My breastfeeding journey continues

Hey there! I’m back. I’m hoping that I will be able to continue updating you on my motherhood journey. In honour of Black Breastfeeding Week I’ve decided to share my breastfeeding journey with you.

For those of you who don’t know I gave birth to my third born daughter two weeks ago. It’s been a journey but we are all doing well. I’m learning (again) to be flexible with myself and my family but it’s not easy. I like things a certain way and at times it just feels like everything is falling on me. All because if I don’t do it, it most likely will not get done in a time efficient manner that could’ve been invested in other projects and tasks that would greatly help me be a better mother and wife but alas here we are…transitioning.

One thing I am grateful that doesn’t need much transitioning however is breastfeeding. I am grateful that my daughter was able to latch within an hour of her birth. We got to do skin to skin and she was amazing. I’ve been feeding her on demand, which is whenever she wants to as opposed to every two hours like I did with my first born. That method almost drove me insane and borderline into postpartum depression.

Now I completely understand that most infants need to be reminded to wake up and drink that milk, especially when breastfeeding because they need to gain weight for starters. There’s tons of nutrients in that colostrum that they may not get again which is helpful to their survival. It also helps us mothers to get that milk production going. Of course, engorgement will follow and that’s annoying but it benefits us all. However, sometimes baby knows best. As long as you’re trying and doing your best, Mama you’re doing amazing.

All of my girls have been amazing feeders when it comes to the breast and absolutely hated formula or the bottle regardless of whether or not there was breastmilk in the bottle. I remember my first born and I going at it because I genuinely allowed those around me guilt me into believing that my daughter needed to be bottle fed. Also when you’re told that your babies are a problem because they refuse to drink from the bottle, it can trigger some guilt and shame as a mother. But now that I’ve got my third I’m grateful that I can have that bonding moment and appreciate it for what it is.

It is a bit harder this time around because I still have a four year old and a soon to be two year old who still want my attention. There are times when I can’t get to the baby right away. Sometimes I have to put a pause on the dinner preparation to feed the baby. Most of the time, I’m breastfeeding and acting as a referee between the older two. These ideas of being able to sit in a rocking chair having that bonding moment like I did with my firstborn are not happening. These are kinds of expectations I have to let go. For example, having peace and quiet while breastfeeding is not happening anymore. In fact it’s the opposite.

What has proven to be helpful when I breastfeeding is making sure that I have a bib around on the baby. It’s easy to clean up spit ups and regurgitation from the baby. Sometimes the occasional milk let down, especially during the engorgement period. A good nipple cream helped me so much when I nursed my first born. My nipples would crack and it would hurt so much. Speaking to a lactation consultant was crucial for me. It also gave me the confidence to keep trying again. Another important one is having a friend who’s done it before. They sometimes have the most invaluable advices. But most importantly, knowing that you’re not a failure for doing your best. At the end of the day fed is best. If breastfeeding isn’t for you and your little one that’s ok. Just do what’s best for the both of you.

I hope this has been useful and helpful. Below are a list of things I personally loved using while breastfeeding.

https://www.shopltk.com/explore/sandyesprit/posts/f87cdea7-0604-11ec-83a6-0242ac110003

Shocking Pregnancy Symptoms

Hey there! Thank you so much for checking out my blog post. I’m currently pregnant with my third child and I swear there are some things I thought I would be ok with but find myself still surprised by. Some of them are things that I’ve forgotten about and others just sneak up on me and catch me by surprised. Without further ado let’s get into it.

Hyperpigmentation

When I was pregnant with my first born back in 2017, nobody had ever warned me about my skin getting darker. I had seen these gorgeous women with their baby bump and they looked so flawless. Meanwhile by the time I was nearing the end of my second trimester I looked like I had been bleaching my face. From the neck down my skin had turned at least five shades darker. Believe I wish I was exaggerating. I became very self conscious to the point that I was afraid to even wear my actual foundation. The difference was so noticeable.

Turns out this is very common. This is called melasma or chloasma and it goes away after pregnancy. Usually it starts looking like a blotchy dark patches and goes away after the baby comes out. In my case the patches just joined together until my skin was blanketed with this new skin tone. It was a very confusing time and since my mom had never experienced this, it was confusing for her too. Thank goodness for Google.

Pain, pain and more pain

I was “ok” with the morning sickness because I expected it. It came, I complained and prayed it didn’t last the whole pregnancy and half way through the second trimester it was gone I was good. Then came the back pain. It just always feels like my back is screaming at me for gaining weight. You’d swear we were having an internal civil war.

Then the ligament pain. My pelvic bone and butt muscles don’t see eye to eye right and since Tylenol is the only pain medication I can take, I have resigned and made it my friend. These pain is my body making room for the delivery of my child and it’s a sign that my body is doing it’s job. The hormones that has been released is relaxing my lower regions so that my baby has enough room to come out in. However, this “relaxing” feature isn’t relaxing me. It’s in fact doing the opposite.

Insomnia

You’d think I’d be able to sleep through the night because the baby isn’t here, right? Nope! Absolutely wrong. In fact, it’s common. Between the baby training for the real world Olympics or whatever exercises it’s doing in there, to my bladder no longer having the room to store as much urine as it did before it’s hard to sleep and/or stay asleep. I wish I could say it gets better. Unfortunately, that has not been my experience.

In conclusion

Pregnancy has its highs and lows. Some of them are tolerable some of them just suck. It’s completely fine to enjoy this process because honestly it’s a feat that only you get to experience in your way. Not every journey is the same and some come with unforeseen obstacles. Remember that this to shall pass. Until, enjoy the process as much as you can.

My Pregnancy Body Image

When it comes to body image we’ve all had our ups and downs. As a teen, I was a late bloomer. The only thing that developed was my uterus and my height. Aside from that, I was a skinny, awkward, lanky flat chested girl. My hair never grew past my shoulders because back then I didn’t have the resources I have now. My mom waited way too long to get me first bra, mind you I don’t think it would’ve been filled with much. I outgrew clothes as quickly as I got them in my closet. My skin care routine was non existent and so my face was full of acne. My peers on the other hand, were blessed with curves, hair and make up. I was the ugly duckling in my crew.

When I got older and got my first job I was finally able to take some form of control over my appearance but it took years of learning to appreciate what was there. As a young woman, I was often told to cover up my non existent curves lest I be seen as the Jezebel and make the men fall in lust with my body. Those horny depraved minds lusted after anything with legs and it really had nothing to do with what I wore. I was tall, I was pretty without makeup and a friendly attitude to back it until you got on my bad side. Then well…you got the gist.

Unfortunately, due to the people around me and their “overprotective” counsels I developed a very strange idea of what my body looked like. I began to see what they saw and did my best to eliminate any source of sin. As a Christian, I made it my mission to look “modest”. I wore clothes that were way too big for me. It wasn’t uncommon to be told that my skirt was too short or my butt looked too big. For those of you who didn’t know me back then, I was a size 4. Yup a whole single digit, size 4.

Well, I got out of that toxic situation after ten years. But it took me awhile to reset my vision of my physical image and to fully come to love the creation that God made me to be. Once I fully embraced myself, I got pregnant. What should’ve been a beautiful experience became a nightmare from hell.

I literally thought I could love my body no matter its size and it turns out I didn’t. In fact, I’m currently going through my third pregnancy and I’m still fighting this rhetoric. I don’t feel beautiful. I don’t feel sexy and I don’t feel confident showing my body. I feel like that thirteen year old gawky and awkward teenager trying to get through my entire house without crashing into anything. I have no idea how wide I am and my body is so sore all the time. When I try to explain this to people all I hear “You’re not fat, you’re pregnant!” and the truth is I’m both. I am fat and I am pregnant. There’s nothing wrong with being fat, but there’s something wrong with me.

I know I’m not supposed to feel this. I know that my body is a machine that custom built for this and every life that I carry. But I have this belly that I can’t hide. These hips that just protrude out of my side. My butt jingles and I keep seeing pockets of fat deposits on my thighs. I wish it could be as simple as after the baby is born, I could lose the weight but the truth is. Losing weight postpartum is really hard.

When I had my second born, I actually gained weight postpartum. My mom actually commented on my weight and I felt so small. I am trying so hard to love my body for what it is and I can’t even comprehend what is happening or why it’s happening. I am breastfeeding and eating right and yet I can’t lose the weight. It took me 9 months to get this weight and to manage it, and here I am postpartum still feeling like an insecure teenager. I’m supposed to be over this. This body is the same body that carried these children. The same body, my babies cling to when they want to be comforted. This same body provides nurture, care and a haven of safety for my loved ones and yet all I see is the flaws, I have been told to hate.

I don’t know if this is body dysmorphia, but I know I don’t see an accurate picture of myself or maybe I do and that’s why I’m having such a hard time with this. I wish I could say that I love the way I look because the truth is I don’t. I am most comfortable showing my face and my hair because it still looks normal to me. I have a slight double chin but I can hide that with a contour stick. Everything else is just…ugh!

I wish I knew how to fix it. I don’t. I do hope that this sparks a conversation.

To you, who understands how I’m feeling you’re not alone. No matter how we feel, the truth is we are beautiful.

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.

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.

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.

Spring Clean Your Circle

Hi there. Thank you so much for checking out my blog. Today, I will be doing things a little differently.

I believe that part of living my life has always included my faith in God. As a Christian woman who grew up in a Christian home, I have always been told to forgive and forget. I saw many loved ones get hurt over and over again following this advice. Some of them have been abused and traumatized and had it not been for the grace of God, I believe that I would be continuing the cycle of abuse. I am not a professional and I do believe in therapy. I believe that there are some things that prayer alone can’t fix. Especially when dealing when traumas that continuously interfere with your ability to enjoy YOUR life. I capitalized your because sometimes it’s easy for us to become so influenced by other people’s counsel (even though they mean well) that we lose our identity in other people’s validation. I urge you to seek professional counselling if you’re ready to change but find yourself unable to.

The other day, I was sitting in the living room by myself, (time alone is a gift from God, Himself!) watching the Baby-Sitters’ Club television series on Netflix. I used to read the books as a child and so watching this show brought back all the nostalgic feelings of my childhood. As I watching, I noticed that one of the characters, Kristy, was so annoying. When I was younger, I felt connected to her the most. We were exactly alike with similar familial circumstances. I could relate to her. But looking at her now, as an adult I realized something. She wasn’t assertive, she was mean. She needed to be in control all the time, regardless of who she hurt. She meant well, but her desire to control everything just left a bad taste in my mouth. It wasn’t until her character started freaking out about her absentee father that all the pieces fell together.

I was Kristy. I wasn’t a nice person and had a desire to control everything so I could control the outcome. That way I could avoid being hurt. I carried that way of living well into my adult years. I had developed a coping mechanism to avoid being hurt over and over again.

Once I got married to my husband and had my daughter, something clicked. Call it an epiphany, call it a revelation but something happened. I needed to change because I was not the same girl anymore. I didn’t want to be the same girl anymore. I was a mother who had to teach my daughter how to live a beautiful and fruitful life. But how do I that? I didn’t want her being like me. I wanted to be assertive, decisive and kind so she could take over the world without being selfish or mean. That’s when I had a conversation with myself, which is quite easy to do when you don’t have many friends to begin with. This mostly took place in the spring. That’s when I began spring cleaning my circle.

I started by loving me. I began to identify all the ways that I could love myself and affirm who I was as a human being. It’s important for my children to be loved by a parent who is full of love. I don’t need the validation of others to be amazing at being me. I need my daughters to feel the same way. I’m not perfect but I love myself the way I am.

Then I started showing up as the woman that I wanted my daughters to look up to. Like I said, I know I’m not perfect but that doesn’t mean I’m not worthy of improvement. Accidents happen and that’s ok.

I would say the key to my revolutionary spring cleaning was learning to set boundaries. There are comments that I hear from loved ones that I just let slide because, in all honesty, I don’t feel like censoring the elderly all the time. However, there are comments that I will censor. I will not tolerate comments that disrespect me or my family. I have the right to refuse and to remove negative and toxic speech from being spoken in my presence and the presence of my children. Words are very powerful and have a way to carry over well after the moment has passed. For years, I carried words spoken to me in my heart. These words were hurtful and manifested themselves into my life in a negative way. I will not be the access for this kind of behaviour for my girls. My hope is that they are led by example and they too, will set boundaries and develop a strong voice to advocate for themselves when I can’t.

Another part to setting boundaries, for me, was cutting off toxic family members. Some family members just happen to drift off and lose contact and that happens. Life happens and we all have our own families to care for. However, those that have continuously caused hurt to me personally without a change in behaviour, I no longer entertain. It is important to me that I stay healed. Forgiveness is hard enough the first time, but after a while it becomes debilitatingly oppressive. After living like that for years, I believe that the next course of action is to be free and to stay free. It’s not easy. In fact, it’s really hard. A lot of people don’t understand why I have chosen to go this route. But for the first time in my life, I’m advocating for myself. My voice is being heard. I don’t have to resort to controlling everything and, honestly, it feels good.

Whoever you are, if you find yourself just stuck and constantly feeling hurt, believe me it will get better. You have a voice and it matters. Speak up and get help. You may find yourself alone but it’s better to be alone and free.

Continue reading

Pandemic Parenting…a year later

What does parenting during a pandemic look like? To be honest it’s different for every single parent. Some have found their strides and are managing it quite well. For the rest of us that is not the case. I speak from a personal point of view, so it’s assume that I don’t speak for the majority of moms.

This time last year, I was on maternity leave for my second born. So my paycheck was guaranteed for the next few months. Mind you it wasn’t much but it gave me enough time to build my social media brand and to really come to terms with what I wanted to do. Did I want to be a full time stay at home mom? Did I really want to be a social media content creator? Could I thrive at both? But most importantly would I be good at it?

My husband I knew that if we both worked full time, the money we made would go towards everything except the life we wanted for our family, so staying home wasn’t that much of an issue. What worried me was whether or not I’d become a burden to my husband. Most mothers give up their careers to care for their children, not because we’re not independent, intelligent individuals but ultimately because it’s what’s best for our families. I knew that if we could do this together our family would thrive but most importantly our children would have the advantage of having one of us available without either of us worrying about out babies.

My husband was able to retain his job during the pandemic and all the uncertainties it brought with it. He worked and I stayed home. At first it wasn’t so bad. I had a schedule for me and the girls. Of course I was exhausted. All the places that we’d normally bring our girls to exert their energies were closed except for the park. So we got creative. We go on car rides and do car activities. My husband is very good at finding outdoor activities, like going to the zoo, outdoor picnics and going to the beach all while maintaining a safe distance.

Home life wasn’t so bad at first either. I started teaching my three year old to read and write as a way to prepare us for a possible homeschool life. We started baking banana bread like every family. We made a digital tv cooking show and even shot a Wal-Mart commercial. Things were going to be ok, after this wasn’t going to last long and soon life would be back to normal. Or so I thought…

It seems like month after month, the news got grimmer and grimmer. More and more my social media feed was filled with conspiracy theories, hate crimes and just another death inspired by racism. I was triggered by how normal it became to see another name becoming a hashtag. Trauma became part of the new normal and I hated it. I had seen enough trauma growing up and I don’t know why it seemed to be a continuous sight for me to see. But worse, is now I’m a mother and how am I supposed to raise well adjust Black girls in a world that is constantly telling they are not for us and our well-being?

A year later, I’m at home writing this post. I am four pregnant. I hate the cold so naturally I hibernate within my house like I do every winter. I still am teaching my girl to read, write and do arithmetic. She continues to impress me. I wish I could take them to an indoor trampoline park so my second born to jump around with her sister. I wish we could go to the McDonald’s Playplace where my girls would make a temporary friend while my husband and I would enjoy our cheap dates but alas now our time together looks different.

It usually takes place after the babies have gone to bed. We order something off of UberEats and catch up on the adult television shows on Netflix. During the day, I try to keep the schedule the same, keeping in mind that I need to schedule some time for myself, which I’ve been neglecting more and more lately. Some days I get my list done and I feel confident, other days I just want to crawl in bed and be taken cared of.

It’s not always pretty but we’re getting by one day at a time. Hanging on to the knowledge that this too shall pass.

Eczema skin relief toddler edition

Hi there! I want to start off by saying thank you so very much for joining me here. I know that you could be doing anything and you are here. I appreciate that a lot. Just to let you know that this post may contain affiliates links. If you want to support me as a content creator, by all means purchase through the links provided in the post. You will never pay more, but you may save some money. At the same time, I will get a small commission. It’s a win-win for us both.

When my eldest daughter turned 1 year old, I started to notice a rash developing in the back of her knees going upwards toward in backside. So I did what any mother would do and turned to Google. Of course, after many blood pressure raising self diagnosis, I knew the right thing to do was to see what the doctor had to say. She reassured me that it was eczema and it was common and nothing to worry to about. Which is easier said then done when you’re watching your baby scratch herself to the point of bleeding.

Sometimes a headband is all you need. If your little is really against getting her hair done, a nice accent will do the trick. Here Mercy is wearing a white stretchy netted wide headband with a white blooming flower to the side.

Her symptoms were pretty standard. Her skin gets dry every winter and I mean really dry to the point that her skin gets really rough. She starts scratching like crazy and the rash appears. We got a prescribed ointment for the rash but unfortunately it doesn’t take away from the dry skin and itch.

After many attempts at find a treatment that works, I finally turned to Instagram to get some help from the mom community and they did not fail me. Some of the ideas shared with me I had already tried, some I did not and the ones that worked for my girl I still do now.

My main concern was getting her skin to behave like her skin should. For those of you who don’t know eczema is also know as atopic dermatitis. It is a condition that makes your skin red and itchy. It is thought to be due to a “leaky” skin barrier, where the skin is not holding in the moisture as it should causing it to be dry in the process. It’s also thought to be a immune system response to an allergy. Of course, you should seek a medical professional for a proper diagnosis.

The most common response I received was the Aveeno Eczema Care Itch Relief Balm. I purchased the Aveeno cream from Amazon because it was the most convenient way to get it. I’d rather have it shipped to my house than to dress the whole family to go outside in the dead of winter. The balm is quite thick but applies nicely. It doesn’t linger on the body as much either. I find that it’s best for us to use it at night right she’s had her bath. It’s fragrance free, so that’s a bonus.

I also received SKN Moisture Retention Healing Face + Body Bar which I use on her body nightly during bathtime. This company is Black owned which is why I’m so hype about them. They are based in the United States but they do ship to Canada. I was overcome with their generosity and couldn’t wait to try their bar. The bar foams really easily and smells amazing. It’s the perfect way to calm my daughter. According to the site “This bar helps to treat eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, and dry skin. It is infused with 5% Colloidal Oatmeal which is also an all-natural skin-soothing solution for bug bites, sunburns, poison ivy, and other itch and inflamed skin conditions. This bar is also infused with Eucalyptus oil that is great for wounds and skin infections; thanks to its anti-inflammatory effects” and I cosign this. I highly recommend anyone needing an alternative to commercial based soaps to check them out.

The results were night and day. Her skin felt like skin again and you would never know she had been scratching herself if it wasn’t for the scars. I was so impressed by both products. Her skin was once again soft. She doesn’t scratch anymore and my girl is no longer bothered by itchy skin. I’m a happy mom!

Have you dealt with eczema? What have you used?