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:
I would never be the parent scraping stickers off of furniture or car windows. Lemon oil gets it right off BTW
I would never let my kids own toy weapons. Not my idea but you know, pick your battles.
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.
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.
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.
I used to feel guilty for feeling the way I do about motherhood. I felt like I had no safe space to be comfortably be who I am, so I created one. I began sharing about our family’s daily life on social media, the good and the bad, the silly and the nasty, the joys and the heartache, and found out that I am not alone. I received messages and made genuine connections with people saying, “I feel the same way! I just don’t say it.” We are taught to be self sacrificing and that if we are not enjoying every second of parenting we are clearly not good enough. We compare ourselves to the other parents on social media but what we don’t see is that we are all struggling with something at any given time. People post cute pictures of their kids in coordinated outfits but don’t mention their kid refuses to eat anything but chopped up hot dogs smothered in ketchup, or show all of their outings but don’t mention that being home full time with kids can be lonely AF, or show them handling it all like a boss but don’t share that they’ve had stressed induced diarrhea for days. I hope to create a safe space for parents who like me realize that it’s not all fun, that this is a tough job, but community and laughter make it easier. So please join me for some parent life realness.
Although multiracial and multi-ethnic families are not new to the US because of colonialism, immigration, and slavery, it wasn’t until the 2000 census that one could identify as multi-ethnic. Raising Japanese Mexican American children has been a beautiful learning experience. It has been a unique journey where we as a family have learned more about both Japanese and Mexican history and culture and have developed a strong sense of pride from identifying as Hapa. Hapa is a Hawaiian term used to describe someone that is part Asian or Pacific Islander. I describe our kids as Hapa Chicanos.
We are very blessed to have many multicultural families in our lives. It is awesome to share experiences because even though we share the fact that some of us have Hapa children, the Japanese and Korean, or Mexican and Puerto Rican experience are very different. I am thankful to live in California where about 30% of Hapa families in the U.S reside because we are able to participate in several Japanese and Mexican cultural events. Recently we have attended FandangObon and Fiesta Matsuri where being multiethnic is celebrated. My oldest has attended Tanoshii Fun Camp and that has been an amazing experience for the whole family.
Exposing my children to both Japanese and Mexican culture has not been difficult because as I mentioned we are lucky to live in Southern California. I wonder what it’s like to be a multicultural family in much less diverse parts of the country. If that is your experience, I’d love to hear what it’s like.