Baseball, Boy Mom, Motherhood, Parenting, Self Care

Mother and Son Time

 

My oldest was an only child for six and a half years. Five of those years it was just us two as we didn’t always live with dad. We lived next door to my parents but early on I set boundaries with them, and they were very understanding.  I’ve always liked doing my own thing, and my son and I spent a lot of time together, just us two. I still maintain the same boundaries with them now. They don’t always like it, but they are respectful.  We went out to eat, shopping, the beach, amusement parks, took road trips, just us two.  He even went to college with me and helped me find a job at the University Student Union at Cal State LA.

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Fast forward a few years and now I have three boys. The little ones are now six and three and do not leave my sight. We do everything together and that means, my oldest and I don’t get quality time. The last time we got a chance to go grab some iced coffee was maybe a year ago, we had family over and the little ones took a nap, so we snuck out. Thinking about it makes me so sad. As a mother of boys I know how important the relationship between a mother and son is, it’s the reason why so many men are toxic, those unresolved mommy issues, it’s a real concern of mine, because it’s not always possible for us.

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Summer was going to be pretty chill until dad mentioned summer baseball for my oldest.  Hijole! Summer baseball means tournaments, which sometimes mean 3 games in one day. I was not all in but I agreed, only with the understanding that we would keep my six year old in basketball. He agreed. Divide and conquer was the name of the game.  One Sunday, I took my oldest to baseball, while he took the two little ones to basketball. It was amazing.  I felt absolutely no guilt, which was pretty awesome. I mean, I’m with my kids 24/7, so I was not mad about it. I wasn’t running after kids, I got to relax, and enjoy the game. After the game I wanted to rush home, but after checking in and finding out we had family over, I felt comfortable hanging out and chatting with other baseball parents. My son asked if we could go out to lunch and I said, yes. “Wait, are you serious?” he said. He was surprised, heck, so was I, this kind of opportunity rarely ever presents itself, so we took it. We had so much fun. During lunch he even shared feeling like a proud parent watching me socialize with other parents, something I don’t normally do. He said, “I’m happy for you mom. You deserve to relax.” I cried. He rolled his eyes, “Really??? Don’t cry!” After lunch he asked for ice cream, something we again, don’t normally do because the little ones have several food allergies. So we got flavors we can’t get around the boys.  Give me all the nuts! I look forward to spending more one on one time with my son, it’s good for the both of us. The tween years are hard, I have to remind myself that behind the attitude and eye rolling is my sweet boy, our one on one time reminded me of that.

Do you spend time just with your child? What’s the plan? How do you make it work? I’d love ideas.

Uncategorized

Yo Soy La Madre

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Many moons ago when I gave birth to my very first baby boy I had such a hard time dealing with people thinking I was the nanny. My little guy looked nothing like me, an almost nine pound butterball baby with big chachetes and two little slits for eyes. He looked just like dad who is Japanese. I would be so offended when I would tell folks, “He’s mine” and people would respond, “Noooooo. He looks nothing like you.” I knew that, I also knew I carried him for 40 weeks, had swollen feet, migraines, and delivered that big ol’ baby myself.  During this time I was also having a hard time nursing and was suffering from some major PPD. Those comments would break me. With time, I got over it…kind of, and since I’m what my family calls a Xerox machine had two more boys that looked nothing like me, so I got used to all of the stares and questions. I got lots of practice explaining to folks that my boys were indeed mine, and was so close to pulling the chichi out and nursing them, but people would have just said, “Look at this woman, who does she think she is, Salma Hayek?!”  Aunt and grandma come over and hang out often, I can see the confused look on people’s faces trying to figure our family out when we are in public or at least try to figure out what my role is.  Once, after a basketball game the coach told everyone to thank my son’s mom for the snacks and they all looked over at his aunt and said, Thaaaaaaank you Kai’s mommmm.” I just about died. That moment brought back so many feelings. I let them  know real quick and everyone laughed it off.  Clearly I still need to work through some stuff, but just in case anyone is wondering who I am, yo soy la madre, even made that my IG handle.

Makes me wonder how other parents and multicultural families react to these situations. Do your children look more like one parent than the other? Have you ever been confused for being the nanny?

 

 

Boy Mom, Daughter, Parenting, Uncategorized

Daddy’s Girl

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Some days I wake up thinking about my dad.  This morning was one of them. I miss his greeting. I miss having coffee with him in the morning. Sometimes, even at 37, a girl just needs her daddy.

As a kid we’d wake up to his greetings, “Good morning viejilla” As a little girl, I had no clue what the impact of having such a loving, caring, compassionate dad would have on my self esteem and adult life. I took it for granted. I thought all dads lived and loved the way my dad did (and still does). He worked nights and three jobs, his regular night job, cleaned offices after that one, and did yard work one on the weekends.  When he wasn’t working he was home, washing our cars, cutting our grass, or deep cleaning the house like washing our carpet or buffing our floors, no joke, our home was always spotless. Growing up our home was always full, family visiting, parties, barbecues, the walls in our home are full of laughter, and stories, and love.  My dad was the reason for all of this. As the head of our home he set the example, work hard, love hard. You couldn’t catch him on a bad day. I truly believe that this is because he is so full of gratitude. As a young boy he had to leave his home because his parents could not provide for him and went to live with his uncle. He was a farm hand living with cousins at the age of eleven. The same age as my oldest is right now.  He shares growing up in poverty with an abusive father and knowing that was not the life he wanted.  My uncle was tough, but taught my dad so much about life, was a great father figure, and my dad is so grateful for all of it. My dad is grateful for good friends, friends that are family. Some have passed but we speak about them so much, that even people that never met them, know them by name (RIP Morras).  My dad is grateful for my mom, and compliments her, and brags about her any chance he gets. He also takes really good care of her because someone once told him, “Happy wife, happy life” and that’s what he wanted, a happy life.

My dad is a friend and my role model to many.  I wanted to share stories about him because he always says, “Las flores se dan en vida.” He is against bringing music and flowers to funerals as says by then it’s too late, that we should do it when people are alive. He was a little sick recently, he is better now, but I figured why wait to share stories about him and his life. I could go on about him forever, and I just might.

 

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Motherhood, Multicultural Children, Parenting, Self Care, Uncategorized

Frijolitos

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Every single day, in the most mundane of tasks, I find beauty and peace, and feel that I am closer to finding my happy place. Daily tasks that transport me back to my childhood are my favorite. Recently the task was washing and preparing beans. As a child, my sisters and I were given the task of picking rocks and dirt off of beans and washing them. I love making beans. Washing them and hearing the noise they make (think first grade diy maracas), feeling them between my fingers is so relaxing, better than a stress ball, and like I mentioned, it transports me to my childhood, a happy and humble place. It takes me back to delicious meals full of rich scents, herbaceous spicy scents, open all the windows and doors, run out the house, I’m having a hard time breathing type of scents. Can you relate? We had leftover beans and I put them in the fridge. Today, I brought them out, added spices, and some tomato sauce, and made chili. I also made short grained rice because chili rice is one of my kids’ favorite meals. It’s one of those must have meals when we attend Japanese festivals. It made me think about rice and beans. A staple meal, it’s filling, cheap and easy to make, and so full of love when prepared by family. I love finding similarities between Japanese and Mexican culture. I love passing these traditions and meals down to our children. I hope they make these foods for their children, and that they too are transported back to their childhood.

 

I’d love to know what foods takes you back to your childhood?

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Boy Mom, Community Building, Funny Stories, Motherhood, Multicultural Children, Parenting, Self Care, Uncategorized

Mas rapido cae un hablador…

It’s so easy to say what people should be doing, how they should be parenting, or what you would never do when it’s not your life at the moment. Little by little the older I get I have learned that we are all trying to do the best we can with what we have. What we need as parents is to cut each other and ourselves a break. I almost cry tears of laughter every single time my kids want to be pushed in those enormously ridiculous shopping carts with the steering wheels on them. I said I would NEVER be seen pushing MY kid in one of those embarrassing carts. Well here I am, ridicula AF but look at mi niño. Happy as can be. In the end, that’s what it’s about, making sure our families are healthy and happy. No one is a better judge of that than the parent.

Just for laughs, here’s a list of other things I said I would never do:

  1. I would never be the parent scraping stickers off of furniture or car windows. Lemon oil gets it right off BTW
  2. I would never let my kids own toy weapons. Not my idea but you know, pick your battles.
  3. I would never be a part of mommy groups. My PostPartum Tribe is amazing!
  4. I would never be a stay at home mom, that life is not for me…

 

Is there something you said you’d never do? Do you cringe or laugh it off?

 

Teikirisi friends, we’re all just trying to get through this life one day at a time.

 

G

Community Building, Entrepreneurship, Motherhood, Uncategorized

Starting Hijos De Su Madre Apparel

I’ve had the idea of starting an apparel company for a while but my fears of what people would say, what if I didn’t succeed, I don’t know anything about fashion OR business would take over. We seriously are our own worst enemies. This summer though, I did it, I started Hijos De Su Madre Apparel, I started it scared, I started it at the worst possible time (Summer with three boys), but I started. I wanted to share how it came about.

Because two of our children have severe food allergies, I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. A lot. I love listening to podcasts to help make my kitchen time more enjoyable, and I found the Super Mamas Podcast. I was listening to it all of the time, listening to mothers who had followed their dreams while caring for their children. It was awesome, it got my wheels spinning but I was still scared. I then found the Tamarindo Podcast and they were interviewing Lucia, owner of Twisted 4 Sugar I was so excited to hear a local mother that decided to pursue a business goal leaving behind a 9 to 5, to be with her children, and I began to think what if I did it, what if I could start a business, and work it really hard, and succeed.

I met with my sisters and cousin and we began brainstorming and business planning. They were not only encouraging, but knowledgeable, my sister is a successful business owner and has grown her business over the past ten years, and my cousin has experience in the apparel industry. That’s the thing, if you’re going to do something don’t share it with just anyone. Be picky, find people that are knowledgeable, that are positive, that are helpful. So we worked in silence and on June 25th, 2017 we launched at Molcajete Dominguero. I was so excited and nervous that I showed up an hour early and had a chance to meet Gladys (mi tocaya) and Octavio the creators and organizers of Molcajete Dominguero. When I introduced myself I realized Octavio was one of the hosts of the Tamarindo Podcast! I had no clue. I knew this was a great sign. I’m a huge believer in signs. Then, I see Lucia from Twisted set up and I had to introduce myself and tell her how she had inspired me. She was one of my first customers, and encouraged me to create a website, and even sent me the information. I launched our website the very next day.

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With Lucia from Twisted 4 Sugar

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We are in our third month and I am learning as I go. Our business is growing, we are growing on Instagram, participating in more vendor events, and making so many amazing connections. I am excited to be on this journey and can’t wait to continue to grow now that the boys will be in school.

If you’d like to start a business I have a few tips:

Be picky. Only share your ideas with encouraging, positive people.

Find people who are where you want to be and learn how they got there.

Network. Attend events, join communities that encourage growth.

Learn as much as you can.

Do it even if you’re scared.

Don’t get discouraged, everything takes time.

Suerte!

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Uncategorized

Side Hustlers Unite!

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The “side hustle” is big right now, with the cost of living, childcare, healthcare, and student loans, it’s no wonder. The side hustle is nothing new though. Many of us went to college, or prom, or spent summers with our grandparents because our parents had a side hustle. My dad was a janitor at night and also had small offices and banks he cleaned on the side, he later expanded to also doing yard work. He did that so that he could be home during the day for school pick up. He never really slept, just napped. My mom worked in a clothing factory, she was the supervisor and worked six days a week from 7am until 6pm. She is known for her bomb ass birria so she would make it for huge parties, Quinceañeras, weddings, bautizos. Many of our parents had side hustles and taught us that there should be no shame in working hard and grinding.  We grew up helping my dad’s side business, cleaning toilets, emptying out trash, mopping, whatever we could do, honestly I just wanted to hang out with him so I know I was more of an estorbo than help but I appreciate him taking us and teaching us the value of hard work.

Are you looking for a side hustle? Here are some ideas:

Identify your strengths. Are you talented in the kitchen? Great with kids? Speak five languages? Sing? Do great hair? Are awesome at graphic design? Use your talents and get that money.

Find a need and fill it. Look around, in your community, in your circles, or in your home. What’s that saying, “necessity is the mother of invention.” I found a need but haven’t been able to fill… yet. An ice cream type truck that rolls through around prime time television time, after kids are in bed,  but instead of ice cream sell TAPAS?!  I would be waiting for it, drink in hand, and would throw my chanclas off to run for it too. If someone wants to get on that, that would be great. Come though LA County please!

Learn from people that are doing what you want to do. Follow them on social media, hit up YouTube University, check out some books at the library.

Talk to people. Network. Connect.

If you have a side hustle please share what it is. If you know a hustler that we all need to know about please share too. Show your love and your support to your local side hustlers. Suerte!

 

Uncategorized

Miedo

Many immigrant parents are LOYAL! Loyal ’til death. Like they will stay at a horrible job because they are thankful to be employed, they have bills to pay, children to feed, and they are able to send money back home. They will continue to participate in religious practices even when they are not being filled. They settle down and don’t like to move. So when my parents would see me quit a job after finding a better one, they would scratch their heads. There’s a saying in Spanish, “Mas vale malo por conocido que bueno por conocer.” We hear this and are raised to fear the unknown and end up staying in situations, institutions, jobs, & relationships, that are unhealthy because we believe it could always be worse. Working on reprogramming my brain from years and years of stories my parents told me is hard. I get why my parents and many other parents have these legitimate fears but I no longer accept them as my own. Although I am working on my fears I still have them, they’re just different now. I don’t fear the unknown because when I’m in a bad place or space I know I deserve and can do better.  My fear is not fear of the unknown but fear of staying stuck and being unhappy and unfulfilled.

What fears or limits did you grow up with that affected your adult life?

Boy Mom, Community Building, Funny Stories, Motherhood, Multicultural Children

Hijos De Su Madre

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I decided to name this blog Hijos De Su Madre because that is what my children are, their mother’s sons. In a Latino family, anytime a child does something that catches you off guard, it can be awesome, bad ass,  sketchy, or naughty they are called their mother’s child, not their father’s… their mother’s. Mom gets all the credit, good or bad. That’s all right with me. These are my boys, my life, my joy, my strength, and my fuel. The things they do and say trip me out and I often wonder, “Dude, where do these clever, smart ass, funny kids get it from?”  Then I remember, son hijos de su madre…pos no de en balde.

Birth Story, Boy Mom, Motherhood, Parenting

Being the Mother I Needed as a Child

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Mother’s Day made me reflect on my parenting style and what I needed as a child. I think about my mom so much. Every day actually. When my children are playing outside, when my children run up to me, when my children scream and jump, and create chaos. We couldn’t do those things growing up. My mom has always kept an immaculate home, everything has a place, no clutter, no piles, clean counters, floors… she does not buy frivolous items, only buys what she needs or will use, I mean seriously she is hashtag goals in all of those aspects. Growing up though she was very strict, we were not allowed to get messy, make messes, play with water, or make too much noise. We were all up early, cleaned the house, got dressed, and she would say, “nomas que se me ensucien” seriously we didn’t want to know what that meant, so we wouldn’t. I would always think, when I have kids, I will let them play, get dirty, be loud, create chaos…well the Lord answered my prayers and then some. I have three crazy, loud, messy boys.  All three were welcomed into the world by my mother. Last minute decision to have her in the delivery room changed our relationship forever.  I was in labor for over 26 hours with my first born and I had pushed so long (I was 25, a baby, had no clue how my body worked) that when it came time to deliver, I was exhausted. My mother who has always been a hard ass, no whining, put your big girl chones on and handle that shit kind of woman, told me, scolded me, in the delivery room when I said I couldn’t do it, she got in my face and said, “Si puedes, o quieres que te corten, andale, tu puedes”  and I delivered my almost 9lb baby boy. After that, I realized that although I was always close to my dad, I knew who I would turn to when I needed strength. As a child, she was not affectionate with us, and never said, “I love you” back when we said it, I always wondered if she even did, but now I know… My mom was a monolingual teen mom, miles away from the familiar, working in a factory two weeks after giving birth. She had no time for niceties. She was busy, and tired, and homesick, and lonely. I’ve talked to her about how hard my adjustment has been to being a stay at home mom and she said I should embrace this time, because it goes by too fast and she wishes she could have spent more time with us, but she had to work. I love that lady. I call her, “lady” and I know she loves me too. My heart aches for the sadness and loneliness she must have felt, and since there’s nothing I can do to go back in time to help her with that, all I can do is try to be the mom I needed as a child.