What this Single Mom Learned from Father’s Day.

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My relationship with my dad wasn’t ideal, but thankfully we had the opportunity to work through our issues before he passed away. As an adult who is now a single parent, I had to come to several gut-wrenching realizations, that were further solidified by the barrage of social media posts disrespecting the intention behind the celebration of Father’s Day. I’ve always had the position that children need both parents to aid in their development into well-rounded individuals, but I now have the challenge of walking the talk as a single parent who is required to have a parenting relationship with someone with whom I had an unsuccessful romantic relationship.

So what did Father’s Day 2014 teach me?

1. Some of you are carrying the burdens of your mother.

It’s taboo in our culture to even suggest that a woman isn’t a good mother and equally acceptable to almost assume a man can be a bad father. Not all relationships that didn’t work out is because of the man. It’s entirely possible that your dad wasn’t around because your mom made it almost impossible for him to have a peaceful relationship with you because she needed additional validation that he was a bad man. Had he had a great relationship with you, despite the bad relationship he had with your mother; your mother would have had proof that daddy the wasn’t a monster. Many women can’t run the risk of looking like she picked the wrong guy to inseminate her ovaries. Planned pregnancy or not, she chose your father. At one point he was suitable to lay with and give her most previous gift to in moments of intense passion. At one point he was good enough for her to imagine a life with him. At one point she was the happiest she’d ever been with him. Then the point came when the relationship became undeniably toxic and the baby or babies were already born. Suddenly he’s the most horrible person on the planet (even though she continued to have babies with him).

Not all men walk away. Some are pushed away because the woman couldn’t admit that she ignored the red flags in the beginning and needs to save face now. Your daddy didn’t suddenly start bouncing from woman to woman when your mom met him. She knew who he was, but she thought she could change him. She thought she could love him enough, cook enough, sex him enough to make him commit. When he continued to be who he’d always been, it was easier for her ego and pain for him to stay away than it was to admit that the man who cheated on her could actually be a good father.

So, she busts her ass to provide for and take care of you, and she did a damn good job. So much so that she’s convinced you that she was your mother and your father. You never even stood a chance to learn of a different kind of love. The kind only your daddy could give you and because your mom is a phenomenal mother, you subconsciously conspired with her in denying half of who you are as a person, aiding in the carrying of the load of her bad decision making and burdens.

You both need to heal this warped view of dual gender-ship that your mother is carrying. Those who are walking in truth can see from several miles away that this stance is rooted in pain. What you may not know is that your mother lied to you when she said she was your mother and your father and her mother probably lied to her.

How can you deny the importance of your father, yet grow up wanting to experience the same kind of love? You desire love and marriage, but how do you go about picking that love? Sure, some are able to acquire unconditional love and have children who receive the fatherly love they didn’t get, but that’s no substitute for the void that exists within you. Your husband is not your daddy. Your children’s father is not YOUR daddy, it’s theirs. It’s hypocritical to concurrently deny the significance of what the role (or lack there of) of your father in your life is while striving for that kind of love for your offspring. If it’s important for your children to have it, it’s important for you to have it as well, which [by your own actions] means your mom can’t fill both roles.

Healing won’t occur until the lies, distortions and blame cease to exist and personal responsibility and truth engulfs your family.

2. The general population has misinterpreted the statement “a child needs a mother and a father.”

If we’re speaking strict biology: a sperm fertilizing an egg is the only way to conceive a fetus. Science hasn’t consistently proved otherwise. Regardless of the type of relationship you are involved in, if you want to reproduce you need what the other sex has in order for that to happen.

So what makes us think that one parent can do the work of two? The countless success stories of single parents worldwide, that’s what, and I’m not going to dispute that today, however what I will do is submit to you that when it’s said both parents are needed; that statement stems from the fiber of the difference that exist between men and women. Men can’t fully figure out women and women don’t get what makes a man a man. Those who are successful in relationships have learned how to best work together and understand the vital role each play.

Rearing children is no different. Even if a mother and father completes the same activity with their child, it is received differently by that child and metaphorically communicates a varied brick in the foundation of your child’s sense of self. I’ve witnessed it with my toddler and am amazed at how her dad can do or say the same exact thing as I with a totally different response from my daughter.

A man’s presence is unlike a woman’s, therefore a single parent can absolutely rear a great child who grows up to be a successful adult, but unless that parent infuses other role models or mentors of the opposite sex into that child’s life; there will always be a void and many faulty decisions will subconsciously stem from that void. No parent truly does it alone. Teachers, guidance counselors, preachers, community leaders and mentors come in and aid in the growth and development of our children, so let’s stop blowing out of proportion the statement “it takes a mother and a father” to rear a child.

Sidebar: while surrogates who fill the gap are necessary they don’t replace biological parents, so there will always come a day of reckoning during which the custodial parent must have an honest conversation with their children about the absentee parent.

3. Men need to fight harder for their children.

So what, she’s nagging and annoying. You have every right to have a relationship with your children. As a man, you owe it to them to step up and be a force in their lives even though the relationship with their mom didn’t work out. Do what you need to do to be in your children’s lives, even if it means going to court and receiving an order for visitation.

You can’t take the easy way out and not fight (not physically) that woman to see your children. In the long term, you’ll not only become a better man for doing so, but you will instill the worth into your children they need to withstand the world’s obstacles. Stop making excuses about your child’s mother, her family or the court system. Stop letting society label you a dead beat. Prove them all wrong and stand up for your offspring.

Your children don’t deserve to question their value because you decided this wasn’t what you signed up for anyway. Get your ducks in a row and fight for your legacy. Love yourself enough to stop playing the field, planting facades and get your shit together. Your dad wasn’t there for you but you now have the opportunity to give your seeds an alternate experience so they can grow up knowing they are worthy of unconditional love, the kind you fight for.

No excuses are allowed.

My single parent experience brought to the forefront some things I needed to confront and work on so that the decisions I made for my daughter weren’t rooted in pain from the past. Whenever I put her first, independent of my subconscious thoughts and behaviors, I make the right choice for her. I constantly check myself, so that she can have the relationship with her daddy that she deserves because I know I can’t be, nor was it designed for me to be both.

I pray that you can be healed from the disappointments of your past and thrust forward in healthy relationships, first with yourself, then with your children and in relationships with other adults.

Infinitely,
Shanika

Disclaimer: this post is for those who want to be in their children’s life, but are met with roadblocks, not for those who never made the effort. Please note: just because he doesn’t do it the way you want him to doesn’t mean he isn’t trying.

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Infinitely You: Strategies for a Complete Makeover!

Infinitely You: Strategies for a Complete Makeover-Become a New, Improved You” is a 6 part ecourse that you can take from the comfort of your home that is designed to give you a makeover from the inside, out!

 

You’ve seen those makeover programs on television, right?

Well, this is something similar!

We look at what is important to you in life, the person you would like to be, what you want to be known for, your values, beliefs and image.

 

After completing the course there will be no stopping you – watch out world!

Part 1:

Understanding yourself


Part 2:

Goal setting workshop


Part 3:

Walk the talk: strategizing and action


Part 4:

Overcoming setbacks


Part 5:

Reinvention


Part 6:

Attitude and motivation

To learn more and to purchase this course, visit shop.infinitefortitude.com!

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***Shanika Washington is the owner of Infinite Fortitude LLC, a life coaching practice whose mission, through the Infinite Vision Institute, is to empower, motivate and inspire individuals to acquire the life of their dreams by assisting in the development of an action plan, while providing the necessary support to help them evolve into the person they were created to become. Ms. Washington, a Certified Professional Coach, is also the creator of the Infinite Inspiration e-course series which provides hands-on training on a variety of topics aimed to assist its students in achieving at a higher level, personally and professionally. Additional information can be found at http://www.infinitefortitude.com.

Acquiring the Relationship-Building Communication Skills You Need to Achieve!

Infinitely Impeccable Communication: Acquiring the Relationship-Building Communication Skills You Need to Achieve” is a 6 part ecourse that you can take in the comfort of your home that is designed to improve your communications skills, enabling you to express yourself more clearly and to speak with confidence and assurance.

 

Each of the 6 modules includes a number of exercises and assignments that will teach you all you need to know so that you can communicate more effectively with all of the people with whom you come in contact.

 

With “Infinitely Impeccable Communication” you will be able to know what communication is all about, how the great communicators do it, and all there is to know about non-verbal communication techniques (which makes up about 93% of all communication).

 

Communication is so vital to everything that we do because we are usually required to seek solutions, information and/or help from others.

 

It is without doubt the most important skill set that anyone can improve and the results of doing so will be outstanding! The results can improve your relationships with clients and colleagues, loved ones and associates – you name it!

 

Everyone can communicate in their own way, however haven’t you seen those people whose communication and interpersonal skills just seem to be on another level? They seem to have everyone doing whatever they say, the person is liked and respected by all, they can talk to strangers and build up rapport effortlessly!

 

That’s the difference between communication and Infinitely Impeccable Communication!

 

Communication goes far beyond the actual words that you say. More importantly, it’s how you say it and the way you conduct yourself while you’re saying the words.

If you want to improve and take your communication skills to the next level, then this course is for you!

Part 1:

Understanding the communication process.

Part 2:

How to understand varying viewpoints.

Part 3:

How to build rapport with anyone.

Part 4:

What do you need to do to be an impeccable communicator?

Part 5:

How to make small talk with people you have never met before – It’s easy when you know how!

Part 6:

How to give and receive feedback.

To learn more and to purchase this course, visit shop.infinitefortitude.com!

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***Shanika Washington is the owner of Infinite Fortitude LLC, a life coaching practice whose mission, through the Infinite Vision Institute, is to empower, motivate and inspire individuals to acquire the life of their dreams by assisting in the development of an action plan, while providing the necessary support to help them evolve into the person they were created to become. Ms. Washington, a Certified Professional Coach, is also the creator of the Infinite Inspiration e-course series which provides hands-on training on a variety of topics aimed to assist its students in achieving at a higher level, personally and professionally. Additional information can be found at http://www.infinitefortitude.com.

Infinitely Motivation: How to Become Awakened to Action

Infinite Motivation: How to Become Awakened to Action” is a 6 part ecourse that you can take in the comfort of your home that is designed to get you motivated about your life while stopping the toxic habit of procrastination.

This course will assist you in getting the personal energy and drive you need to accomplish your goals!

Motivation gives you that inner drive to achieve what you want, so take the first step today and never look back!

Part 1:

How to get awakened to action- what must you do?

Part 2:

Finding something to get you up early and keep you up late!

Part 3:

Stop procrastinating: how to take action!

Part 4:

Taking control of your life

Part 5:

What do you want to be in life?

Part 6:

Staying motivated – how to live the life you want!

To learn more and to purchase this course, visit shop.infinitefortitude.com!

Infinite Motivation

***Shanika Washington is the owner of Infinite Fortitude LLC, a life coaching practice whose mission, through the Infinite Vision Institute, is to empower, motivate and inspire individuals to acquire the life of their dreams by assisting in the development of an action plan, while providing the necessary support to help them evolve into the person they were created to become. Ms. Washington, a Certified Professional Coach, is also the creator of the Infinite Inspiration e-course series which provides hands-on training on a variety of topics aimed to assist its students in achieving at a higher level, personally and professionally. Additional information can be found at http://www.infinitefortitude.com.

Striving for the Top Position

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Today’s television shows will have one to believe that mediocrity and ignorance is to be lauded. I’m guilty of viewing mindless television, but even I was taken aback by a script I read outlining a speech given by the lead character on the “Being Mary Jane” scripted television show on BET.

While I didn’t watch the show, my inner nerd was satisfied with reading the various articles and reviews of what occurred last night. In essence, the lead character gave a speech at a women’s luncheon lamenting that it’s acceptable to play the #2 position because it allow one to receive the benefits of the #1 spot without all of the pressures associated with maintaining the top position. She stated that while girls are taught to go after the highest marks in life, second best is acceptable.

On the surface, this perspective may seem realistic, as from a business standpoint, there is typically only one CEO, but being Vice President of the company isn’t too shabby either. If one were to delve a bit deeper, it would be apparent that winning and achieving in life is about striving for the top. We give our best because we deserve the best. I’m fortunate to have had a boss early in my career who trained me with the mindset that I should be trying to take his job. It wasn’t about me wanting his job, but he was speaking to the level of excellence that was to be demonstrated through my work ethic, as that is what would become my professional reputation.

The same is true in romantic relationships: strive to be number one in a person’s life because that is what you deserve and that will be your personal reputation, your character. With relationships it’s somewhat different because much of the work one puts in is with themselves. Becoming the best person you can possibly be, loving yourself unconditionally, and treating yourself with the utmost respect is the prototype for how others will treat you. The number two position isn’t for those who learn from and capitalize on the mistakes of number one, as Miss Mary Jane presumes; the second string player is typically the one who enters the game when there’s an obvious blowout and the win has been secured or if the star player is injured and they must resort to the next best thing. The second string doesn’t start the game because they aren’t considered the premier pick and when a win occurs, it’s usually the first string who will still receive the majority of attention. Why? Because we need the best to get back on his or her feet so that we can continue our winning streak. The best is who we count on to be that clutch player, the one with the highest salaries, the big endorsement deals, and the public recognition.

So while television will mislead one into believing that second best is okay, please recognize that accepting a lower ranking position with the mindset of being better than the top person, means that subconsciously you know that you are the lesser than striving for the top spot. More poignantly, if you do secure that top spot, you will then have the luxury of experiencing an opening in your position. Further, and this is for my younger followers: know that these celebrities and people who appear to have it all have paid a price for that appearance. The highest price is usually peace of mind. They may have big bank accounts, houses, fancy clothing and shoes, but what you don’t see is them numbing themselves with drugs and alcohol because they didn’t find the happiness they’re still longing for in these material possessions. They don’t post on social media the loneliness they feel due to not have genuine, authentic relationships. Remember: all that glitters isn’t gold, so don’t be fooled by facades.

If true love and happiness is your aim, start by loving, respecting and honoring yourself enough to know you deserve only the best life has to offer. When you build up yourself with the best, you will be strong enough to push away anything and anyone who isn’t able to meet you where you are, accepting those things and people who are willing to match and/or exceed your efforts.

Sincerely,
Shanika

You So Crazy!!!

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I had an empowering conversation with a colleague last night. It was as if I was talking to myself~that’s the level on which we connected. I love how the universe aligns and links us to our kindred spirits, because it’s through those exchanges we reinforce how much we need each other.

One of my biggest takeaways was that we must NOT cater our actions and decision making to people who aren’t even investing into our progress. Why? Those individuals won’t ever change what they think about you. They will always see you as the entity they place into a box long ago. You can go and create a multimillion dollar empire that empowers your community and there will still be at least one person who attempts to remind you of who you were.

Fret not, my friends. This mindset has NOTHING to do with you. People who give out boxes, live in boxes. Their limited view of you mirrors the limited view they have of themselves. We see our world through our experiences, and therefore our vision is limited to that. Unless and until we choose to shift our thinking, our vision will be skewed and rooted in dysfunction.

Mindset expansion can be very scary, but it behooves you to engage in shifting the way you think, put your failures into perspective, and use the lessons learned to catapult you to the next level in life.

The only thing scarier than venturing into the unknown is living a life beneath your potential. It doesn’t matter what others say or think about you. The only thing that matters is who God says your are and what He thinks of you. He created you for greatness!!!

Be crazy enough to believe you CAN achieve your dreams!

Sincerely,
Shanika

Infinite Confidence: Coaching for Career Planning & Management

Infinite Contentment Within Your Career: Coaching for Career Planning and Management” is a an online course that I created that is designed to enable you to take a look at where you are now and where you want to be within your career.

Are you  happy with what you are currently doing?

Do you want something else but don’t know what that “Something Else” is actually?

This course includes a number of exercises and assignments that will enable you to answer all of your questions and teach you all you need to know in order for your to discover your passion!

You spend so much of your time at work it makes sense to do something for which you are best suited and something that you enjoy!

Infinite Contentment Within Your Career” will get you back on track!

Course content:

– Produce your career and life goals

– Know in what direction you need to move

– Know what is important to you in a career and what is not

– Produce a winning curriculum vita that sells you as a person

– Answer any interview question that is thrown at you

– Overcome any interview nervousness

– Communicate your strengths without bragging

– Understand what interviewers are looking for in a potential candidate

– Prepare and plan beforehand to ensure a successful interview

– Negotiating a better salary

– Negotiating better terms and conditions

 

To learn more about and to purchase this course, visit shop.infinitefortitude.com!

 

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***Shanika Washington is the owner of Infinite Fortitude LLC, a life coaching practice whose mission, through the Infinite Vision Institute, is to empower, motivate and inspire individuals to acquire the life of their dreams by assisting in the development of an action plan, while providing the necessary support to help them evolve into the person they were created to become. Ms. Washington, a Certified Professional Coach, is also the creator of the Infinite Inspiration e-course series which provides hands-on training on a variety of topics aimed to assist its students in achieving at a higher level, personally and professionally. Additional information can be found at http://www.infinitefortitude.com.