Organic Melinda

healthy living with a Latin twist


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You

My dearest Artemis,
Everyday, you save me from a thousand silent deaths. Thank you for giving me the courage to breathe deeply and slowly. You are my greatest and most profound gift.

Thank you.

Mami loves you, always and always.

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Day 30 – A Day of Work, Work, Work

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 I have switched my site to a new server. I will only be posting on this blog for the next week or two until I have completed the site transfer. 

To My Little Princess,

What a day this has been. Mami woke up to edit for a client, transfer my website to a new server, edit for another client, and work some more.

I am sorry for not being as attentive as you needed me to be, but I am glad that I got to hold you in my arms while I worked. You got to play with my hair and fall asleep on my chest.

I know that there will be many more days where I will have to work around the clock in order to establish my business.

I hope that this will be a temporary process and the income will flow in from Eat Like A Vegan and my Healthy Living Consultations.

I have faith that things will get better, soon, and we wont have to fret about whether or not you can run around and drop food on the floor here and there.

Grandma has been gracious enough to let us stay here for the month, but our time here is coming to an end soon. We have to find a place to live.

Luckily, Daddy has a job interview on Wednesday, and I am keeping my fingers crossed that he gets it. That would be so awesome, because he has been working part-time. But, we shall see what the future holds.

I am pushing through, applying to jobs, and continuing my efforts.

I really hate the thought of having to leave you for 50 hours a week, so I am trying my best not to have to, baby girl.

Now that it nears 5 a.m., it’s time for Mami to get some sleep.

Everyday of my life,

Mami Loves You

—-
About this Series:
In honor of Latino Heritage Month, I will write 30 letters for 30 days to my beautiful daughter. This series is entitled, Mami Loves You. In these letters, I will tell her about the world around her, and reflect on her development.

Each Tuesday and Thursday, I will honor a Latina woman that I believe is a great role model for my daughter to admire. Through these letters, I pay homage to my role as a mother, and I will teach my daughter about one of the cultures that has birthed her.

To Subscribe to the series Mami Loves You, follow the link: http://mamilovesyou.com/ and fill out the form.


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Day 29 – Somersaults

Dear Little Acrobat of Mine,

After my interview with Tasleem Jamila of Radio Islam where she and I discussed living gmo-free, supporting local farms, and my services, you and I had a ton of fun this afternoon.

I took you on a trip to the backyard and brought you to stand in the sun for a little while.

Afterwards, we came back home, and I played with you in bed. I would place the blanket over my head and you would lift it up and laugh so hard.

Then, we could go under the blanket together. You would giggle and put your feet in my face telling me to kiss your toes.

I tickled you as you laughed and laughed some more.

We sang capoeira songs. Now, you know two songs – la la la eu and oi sim sim sim oi nao nao nao. You sing them on your own, clap your hands, and then make me join along.

you and Daddy doing capoeira

During one of these moments, you did your very first somersault, today!

I am so proud of how athletic you are at only 18 months old.

You are flourishing so quickly and getting so smart.

Of course, you’re still my baby girl as you demand kisses and cuddles.

You always want to fall asleep in my arms and stay there the whole time you’re napping.

I am usually happy to oblige.

I have to breastfeed you, now, so I have to go.

With a boobie in your mouth,

Mami Loves You

—-
About this Series:
In honor of Latino Heritage Month, I will write 30 letters for 30 days to my beautiful daughter. This series is entitled, Mami Loves You. In these letters, I will tell her about the world around her, and reflect on her development.

Each Tuesday and Thursday, I will honor a Latina woman that I believe is a great role model for my daughter to admire. Through these letters, I pay homage to my role as a mother, and I will teach my daughter about one of the cultures that has birthed her.

To Subscribe to the series Mami Loves You, follow the link: http://mamilovesyou.com/ and fill out the form.


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Day 28 – Prisoner of Love

To My Love,

Hello, my sweet. You are rest, right now, and I am right besides you. I have a super long to-do list, but, even in your sleep, you want all of my attention.

Today has been an odd day for me. I was up much of last night working on my second book, editing my website, setting up the course material for DDFS, and I didnt get to sleep until about 8 a.m.

I woke up around 10:30 am because I had a meeting scheduled with Francesca, who has been a guiding light these past 6 months. She’s helped turn me into a more competent business woman. Today, she and I talked about my course design, workshops, and pricing. She’s been super helpful in helping me turn my skills into a business.

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You’ve been clingy much of the day. I am sure that you can feel how preoccupied I am with thoughts in order to secure our survival.

Because I have been so busy trying to build my businesses, I am just going to lay here next to you while you sleep and comfort you.

You’re more important to me than all of the money in the world. Mami is just trying to secure our financial future.

This series is coming to a close in just a few more days, but I have decided to keep writing to you at least a few times a week.

I cannot wait until you’re old enough to read these letters.

Every day,
Mami Loves You

—-
About this Series:
In honor of Latino Heritage Month, I will write 30 letters for 30 days to my beautiful daughter. This series is entitled, Mami Loves You. In these letters, I will tell her about the world around her, and reflect on her development.

Each Tuesday and Thursday, I will honor a Latina woman that I believe is a great role model for my daughter to admire. Through these letters, I pay homage to my role as a mother, and I will teach my daughter about one of the cultures that has birthed her.

To Subscribe to the series Mami Loves You, follow the link: http://mamilovesyou.com/ and fill out the form.


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Day 2 – Fear and Hope

To my Beautiful Brown Princess,

I write with a heavy heart, today.

Last night, the Miss America pageant selected Nina Davuluri, an Indian-American woman, as the winner for the 2014 season.

While the Indian community rejoiced along with Brown women, others revealed the painful, colonial, and racist history that still plagues the United States.

Davuluri’s Americanness became an issue for discussion. Her heritage was a point to be ridiculed and feared. Her success was labelled a failure for the American people.

I felt rage, my dear.

Rage on behalf of the women who continue to face shaming for their bodies, thoughts, appearances, and ethnicities.

But, mostly, I felt rage and fear of the world that you might inherit.

When I look at you, all I see is my joy – my love.

But, how will people see you?

How will your Afro-Latina heritage impact the life you live?

I remember all too clearly comments that soon followed your birth where people hoped that you’re skin would not be “too dark” and that your hair would not be “bad.”

I, immediately, quieted those comments – forbade them out right – explained over and over again that there was no such thing as skin too dark or bad hair.

And, I wonder, will you, some day, have to have those same conversations, fight the same battles that brown people have been for so many decades, or will you live to experience a better, more humane world?

I pray that I raise you to have the strength to educate others when the moments come.

No matter what a soul ever says – know that you are beautiful. You are chosen by the Most High to exist. You are the essence of life.

You are my love, always, and eternal.

Together, we will work to make this world a better place if only by expressing the purity of love that is shared between a mother and her daughter.

Remember always,
Mami Loves You

p.s. I will work every day of my life to ensure that the world you inherit is better than the one we have, today.

—-
About this Series:

In honor of Latino Heritage Month, I will write 30 letters for 30 days to my beautiful daughter. This series is entitled, Mami Loves You. In these letters, I will tell her about the world around her, and reflect on her development.

Each Tuesday and Thursday, I will honor a Latina woman that I believe is a great role model for my daughter to admire. Through these letters, I pay homage to my role as a mother, and I will teach my daughter about one of the cultures that has birthed her.

To Subscribe to the series Mami Loves You, follow the link: http://mamilovesyou.com/ and fill out the form.

Last Chance for YOU to enter this Book Giveaway

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Here’s your chance to win a #FREE copy of my #book!!

Share this image to your social media networks and make sure to tag Organic Melinda (@organicmelinda #organicmelinda).

Please, link to my website: http://www.organicmelinda.com

where you can find FREE information on #organic,#nongmo, #vegan living and #tips on how to #save #money and #balance your #home and #family #life.

Entries will be accepted until Monday, September 16.

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Confronting Mommy Guilt

I never really felt loved as a child.  Perhaps, this is the sentiment of many middle children – the older kid gets the attention, and when it’s your turn, another kid is born.

As excited as I was to be a big sister when my baby brother was born, I felt cheated  by the lack of attention my mother was able to afford me.

Naturally, then, when my daughter was born, I, often, feared that she would feel as unloved as I did growing up.

I felt like I had to spend every waking moment of my day by her side, and needing a break or leaving her with someone else was selfish.  After all, I birthed her. She was MY responsibility, right? And, I wanted her to feel loved!

Regardless of how far feminism has come, women are still the primary parents, in my experience, during the early stages of child development.  I’ve discussed many times why I believe this to be the case.

Some reasons are:

1. Many men have not been socialized to be caregivers.

2. Many men feel incompetent taking care of young children.

3. Some men just feel like it’s the mother’s responsibility.

4. Some men aren’t present.

5. Even when the dad is present and wants to help, the baby wants mommy, anyways.

All of the reading and mommy blogs do not prepare you for the transition from living as an individual to having a small human being be 100% reliant on you for everything at ALL times of the day.

What does this really mean?

Being a mom is HARD, and it’s a lot of work.

The days of peeing and/or pooping in peace are long gone. Much of your spontaneity is lost, and your sense of adventure is limited by your need to always be prepared to meet the needs/demands of your baby.

Naturally, after 16 months of nonstop, around the clock baby time, I began to feel worn out.

Well, let me back up a little bit.  It was not being a mom that made me feel worn out. It was juggling starting my own business (Organic Melinda), writing and editing L.I.V².E.,  marketing, applying to PhD programs, and learning that I had spinal injuries ON TOP of being a mom that overwhelmed me.

So, a few days ago, after not sleeping for a few weeks to get the book together, I had a little break down.  I had to work around the clock and through the baby’s naps and sleep time to complete the project. I mean, seriously,  I am blogging now at 5:30 a.m. while my daughter plays with my hair to soothe herself back to sleep.

I called my sister crying because I, actually, (God Forbid) doubted my decision to be a mother for a moment.

I had a particularly rough day.

My daughter’s father was out the entire day, and I was trying to listen in on a workshop about how to better build an internet company.  At the same time, I was communicating with people about how we could market L.I.V².E.and my daughter was having one of her “mommy hold me all day, every day” moments.

So, there I was, sitting on a computer chair, listening to a talk, emailing, and I had my daughter in my arms.

On top of all of that, I discovered that I have nerve damage in my left arm a couple of weeks ago, which sucks doubly, because I am left-handed.  I had received physical therapy in my arm to start healing the nerve damage.

And, of course, my daughter in all of her toddler glory decided that she did not want to lean against my chest. NOPE. She was going to put all of her body weight on my left arm, which was causing me excruciating pain.

So, once again – I was sitting at my computer desk, listening to a chat on web marketing, sending emails, and holding my daughter who was causing me a ton of pain.

I tried to reposition her like 20 times, before I just got pissed off, and I put her on the floor.

She was letting out her banshee, toddler, how dare you not hold me screams.  Just non-stop, and the exhausted human side of me just wanted to scream, SHUT THE EFF UP!

But, I didn’t.

Instead, I took out my frustration on the lecture by turning it off and cried with her. Begging her to please just stop crying.

Mommy is trying to hold you, babeh, but you’re causing mommy a lot of pain. Just calm down, my love. Please. I beg you. You are hurting momma, and that’s not nice. 

I mean,  there I was trying to rationalize with a 17 month old begging her to please relax while I, myself, was crying.

That’s what predated the call to my sister.

Please, take this kid. I cannot take it any more. Right now, I wish I had an….

What a shitty thing to say about the one person who I love most in the entire world.

I cannot even type it out, because I know that I do not feel that way. I know that while I advise women to please take their “me” time and not try to be a super hero, I was still trying to be one myself.

I cracked, and I felt and still feel like shit about the horrible thing that I said.

And, so, here I am blogging about it, because I know I am not the only woman who has said some shitty, shitty comment in a moment of utter and complete stress.

I knew my sister probably judged me, and thought I was a total bitch for my comment.

But, let’s be honest – being a working mom is really fugging hard.

I, literally, forwent showers last week, just because I couldn’t get to certain tasks and I would just pass out on the couch.

Following the terrible statement and the deep feeling of shame and guilt that I could ever utter such a thing about my daughter, who I love more than life, I realized that I really just needed to relax.

I took too much on too fast, due to the urgency of our financial situation and the fact that we are on the verge of homelessness.

I have to build Organic Melinda. I have to find a way to make the money that I need for my security deposit and to make sure we have a decent apartment to live in.

So, the solution – stop trying to do everything myself ALL at once. It’s not going to happen. I am just going to be frustrated, and my beautiful daughter is going to pick up on my energy and be antsy, too, which is probably why she wanted me to hold her nonstop all week.

Now, I am making sure to implement some rules for myself to ensure that I never utter a phrase like that, again.

1. Stop trying to do it all AT THE SAME TIME.

2. Ask for help.

3. It’s okay to cry.

4. Ask for help.

5. Put the work away and spend real quality time with my baby.

6. Ask for more help.

7. Create a work day for myself – no more around the clock tweeting, instagraming, etc.

8. Have faith.

9. Ask for help, again.

10. It’s okay to choose sleep when the only options are sleep or shower.

11. Talk to friends and family when frustrated.

12. It’s okay to need a break from your baby – I actually need one to regroup.

13. Remember that I am building Organic Melinda to secure our financial future.

14. Put the damn phone/computer down for a few hours a day.

15. I will not accomplish EVERYTHING, today.

I have to forgive myself for my flaws, and stop putting so much pressure on myself.  I’ve begun by asking my mother to baby sit my daughter so that I can have some “me” time, which is a super big step for me.

I am setting up 1 item I want to accomplish for my business each day and working exclusively on that item.

Today, I put away the cell phone and computer and spent quality time with my daughter. Just the two of us – no interruptions.  It resulted in us passing out on the couch together.

I asked my mom to baby sit for a couple of hours and I went to the gym.

The bottom line is that if you are exhausted and overwhelmed, you’re probably not going to be in the right state of mind to provide for your child’s needs.

I am giving myself permission to take a break from my mommy duties when I need it.

I am forgiving myself for that horrible moment and that horrible feeling and that horrible statement.

I am taking it one day at a time, one task at a time, one moment at a time.

My daughter will be a healthy, happy human being IF I am a healthy and happy mother.

So, say fuck it to the mommy guilt.

Go for a walk, and BREATHE.