My TESStimony Blog Chronicles

With these books, I intend to motivate and inspire those who look like me. I want to help my readers realize that no matter what life throws at you, you can overcome with your personal TESStimony! Use this book as a therapeutic tool to help you restore your life, heal your spirit, and redeem your soul. Through reading along with my personal journey, I want others to discover the pursuit of hope. We can all use hope in our lives. Even the most affluent need hope, because there is always something inside that makes us feel bad, and we can all identify with feeling bad. The good news is that in taking this journey with me, you’ve already begun the healing process.

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How to be a Stay-At-Home Entrepreneur Mom

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Before I begin to share my stay-at-home entrepreneurial journey, some of you may be wondering, “Is this author a millionaire? Is she equipped to give advice? How come I haven’t seen her on television? Has she gone viral?” To answer all your questions, the answer is…I am just Tess, a stay-at-home entrepreneur mom who was crazy enough to dream and have insurmountable visions.

I have chosen to write this book because I am an expert in my experiences, and I want to share with you what worked and what is working for me. However, I am still on my journey. Please note: I stayed at home with my children and niece for nine years, and now my children and niece are in school and much older, ages 25, 19, and 12.

Here goes!

Walking away from my job in 2006 was tinged with the feelings of fear and excitement all at the same time. I had been working for three years as a middle school language arts teacher when I became pregnant and decided to leave and take care of my newborn, son, and niece.  After speaking it over with my husband and finally making the decision, it was hard to find a narrative to tell myself.

The stress of juggling the complications of work and family life are a source of stress for many women. Whether you work outside the home or are a stay-at-home mom, there are troubling emotions to deal with. Either choice will leave you with something to worry about.

You will most likely get on blogs or social media sites that make being a stay-at-home mom seem like one easy ride of Martha Stewart baking, Yoga and Pilates classes, and Pinterest-inspired crafts, with their well-dressed kids and immaculate houses.

CHILD, PLEASE!

This is hardly true. Every mother has breakdown moments. Every mother has days where just putting lip gloss on while the teething baby is clinging to her desperately is a feat.  There will be many times in the upcoming years you’ll yell, “I just want to pee alone!” Yes, I used that word. Man, I am still singing that tune! So, you must redefine what you feel “success” is. For me, success was a day where my house was not a disaster at the end of the day. I got to engage in one social situation throughout the day (playdate, gym conversation, lengthy phone call, whatever it was, I took it). With all that was going on, I made sure my appearance was always intact. Couldn’t lose myself. No sir or ma’am.

If you are a working mother outside the home, sometimes you feel guilty for not being home with your children, for not being available for school activities, and for not waiting with open arms when the school day ends. Mothers who stay at home sometimes feel self-conscious for not being able to contribute financially, for not challenging themselves more intellectually, or for lack of competency as a mother. I was able to experience both worlds. Most importantly, I loved being a stay-at-home aunt/mom. It allowed me to get to know my children and niece in an educational and recreational setting. Priceless!

Overall, most moms are looking for the same thing: to do what’s best for their children, their families, and themselves.

A critical or defensive tone often surfaces when working and stay-at-home moms get together. I am not sure why, but it happens. From my experience, stay-at-home moms feel the need to defend themselves by insinuating that their choice to stay at home is the better one. But could there be one right way? Why do mothers feel so uncomfortable with each other? Why is there a controversy in the first place? What does a ‘good mom’ look like?  Unaddressed envy, comparison, and insecurity can make anyone critical of something they don’t have but might want.

I have observed and been guilty of criticizing other moms because their motherly strategies didn’t align with mine. Girl, stop! When I realized that I was doing that, I changed my outlook immediately because there are no perfect ways of being a mom or raising children. There is no one RIGHT way!

As you take this journey with me, open your hearts and minds to my version of being a stay-at-home entrepreneur mom.

Stop Explaining Yourself

stopexplainingyourselfInstead of pretending you feel fine—and explaining why it may seem otherwise—let yourself feel your emotions so you can discover what you need to do to move past them. Instead of explaining why you don’t seem perfect, let yourself be human without apologies. We’re all imperfect; why hide it?

Sometimes it makes sense to explain yourself—when someone misunderstands, or when you hurt someone accidentally. But most often the only person who needs an explanation is you so you can ascertain, accept, and work through whatever is on your mind.

Today, if you’re tempted to justify your emotions, remember: you can’t control what other people think. But if you can accept yourself in this moment, you may discover what you need to do to feel better–instead of just trying to look better.

It’s Ok To Be Different

I’m delighted to highlight my first-born–the writer, illustrator, reporter, and author, Al. Al is often asked if he plays sports because of his height and his family background. At one point, he felt bad that he couldn’t answer that question without having tried at least one sport. He’s played basketball, baseball, soccer, ran track, and swam. Out of all of the sports, he liked and stuck with swimming. Not to mention he’s a great swimmer and the best junior lifeguard there is. (Yes, black boys can swim!) But, being involved in sports is not Al’s forte. He enjoys artistry, graphics, fine arts, writing, cartoonist, and video game design. He wants to create a graphics and art design firm.

Finally finding his niche, Al joined Sparkman High School’s journalism class and became the illustrator and reporter for the Crimson Crier Newspaper. I’m so glad that he’s understanding his worth and value as a black Christian teen after being bullied at the age of twelve. As parents, we have to do a lot of building self-esteem and self-worth, instilling greatness, praying and speaking positivity into his life, and encouraging him that he can do whatever he wants to do. No parent wants their child to be bullied or to be the bully. It’s really disheartening to hear and see your child wanting to give up on life because he’s DIFFERENT and not feeling like he belonged in certain groups.

Al has accepted that he doesn’t have to be what people want him to be or what they think he should be. Write on, Al. You rock! To purchase Al’s book click here: Al’s Book #blackboysrock #Classof2017

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How to Transition Between Jobs

 

tumblr_mebyrgAIid1qlqfzgEver wonder how you go about transitioning between jobs? Better question, do you know how other higher-leading executives manage to pull it off with other connections? We’ve all had that boss, “Don’t worry about it, I’ll get John Doe from over at X Corp to have a look, he owes me a favor!” and it just makes our jaw drop to the floor. We wonder, “How in the heck did he/she manage to pull that one off?” Well, as it turns out, it’s not as hard as you might think. You just have to have the personality for it, and you need to follow the most basic principle: never burn your bridges with your current job before you make it out the door.

That’s right… if you can ever leave a company with the confidence that you always have a place there, that’s your golden ticket. Though technically it’s not that easy, since a lot of companies aren’t like property owners, and can’t see your virtues over your vices; sometimes you’ll even have the opposite effect, in that they’ll use your moment of leaving as a personal attempt of crucifixion. So before you plan on leaving, be sure you thought long and hard about your next career move. What options are there to make the same amount-or more-than what you’re making now? Is there room for advancement?

Even more importantly, is whether or not you’re leaving behind a mountain of work for someone else to absorb once you’re gone, which is always a sore spot in anyone’s book. The harder you work towards your final days, and the more you extend yourself to your co-workers and boss before leaving, the better it looks for you. Secondly, make sure you give ample notice. It’s not always required, and they generally ask for two weeks, but if you can give the company a month before you leave they will LOVE you for it. It tells your boss that you want to give them a chance to fill the void of your empty chair and helps them to plan.

Finally, see—within that final month—if there’s anything you can do to help the boss out regarding either replacing you, or just catching up with added work before you make it out the door. Everyone leaves jobs for different reasons, some personal and some employer-related. Whatever your specific reason, it is important to show respect for your current employer upon your exit.

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Book Party Women’s Retreat

Are you in need of a quick get-away from a hectic lifestyle or work overload? Are you an active listener? Do you feel more comfortable expressing your thoughts and emotions in a smaller group setting?

The Book Party Retreat’s ambiance is designed for young ladies and women to open up and give access to both the light and dark corners of their deepest feelings. For many, this experience will be an awakening to the presence of God in their lives.  What better way to express your inner thoughts and feelings without being judged!

What makes The Book Party Retreat’s small intimate setting different from any other conference or a group gathering?  It’s our non-judgmental attitude and our accountability that specializes in assisting people who would like to overcome an issue, addiction, or other tendencies. As young ladies and women, we find support, comfort, and motivation from others who are struggling with similar life circumstances. It has been proven that the female gender freely shares their intimacies and experiences when the climate is conducive to communicate with one another.

The purpose of The Book Party Retreat is to have young ladies and women feel affirmed and encouraged to grow closer to Jesus. Insightful topics from Contessa Jackson’s Autobiography, My TESStimony, will be discussed; of course, not limited to other subject topics.  Each package is for two hours and is based on availability. Package pricing does not include travel outside of the Huntsville/Madison City limits.