Vitamin C and SPF, Your Best Sun Defense

Hi there! I just want to start off by saying thank you so much for checking out my blog. You could be doing anything, anywhere but here you are with me and this brings me so much joy. Also, I have some affiliate links listed in this blog. If you so happen to want to try these items out and you purchase it from this blog you will be supporting me so that I can keep doing what I love.

With the warm weather around the corner, I know that we are looking to ditch our winter clothes and are ready to enjoy some much needed sunshine. At least, I know I am. I’m looking forward ditching my winter gear and breaking out my summer outfits. Of course, this means more of my skin will be showing and of course exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun. This is why my skin needs the best sun defense it can get.

Sun protection should always be a part of our skin care, no matter the season. However, in my personal experience I tend to see the most damage in the summer, when the sun is out for longer periods of time and I’m outside for longer periods of time. When I don’t provide my skin with the best sun defense, I risk the chance of creating irreversible damage to my skin. We should always be ready and willing to slather on that SPF in the morning and be ready to put it on again throughout the day. Truth of the matter is that SPF breaks down over time. In the summer it breaks down faster due to sweat, water activities, etc. We do so much outdoor activities that the thin layer of sun protection we offer our skin isn’t enough to last all day, unless we re-apply.

Black don’t crack?

As a Black woman, I was often taught that the amount of melanin present in my skin was enough protection. Unfortunately, that is not true. As much as being Black and being a woman is a privilege and a superpower, it is not enough to protect me from UVA and UVB rays. The damage that these two ultraviolet rays do can often lead to life threatening damage if not sun protection is not enforced quickly. The good news is that it’s never too late to get started.

But how damaging are UVA and UVB?

First off, let me start off by that there are many different types of ultraviolet rays. However, the ones you’ll hear the most about are UVA and UVB. That’s because they are the most damaging to the skin. Keep in mind that the skin is the largest organ in our body. It is one of the primary defense to our survival. When it repeatedly gets hit with UVA and UVB rays, our skin continuously becomes exposed to free radicals that cause oxidative stress to our skin.

UVA rays are known for playing a major role in causing skin cancers. They are able to penetrate the skin much more deeply and play a role in forming wrinkles in our skin prematurely via photoaging. They cause damage to collagen, elastin and other dermal structures. There are about 500 times more UVA rays than UVB rays.

UVB tend to play a role in creating sunburn. They also play a big role in causing skin cancers, including the one that shows up as a black mole on the skin, malignant melanoma.

Vitamin C+ SPF = Power Couple

This is why antioxidants are so important when it comes to sun care protection. SPF is great for offering your skin sun protection, but to really boost it’s efficacy, you may want to add an antioxidant. A topical antioxidant, such as Vitamin C is great for neutralizing free radicals that would otherwise wreak havoc on your skin. Vitamin C is also good for brightening the skin by blocking the abnormal production of pigmentation to even the skin tone and fade dark spots.

Your skin is only as strong as you allow it to be. A good SPF should be able to block the sun’s rays but it’s not 100 percent effective. Pairing it with a good topical Vitamin C serum is a great way to ensure that your skin stays as youthful as you feel.

Not all vitamin C serums are the same. In fact there at least 10 different topical vitamin C serum. Some are water based and some are not. Also based on your skin type and how sensitive your skin is you may find that your skin will become irritated by some serums. This is why it’s important to do your research and to listen to your skin. If you’re skin is irritated or shows sign of tenderness you will want to stop using it and go for a water soluble based vitamin C serum. You may find that you’ll want to use L-ascorbic acid as it is the most ready to use when applied to the skin. However, if you find that this version of vitamin C is too harsh on your skin, then magnesium ascorbyl phosphate may be the better option.

You will want to put your serum on first, let it dry then follow up with your moisturizer and then your SPF. Always apply your SPF last, no matter what your favourite influencer says. It will do wonders on your skin and you can safely enjoy the sun while you are out and about.

Few Things To Remember

When it comes to sun protection, here are a few things you want to remember.

  1. Always wear your SPF, LAST.
  2. Always re-apply your SPF, especially if you are out in the sun.
  3. Your SPF, should last 20 days if applied correctly.
  4. You do not have to settle for an SPF with a white cast. Nobody wants to look casket ready
  5. A vitamin C serum will boost your SPF protection
  6. A vitamin C serum is great for protecting your skin.
  7. Listen to your skin.

I hope that this blog was helpful. Let me know in the comment section below.

My toddler won’t sleep…

It’s currently 4:07 am and my one year old has been fighting sleep since 3:30 pm. Smack dab in the middle my sleep is interrupted by the constant whimpering that slowly progress into full blow cry. As I’m hearing this I’m debating whether or not I should get out of bed. I know she’s ok, she’s never really been much a sleeper.

She’s good with laying down in her crib but the falling asleep stage had always been a struggle. Even now as she lays her head on my chest, she’s moving and squirming, making herself comfortable as my heart heartbeat serves as an internal lullaby and my growing fetus is currently kicking around.

Her eyes are open but her gaze is sleepy. She’s tired. We both know it. So I do what any Christian mother would do. I pray. I pray and I speak over my child. I command the angels to watch over her. I pray hoping for the miracle that my baby needs to sleep through the night. I pray in Jesus’ name and I wait. I hear nothing. I get up and I leave. Once I close the door the whimpering return and I’m left feeling more hopeless than when I went in. This isn’t the first time and yet here we are still faced with this predicament.

Should I pick her up? Should I bring her into my bed? Did she have a nightmare? Is this a night tremor? Maybe she napped too long. Or maybe not enough. Let’s go through Google on this. I’m already awake so I might. Lord knows I need answers. Once again, equipped with my smartphone in my hand, I use my external brain to find an answer that will help. I’m sure there there’s a mommy blog out there with the answers I need.

Sure enough there is. In fact, there’s plenty. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one. Of course, the reasons of why this could be happening isn’t a clear cut diagnosis. Since toddlers lack the ability to accurately express themselves. To be honest, at 34 years of age I find myself at times unable to accurately express myself except through tears. So it makes sense that a child who’s been on this side of life for less than two years would also have this issue. It’s not her fault

The first thing that I notice is the need for patience and lots of it. All of this is normal and like most people, this too shall pass. I personally would hope that it could’ve passed months ago, but no. Once again, patience and grace is required for this challenge. This is not just her challenge, it’s ours. We both are tired and awake. We are both annoyed. We are both sleepy. Both of our sleep has been interrupted for some unknown reason. My otherwise happy toddler is now annoyed by this unforeseen grievance and is calling out for my help to navigate through this trying and at best find the solution to this.

Umm, I don’t know who lied to her but I don’t have the answers. At best I have Jesus and Google. All I can do is pray and assess. But here we are.

After debating the next best step I know what I don’t want to do. I don’t want to bring into my bed. I don’t feel like wrestling a toddler tonight. My body has been through enough and is still going through it. I don’t want to be up all night either. I don’t want to hear crying. So I do what I believe is the next best thing. I pick her and lay her in my chest. A mother’s hug is always welcomed. I let my chest be her pillow and allow her to feel safe by my presence. I don’t know if I’m doing it right. But I know that her breathing has slowed down. Her body. I longer tense nor stressed. She’s sleeping peacefully.

It’s moments like these I’m reminded of what patience, grace and love can accomplish. In the moments that it took for me to write this blog post, my little one has fallen asleep. As I’m get ready to bring her back to her bed, I’m aware that this same kind patience shown to be me I must show to myself. Life is a series of transitions. Some are annoying and some are great. How we handle them makes us great.

Naturalista’s guide to summer hair care

When I first started on my natural hair care journey, I did it to better educate myself on my hair so that I could be equipped to take care of my daughter’s hair. So many mistakes were made on my hair and ultimately left me feeling really self conscious when it comes to my hair and its presentation. Everyday, I see so many beautiful women rocking their crown of glory and I wanted to be able to do that for myself. I figured one day my daughter would want to do that for herself one day, I figured I should be the one to provide her that example. Or at least something to get her started.

Below is a list of tools or rules that I go by to ensure that my hair receives the proper care that it needs to retain it’s curl definition and length. I know that curl, texture, density, etc. plays a role on how we each attend to our tresses’ needs. However, I am a firm believer that one shouldn’t need to spend a whole lot of money or time to achieve your hair goals. When it comes to hair care you can have your cake and eat it too.

Use Salon Quality Hair Colour

There’s this whole notion about natural hair that colour will damage your curls which is false. Colour processing done incorrectly will damage your hair. There’s nothing more or less to it. If you want your hair to be coloured do it. Just make sure that it’s done right and that you follow up with the correct after care. Many salons have even created an at home curated hair colouring system because so many of their clientele could not physically attend their shops anymore.

Does it cost more than your average drugstore box colour? Of course, but it’s an investment at the end of the day. So don’t be afraid to invest in your hair.

Wash Your Hair

Healthy hair starts at the root and the root grows at the scalp. You have to wash your hair to ensure that your scalp is at its healthiest. Yes, this includes a shampoo, conditioner and the occasional deep conditioner. You never want to go more 14 days without washing your hair.

Nowadays there are so many different options to choose from. Here are some of my favourites.

Uncomplicate Your Hairstyle

Last but not least, it is really important to trust the process. Don’t be afraid to try something new. My usual go to hairstyle is a Wash and Go but a Flexi Rod set is also a great way to get to a different curl pattern by physically manipulating the hair strands without chemically altering or compromising your natural hair pattern this summer.

I hope this was helpful. Please let me know what are some of the tools you use to get your hair thriving during the summer?

Let’s connect. Check out my Link In Bio page to connect with me on my social media platform.

Fenty Beauty Eaze Drop Blurring Skin Tint Review

I think it goes without saying that I absolutely adore this foundation. It’s basically my personalized liquid melanin in a bottle. That may sound like an over exaggeration but that’s how I feel.

https://www.instagram.com/reel/CNVXiJGnSVL/?igshid=1rbk2m8taairv

If you want the tea your best bet is to check out my latest YouTube video.

https://youtu.be/UUfBKrL_5KI

Have you tried it? What do you think?

My Toxic Money Relationship

I never thought I had a toxic relationship with money. In fact, I thought I was doing very well with my money. I was paying my bills for the most part. I was working and doing everything I thought I was supposed to be doing. I wasn’t splurging. In fact, I always made an excuse as to why I couldn’t afford some of the things I saw my friends, who were making less money than me, afford. I thought I was living humbly and what a fraud that turned out to be.

When I think of my view of money there’s this acceptable amount that I’ve limited myself to. I’ve come to realize that there are certain childhood truths that I’ve come to believe and have been living off of them. Some of them have been told me and now deeply ingrained into my brain. Others, I’ve just translated into my own personal belief.

Old Truths

Some of these truths I believed and some of them I’m working on are:

  1. I lose more money than I make
  2. I’m not allowed to spend money on myself if there’s a cheaper alternative. Even if I like it.
  3. There’s not enough money for me.
  4. Everyone gets theirs first. I get mine last.
  5. I don’t deserve to live in luxury.

When it comes to money, for some it can be a taboo subject. You can either be great with it and love it or be terrible with it and hate it. Most of that comes from our childhood. As a child, I saw my mother struggle to make ends meet. She had three kids to clothe, feed and provide shelter for as well as for herself. I learned very early on that asking for things wasn’t always going to be met with acceptance. That resulted in me not wanting to ask for anything or feeling guilty for asking for anything. I often felt like a burden for liking things that were deemed expensive. It wasn’t long before I began looking at price tags before presenting a request to my mother. Anything I thought was too expensive, I would immediately put away and say I didn’t like it even though I wanted it for myself.

When did it start?

The foundation of my unhealthy perspective of money carried well over until now. Though I am glad to say that some things have changed. Luxury is no longer something I’m afraid to have for myself. Money doesn’t scare me anymore like it used to. I still get some anxiety when shopping for certain items especially when the price tag is higher than what I deem acceptable. The last time I splurged on myself I couldn’t even finish the purchase myself, I literally sent my husband in to make the purchase for me.

New Truths

I’m unlearning these practices in order to make room for the abundance that I’m believing and claiming for myself. In order to do that I must acknowledge these toxic traits. Once they are acknowledged I must be willing to do the work. Part of that work is to speak differently to myself when it comes to money. In fact, I must create new truths to override the ones that I’ve embedded into my financial genetic code. I have got to do some rewriting. But furthermore, I have to believe what I’m saying and be able to accept these truths for what they are.

For example:

  1. I make money in abundance so much so that my net worth will exceed my expenditures.
  2. A price tag does not determine how much I want or like an item.
  3. There’s ALWAYS enough money for me. ALWAYS!
  4. I am not exempt to receiving when it’s my time.
  5. Luxury is my birthright. I deserve to live in luxury.

Saying these statements out loud is the easy part, believing them is the hard part. I know this will take time but I’m confident that these little steps will allow me to live my life to its fullness. I’ve been working on this for a while and so far I’ve been able to successfully pay a student debt. I’ve still got more to do, but there’s no sense of dread anymore. I’m confident that tomorrow will look better than today.

Not bad for a girl who’s been homeless three times, huh?

Bittersweet Mother’s Day

This year is bittersweet. I live in Ontario where we seeming to be in a never ending lockdown. It’s taking a toll on me mentally and in a way that I wasn’t prepared for. I have exasperated all of my self care arsenal and after the bomb has gone off I’m left cleaning up my own mess.

Mother’s Day has been awkward for me. From the moment that I gave birth to my firstborn and now four years later, two kids later and three pregnancies later I find it really hard to celebrate. It’s like a birthday that everyone forgets about until the day off. The worst part is my birthday is often forgotten to begin with. Those who remember Mother’s Day are usually the ones old enough to do for themselves or to remind their father to do something for their mother. My kids are still very young. I should be the one reminding them of what today means to me but to be honest I don’t know what it means to do.

In the past, I’ve tried to celebrate Mother’s Day with my own mom and it wasn’t always received well. I remember when I was told, “If you loved me you would obey me. You would do your chores. That’s love.” That stayed with me. I knew that I could never measure up to that standard because everyday there was something I couldn’t do.

I guess it started from there. Now I’ve got my own and I wish it wasn’t so. I see mothers being celebrated by their husbands and children. Some are going away on trips and receiving lavish gifts. Meanwhile, I’m in the middle of potty training a very strong willed 20 month old and dealing with a four year old with enough sass to punch every nerve in my body. There’s a growing pile of laundry that needs to be addressed before I run out of sweat suits and underwear. There’s a stain in the kitchen floor that been bothering me for days. There’s feeling of missing out as I see mothers enjoying wine while I’ve got an unborn treating my uterus like a gymnasium.

I could say I’m tired but that would be understatement. In all honesty, I don’t know what I am anymore. Is it exhaustion? Is it tired? Is it depression? Is it failure? Is it heaviness? Sadness? Hormones? I don’t know.

If you’re in the same boat as me this post is for you. I see you. We’re carrying the mental and spiritual load of our loved ones so they can keep smiling and they feel loved. We want them to be remembered to feel validated at the cost of our existence. We want to give them an experience contrary to the experience that we are living. We are doing our best in a world that continues to tell us that we are coming up short. The nights are longs. The sleep is restless. We struggle to make sense of what is happening based on our past experiences. We want to show up and to serve our loved ones well. We’re seeking help without being a burden to those who love us and those we love. We want to be seen. We want to be validated. We want to live in every sense of the word without reservations.

This post is for you. You wake up everyday hoping that this is the day everything will fall into place. You hope that your past will be contradictory to your future. You wake up hoping to see your prayers answered without something bad happening alongside the good. You want to enjoy today because it’s precious. You hope today is different from yesterday.

This day is for you. There’s enough room for you this Mother’s Day. There’s enough room to laugh, to cry, to enjoy and to mourn. There’s enough room to seek help, to find peace and have rest. This Mother’s Day is for you too. It’s not exclusive for the Instagram mom who’s got it all together. This Mother’s Day is not exclusive to the rich and wealthy. It’s for the struggling, it’s for the fighters who are serving through the pain and tears. If you haven’t slept in years or maybe you do sleep soundly, this day is for you. If you’ve made some bad choices, this Mother’s Day is for you. If no one in your family remembers to celebrate you, this day is for you too. I celebrate you.

I celebrate me. It won’t look like what I post online. I don’t know if I’ll put on some make up. I’m sure I’ll be chasing my toddler around with the miniature potty trying to avoid as many spills as possible. Of course, unsuccessfully. I’ll be doing the laundry since it can’t be done by itself. I’ll be receiving kisses and hugs as a form of love. I know I’ll get lots of “Happy Mother’s Day!” from strangers and loved ones alike. This day won’t be memorable for me. But I see me. I see my work and I know my worth.

This day is for me too.

Show up And Serve

I woke up this morning and I was absolutely miserable. I mean, literally woke up ready to cry my eyes out. I didn’t get a chance to process my emotions as I was trying to understand how I could wake up from my sleep and still feel like I haven’t slept at all. Those are the worst kinds of sleep. Needless to say I was exhausted physically. As I was contemplating getting out of bed and justifying delaying my morning routine while everyone was still sleeping, I heard my youngest call out to her father. He was just about ready to go to work. Of course, I got up, got her and brought her to my bed. Sometimes, I can get her to lay down with me for a while, while I gather my thoughts together.

It wasn’t long before my husband came into the room and needed me to take care of something that needed my immediate attention. This is not the way I wanted to begin my morning. I just needed a moment to gather my thoughts. It was being taken from me, moment by moment. Piece by piece. With my head on my pillow, I placed my arm over my eyes, avoiding the emotional flood that was about to hit me. I knew it was coming. All the alarm bells were going off and I couldn’t evacuate.

Is there anything I could have done?

As I laid there, all I did was try to find the missing link. I needed to find the culprit. I knew it was me. I knew that I was stressed about things I couldn’t control. But, there’s this innate desire in me to fix all that is broken. My online presence was suffering and all I could do was see my shortcomings. Could I have done anything differently? I wasn’t making any money. All these prospects were drying up. I was becoming as irrelevant as I had believed myself to be. Maybe I had been over confident, I overshot my shot. I should have just done what always works, that is being afraid and running away.

Truth is, I don’t want to go back to the way things were. There’s nothing wrong with being working a 9-5 but it’s not for me. I can’t do it. I can’t work for someone else making enough money to pay half of bills. I can’t go back to spending my energy being someone other than me for majority of the time. I am not that person. I don’t want to be successfully broke. I don’t want to update my resume in hopes that some government worker is going to take pity on the fact that I’m a minority who is also bilingual. Mind you that hasn’t worked either.

What to do?

Someone commented on a post I made and what they said resonated with me.

“We don’t give up. We keep showing up and eventually things will get better.”

You know what? She’s right. I don’t know what will happen in a month or two. All I have is the last four months to go on. I know something’s got to change and it will. I know it won’t happen overnight and I still have a lot of learning. There are still some major life transitioning phases that I will have to navigate. I can only my best with what I have. My only hope is that it’s enough.

We need to be inspired effectually and effectively. You and I both know that this world is far from perfect. For years, we’ve been told what is and is not acceptable by people who have the funds to sell their message. We’ve bought their message and believe their story to only find out that it was a lie all along. This is not the kind of message I want my daughters to believe.

I started this to prove to myself that I have what it takes to be the woman that my children can be proud to call their mother. But most importantly, I need to prove to myself that I am not wasted potential. I am not just an influencer or that girl who used to be smart. I am not just a housewife that is dependent on her husband for a paycheck. I am not a poser on the ‘gram trying to get like and comments. I am more than that.

I am a living and breathing testimony that anything can happen if you’re willing to have faith and put in the work. I have seen domestic abuse first hand. I know what it’s like to be homeless. I know what it’s like to be an undocumented immigrant. I know what it’s like to feel rejected, to be told that your feelings are invalid. I know to be knocked off a pedestal that was build for you by those who “believed” in you just to be knocked down and have your head hit the ground. The reason is I keep coming back is because I have a job to do.

I have to serve my community, near and far. I may not be remembered for my work but as long as my words inspire you to get up and keep fighting for your destiny then I have done my job. If you are able to relate to this and still choose to get up and keep going then I’m doing my job.

You are living breathing miracle. You have survived all the trauma and criticism you’ve faced. Your energy transcends your presence and continuously affect those you have encountered. Your smile is infectious and cause others to feel at peace. That is a blessing. Better yet, you are a blessing. You may not realize it but your time is coming. Whatever happens, show up and serve.

Protect Your Melanin

Hi there! I just want to start off by saying thank you so much for checking out my blog. You could be doing anything, anywhere but here you are with me and this brings me so much joy. Also, I have some affiliate links listed in this blog. If you so happen to want to try these items out and you purchase it from this blog you will be supporting me so that I can keep doing what I love.

Spring is here, which means summer is right around the corner. The sun is out and shining bright and after a long and cold winter, I know I’m ready to step out and enjoy that sunshine while ensuring that my body gets to produce vitamin D naturally. However, being outside doesn’t come cheap. I do what I have to do to protect my melanin.

What is Melanin?

Melanin is the pigment on your skin, hair and eyes. Melanin is made by melanocytes. In this blog, I’ll be talking about the melanin in your skin. Most of us see melanin simply as the colour of our skin, our complexion. Some produce more melanin than others which is why their skin colour will look darker than others.

Unfortunately, the production of melanin has been used often to justify unjust and unfair practices. For a long time it was believed that skin with lots of melanin production didn’t need sun protection. But clearly that is not true. It’s true that less cases of skin cancer are found on folks with more melanin it doesn’t make us invincible to UVA & UVB rays.

Perfect Protection

When we talk about skin protection the number one thing that will always come up is SPF. SPF has not always been so mainstream due to its lack of workability. It would often leave a white cast. It was hard to rub into the skin and if your had acne prone skin, then sunscreen would add to those breakouts.

Back in the day, finding a sunscreen that would actually do its job without compromising the way you looked was not happening. I have first hand experience.

However, now there are options commercially available. They also range in price from drug store to high end luxury price points. You can have a lotion or spray. There’s also options between physical and chemical. It’s all based on your skin needs and wants.

Is SPF The Only Way?

Short answer, no.

When we’re talking about skin protection there are many other factors to consider. The sun’s rays is one of them, but it’s not the only thing we need to protect it. Since our skin is the first line of defence against all potential toxin, then we must do our part to keep it in optimal working order.

One way of protecting our skin is to set up a good morning and nighttime routine. It doesn’t need to be extensive or complicated but it does need to get the job. Removing dirt, grimes, pollutants off of our skin consistently prevents the spread of bacteria into our bodies. So yes, being a good hygiene is important. It is also essential to provide our skin the necklace moisturizing and conditioning agents to maintain and/or repair the skin barrier.

If you’re on TikTok, I’m sure you’ve been tempted to shop for Chlorophyll. In all honesty, before TikTok, the only thing I knew was that it was useful for plants for them to undergo photosynthesis. For those of you who don’t remember high school biology, it’s the process for plants to get their energy.

Turns out eating your green leafy vegetables and drinking water will do wonders for your skin as well. At the end of the day no matter how impeccable your skin care routine is, nothing will replace what you eat and drink.

Skin Care Regimen

In order to secure the integrity of skin barrier, a good skin care regimen is essential. An effective morning and nighttime can do wonders for your skin. Overall, a good skin care routine will improve the appearance of your skin as well as minimize effects of damage that our skin is usually susceptible to.

Here are some of my favourite routine.

Vichy Skin Care Routine

Nighttime Routine

I hope you liked this post and that it was helpful. If so, leave a comment and check out another blog post.

My Life Changed When…

At the age of 30, my life completely changed. The doctor threw this living ball of flesh on my chest after labouring for over 40 hours and pushing for about 1 hour. The first thing she did was grip her hands on my hospital gown. She made a sound of some sort, so I held her close in an awkward, clumsy sort of way. She was so slimy. I whispered, “I got you, I got you.” And I kissed her forehead gently before the nurse took her away and began to wipe her down.

Every birth story is different. But nobody ever forgets their first.

My firstborn is four years old today. I’m proud of the human that has blessed my life. I wish I could take the credit for it all but I can’t. In fact, I don’t think I can take credit for much. I mean I did the best I could. Sure, Google became my best friend. I have had the support from my family and loved ones but really she was really good to me.

I don’t think I’ll ever be able to tell her exactly how I feel but I will try. Maybe one day she’ll see this post and gain understanding as to why I am the way I am, as her mother. As a human being.

My daughter taught me to love consistently and unconditionally. Love isn’t always based on feelings and emotions but it grows and thickens over time. It doesn’t judge based on action. It doesn’t seek revenge or self validation. It gives me grace to grow and provides me with the understanding that I need to grow. I’m not perfect and God knows I’m trying. But with love that’s enough. The act of showing up authentically and truthfully has been the biggest lesson she’s taught me. I am free to be myself and to be better than what I “know” or to do better than “how I was raised”.

In the four years that I have known this little humans, I have grown to be bolder with my voice. I speak up for them. I model the strong woman I aspire for her to be and it’s scary. I influence with my presence, no longer hiding in the background waiting for a seat at the table. Some nights I pray to God that I’m doing the right thing. Then I’ll see her trying to guide her little sister through breathing exercises as a way to de-escalate a potential tantrum with me having to prompt her. Or she’ll look at me when I’m not feeling my best and say the words to get me through the day. Then there are the times she’ll talk back to me and use my own sass against me. Yet still, I love her so much.

My life changed when she taught me to seek the best possible option. I used to settle for whatever I got. She changed that real quick. God used her arrival to reveal to me my identity in Him and in life. My eyes were opened as soon as she took her breath.

I took bold leaps of faith that I would’ve others been too afraid to take because of her. I do things that are unconventional and uncomfortable because I can. And I can because of her.

It’s funny how much wisdom is packed in the mind of a person with just fours worth of life experience. Yet, I find her to be the most challenging and most caring, loving teacher I’ve ever had.

I’m grateful for my life changing event. She’s my life changing event.Happy birthday Mae!

As A Mother…

In light of recent events, I’ve decided to not post my original blog and write this one instead. This may come off as a rant or maybe it will sound too naive but I feel the need to get this off of my chest. I hope this resonates with you and if it does, please comment below.

Here in Canada, it seems like we have it together. You won’t see much in the news regarding racism. In fact, if anything the racist stuff usually comes from the United States. Often, by the time we see it there is this underlying understanding that no matter how bad racism is here it’s not as bad as it is in the USA. Unfortunately, this false narrative has allowed for many ethnic groups to be denied the ability to speak on issues that not only affect our livelihood but our lives.

I am a mother to two girls and am currently pregnant with another. Pregnancy is not a joke. What’s worse is being dismissed by health care professionals when you bring up a symptoms or concerns. I don’t have all the answers so when I put my trust in the hands of the labour and delivery team, I expect them to followed through with professionalism and due diligence. I don’t expect to be gaslit, dismissed or forgotten. Having a child should be a joyous occasion not a reason for fear.

It’s bad enough that as a Black woman there’s always this thought in the back of my head that all it takes is for my family to be at the wrong place at the wrong for my world to fall apart. My husband goes to work each day and I know that God forbid, he meets someone who’s having “a bad day” not only could his life be endanger but more than likely, as Black people we may never see justice prevail.

It’s hard to be hopeful in a world where injustice seems to be the outcome in every situation where white supremacy has a chance to rule. Lady justice is supposed to be unbiased and colourblind in a world where all men are created equal. Yet, nothing has changed to restore faith in those we’ve elected as officials to render true and effective justice. Something as simple as holding murderers accountable once proven guilty is as laughable as a comedic skit. It’s gut wrenching watching another murdered Black man calling his mother just so she could hear his final breath.

How do I explain to my children that we are living in a world that will never see them as equals no matter how nice, how tough, how qualified, how assertive, how feminine or gracious they are? How do I tell them that this is what we as their parents settled for on their behalf? How do I tell my children that the melanin in their skin is a perpetual target on their backs? How do I tell my daughters that they will be sexualized and demonized because they are Black women? That they must maintain their “niceness” and “kindness” when the micro agressions come if they want to keep their jobs? If I give birth to a son, what then? The fact that he’s Black automatically makes him looks like any other “alleged suspect” if law say so.

Yet, through my faith I have learned to be hopeful when it’s darkest. I won’t lie it sure feels dark. We’re in the middle of pandemic. Ontario is in the midst of its third lockdown. I don’t know what my delivery plan will look like when I give birth. I’m afraid. I’m afraid for my kids and my unborn child. I know that my kids will be safe but I won’t be with them. This will be the first time since I’ve had them that they won’t be with either my husband and myself, and I’m scared.

These are the moments that nobody warned me about. Nobody told me how scary motherhood could be. Nobody told me how terrifying being a Black mother could be. I’m afraid for their present and their future. I know how the system works and that’s why I get up every day and work my butt off.

I want them to know the privilege of living. I want to know that they are safe. I want them to believe that they can be anything they want to be. There’s no limit, no matter how hard the media tries to sell this fear, they need to know that it’s not true.

I don’t do it for myself. I do it for them.