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"To The White Parenting 'Expert'"
Mamihood, Writing, and Money: Moving Past My Money Shame & Crafting a Creative Life I Love
Recently my friend, poet and scholar Raina J. León, had her essay "On Labor's Value" published in the VIDA Review.
In it, Raina asks: "When and for what should I be paid? And when I am not offered compensation, to what will I say no in favor of my family, my art, my life?"
For Raina (as for me and others I'm sure) so many of these questions -- which have always been there -- have taken on a new urgency since the birth of her child. Raina explains:
"How do I also negotiate between the labor maternal and the labor that takes me away from my son so that I can creatively express myself and also be compensated for that expression and thereby provide for my son? In short, how do I get paid and provide for my household for the labor that takes me away from my son?"
My question is: shouldn't we all be asking (and searching for answers to) those same questions alongside her?
Inspired by my postpartum period, I compiled "20 Ways to Nurture Your Writer Self (Even When Life Gets in the Way)," a FREE checklist with suggestions that can keep you connected to your writer life — even when life gets in the way:
Below I share a few of those lessons, and I recap the information I shared at the Latina Writers Conference in 2018.
Writer Mami Maternity Leave & Staying Connected to Your Writer Self
I’m super excited to attend and speak at the Latina Writer’s Conference in Los Angeles tomorrow (9/8/18)!
A full day of programming surrounded by badass Latina Writers? Sounds like heaven!
I’ve been thinking about what I might share with the mujeres who attend my session on “Writing & Caretaking / Parenting.”
I’ve learned so much during these first two years of Mamihood and have so many stories and nuggets to share about this transition.
In preparation for the conference, I thought I’d share the one piece of advice that most influenced my approach to embracing Mamihood as a writer AND some practical strategies I implemented to stay connected to my Writer Self even in the midst of this huge transition.
Read on for all the goodness and to download a FREE checklist!
Breastfeeding Mechanics, Logistics & Resources, Oh My! (Part 3/3)
Happy National Breastfeeding Awareness Month!
& Happy Black Breastfeeding Week (8/25-8/31)!
This post is Part 3 in a 3 part series.
Read Part 1:
Fed is Best, but Breast is Freaking Awesome, so if Your Goal is EBF, Don’t Give Up Too Soon
Read Part 2:
Honor Your Cuarentena and Build Your Support Network
In this third and final post I’ll discuss certain aspects of the mechanics and logistical juggling—including the unglamorous parts like pumping in airports (see pic below) — that went into our family reaching our breastfeeding goals. (Our goals included feeding him exclusively breast milk and making sure he was open to the occasional bottle of breastmilk).
It's not always easy to share the difficult side of breastfeeding. I'm not going to lie, I hesitated when thinking about sharing the picture below, but I think it's important that we share--and normalize--all aspects of breastfeeding and pumping. That, I believe, is one way we can support each other and help future Mamas as they wade through those crazy first weeks.
Once again, I share my experience to encourage you to learn as much as you can about the mechanics and some of the logistical issues you might have to tackle before giving birth if at all possible.
But if, like me, you have to learn while in the trenches, I hope these posts lead you to some valuable information that will help you on your own journey.
Like I mentioned in the last post, if there is one piece of advice I would give to new Mamas who wish to breastfeed it would be this:
Put together a team of knowledgable and supportive people ASAP, preferably before birth.
This post and series only touches upon a handful of logistical or mechanical issues that our particular family had to address. But every family is different! So again let these posts inspire you to find what your particular family needs.
Once again, happy Breastfeeding to you!
And if it's not so happy at the moment, hang in there and read this now:
“When Breastfeeding is Hard”
Honor Your Cuarentena and Build Your Support Network (Part 2/3)
Happy National Breastfeeding Awareness Month!
This post is Part 2 in a 3 part series, so be sure to read Part 1 where I discuss why I’m writing these series of posts and where I make my case that: Fed is Best, but Breast is Freaking Awesome, so if Your Goal is EBF, Don’t Give Up Too Soon!
And once you read this post, check out Part 3: Mechanics, Logistics & Resources, Oh My!
In today's post I’ll discuss honoring your postpartum period and building your team so you are fully supported on the road to achieving your family’s breastfeeding goals.
Fed is Best, but Breastfeeding is Freaking Awesome, so if Your Goal is EBF, Don’t Give Up Too Soon! (Part 1/3)
Happy World Breastfeeding Week & National Breastfeeding Awareness Month!
This is Part 1 of a 3 part series (read Part 2 & read Part 3).
As many of you already know, I am a proud breastfeeding Mama, so this month’s posts are dedicated to my breastfeeding comunidad without which I would not have made it this far on my own breastfeeding journey!
When I was pregnant, I knew I wanted to breastfeed, but it wasn’t until I was in the thick of learning how to breastfeed that I realized how little I knew about what to expect.
Had anyone told me during those first stressful weeks that I would still be nursing my almost two-year-old, I would not have believed them. I clearly remember thinking:
“Oh I totally understand why people don’t do this…”
It was hard. I was tired. And I didn’t know what I was doing.
Still… I knew the benefits for my son and for myself, and, perhaps more importantly, I had the resources and the support I needed to get over the hump. I had people I trusted assuring me that it gets better and that then it’s pretty amazing (it does and it is!).
Over the next few weeks (on a slightly different blog schedule), I’ll share some insights on what I wish I had known before we started our breastfeeding journey:
Part One (8/1): Fed is Best, but Breast is Freaking Awesome, so if Your Goal is EBF, Don’t Give Up Too Soon!
Part Two (8/15): Honor Your Cuarentena and Build Your Support Network
Part Three (8/30): Mechanics, Logistics, and Resources, Oh My
Mami Needs to Write! 10 Tips for Creating Your Own DIY Writing & Strategic Planning Retreat (Part 3/3)
Part 3/3: 10 Tips for Creating YOUR Own Retreat
This post is the third in a three part series. In case you missed them, here are Part One and Part Two. Be sure to sign up for my newsletter to receive blog updates in your inbox!
As I discussed in Part One, I was inspired by previous retreat experiences to book a night in a hotel and take some time to plan out and make progress on my summer and fall goals and projects.
In Part Two, I talked about how the books You're a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth and The Business of Being a Writer inspired me to focus on strategic planning while on retreat. I also shared some highlights and pictures from my night away.
Here in Part 3, I’d like to share some tips based on my experience.
Anyone who knows me, knows that I have collected picture books--with an emphasis on books that center the stories of underrepresented communities--since long before I became a mother.
In light of the treatment of immigrant families on our southern border, yesterday's Supreme Court decision to uphold the President's Muslim ban, and today's announcement about Justice Kennedy's retirement, I'm sharing a few picture books that speak to the issues of the day.
Yo Soy Muslim, My Diary from Here to There, Sonia Sotomayor: A Judge Grows in the Bronx, I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes her Mark, A is for Activist, and A de Activista are some of the books I'm sharing with my son these days.
They are also the books helping me believe in hope.
Now, more than ever, We Need Diverse Books!
I am eternally grateful for the ones below and I hope they will bring you and yours a glimmer of hope. Please share them with the little people in your life and anyone you love who needs a little light in these dark days.
As always, I encourage you to support your local bookstores and libraries! Be sure to ask them to stock these books if they don't already carry them.
If, however, you plan to purchase any of these books online, please use my affiliate links below; as an affiliate, I may earn a small commission for qualifying purchases (at no cost to you) which supports my work.
You may also consider finding your favorites on these alternate booksellers' sites:
From Muslim and Latino poet Mark Gonzales comes a touching and lyrical picture book about a parent who encourages their child to find joy and pride in all aspects of their multicultural identity.
Dear little one,
…know you are wondrous.
A child of crescent moons,
a builder of mosques,
a descendant of brilliance,
an ancestor in training.
Written as a letter from a father to his daughter, Yo Soy Muslim is a celebration of social harmony and multicultural identities. The vivid and elegant verse, accompanied by magical and vibrant illustrations, highlights the diversity of the Muslim community as well as Indigenous identity. A literary journey of discovery and wonder, Yo Soy Muslim is sure to inspire adults and children alike.
Mami Needs to Write! Results of My First Post-Baby DIY Writing & Strategic Planning Retreat (Part 2/3)
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Disclosure: This site contains affiliate links; if you make a purchase through my links, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.Thank you for supporting my work in this way!