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SPEAKER 1 0:10
So y’all, we have a couple of couple of changes that we’ve been making based on the feedback that we’ve been receiving. And also based on us evolving, a lot of the first big things that you’ll notice is that we finally have an annual. We are the group chat is webinar series in particular is called a group chat. And so with that in mind, always, always know that we want your energy, we want your questions, we want your reaction as we go through any discussions that we have. And we’re also on crowd cast. So if you’re just now joining in, please update your username so that we can make sure that we’re able to call you out as we continue to have our discussions and occasionally property because user 54 9177, that’s not fun at all. To be quite honest. Our discussion today is about pandemic, parenting, and wellness. Well, before we get into our topic, and I’m able to introduce our speakers for today, I want to first go over a couple of house rules. So if you’ve been with us for a while you’re ready know what the house rules are. If you’re joining us for the first time, let’s start to get you acquainted with how we operate. So all of our webinar series are recorded. So if we don’t consent to being recorded, having your name having your having your name, having a voice recorded, please drop a call right now and watch the replay on corporate Comm. Like I mentioned before we mourn your energy. So please put any questions that you may have into the chat, put all your reactions into the chat. That helps us to know that we’re not losing you in our discussion. And then the final one, even though these webinars series are free, they’re not really free all we want your feedback. So the price you pay for joining her asking to provide feedback. For this discussion, many discussions are being drawn, we read them, we take your feedback seriously, we incorporate them into the next show that helps us grow and helps us evolve. So thank you. So our speakers that we have with us today are two dynamic women that have been knowing each other since birth. So we have more. So even though they’ve been living on different sides of the continent for most of their lives, and they were able to maintain their relationship as cousins and their closeness as friends. And now as working parents with four children under the age of five, between the two of them, their relationship has transformed to include a passion and focus on building a new platform that prioritizes parent’s wellness. So we’ve all heard that adage, it takes a village to raise a child. But really our focus today is what about the parent it takes a village to nurture as a parent to. And so they are using their transformation and Education Development expertise to keep the importance of a nation village, Top of Mind together their powers prioritizing the journey safety, expression and overall wellness of black Parenthood, creating safe spaces for black moms. And like that, to have in depth conversations as parents are here to discuss with us ways to embrace holistic wellness balance, to be our best selves and therefore are our best selves as parents, as my wife and Whitney Howard.
SPEAKER 2 4:10
Thank you so much. Good morning, everyone. Whitney and I are thrilled to be here. Live in corporate, thank you so much for creating this platform. It’s so important to have a platform that sits at the intersection of business and culture, right everything else. So I think it’s fitting that we’re having a conversation today that sits at the intersection of parenting and wellness. Today is truly going to be a conversation. That’s how Whitney and I roll. We’d love to engage, have discussion. And truly we’re going to talk a lot about you know, the wellness as power and how to create the space and the wellness for yourself so that we can all be the best parents we need to be. There is no guidebook, right? We’re all in this together. So we’re excited to get into it.
SPEAKER 1 5:10
SPEAKER 2 5:12
Oh, we can’t it hasn’t shifted this. The slide hasn’t changed yet though.
SPEAKER 1 5:16
Okay, I’m seeing wellness. Yeah, it shifted. It shifted on my end.
SPEAKER 2 5:21
Okay, okay. Well, that works in its own breath live and I will I will roll with it just let me know. Okay, so everybody should be seeing a picture on their screen. And I would love for you to just take a second and look at it and tell me what you see. When you look at it, what do you see? What does it bring up for you? Right? A lot of times we put a lot of stuff down underneath what does it bring up in the surface when you look at it?
SPEAKER 1 5:57
Spring spirit, joy, trampoline [Inaudible] trampoline test. Yep.
SPEAKER 2 6:03
So I think one of the words I’m going to hold on to there with encomium is free. So when I look at him, and what I want you to think this is a little black boy, right? You can see he’s in the air, he’s suspended, right, his mouth is open, he’s probably yelling or exerting energy out. This boy is free, right? He is escaping whatever is around him. And he is free. And for us as a black people, it is probably the most beautiful thing that we can do for ourselves, especially when we’re standing up against all the other things we have to deal with. Now I want you to pay attention to what’s behind him, you’ll see some wires, you’ll see some cords hanging suspended behind him. And the juxtaposition between his freedoms in those chords really kind of makes you think about what stops us from being free. Right? What’s caging us in what’s holding us in, right? Think about sitting there, you feeling free to take a second just to breathe, and then you turn on the news and you’re hit with trauma, right? You going through you going through your day, taking a breath just eating your food. And then you got to deal with something with your kids and their teacher because they said something that really doesn’t sit with you well, right. And then you’re just taking a second you finish one thing, you’re moving on to the other, you can’t even take a second before realizing that you have so much to do in that day. And so you take all the way to that world, it’s there, our freedoms are kind of cool, they kind of keep us in sometimes. And so we want to take a second to really just think about what does that mean, and why sometimes it’s so hard for us to really hold on to that. And when you think about the history of where we have come from as a people, right, all the things we had been taken, things have been taken from us, right before safely during slavery after right, we have dealt with all these different things. But one of the things we don’t talk about a lot that was taken from us was our ability to create our own wellness, wellness as a tool wellness as a power, right, our people are from the earth black people, brown people, we’re from the earth, we have all this energy. And during this time in our history, it was removed from us. And then when we had to come back right to try to you know, hit that American dream, hit that rat race do all this stuff when it wasn’t built for us in the first place. That wellness was further pushed away. Right. Nobody cared about wellness, right? They just wanted us to produce getting moving, get it done. And that’s what we were sold that bill of goods, right, get it down and you can get the American Dream even though it wasn’t catered to us. So wellness got lost in the shuffle yet again. And one of the things I see now, right as we’re kind of back into, you know, we’re here in 2020. Wellness can sometimes be presented as a luxury. Right time is luxury. Our space is a luxury everything we do so wellness is now being repackaged as this thing, right? Listen, I’m here for self-care Sunday, just like everybody else’s right? But it can’t just be Sunday, and it can’t just be expensive spas and you know, yoga classes, mentorship, not everybody has the ability to do that. So how do we as people as black and brown people as parents, right, find that and hold that space within ourselves? Right, create that wellness. And remember that for us, we model that for our children. Everything that I just talked about from our history is modelled from generation to generation. We talk about generational traumas all day. But we do not talk enough about generational joy and generational ecstasy, right? How to keep that going on. We talk about generational wealth all day. And that’s why I’m here for that too. But we need the other piece of it because that wellness is key to us being able to unlock that for our children. So they have that power as well. So let’s talk a little bit about how to make sure that we stay present in that today and let’s get into some of those details. So now we’re going to get right into this. I need for each of you to take a moment of reflection with me. Typically when you think about reading flexion or meditation, you’re trying to clear your mind. At this point, I actually want you to flood your mind with thoughts, okay? I want you to write down how you’re presently feeling, I want you to be present in the moment, I want you to minimize any distraction that you have, hopefully, you’re in a quiet space, that you can just center all of your attention with us right now. But I want you really to just sit with yourself. And that’s hard for a lot of us to do to sit with ourselves and, and just really reflect on what is going on, presently for us. So as you reflect on what you did go only as deep as you’re comfortable going, if you would like to share your reflections in the chat, feel free to do so. But again, I really want you to only share what you’re comfortable sharing. I want you to reflect on your childhood, your upbringing, societal pressures, your family norms, how you personally identify yourself, and your parenting sucks. That’s what we’re here to talk about. Think about, you know, how your parents raised you, and how that is reflected within your children right now. So let’s just take a moment, I’m going to be quiet for a minute. And I just want you to sit with yourself and reflect on where you are presently, right now. Make sure you’re taking some deep breaths as you do this. It is hard, it becomes emotional for some to finally have a moment to sit with yourself. And process all of the things that make you. And all the things that you’re dealt with on a daily basis of the fears you have of raising your children in this country. People in your life you need to forgive, right, all of those things just come flooding to you, when you have a moment, most of us don’t take that time to have a moment of reflection to see where you are in the present time. So where do we go from here? We have all these thoughts, all of these things that are presently sitting with us right now that some might be really heavy, right? So this is where Kathleen and I have created these safe spaces for black and brown people to unpack these stressors. So let’s continue to get further into it. So, um, space is an interesting concept. And as you all look at the screen, you know, you guys will see things that evoke different feelings, right? You’ve got, you know, you’ve got periodicals that speak to us, you have, you know, business faces that speak to us, you’ve got social media that speaks to us fashion, things that speak to us. Curlier, I think I think they actually have a conference today. So curl Fest, I think has something to say, right? There’s all these different places that were built with us in mind, many of them physical spaces, right. And obviously, in days of COVID, even though they might be physical, we’re virtually together. But you know, it’s meant to be in person. The emphasis that we want to try and bring to your attention or try and prioritize is that individual space that you create within yourself, right? So we just took some time to practice that was we were reflecting but creating the space within yourself to make time and prioritize what you need in order to be as well as humanly possible. And then take it one step further and sharing your space with somebody else. It is different to share your space like this right? Right now we’re having our conversation. This is an intimate group, right? There’s so there’s 20 of us here. We’re having this conversation. This is not an easy topic, as we talk about our vulnerabilities and our fears. Right. But the only way as a collective people that we can move forward is by sharing those spaces, my vulnerable space, right. This morning, I was stressed out. I have an event that I’m throwing later today and you won’t have this webinar coming up. Right. My kids were up at six o’clock in the morning because they don’t know no better. And they’re running around. And I was just like, Oh, I was exhausted. You know, I was exhausted. I got up early with them because my husband’s gonna take them later tonight so I can do what I need to do. And they got the breakfast together. Right? I was you know, they get everything moving. I just sat there. I’m just like, what, what am I about to do that I got so much to do. I’m so stressed. My youngest daughter comes in she said Mommy, Come dance with me and I Like what dancer the mind you it’s like I mean, it’s a strong 645 strong. And she said, come dance with me. And I mean, in that moment, I was able to, in my mind, slow my brain down for a second, right immediately slow it down. Think about what I needed. It wasn’t even about her what I needed in the moments, she felt my energy because we share a space, not just because we share a home, but we share a space, right, I gave birth to her. But even if I didn’t, she’s my child, she understands me. And I allowed her to feel my energy of need, so that she can come and ask me, that’s how that happens. That’s how that works. So I was so excited to just be able to take a second and do that. So I am I’m as you can hear them in the backgrounds that come in. But I was so I was so happy to be able to achieve that for myself. And, and it was so timely thinking about this conversation, of creating space for yourself, and then sharing it with the people around you. So that we can move forward. All this stuff that’s going on in our world right now. Right? everything that’s happening, we’re not gonna be able to get through this alone, right, we have got to lean on each other, right as parents, for sure. But also individually as people as moms and dads, as people with their own dreams, as people who want to inspire their children, like the physical spaces that are here for us that are popping up left and right. I love it. Right, I love seeing all the spaces pop up. But we have to do our own work to create a space and allow people to share it so we can grow together. And so let’s talk about some of these tactical ways to help create the space and a time within yourself so that we can start sharing. So we’ve heard this before be the best version of yourself every day. This is something that I practice. For, I guess the first four and a half years of my son’s life, it was just him and I single parent trying to make it work. And I hate using the phrase single parent because my village was strong, okay, my village was in full effect all the time. And I’m super blessed for my village. But there were moments where I still fell short, right? My patience was low, I was tired. But each and every day, I always said to myself, I need to be better than I was yesterday, for me and for my child. Because he modelled everything that I do. So when I’m frustrated, he can feel that energy. So I made sure that more in tune with myself so that I know, you know what tomorrow, Whitney is going to be a little bit better than she was yesterday. Also, we did that exercise earlier so that you guys can practice those personal moments of reflection. Far too often we’re on social media, the news is on just the hustle and bustle of every single day, we need to take those times out to just sit with ourselves. We don’t know what we need, until we just sit with ourselves quietly. And really just reflect on where am I at? Where am I trying to go? Right? And who am I trying to be for myself for my significant other for my children, your children look to you for everything I know, those in my household look to me for everything right? So I need those moments of what do I need to be the best version of myself for them? This is an interesting one for me understand the spectrum of perspective, right? So with clients that I’ve worked with students in my school and their parents and within my own home, everyone is not going to do or say how you think they should react, do what you would do. Say what you will respond how you would respond to things once you let go, that everyone does not have the same perspective, your stress will be reduced significantly. Everyone thinks of things totally different. I did say earlier that the first four and a half years, my son and I were it was just the two of us. Within the last year I had been blending families. So in the midst of a pandemic, I’ve been blending families. So my significant other definitely does parent a little bit differently than I do. So I had to understand that his perspective and how he grew up, influenced how he parents, his children, right? And how I grew up, we just grew up very differently. And with that, there were some moments where I had some stress and anxiety, right? So we’re blending schools now at home. We’re all in the house. It goes from the two of us, myself, my son to now five people in a home. So there were moments where I was feeling anxious and overwhelmed. And those are feelings that most people don’t like to talk about because you feel weak, right? But you need to be vulnerable and be able to sit with yourself and say, Okay, I need to take a step back. Right. These are things that I need and being vulnerable. This allows you to communicate with people around you and find those safe people that you have to say Okay, this is what I need right now. For example, like I said, there’s five people in my house now, five different schedules. I was crazy and all over the place. So a solution that I had was I now have a three by five foot calendar in my kitchen. So everyone’s schedule is on there, right? So it’s something super small, which someone else might be, you know, oh, yeah, we do that in our Google Calendar, or whatever it is. But whatever it is for you, it’s going to be different for each person. What works for me, might not work for kathlyn might not work for newbie Anna, right? And all of you out here, I’m sure some of you might even have your own things that you’re currently doing for your wellness plan. Right for me, in the midst of pandemic, I was able to find my own peace, right, I wake up about 30 minutes earlier than everyone else in my house. I have mantras that I have posted in my bathroom. I do morning meditation, and I work out three days a week, those were things I was not doing prior to pandemic, but within a week, I had more than 21 days to create that habit, right? Since we were all home in the house. So now it’s just a part of my plan. Right? So for you just to define what your triggers are, and what you need to just feel whole. All right, now it’s time to take a breath. Right time to breathe deep. Exhale, all those things. You know, it’s funny when we have a lot of parenting discussions. A lot of what people think about is you go into all this talk about you know, what’s your schedule? What is your breastfeeding schedule, like how you sleep training the kids? Who’s running these errands, who’s picking this person up? And all of that is absolutely needed, right? I am a scheduled crazy person I do because that’s what makes me feel good. But again, the wellness discussion gets left behind. It’s like, okay, as parents, we’re just we’re just gonna run a million miles per hour and just forget everything else. We can’t do it. And during this time where we are confronted with multiple pandemics, okay, it’s not just one. Right? We’ve got some justice. Right? We’ve got health, right, we’ve got a crazy election coming up, right? With Ruth Bader Ginsburg, death, there’s all kinds of things that people are now again, consuming in their heads. And all of that is a part of your energy, everything you consume. But as a parent, part of your job is giving that to somebody else. It’s hard to give that positive energy that anything, right if you’re if you’re digging to try to find it yourself. And so we’d like to keep the conversation here, we want to keep creating these spaces and having these conversations. Because wellness is a power, it is literally the key to unlock the tools that you need to combat societies and pose definition of who you are supposed to be. I’m tired of it. I’m sure y’all are tired of other people in society, right? The entire world saying this is what you’re supposed to be as a black mom, as a black dad, as a black woman as a black man, right? This is who you’re supposed to be. This is the box you’re supposed to fit in. Right? This is how it’s supposed to work. You’re not supposed to be upset, right? You’re not supposed to feel like things aren’t No. Like, we have to literally push all that stuff away, because all of those things are impeding how we feel. And if we are well and strong and good, then we can conquer all of this. And then some. And we can do that together as we continue to share these spaces. So we are again, ready to open this up to conversation. We want to talk more about these phases. We want to know more about what things you’re afraid to talk about, what are some of this stuff, right, that hasn’t come up. I’m actually going to start as we get into this, let’s talk portion. One of the biggest things that we’ve done in our household is my mother in law lives with me. So we moved her in about, gosh, I guess it’s a year and a half now. And I had an Au Pair before that. I had a nanny before that. I had babysitters before that I had family before that right and families in and out of my house. But what became abundantly clear is the fact that I needed to have support and it wasn’t just support to change diapers. It was mental supports. of I need somebody to bounce ideas off of somebody to figure out how to create schedules with somebody to you know, you know, hey, what do you think about doing it this way, or bring this here and then to add another layer into the household. We wanted to have a grandparent we have three kids under five. I mean, we were insane, right? It’s too much. It’s too much. And you know, I realized as I was starting out we first had kids there was there seemed to be a lot of you know, people not talking about you know, the help they were receiving I was like I need to know how much it costs. I need to know how often you’re using it. I need to know how this how you’re doing this with work. You know how you guys dealing with your schedules, but nobody was talking. I couldn’t understand it. I think some of it is just it’s a thing I get that some of it’s just not really willing to share. So we’re trying to break down on these roles. So I need to know, right? I had I had a Night Nurse because I had twins, by the way, two of the three are came at once. So then there was that on top of everything else. And I was like, all right, you know, I need, you know, I need all the things, what does it give me the list of the things that I need to figure out how to make this work, I had postpartum issues with my first daughter. So I knew that I needed to make sure I was thinking about that right back to Whitney’s wellness plan. I was prioritizing myself, above everything else, because I just knew that we were about to enter in just some crazy times. And it’s been beautiful. But it’s been hard, it’s been hard work to make sure that I can still stay above water, and then not just stay above water, and then like swim and thrive up there. So we you know, we want to get into some of these conversations about you know, those things that hits you right and where and where you know, that you need to start doing more to make to make that that effort towards making wellness a part of your parenting journey.
SPEAKER 1 26:04
We have a question, actually, from Cora. And she Nicoya is asking, what tools or steps do you take found us to change quickly?
SPEAKER 2 26:17
So, with that question, I think the first thing I’m going to say is really just be real with yourself about the change that is occurring. I think far too often, we feel like we just have to be okay with everything, you know, society labels that says, oh, we’re strong, especially as women, Oh, you’re so strong, you can handle anything, it is okay to have those moments of weakness, it is okay to have those moments to ask for help. So I think really with that first, the first thing I would suggest is just change happening. So quickly, identify what the changes, identify what you need and communicate with those around you. I don’t do well, with change, I will openly say that that’s why we create these spaces, I get very anxious, I want to make sure everything is kind of controlled and things are together. And when I feel like I don’t have that sense of control, I feel out of sorts. So what I’ve learned over the years is I communicate better than I have before maturity and just everything else has helped with that. But I communicate with those in my household of what is it that I actually need, right? Because sometimes we try to adjust to those change changing things on our own, without soliciting assistance from others, right. I was changing jobs. And my schedule was different. So I’m like, Okay, how am I now going to drop my son off at school and pick him up, I do this. And I sat with it for a little bit. I literally just said to my grandparent just having a conversation with her, I don’t know how I’m going to have this come, you know, have this situation where I can drop off my son. And she said, oh, actually, one of our close friend’s lives not too far from your job, you can drop your son off there. And she can take him just a small conversation and communicating my needs, was able to help me adjust with that change. So I hope that helps. And co you also think you know, change. It’s okay that you’re not comfortable with it. Most people aren’t. I mean, it’s not. We like we like we’re creatures of habits. So most of us like, you know, I’m a slightly crazy person, I kind of run after it a little bit. But even with running after I still get you know, I still get you know, the feelings. And I think the biggest thing from what when you said was truly identifying the feeling, right? What is it? What is it about the cases usually not the change, right? Sometimes it’s the person introducing the change. Sometimes it’s a situation that you put yourself in, right? Sometimes it’s confronting that you caused some of this change. Now you got to deal with it. Right? What is it? What is it about the change that’s really hitting you, and then address that head on, and stop running away from it truly, truly stopped running away from it. It’s, that’s it, it’s not easy. Nothing is easy. You know about looking in the mirror and say, okay, you did this, this is on you. Right, you made this decision. And so now we’re here and it’s okay. It’s okay.
SPEAKER 1 29:16
I get a lot of not a fan of change. Unless I’m the catalyst. I can relate to that. Yeah, so definitely engaging with our, with ourselves, but also with people within our community, which is something that I want to talk about, right. So we talked about this need to have a village I’m a part of the village so Whitney can weigh you know, I don’t have children, but I’m a proud of it. And so as a part of the community. One of the things that I was thinking about as we’ve been having this conversation really, really rashanna you triggered this. So Rashad, I made a comment when we were doing our reflection about how sometimes dysfunction is normalized within our families. And so when you are looking for people that you can trust, to, to help rear your children, they will how, what ways? What avenues do we find those people, because in essence, we are sharing our space, their energy transfers to our children, right? And so we want to be mindful, we don’t want to continue to create that cycle of dysfunction if it exists. So what are some of the ways that you all have been finding people outside of your family, but also, you’re seeing people within your groups that you have like, which other people to start to build that sense of community.
SPEAKER 2 30:58
So I’ll probably start because Whitney, as she mentioned, is blessed. She is surrounded by a million people, our families from the northeast from Philly, so she’s smack in the middle of a bunch of them. But you know, again, still, so key points, but I’ll start by saying, you know, so my eldest was born in Australia. And then we moved back to the US when my twins were born. So we had to move continents, with different kids, we’d be in a completely different place, not only to build our own family. And for me, that is the important we truly built our own family. And when you project out back to this point earlier about telling people what you need, right, be specific about what you’re looking for with yourself. And don’t mess around with it. Right. I knew that I wanted to go, I took some time off. And I knew I wanted to go back to work and say with my husband, he took some time off, he wanted to get back to work. And so we knew we were looking for not only a flexible person, but someone who was going to be able to take over for us in the event, we needed somebody to pick somebody up from school, right and drop somebody off. It sounds silly, but things like car seats, getting things ready. We’re in a different country, not everybody has cars and various driver’s license, like what does that even mean? Those details make a difference. So then having a thought partner around how that works is huge. Also, as you get older, you know, you can teach your kids a lot about what they need to do, to be able to express themselves, what’s not working for them. Listening to our kids is huge. It’s hard to do. I will be the first to admit that there’s plenty of times where I’ve had to apologize to make it like listen, I’m so sorry. I know you said this to me earlier. My bed right? I know, I realized I screwed that up. Right. And I let them know, they know that I do that with them. But I will tell you that when we had our au pair, one of the things that didn’t work well was that she was too. She was too green. Right? My kids really liked structure. They really need all that stuff and sometimes come from how we started with structure when they were young. But when they don’t have it, they feel out of sorts. And so they catch attitudes or get really cranky we can feel we can feel their energy, right. So being able to feel and read and listen to them, let us know like this isn’t working. Right. And we had open conversations with our care. We had open conversations even as we were hiring, looking to bring people into our fold around we expect people to be family. So much so that my nanny that we had when we were living ice live in Texas, by the way, when we were living in Houston, she is now working for my mom, that’s how much family like she has become. And we adopt them. And it’s just for me, it gets lost that people forget that each is people who work for you work with you when it comes to your kids. They’re all a part of that village family. And if you let them know ahead of time, if that’s what you’re looking for, some will opt out like oh, no, I’m here to do this, this, this and this and you can feel it right. But then you watch with your kids as well. And they’ll tell you, what’s comfortable, what’s not and what’s working. And so it’s a lot of its stepping out on faith. I don’t think that there’s a blueprint to know exactly what’s best. There are certain people who better for certain things, wouldn’t you I’m sure will tell you that. You got people who you know, okay, I need you to watch my kid for a couple hours to come do that. Or, hey, I need to leave my kid for a weekend, right? Or, hey, I’m trying to you know, put stuff together, I want to have a group parties, let’s bring all of our kids over to my house. Everything is different. And so you start to learn because of what you decide you want to set out as important for you as a family, you learn other people’s cues. I think also with that newbie Anna mentioned something about energy, I am super, super big on energy. And my son is only six. So he doesn’t understand the concept. But I lead by example with that there are people that I do not allow my son around. It’s because they don’t have good energy. They don’t present with good energy. I was raised a certain way. So if you don’t fit into some of that standard that I have, and I’m not I’m not ashamed that I have a standard because I really value the energy that I have. Bring to people and that people serve me with, right. So I won’t allow my son to go to certain spaces, I am starting to infuse that with my significant other and his kids, you know, why allow people with certain energies to be around us, if we don’t accept that, you know, it’s not acceptable. And that’s okay. Because that’s what I want my son to learn as he gets older is I don’t I have a choice, I don’t have to be around certain people, I don’t have to be in certain environments that don’t accept me for who I am, or that aren’t helping me grow. So be firm with some of those things, especially with your children, you do not have to have your children around even some of those family members, right? We all have that uncle, or we all have that cousin, or somebody who just doesn’t sit right with us. It is okay to draw those boundaries to protect your energy. And the intergenerational access also gives you it gives your kids a different perspective, right? It shows them where people have come from the get to ask the questions why, lot of things come with my kids with their hair and I want to do whatever needs to do, right, I let it be free. It’s more stress. Free, right, let them do what they want to do. They tell me how they’d like to hear you. There’s all kinds of stuff, right? And I hear comments, right? You know, we know it’s big Africa they are let’s make sure your hearing gets done before we do this, or Oh, we’re headed to you know, church, let’s do this. I hear I hear the things, right. It’s the small stuff. But those small things, as we all know, even as adults, those small things creep in. And so the biggest thing for me is arming my kids with the ability we’ll have the conversation. Well, why do you think so? Right? And I’ve heard I’ve heard my kids ask, Oh, am I good. My hair is big today. Like, oh, you know, you don’t want but I’m okay, I’m comfortable, it’s fine. And those are shoes, those are huge, important things to learn right now. Because they’re going to keep getting confronted by this in society, why not learn it in the strength of their own home. And you’d be surprised other people in your family and people who are around you will learn to they’ll learn very quickly that your kids are about that. Right, that you’re not interested in it either. And hopefully, you can make a change and make an impact in how they operate too. So I think it goes it goes both ways.
SPEAKER 1 37:08
Yeah, we have another question from Russia. And I think it’s a perfect blend of the points that the two of you just made about one. Whitney, you talking about protecting your energy and also protecting the safe that is protecting the space that is thanks for like ensuring that it remains safe, right? And kathlynn, with you instilling a freedom of expression within your children from a very early age, so that they have the confidence to be who they are. So Misha is asking, are there any tips that we can tactfully and respectfully use to address those dysfunctional and outdated child rearing perspectives that are perpetuated by our elders? For example, children are to be seen and not hurt. I completely relate to that, because I’m a first generation professional. And for a while I showed with being present because of my upbringing, like no, you sit in the corner, you don’t say anything until someone says something to you? And then you’re allowed to have a perspective, culturally, like my marriage was the same way like, No, you speak when you’re spoken to right. So those are the things that I think that our parents have experienced in their life. And of course, because they’ve been raised that way, that way, and then when we go out into the world outside of our football, it’s challenging for us to operate at our full capacity and potential. So what are some tips that you all have?
SPEAKER 2 38:52
I’ll start so the first thing that popped into my mind was, again, I’m going to reiterate protecting the space. So I’m not saying to not have your child around some of those elders in your family who had those different perspectives, but be careful about the amount of time or you know, how often or what’s going on just because, like Katherine said, everything that people say, soaks into our subconscious and your child’s subconscious, right. But also, I think, just thinking about what type of child do you want to raise? Right? So for me, with my son, I do have boundaries, you know, just with manners and don’t interrupt and just different things that like that. That’s kind of basic, but I want my son to be an independent, strong willed, vocal, black man respectful. I have all of these values that I want of him and I expected him and I really, sometimes I have to remind some of the elders in my family. I do remember a situation where my son was trying to express how he was feeling about something and he got a little bit upset about it. And the older gentleman in my family pretty much said that he shouldn’t cry, he shouldn’t, you know, be so emotional about it. And I had to respectfully with a little bit of extra stank on it. Say, well, I don’t really raise him like that I want him to be in tune with his emotions. Because as we all know, here, you know, society teaches men to not have emotions, right? Be strong masks that go in the corner, and then you can deal with their emotions that way. No, I want my son to be able to say, Mommy, I’m sad, or this hurt my feelings. So I have had some of those conversations. And it’s really just, I’m kind of silly also. So when I kind of talk to people, it’s kind of like, well, we don’t do that over here in my house. You know, that’s just my approach on how I do things. But really, you just have to think on what, what values do you want your child to have? How do you want them to present themselves, and then, you know, you could combat that with, I want to raise my child to be like this. And, you know, hopefully, you can get on board or we can work together, there are some values that you instilled in me that are great, and I want to pass on to my child. But there are other things that I’ve learned once I stepped out into the real world, that the world has changed, right, it’s not the same as it was back in, you know, the 1950s, or 60s or 70s. And my parents were going up times are very different. We need our children to be able to function differently in these times as well. So some of those, save some of those, excuse me, old school rearing practices are just not going to work now, because the world is just completely different. And it’s hard for some of our elders to understand, even with the social media times, things just need to be handled a little bit differently now. And keep in mind, I want to expand upon one of the things that Whitney said right when she talked about, you know, you know, I know that now you raised me, right? Part of the tactical next step for some of this is confronting some of those things. And those might be slight traumas for you, or they just may be things that you know, that really kind of scarred you as a kid or you just didn’t like confronting that with those people that are now putting it onto your children. It sits with you right on uncles, cousins, even neighbours, etc., things that you didn’t think were that big of a deal. But now that your kids are getting older, and you’re starting to hear people say things you’re triggered, those triggers don’t come from random place, they come from where you came from, right? They come from your past. And sometimes you might find yourself more triggered than your kid is. And you have to do the work of confronting where it came from sometimes confronting the person, I’ve had to have some hard conversations with my mom. Right? And they weren’t hard for her. They were hard for me. Because I was like, okay, there’s just certain things, I haven’t really been able to vocalize it. But now I have kids, I this is how I feel right? I didn’t really like the way that we did it then. And I think, you know, I you might have enjoyed, like this time from that didn’t work for me, right? But it becomes counterproductive. And it adds more work. Because now you’re trying to unpack stuff from your past and your trauma, only to then vocalize in the moments. Well, I don’t want to do that because I’m raising my kid. And then because of everything that comes out differently, and then you’re not able to explain it well, and it just keeps happening again, you got to address the root, you got to go back there. And his heart. I’m not saying like, that’s easy, but it is a very tactical point in way to have those conversations with your entire village. And I think it’s important because all those perspectives are important for your kids. Everyone needs to know we all agree, right? We all have different conversations. We all have different perspectives, but you want to arm them with the way to hear and listen. And respectfully going back to Whitney by her manners, respecting is key to respect we have the conversation. And even with my mother in law, there are certain things with the way that she was raised that is different. But at the end of the day for us, I’m like no, but we have to make sure there’s still grit that respect lives in this home. Right, regardless of how we want people to communicate respect has to live here. So let’s all agree on how we’re going to make sure that that is priority number one, right. But that’s a conversation that her and I had is coming to my husband I had around what this looks like how we all feel he brings his own things, right. There’s certain things that he was crazy about stuff that he wanted to change, right. So he’s trying to course correct. We’re all trying to do this in real time. So we all have to make sure we’re addressing the stuff in the back.
SPEAKER 1 44:17
Now, I definitely agree with those things. I’m thinking through a couple of things that we’ve discussed a one of the questions that I know I have. And so just to everyone on the call, we have about 10 minutes left, so if you have any questions, please let us know so we can make sure that we address them before. It’s time for us to temporarily say goodbye.
SPEAKER 2 44:46
I’m not ready to say goodbye. Over here taking all of my notes of everything that you guys are saying. I know I’m really curious to hear from the audience. What has been working for you and your families during the pandemic? And I’m referring more to the isolation pandemic of that nature. We’re all in the house with our families not used to that. I’m really curious to hear what has been working for you all. Yes. Are we haven’t been time alone. Yes. I haven’t had time alone enough yet. I haven’t. I used to travel for work. And I realized that traveling was a part of my alone time. Gone. Gone. Don’t even do it. I think one of the hardest things for us, I’ll share a hardest thing. One thing that’s working, the hardest things for us was the handoff, in between a zoom call and a meeting. And you know, we like literally passing ships in the night. And I was like, this isn’t gonna work. Right. So we’re really trying to nail that down. But now we also have like driving, we literally do like drive in pizza dates. So that’s worked. We’re falling off though, because it has been a solid. I can’t remember the last one was so yeah, we fallen off, but we’re getting better as at least vocalize like what we need. It’s like, yes, we both need our alone time. And then when we are alone time together, we want to be back together. Yes, for eLearning in these schedules. Yes. A spreadsheet where possible. I love a good spreadsheet. Yeah, like I said, the calendar for us has been crucial. My significant other he is like you’re the one who wants schedules and all that stuff. But listen, since I put this calendar up, he’s been writing everything. Right. He writes on there more than I do. So I think it’s just, I mean, it’s even good for the kids. You know, the kids are asking, what’s for dinner? What’s this? What? It’s all posted? All right there. Everybody knows what to do giving a little like, you know, I can’t I can’t schedule everything. And if he’s the one doing lunch as an example, right, but somebody else is doing lunch. I’m like, I’m not gonna dictate to them how to do lunch, you know, what’s in the fridge, you make it happen? I’m gonna keep it moving. Right? Whereas my type a personality is absolutely like, oh, but this is what I had on the menu. I have, you know, I have to like, I got to pull back and just let that let that ride. I choose my battles, because that’s just not important. See, it’s me, we see you are seeing in this moment.
SPEAKER 1 47:23
No, thank you for keeping the conversation going. Some type of glitch happened over here. But one of the questions that I wanted to ask was, what tips do you have for blending families? So I know that that is something that quite a few people have to experience. So interested to hear.
SPEAKER 2 47:43
So we take this, I’m also going to look left. So one, is that some of our future parents? Yes. It definitely isn’t. Katelyn, I have talked about this on numerous occasions of, you know, opening up some of our parent chats that we’ve been hosting for the past several months, um, specifically to this topic. You know, I went from being a single mother to now blended. So I think to go before I actually blended, I knew what I wanted, right? So I was very specific in what I wanted, in a partner in a father figure for my son. So I’m definitely one of those people who write down things to manifest what I want, right. So as cheesy as it may sound, I manifested my life right now, three years ago, I would have never thought I would be in this. I would have never thought I would be in this space. And I am and I’m super blessed about it. But with that, I had to learn things about myself right before I was even able to blend. I had to realize things that I need, what I require what my love languages are, because it’s not just one I have about all five of them in different ways. But with that, you know, it really is about communication. I know that word is just thrown out there so much. But my partner and I are on the same page at what we communicate about we talk about everything. It’s hard because I came from a situation where talking about things was just taboo, right? And it was super uncomfortable. And it led to you know, me having different feelings of just anxiousness a bunch of different things, right. But we communicate everything. And we also talk about some of those things that we had in our past that we don’t want to recreate. Right. So, you know, if it’s, we need to spend at least two times a month just doing our thing without kids. We communicated. That’s what we need, and that’s what we do. I think also give yourself some time, right? So the blending process is ongoing. You know, he has Yes, someone said give and take, don’t sweat the small stuff. Yeah, but you know, there, I have a 12 year old daughter now and a five year old son that has blended with me and my six year old son. And I actually was a child, I’m a product of a divorce. My parents are super cordial. Amazing. We do family gatherings still, but I didn’t realize they weren’t together when we were young, surely, I mean, they were, they were like the best of friends, but it’s just been a blessing. So with that I was able to model, okay, this is how the relationship should be. But also, you know, with the 12 year old, she’s going through a lot of emotions of her parents being divorced. So me giving her that time and space and modelling for her. It’s okay to have space, its okay to have time. We all don’t need to be all up on top of each other all the time in the house. You know, there are times when I’m up in my room, listen to music, and I’ll invite people to join if you want to. And I leave the door open, but there’s no pressure. I think I’ve heard when you know, things kind of go sour is when the new person coming in is trying to pressure and let’s all be a family. No, it’s gonna it’s gonna work out, it’s gonna die, things are gonna work out. But you have to be patient with it. Communicating, even having those hard conversations with the kids are five and six year old boys. They’re fine. They’re not they’re not worried about anything. It’s more so you know, myself, my partner and the 12 year old trying to figure out, Okay, how do we make this work? How do we communicate schedules? You know, just allowing things to someone just took the words out of my mouth. Yes, foreshadow organically. Yeah, she’s living this right now, she said. But it’s also awesome. I found of, you know, being in a space where you can share these experiences with others, right? So when you’re going through things, you often think it’s only you going through it until you have someone else like, yes, I’m in that too. And you can bounce ideas and share yes, you better sign that we don’t have this link at the end for shadow. But it is a lot. So I’m going to stop because I can go on about this. But it is I mean, it’s gonna highlight again, communicating what you need. I did things differently in my house, and they did things differently in their house. So how do we just kind of blend that together to keep giving everyone their own space, their own voice? And you know, just able to be seen? Bibiana? We can’t hear you. Viviana, we can hear you.
SPEAKER 1 52:37
No. All right. There we go. All right. Thank you everybody, for bearing with me. I really appreciate the lessons learned here. Definitely like the concept of generational joy, things that haven’t been like I had never heard of that concept before. Also making sure that wellness is something that we value as a container upon our journey. I know me specifically. I don’t want to make this about me. But when you say like truly resonated with me as I go on my own journey, it just evolved. As a as a human. I have on the screen, let me see if everybody can see this. But I will also share this with everyone with me and because when they have a parent chat that they host, there’s a link to that information provided in this document y’all hold on. So bear with me, I’m still learning.
SPEAKER 2 53:52
We’re figuring it out, don’t worry.
SPEAKER 1 53:55
So I will make this available to everyone that’s on the call. If you want more conversations with Katelyn and Whitney, please be sure to sign up here at their chats, I’ll provide that information, just a more corporate content as well on the topic. We also have a feedback form that I do ask for you to fill out. Like I mentioned in the beginning, this is the way to help us continue to grow and evolve. Let us know what we can do better technical issues aside and let us know how it was for you. Definitely to help us continue to bring the conversation I need to check. And with that being said, ladies, if you don’t have anything else, I can come out with a thank you. Okay, so thank you everyone for participating providing your energy making this conversation even better. I can wait in queue for your perspective to work. Experience your energy. Really appreciated. There are we’re on all the social media. So check out live in corporate with LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, we have a podcast we have new web shows that we’re launching for various topics. So be sure to check out our site our newsletter to stay up to date. And if you haven’t had a chance to donate to our, our Kickstarter, please second opportunity to do so by no means obligated. But like I mentioned before, we’ve helped you in any type of way, discover something new, make a new connection or something about yourself. Please help us continue to grow. And with all of wishing you all some grace. Until the next time we meet everyone. Thank you.