Being A Black Mother in 2020

Hi there! Thank you so much for checking out my blog. Your support is greatly appreciated and believe me I do not take it for granted. This post does contain product that I’ve received for free but it does not change how I feel about them. All opinions expressed are simply and honestly my own.

I was once asked to write about what it’s like being a Black mom. At first, I wasn’t ready to dismiss this as a topic because I just didn’t want to face these issues, in all honesty. I thought no one would care about what I had to say on the matter.

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that my experience as a Black mother actually differs quite drastically, especially when compared to my Caucasian counterparts. As a Black mom, a first generation Haitian, living in a Eurocentric based society built off of systemic racism, there are just certain things that Black moms have to do differently or approach differently for the well-being of their children.

Disclaimer: This is not an anti-white blog posts, I am just listing my experiences as a Black. I would like to add that I am very proud of being a woman, being Black and being a mother. I wouldn’t change any of this for anything in the world.

For starters, here a list of things I heard growing up. Usually, these would be a series of conversation starters that would be followed by a lecture or a series of instruction.

  1. “You have to work twice as hard to make it in the world…”
  2. “If the police approach you…”
  3. “Some people won’t like you because of the colour of your skin…”
  4. “Your body is perfect just the way it is…”
  5. “Driving While Black”
  6. “You are not allowed to be angry”
  7. “No matter how successful, you will be seen as a threat…”
  8. “Black fathers do exists…”
  9. “Be careful if you speak out, you will be seen as aggressive…”
  10. “Not all of your Caucasian friends are anti-racist…”

These are moments that I have experienced that I know I will have to prepare my children for. There will always be a reason for people to be evil. I do believe in a better tomorrow. I am hopeful but I am also very cautious. After all, I am a Black mom.

Most mothers that I know, are naturally protective of their young. It’s instinct. It’s primal. It’s biological. Often times, as moms, we do everything we can to ensure that our children are well cared for and have all the tools necessary to thrive in this world. Unfortunately, for us BIPOC it involves having the race talk way younger than we would. It means having to explain to them that no matter how nice, polite or pleasant they are they will be seen as a threat. Especially, if they are males.

I don’t want to be that helicopter parent that is constantly hovering her children. But based on the media coverage of the brutalization and blatant murder of our own, I am becoming more and more skeptical. Things are starting to make sense and I am becoming aware that as adults we have a choice to make. At times, speaking up in the workplace as a BIPOC is seen as being hostile and creating a toxic work environment.

I can remember the countless times that my body was sexualized before I even knew what that meant. If I was picked on I had to just deal with it, because being called a racial slur was “kids being kids”. My hair had to be “presentable”. The police isn’t our “friend” and it’s better just to avoid them all together. Being gaslighted is a normality that I didn’t realize was abnormal until recently.

This is NOT the world I want my kids to grow up in.

They deserve better. So much better. That is why I’ve decided to become a stay at home mom. I wanted to teach them my way. I wanted my daughters to have the space to be exactly who they are meant to be. They can be fearless leaders and speak their minds with respect and understanding. They are safe at home to be themselves and not just another minority.

They can learn their history as it was and not the white washed or nitpicked version of whatever the world says it is. Furthermore if we don’t know where we’ve been, we won’t know where we’re going.

I truly believe that if I want to see the change, then change must start at home. In short, being a Black mom is like being a mom. A mom who is a Black woman who has faced prejudice at school and in the workplace. A mom who has experienced hate before she could even introduce herself. A mom who’s had to bite her tongue to preserve her child’s innocence. A mom who’s tired of seeing another hashtag pop up on her timeline, knowing that one day in the near future I will have to explain what those names mean. A mom, who’s had to accept disrespect from others to avoid creating a “toxic” work environment or to keep her job. A mom who’s been told to go back where she came from, got slapped in the face and that day was ready to lose her job. I know I will have those conversations with my girls. What will I tell them? I don’t know.

That’s my experience as a Black mom.



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Surviving Homeschool…the First Week

Hi there! Thank you so much for checking out my blog today. I really appreciate your support and believe me, I am really grateful you took the time out to read this blog. Some of the products displayed on this blog have been gifted to me and this post may contain affiliate. If you choose to buy from these links you won’t pay extra, you fact you may even save money. I’ll get a commission which will keep this blog going. However, all opinions expressed are completely my own.

Like most families, it was the beginning of school in my house. Unlike most families, I started school with my three year old daughter. I knew that I wanted to homeschool from the moment she was born. Throughout the years, I saw my little one become a sponge when it came to retaining information. By the time, she was a year old she knew that if she yelled at me she had my attention. By 18 months old, she could say her body parts. By, 2 she was potty trained and knew her alphabets, could make the phonetic sounds they produced and could count to ten and hold a conversation. Everywhere, we went people were amazed at how much she knew and could express. I wish I could take all the credit but between Cocomelon, Super Simple Songs, The Backyardigans, Alphablocks and pretty much whatever I could find on YouTube to keep her occupied when I needed a moment, she turned out all right. So I thought, why not further feed her thirst for knowledge and start homeschooling her now?

I wish I had known what I was in for.

As you know, it’s only been a week but I just want to say for the record PAY THESE TEACHERS WHAT THEY ARE WORTH!!!

We started our sessions, the Tuesday morning after Labour Day, I wanted us to have a full “school in session” kind of vibe. In all honesty, all she saw was a colourful notebook, some crayons and an overly excited mom…it was probably the coffee mixed with the nerves. I thought it’d be best to start with some alphabet tracing. Since she knew her alphabets it wouldn’t be hard to make that connection, right? My daughter is a genius who is capable of mastering all information within a matter of minutes, right?Wrong!

I don’t know what I was thinking placing such high expectations on my three year old daughter. I will spare you the nightmare. Let’s just say, my once energetic child who would rather do anything than take a nap was actually looking forward to taking a nap. She hated it every minute of alphabet tracing. I was getting frustrated because she wasn’t doing it “right” and she was frustrated and began to shut down. Then I felt like a jerk but I just wanted her to get it right…it was a nightmare. Looking back on it, I really screwed up her first two days and I wasn’t feeling confident in my ability to teach my daughter anything at this point. I just felt like a bum. In a few minutes, I sucked the excitement out of learning.

So I had a teacher’s meeting with myself. The first one of the year. I decided to set some rules that I had to abide by. I knew that if I could do that, we both would be better off. The goal isn’t just to get her to learn but to inspire to enjoy learning. What’s the point of learning at home if it sucks? I knew that I had to learn the way to teach her. She doesn’t learn like me, so to expect that out of a toddler who loves to have fun is ridiculous. I mean we only look alike, aside from that we are two very completely different beings. I wrote down the rules and here they are.

  1. Keep each lesson at a maximum of 10 minutes
  2. Once she’s done, move on. Come back to it, tomorrow
  3. Learn her “learning style”. Turns out, she loves to colour! Use that.
  4. Positive affirmation is key
  5. Let her lead.

I’ve been doing this ever since. Would you believe that we’ve been able to get through every lesson? She’s been learning how to write the alphabets a lot more quickly as well as the numbers. We’ve been able to even do some math problems, which is her favourite subject. I think it’s mostly because she gets to colour.

We’ve even added some flash cards into the mix to help her get more familiar with sight words. She absolutely loves the flash cards. Everyday we start our lesson with the flash cards. I usually do a game of sorts with her and the best part of it is, I see the spark return as she is soaking all this information.

On most nights, it’s not uncommon to see my three year old show her father what new word she’s learned, or what sight word she can now write on her own. She loves hearing his praises of her smart she is. At times, she will even pretend that she’s a teacher. It’s really an awesome feeling to know that I can impact my daughter in a way that will ultimately set her for success.

So to all the parents out there, I’m super proud of you for the job you are doing. This year has been challenging and whether you are sending your kids back to school or keeping them at home, I just want you to know that I see you and that I appreciate you doing what’s best for your family. We’re all in this together!

Five Ways To Put Your Best Face Forward

Hi there! Thank you so much for checking out my blog. Just to let you know I am not a dermatologist, esthetician nor am I, a skin care specialist. I am just a mom of who had problematic skin for the majority of my life and has now figured out a way to keep my skin looking pretty.

FYI, some of the products featured on this post have been gifted to me. However, all opinions are strictly my own.

Ever since, I entered puberty my face and I have been at war. Between the targeted acne commercial and the ill council of my elders I entered a battle I had no way of winning. I had oily skin, acne and nobody knew what to do to help. As I got older, I took control of my health and began to find inexpensive ways to restore on my chaotic skin.

Skin Care Regimen

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First I needed a skin care regimen that actually would benefit my skin and my skin alone. Those I was living with, as a teenager, did not have the expertise to diagnose my skin. Also, it helps to be able to afford what goes on your skin.

Despite my oily skin, soaps were too harsh and the body creams were too heavy on my already battered skin. That’s when I started experimenting with different skin care lines until I found the right regimen for me.

Exercise

It goes without saying that nothing beats having your body move, getting the blood pumping and the endorphins flowing. Did you know that exercise keeps your skin looking amazing? By exercising you are forcing your blood to carry oxygen  and nutrients everywhere in your body including your skin. According to webmd.com, exercise also is a great way to release stress. Stress has been known to cause unnecessary visitors to appear on the skin. Those unnecessary visitors are acne. 

So if you needed another reason to start exercising, how about clear skin?

Healthy Eating

We’ve all heard about how junk food can negatively impact the health of our skin, turns out it’s not an old wive’s tales. There’s actually truth to it.

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Healthline states that adding foods that are high in fatty acids you can help your body create collage which decreases the appearance of wrinkles. So go ahead and order that avocado on toast, your skin will thank you.

Vitamins

If you’re like me, you probably find yourself ordering out a lot, or snacking on chips and cookies more than you’d like to. So healthy eating may not be at the top of your list. To remedy that, I personally supplement with vitamins.

Lately, I’ve been indulging myself to the Neocell Beauty Bursts. They taste so good and they provide my body with collagen. A protein that is essential in the maintenance of my hair, skin and nails. Believe me, after birthing two babies I need all the help I can get.

Sleep

Beauty sleep is an actual thing and we all need it. According to Healthline, lack of sleep causes an increase in cortisol. If cortisol sounds familiar it’s because it’s been in so many fat reducing supplement commercials, which I’m sure you’ve seen. Cortisol is a stress hormone and too much of it can cause acne. It can also break down the collagen and hyaluronic acid in the skin. Collagen and hyaluronic acid are our skin friends and without them, our skin loses it’s pretty.

Final Thoughts

Maybe your skin care remedy is just a tweak in your daily routine or your lifestyle. Beauty is deeper than skin, but that doesn’t mean you should disregard. Put your best face forward, you totally deserve it.

What’s been the one thing you’ve done that has changed your skin for the better?

5 Ways To Know If It’s Worth Your Coin

Hey there! Thank you so much for checking out my blog. I really appreciate your support. If you do not already know, my name is Sandy Esprit and I’m here to help you keep your coin. All opinions expressed are completely my own, my hope is that you get the information you need to equip you the next time you find yourself  mindlessly scrolling and buying yourself so much hair products you end up with a small beauty supply store in your bathroom cabinet. Girl, you know you have a problem…but I’m not here to judge, lol. Besides, you want to enjoy the products you buy, right? 

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Let’s get into it. 

Check the reviews

This is something every shopper should be doing. Just because your favourite influencer recommended it doesn’t mean that the general consensus agrees. Online reviews are thoughts and opinions expressed by the general public for better-ing ourselves…and investing in proper hair care. 

Now mind you this is not foolproof plan because every once in a while you’ll get a product that fits your personal needs that most people absolutely hate. Also if the product is new, you may get people using the product improperly. But once the product has been on the market for a minute, you can pretty much trust what’s out there. 

Research The Ingredients

inf_15444585802852122146018.jpgIf you want to know the quality of the product, then the ingredients will tell you everything you need to know about it. What the product is made of will most likely tell you how your hair will react to it. You never want to put something on your hair that will flake, be hard to absorb into the hair cuticles and/or give you false hope. For example, a hair product may promise to heal your deep fried (heavily damaged) ends, it’s a lie. Once your hair is damaged, it’s time for a cut. No matter of product can change that. 

How Fast Do You Empty The Bottle

20181022_1144561047272849.jpgThis is something I recently came to realization of. I bought this leave in conditioner and I really wanted to like it. I mean one of my favourite youtuber was behind it. It smelled amazing. The price was amazing for the amount given. The texture was light and fluffy. The packaging was user friendly. But there was one problem. I needed so much product to get the result I wanted to see in my hair. I was pumping away like an addict. Only when the bottle was empty did I realize that all that money could have been spent elsewhere. I went through the product like water. I’m still upset about it. 

Do Professionals Use It

20180209_1418401761445661.jpgThis one should be a dead giveaway. Professional hairstylist use quality products in order to provide quality service. If you trust a professional (I mean one that operates out of a salon and not your cousin’s bathtub) to do your hair, you trust the products they use. There is a reason why they use these products on your hair. However, if they won’t even touch the product with a 10 foot pole, chances are their reasons are valid. If they can’t make it work, then believe me you won’t be able to either. 

Does It Do What It Says

I know I’m probably preaching to the choir but it must be stated. If it doesn’t do what it says then you wasted your money. Mind you, you have to use the product as intended, the way the instructions say to use it. You wouldn’t expect a conditioner to act as a shampoo, right? You would expect a shampoo to act as a shampoo. If my shampoo leaves my hair dirtier than the way I started, then we have a problem. Same with a leave in conditioner. Many products claim to be really moisturizing but they are not. Sometimes they claim to be able to heal all damages due to a special ingredient, chances are you are getting duped. Make sure it does, what it says it will do. Otherwise, you are getting hustled out of your money. 

 

I hope this was helpful. Let me know if you have ways of securing your bag and keeping your coin in it. 

 

 

Easy DIY Fuschia Lip Colour

Hi there! Thank you so much for checking my blog. Your support is appreciated and I’m so glad you’re here. So many times I’m just in my bathroom experimenting with make up and I love it. I don’t always get the chance to do it because of my precious daughters’ need my attention but when I get the chance, I turn up and play with the colours I got. Just so you know, all opinions expressed are completely my own. Nobody is paying me to use their products are to talk about them. I bought it, I love it, I use it.

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#dontrushchallenge look

Why create your own lip colour?

I don’t know about you but I don’t always want to go out and buy a new lipstick simply because I need a colour that moment. In fact, I’m naturally a stingy person so I don’t like spending money. I’d rather invest creatively where my imagination can bring about something different. Turns out it’s actually easier to do than I ever thought.

The way I create a lip colour is very similar to highlighting and contouring my face. I prep my lip with a tint, I apply a base, I contour and then I highlight. I rub my lips and voila!

The Process

Below I created a video to better explain the way that I create this custom colour.

https://www.instagram.com/tv/CB2zu88HYow/?igshid=1i1k8c8zz0dvc

The lipsticks used in this video are

  • Maybelline Bold Colorsational Midnight Blue 840,
  • NYX Cosmetic Butter lipstick Licorice,
  • Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm Sultry 225,
  • Colorpop Ultra Matte liquid lipstick Flurries and
  • Manna Kadar liquid lipstick Lucky.

The key is go in light and add as needed. Otherwise, it’ll end up all over your teeth.

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I hope this video was helpful. What custom make up have you been experimenting with lately?

DIY Bath time PlayDough

Hey there! Thank you so much for checking my blog. Your support and your attention is greatly appreciated. Just so you know, this post is not sponsored in any way and all opinions expressed are strictly my own.
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Bath Time Chronicles

In our household, bath time can be a very situation. That’s because my daughter knows that bath time leads to bedtime and bedtime…well bedtime is the opposite of fun. 

Ever since the parks were shut down, my daughter’s main source of fun has been confined to indoors. I had to since, appeal to her creative and boy does she have one. Recently my husband bought playdough but that dried out so, she’s been bored ever since. She always asks for it so I took matters into my own hands. 

PlayDough Search

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I knew that many other moms were far more creative than me and if I could alleviate my daughter’s creative itch than I would do it. After searching on Pinterest for DIY playdough, I found this super easy DIY playdough that my kid could use in her bath. 

Using the DIY Playdough Soap Recipe from Parenting Chaos, I found it super easy to follow. The best part is that there is room for error. You don’t need to worry about ruining a batch or losing a batch. The best part is that the recipe allows for a big batch to be made so you can store some for a later use. 

The Verdict

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Based on that smile you can see that she absolutely loves her playdough. She gets to roll it, pat it, fold and mold it according to her liking. She loves playing with it at the kitchen table while watching her YouTube videos. Every once in a while I am forced to pretend eat a slice of pink “cake” or a pink and red “hamburger”. 

What she loves most is that she can play with it in the bath tub. Eventually, the playdough falls apart in the tub as it foams up but it still retain it’s playdough texture. It foams up when introduced to water. 

Final Thoughts

Bathroom Cabinet Makeover

Hey there! Thanks for checking out my blog. I really having you here and your support (and attention) is greatly appreciated. Please note that this post is not sponsored by any of the products featured here and all opinions expressed are strictly my own. .

It was bad…

For those of you who follow me on Instagram (@iamsandyesprit for those of you don’t but want to follow me), you know that I recently organized my bathroom. They were in dire need of help. If you need the proof, see for yourself.

As you can see everything was everywhere. There was a vague form of organization but it looked more like organized chaos in a sea of an uncontrollable need to just erupt in careless. 

It was bad. I knew and something had to give. Quickly. 

Time to shop…

So I went straight to Amazon. I had an idea of what I wanted my bathroom cabinet to look like. I was inspired after seeing so many fellow influencer re-organizing their closet space. 

I needed to have something to store my make up, my hair products, my oral care products and whatever else I would find in that mess that I’d forgotten about. I searched drawers on Amazon and this came up, ZODDLE. In all honesty, I probably should’ve read the descriptions more carefully. 

I expected a stackable drawer set, that would pull out at the front. These are stackable but they actually pull down from the front. In fact they are not drawers, they are boxes meant to store shoes. But what the hay? I bought them and here they were. 

The Set Up

Now, setting up the first one was not easy. The instructions are pretty easy to follow, I mean if you can handle Ikea instructions, this will be a piece of cake. But still, dealing with the unfolding and setting up the box was a pain. Once I got the hang of it, the rest was easy peasy. 

Believe me, there was so many stuff in there. So with the help of my three year old, we cleared out the cabinets. It took almost three hours to have the cabinets cleaned out and organized. I had to throw out so many things; it’s crazy how many get lost in the midst of the mess. It was therapeutic to be able to sort through it all and have everything I need to made accessible again.  So with the help of my three year old, we cleared out the cabinets. 

The Verdict

If there ever was a time when I felt like I was adulting properly it’s now. Everything has it’s place and everything is easy to find. I have my side, my husband has his side (more like 2 shelves) and all is well with the world. 

My family has been able to sustain this and honestly I’m so proud of us. I don’t know how long it’ll stay this way but for now, everything is in place. 

Have you been reorganizing your space lately? Let me know what’s your process been like in the comments.