Ok, so lets be clear. When I say independent I am talking about financially because everyone who knows me, knows that I Miss Independent. My mother always told me, in life you can only rely on yourself. If you want something you will have to go out and get it.
Fast Forward 30 years and I am a stay at home mom who doesn’t make her own money. SAY WHAT? What the HELL happened. I stay home and take care of my kids and my husband works, we are a “traditional” family right? Well yes and no. I control the finances, my husband and I talk about everything and we try to make decisions together. Do I feel the need to ask him if I can go shopping, NO but if I spend a lot I do tell him because I feel guilty. Do I feel like our money is ours, well NO, to be honest I don’t. So then how can I teach my daughter to be independent and not rely on a man when that is exactly what I am doing.
The truth is I don’t know exactly how other than by showing her and I am working on it. My daughter turns 5 next February and it is my mission to have her see me become more independent. To be fair, she is only 4 1/2 and she doesn’t realize or understand the financial details of our household but soon she will. I am happy that she had me at home with her but now it is my time to show her that you don’t NEED a man/partner but that instead you should WANT one to spend and share your life with. Wish me luck!
As a parent, I learned to be less judgmental of myself and others. Culturally, Latinos love to complain about everything and criticize every single thing. Especially the women. Everything is expected to be perfect-all the time. No wonder I had a fucking meltdown after I gave birth.
The more I think about it, the moment I become a mom, this emotional rope was created. It goes from my body to my kids. Whenever they feel happy, sad, disappointed or scared I am too. Thru them I have become more understanding of the world around us. I realize every person is someone’s child. The asshole in the parking lot at the mall, him too! So yea I want to kick his ass when he parks so close to me that I have to climb into my car in order to put my kids in their car seat. Or that 16 year old girl who abandoned their kid, I understand a little bit more why she may have done it. Having kids made me human.
So if you are having a bad day with your kids and you are being mean, don’t worry, you are human and tomorrow is a new day!
So my husband and I always talked about how we only wanted to have 2 kids for several reasons. The first was that we couldn’t really afford more than that, we wanted to always have 1 parent available to a child and more than that would mean we would have to have 4 because he was 1 of 3 and he always felt left out and ignored.
So when I was 6-7 months pregnant with my youngest child I decided to ask my OBGYN about getting my tubes tied, I atleast wanted to know more about it. Well I didn’t get far with him because he immediately said No, I won’t do it, you are too young ( I was 32 at the time) and you do not know what life has in store for you. Say what? Yup he wasn’t budging and like the idiot that I was or am I just left it at that.
Fast forward to March 8th on the operating table my OBGYN’s colleague (a woman) says oh hey while I am down here do you want me to tie your tubes? Say WHAT? I have been up for 24 hours and in labor, I have the comprehension level of a puppy and hell I don’t even know what my name is and you want me to give you a yes or no? Is this a joke?
My husband had testicular cancer in his 20’s and as he knew I didn’t want to be on the pill forever (my family members have had kids well into their 40’s+ and the men into their 60’s) he just offered one day, oh I’ll just get a vasectomy. Just like that. He assured me that we was totally fine with it.
We waited until my son was a year old and we finished some pending home renovations that we had planned and then my husband scheduled his vasectomy as if it was an appointment to have a cavity filled. I kept asking him if he was 100% sure and he said yes, I told him well what if we get divorced or something happens to me and you want to have more kids. He said there is no way I want to be responsible for another kid financially, I can’t handle the stress. Well, okay then.
I drove with him to the doctor and he had the procedure done in less than 30 minutes. I was cringing the whole time in the waiting room, I was horrified for his balls! I wondered did he feel this way when I was pushing a watermelon out of my pee hole and then being sliced open because my kids wouldn’t come out? I’m not sure but what I can say is that I am really thankful that he went ahead with the procedure because I am 100% sure that I don’t want more kids and I can’t wait to stop taking the pill. While I’m worried what the lack of pill will do to my period, PMS and my skin I am happy that I will no longer be putting strange chemicals into my body. Yes, that is how I see most and all drugs. As I have said in previous posts, I am a closeted hippie.
That saying which translates into “Don’t throw it in the garbage” is the story of my life!
I don’t know if it is because my mother is a Virgo, an immigrant or because she is just a straight up hoarder but I heard this saying every week of my life. My mother will save anything of value like, old towels, sheets, my report cards from 1st grade oh yea and a Shamu poncho from 1987 that smelled like Bacalao (Cod fish).
The bottom line is that I have a very hard time getting rid of stuff and once I purchased my first home, forget it! I had an attic and a crawl space for storage? Well I am going to keep almost everything then. I still have a lot of clothing, shoes and handbags from the 90’s. Can you imagine!? The good news is that I am an organizational freak! I label bins and place them according to categories (Xmas, Easter, Memorabilia etc). The problem is that now that I have kids, I need to throw my shit away! There isn’t enough room for my stuff, my husbands stuff (he still has his boy scout stuff, camping gear, fishing gear and more clothes than me) AND our kids stuff.
My daughter started PreK in 2014 at 2 1/2 and since then I have been keeping everything in a purple bin (purple is the color of her birthstone) and well I have been hoarding it. However as I mentioned, now that we are a family of 4 the house is getting a bit small so we really need to be efficient about what we keep and what we donate. Because trust me in this house nothing of use goes in the garbage-that is just a “saying” we give everything to those less fortunate.
So when I found out about this app called “ArtKive” I fell in love. It allows you to take photos of your kids art work and then make collage books or even tee shirts, accent pillows etc. I just started using it today because over the weekend operation DE-clutter went into effect. We are renovating our kitchen this weekend, you know Memorial Day weekend when normal people relax, yea well we are starting to renovate our kitchen because we like to torture ourselves. So at the moment my house is starting to look like a storage unit which makes my OCD kick into overdrive. Thank God for Klonopins! Anyways since I can’t control much this week or anything for the next month really I decided to go thru more stuff aka my daughter’s school art work and it feels great! I took photos of everything via the app and threw everything into the recycle bin! I am hoping that once she sees her beautiful photo book of her artwork she will forget about the trauma of seeing her stuff in the trash. If not there is always therapy when she gets older. I am trying my best!
And yes I kept a handful of pieces the ones that really made me teary eyed.
How do you all keep your kids’ stuff/memorabilia organized?
- You have to always look presentable, sweat pants every day is a NO NO NO.
- Your husband will leave you if you let yourself go
- You can’t get fat because men don’t like that
- You have to wear a faja every day but preferably not when you sleep with your husband
- You have to wear makeup every day ESPECIALLY after you turn 30
- You must clean your face EVERY night and use any and all wrinkle creams that exist
- You cannot let anyone see you with gray hair
- Your nails should always be painted and look good
- Your husband and kid’s clothes must be perfectly ironed because if not people will think you are a bad wife and mom
- You should always have dinner ready for your husband
- Don’t talk about stressful things right when your husband gets home from work, wait until after he has eaten
- Your house must always be clean, like eat off the floor clean
- Your closets and drawers should always be organized
- Always make the beds because you never know who might stop by
- Don’t let your kids be malcriados (spoiled brats)
- Learn how to make a proper cup of coffee
- Make sure you have a good job so you don’t have to depend on a man for money
This is how I grew up and I am pretty sure if you are Latina, your mom told you some of these things too. I for one felt like I always had to be perfect; be the perfect lady, wife, housekeeper, chef and once I had kids, Mami. As much as I have learned to let go a bit, I still have this list of things running thru my head and this is why I am always soo tired and cannot sit down for more than 10 minutes! Well that and because my kids don’t let me sleep 🙂 But as my Mami says, deal with it, no one said life was easy..
I haven’t posted in a while because I haven’t had a second to breathe. Between planning and throwing my daughter’s 4th birthday party, to winter break, to going away and visiting family in Florida, to then planning and throwing my son’s 1st birthday to then going away with my husband for the weekend and then Easter and NOW spring break I am have been MIA. It just never stops, I feel like I am skating from here to there and the only time I stop is when I sit down which is usually around 9pm. Once I sit down I cannot get back up again. WTF?! This is my life. I love it and I loathe it at times. I am blessed. I hope to be able to write about all of the insane Mami moments that I have experienced in the past 3 months.
My daughter turns 4 next week and with each day that passes she becomes more and more sassy. She talks back, has an opinion on everything and swears I am her slave. I remind her daily that I am not.
She has always been a skinny little girl, she had horrible reflux as a baby that didn’t go away until she was 18 months old so she never ate that much. When she turned 2 years old she basically stopped eating everything and her diet consisted of only 5 foods. If it weren’t for Pediasure she would still be 19lbs. To sum it up I have to bribe her or nag her to eat or just starve her in between meals so that she will eat.
Lately, she has been horrible, like scary child that no one wants to be around. She wakes up at 5:30am every day(she usually wakes up at 7am) doesn’t eat enough throughout the day which in turn just makes her a miserable and grouchy little B. She stopped taking naps this past summer because if she does nap then she won’t go to bed until 10PM. Call me selfish but at 8pm I want my kids asleep and quiet because quite frankly after that time I can barely get up to pee let alone wrangle my kids. So basically my daughter has been wreaking havoc on my entire household for the past month and I am OVER IT. So what did I do? I completely lost my shit on Monday night. Yes and I scared her and I feel very guilty.
Since then I have been reflecting on what could be affecting my daughter’s attitude and I believe its several things:
- She isn’t sleeping enough
- She isn’t eating enough
- She wants more of my attention (hello jealousy)
- She needs more time outside
Now that my son is in his I want to walk phase but I have no idea what I am doing, I have to pay a lot of attention to him because if I don’t he will crack his face open. Yes, I realize I exaggerate. It is so difficult to divide myself into pieces, I have to be a mom to my daughter, son and rescue dog and a doting wife(hahaha), run the house, pay the bills, call the contractors, be a good daughter (I am an only child and my parents are divorced), volunteer at school, blog, cook, clean. I CANNOT do it all perfectly I just can’t. This is why I am trying not to beat myself up for unleashing on my toddler. Should I have kept it together absolutely but I am real person, not a robot. So I am cutting myself some slack.
One thing that I started doing since our blow out is to change my delivery. I am saying the same things to her but in a more loving way which is hard to do if you are Hispanic. Atleast in my case, my speaking tone is yelling to an average person. I am trying to drop everything when my son sleeps so we can spend more time together and I am making more of an effort to let her play outside despite her never ending cold. Taking it day by day. What do you do when you flip on your toddler?
I was at a Sprinkle this weekend (a baby shower for a second/third child) and as usual when you get a bunch of mothers together everyone starts to share their parenting stories; in particular our Birthing Stories. While I wish I would have heard these stories before I ever got pregnant the truth is so many of us don’t talk about what really goes down in the Labor and Delivery room with our childless girlfriends. Right after my daughter was born I pretty much told everyone I knew that the whole process was HELL and that my daughter would be an only child. But I forgot one thing, our bodies are wired to forget. Everyone says it but it is true! That is why so many of us have multiple children, that and because our birth control didn’t work!
While everyone’s journey is different here is a list of stuff that will likely happen whether you push the baby out or have a c section:
- you will fart or shit during labor; sometimes in someone’s face
- no matter how hard you try, your partner will probably get a glimpse of your bloody vagina and/or intestines
- you will have multiple people stick their fingers up your whole vagina, think cleaning the turkey on Thanksgiving
- your epidural may not work or stop working
- your epidural may be soo strong that you can’t feel your legs for a day
- you may puke throughout the whole labor
- you could be in 2 hours of labor, push 2 times or push for 2 hours and be in labor for 24hours +
- you may feel like your legitimately dying
- you may get so swollen that you will look like a bee stung your face
- your vagina may tear a little or a lot
- it will hurt to pee regardless
- you will have to wear the UGLIEST underwear on earth with sanitary pads that resemble pillows for a few days or even weeks
- by the time your labor is over you will have ZERO shame and will feel that it is totally acceptable to walk around naked everywhere because really who the fuck cares after what you just went thru
- your tits will look like water balloons
- your tits will hurt
- your nipples may resemble oreo cookies and/or pancakes
- you will probably allow a nurse who you have never met before stick a suppository up your butt because the thought of pooping after labor is the most horrifying thing ever
- you will feel like a super hero who can do anything
If you didn’t go thru this, Congratulations! If you went thru this and/or worse I feel ya.
All I could think of during both my labors were how on earth do women do this in the middle of the jungle/desert with no help or drugs. My respect to all of those women who have no choice and/or decide to do it 100% naturally. There is a reason women have the babies.
To all my badass Mami’s out there you are my heroes!
Before having kids I watched a lot of Law and Order SVU , I love me some Mariska Hargitay but the moment I gave birth to my first child I just couldn’t anymore. It was too much. It hurt me, yes it hurt my heart to watch the show. I knew it was just a TV show but these stories were often based on true stories. Four years later I have a new TV obsession-The First 48 Hours on A & E. I literally watch an episode every night, it is not normal. The problem is while I do love these shows because they are real, captivating, heartbreaking and informative they also scare the SHIT OUT OF ME. Like I am never going to let my kids out of the house and what the hell was that noise? Is that a murderer in my laundry room?
My husband works out of state and travels a lot which means that I am home alone; as a New Yorker who lived in a doorman building her whole life, moving to the suburbs was a very difficult transition. Moving to a single family home allowed me to take my city self to the extreme; I have an alarm system, security cameras all over my home, a pit bull, a panic button and my house is lit up like JFK airport (this is important to note because the homes in my neighborhood have zero outdoor lighting). So yea, clearly I am a bit over the top which is why watching these types of programs only makes me more insanely scared, anxious and crazy. What the hell is wrong with me? Why is it such a vice for me? Why do I do this to myself.
As a mom I find it very difficult to watch the news and programs like these and not be completely terrified for my children and their future. I think how the hell did my mother ever let me out of the house let alone on the NYC subway system. Was she insane! Mind you I did have my own mace by the time I was 14 years old and a device that if I was ever in distress I could turn on and it made a blow horn type noise. But really, what is the answer? I do not want to live in a bubble where I don’t know what is going on in the world and think everything is just dandy but at the same time I do not want to be scared of every single person me and my children come in contact with!
Extremes of anything are never good so I am hoping that my TV watching tastes change once my favorite shows come back to Netflix. Thank God for you dear Netflix, this Mami loves you~
So you finally found a mom friend that you like and have things in common with other than being mamas and you are thrilled! But wait, your kids don’t like eacother!? This has happened to me and it sucks. It is hard enough to find moms that keep it “real” and that you can be yourself with so when you find one its great. You now have someone who you can chat/text with, have coffee with, complain about your partners, in laws, siblings etc. That is why its horrible when the kids don’t get along because in my experience instead of talking to your newly found friend you are spending all your time trying to keep the peace between the kids.
So what is the answer? I have no idea. I have tried to get together with mom friends without the kids, at a girls dinner or even a quick coffee date when the kids are in school but what about when your kids are too little for school? Well, in my experience the only thing you can do is stop getting together with that person especially if that persons child/children is a bully to your child. However if it isn’t that bad you can do the opposite- keep getting together not as often for the sake of your sanity and deal with the meltdowns, sometimes they will be less intense then others. I always try to prep my kids, I make sure she is well fed and slept before heading out. That way its not complete drama when one kid doesn’t want to share the “legos”. Our kids have to learn how to be around challenging people.
The other thing to keep in mind is when kids are really little they don’t really “play together” its more like they are playing by themselves but next to other kids. They don’t really start playing with other kids until they are 2 1/2 (at least this has been my experience).
Having a mom friend or a group of mom friends is vital to keeping your sanity when you are a stay at home mom. It has kept me from going completely nuts and it is the 1 piece of advice I give to all new moms especially stay at home moms. There are a ton of groups out there, you can find a ton on www.meetup.com, the local park, your place of worship or even a gymboree/music class. Do whatever works just GET OUT OF THE HOUSE and TALK to someone. Do it, you will feel better, I promise.