somehow seeped it’s way into my parenting style early on because I started out being "that parent" who felt like I needed people to know that I had everything all under control and handled; I never wanted to be viewed as weak or needing help. Not many will admit it and that’s OK if they don't but I will say that I was that Mom who spent money that I didn’t have, trying to keep up with the ever changing trend of doing things in a BIG way. Case and point: BIRTHDAYS...I was always trying to make birthday parties for my babies very elaborate and grand because at that time that’s what I felt like I was SUPPOSED to do as their Mother. I felt like if I didn't make the layout and the full scheme of things big that would make me a failure as a mother. This prideful, selfish way of thinking left me BROKE (yes I said it, BROKE!). I’ve been left hanging by my children's father with party costs; I’ve planned big parties and invited lots of guests only to have the attendance of 2. To some, this sounds frivolous to dwell and ponder upon, but when you're left with empty pockets and a broken spirit, you're left with two options; you can continue to travel this meaningless road of trying to impress others or you can take that lesson and vow to never make that same mistake again. You guess which one I took...Yep! You guessed it! It only takes one time for me to see the error of my ways. I threw pride out the window and didn't look back.

Artwork by Natalia Murobha

My twins’ birthday is coming up next month and I've been trying to come up with cute, fun and inexpensive ways for them to enjoy their special day. Living within my means is a way of life for me now and I have no problem expressing that. These almost 4 years total of being a mother has humbled me in ways that only me and the Most High could ever understand, but if I could be a voice of comfort or sound advice to someone who is or once was "that parent" that I once was, then I know that my story and my lessons have not gone in vain. Now of course, the parents who are spending money that they don't have just to impress or have cute pictures for social media, are not going to admit it but let me be the one to say IT'S OK. Those people don't see those times that you're up late at night wondering and worrying how you're going to pay a bill; they don't know the prayers that it took on those many mornings that you rode on a wing, a prayer and your gas light on 'E' trying to get your kids to daycare and yourself to work. People will tell you that they are there for you and when the going gets really tough, there's no one in sight. This post was initially intended to be centered around planning a fun birthday party on a budget for my kids, but my heart ended up leading me in a different direction and I followed. Being a Mom is tough but when it's all said and done, kids know and have a more sensitive spirit than we know, and they know, without a doubt, who was there and tried their best and who was not. Love is what love does and it doesn't take a gigantic cake, 50 guests and a bunch of bouncy houses to show it. For those who can do so, this is definitely NO BASH towards you but for those who cannot, trust and believe me when I say that a few close family members and friends, great food, games, gifts and lots of love and laughs go a very long way.

**Featured artwork by Natalia Murobha | IG: @murobhasart **