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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.
Latina Writers Conference 201`8: 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
Words or Water