Family and Motherhood

MONSTER MIND

When we are young we believe we are invincible. It’s only when we are adults that we realise how fragile life is and how much we value it, but more importantly how necessary we are to those dependent on us. The children we bring into the world are fully reliant on us, and we need to be healthy, strong and available for them. Last week at the beach, this hit home. I was standing in the queue to buy an ice cream for my son when my eyes caught the sight of a young lady around my age. She was asking for a first aid box as she had hurt her hand. I saw that she looked faint and pale. I asked if she was ok, she nodded but something inside me urged me to go and check up on her again. She wasn’t well. She was sitting down on a chair in front of the kiosk, a lady was standing next to her trying to c...

MY FIRST TIME | EMBRACING THE AWKWARDNESS

“Please remove all your clothes and put this robe on. You can just set the sheet on your lap. Dr. Lee will be right with you.” I nod my head and wait for the door to close before I begin to slide my dress off. I hope everything is normal; good thing I’m not on my period; is it weird that I shaved or does that make it seem like I care too much. I try to shake away all the thoughts racing through my mind and my eyes skim across a poster about getting tested for STDs. Below the poster are brochures and pamphlets about everything I didn’t know about my own body. *knock, knock* The door cracks open and then HE walks in. Many women despise going to the OB/GYN – the anxiety, the awkwardness, the vulnerability…the cold hands. I was nervous already, but upon learning that my doctor was ...

HOW WORDS CAN AFFECT THE BIRTH EXPERIENCE

“Be mindful of the words you say, you never know how they may affect someone’s day.” I’m not sure where that quote came from but it is one of my favorites. I used to say this to myself often when I would get frustrated at work as a doula, although I must admit, I did not always practice what I preached. However, at a birth I attended recently, the significance of this quote was apparent. The mom had words of encouragement strategically placed throughout her room, painted on cardboard squares in vibrant colors. The boards included phrases such as, “My body was made to do this” and “Each surge brings me closer to having my baby in my arms.” It was a project she had done with her older children to give them the opportunity to feel included in he...

BUILDING BRIDGES: A STORY OF SISTERHOOD AND PARTNERSHIP TO CREATE QUEENIE WAHINE

I work with my sister. We have built an online community, Tribe of Daughters, and are releasing our first book this summer: Queenie Wahine: Little Surfer Girl. Cool, right? Two surfer-girl sisters inspiring the next generation of little girls to be adventurous and brave. It almost sounds too good to be true. Working with my sister elicits a lot of different comment from others. Everything from, “Ohhhh, how nice.” to “Hmmm, that must be hard.” to “Why? I’d kill my sister.” These have all been truths at some point this past year. But working with my sister hasn’t been quite like I thought it would be. It has been a series of mostly successes with a few hiccups and life lessons sprinkled in-between. Let me set the scene so you can have a context of how we came to work together. Last summer, I...

HOW TO RAISE A FEMINIST SON

The news cycle of this past year has been too difficult to navigate, as a woman but more importantly as a parent, especially one of a very aware pre-teen. I want my kids to be aware and informed of the world and to be active citizens as they grow into their teenage and adult years. But, I also want to protect them. Not all the news of the day is meant for kids’ ears. The line of what to tell them or let them know can be blurry. We now live in a 24-hour-a-day news feed, on TV, the internet, our phones. We have a president who tweets inappropriate things constantly and who has been caught on tape saying even more inappropriate things! Our kids hear that, even if it isn’t coming from us. They hear things at school or see headlines in the checkout line or the news on the radio before you...

CRACKED WINDSHIELDS

  There is a crack in the windshield. No doubt about that. It’s my grandma’s old station wagon. The one where we could pile ten kids and not flinch when the door opened and we all had to grab on to the unlucky cousin closest to the door before he falls out. A mortifying thought to the new standards of parenthood I am now beholden to, but I was a child and nothing appeared unusual. I was sitting in the honor seat, the front, wedged between my grandma and my cousin. My cousin being the oldest, and the one with the dead parents, would always hold the title of ruling grandkid so I always tried to be the best second place. She was the commander of radio and the wind-up crank on the window. I sat in the middle one eye to my grandma’s bright blue clip on earring and one eye watching my...

EMOTIONAL ROLLERCOASTER OF A HOMESCHOOLING MOM-PRENEUR

  Everyone says, “Build your own business, you will have more freedom to enjoy life.” What they don’t say is after your third day at home, with two teens and an adolescent dictator, while working on your business and teaching your kids about life, you forget yet again to get dressed and you just might forget to brush your teeth. No seriously, when building a business from your home and having little ones, or even teens in my case, running around getting into everything or interrupting every conversation, you simply forget to take care of basic needs, such as lunch. Your beloved shower gets pushed aside for those absolutely necessary bouncer moments when everyone seems to be fighting. Your home starts to look like a bomb went off in your living room, and your extended...

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS WORK-LIFE BALANCE

  There is no such thing as work-life balance. There is only life balance. Seeing these two things as opposing forces is part of the problem. Ever feel like going to work is more of a break than being home? Part of the reason for this is that the working environment is a controlled structure in which most people, if not all, are working toward a common goal. The goal: making the company or organization successful or getting a paycheck. Hopefully, you do not have to ask your co-worker for a report you need three times before it gets to your desk, like you have to ask your children to pick up their shoes. This feeling of structure and control can lead you to being at work longer than you have to, or should be, because it’s easier in many ways. If this is the case, ask yourself, how can ...

UNLIKELY MOTHERHOOD: A MISTAKE, A DECISION, AND A RECONCILIATION

I had no plans to become a mother, so when those blue lines showed up—immediately and unmistakably dark on the pregnancy test—I cried. Not tears of joy. Not even tears of surprise, oh, I already knew. They were tears of deep dread, and a what-the-hell-am-I-going-to-do feeling. I broke up with the father the week before, and I was happy to be rid of him after a mediocre two months of trying to will myself into feelings I didn’t have out of loneliness. My first instinct was abortion, but working as a bartender at a failing restaurant wasn’t exactly raking in the bucks. I knew I’d have to ask him to help pay for it. In true Millennial form, I told him I was pregnant via text message. We met up that night to talk about it, and I told him I was leaning toward having an abortion, but hadn’t made...

PROUD MOMMY HAS AN EMPTY NEST

I’m a single over 45-year-old mom, I have raised 2 beautiful daughters, the oldest left home and went away to college at 17 to another state back in 2004, she’s an educated woman, very loving, fun, graceful, a homegirl who has many friends that rely on her opinions, she’s organized, high spirited, and a world traveler, my youngest daughter graduated high school last year in May of 2016 she’s loving, very smart, very nice young woman, caring, happy go lucky, deep thinker, very artistic and I’m still trying to fully figure her out (smile). We have all lived away from my hometown and away from our immediate family together in the same state the past 4 years so that baby girl could have some guidance from her big sister and they could bond while the youngest went to hig...

BITCHES GET OLD

Everyone needs a Mawmaw Lessie. A precious, chubby, short grandma that loves to cook and loves being a grandma. When you visit, you gain three pounds just walking by the kitchen. She hugs you tight when you walk in the door, and you never ever have a doubt of how much you’re loved and treasured when you leave. I had a Mawmaw Lessie for a little while, so I know what I’m talking about. But my other grandmother…. Well. She is the anti-Mawmaw Lessie. When I tell people that my grandmother is a bitch, people are always shocked. She’s a grandmother! How could she possibly be anything but sweet and cute? Short and wrinkled, filled with years of wisdom and advice, surely I must be wrong?! No, I assure you, I am not. People ask, “How can someone that’s a grandmother be a bitch?” ...

HOW A SISTERHOOD HELPED ME FIND MYSELF

Growing up, I was a shy kid. I mainly kept to myself and to my books. Books were my lifeline and my glimpse into different worlds. Through high school, I had the same group of friends in my honors classes and never deviated. However, when I got to college, I thought I should try to get out of my shell. To be honest, freshman year was rough. The transition between home to a city filled with strangers was more than difficult. A month into the first semester, I called my mom and told her that I was going to drop out and move back home. Confusion and dread surrounded all of my thoughts. Luckily, I had a few close friends who let me lean on their shoulder and cry in the stairwell of my dorm (more than once). Sophomore year, I thought everything was going to be different. I thought to myself, “I...

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