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.

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?

G

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!

G

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.

 

Community Building, Motherhood, Parenting, Self Care

Creating Safe Spaces For Parent Life Realness

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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.

Community Building, Motherhood, Multicultural Children, Parenting

Raising Multicultural Children

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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.

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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.

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Learning dance steps from Nobuko Miyamoto  and Quetzal’s Martha Gonzalez in Leimert Park