Vegan Mommy Things

No Days Off

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Today was a student holiday so the kids didn’t have to go to school. Today was supposed to be a PD day however, we too got the day off. And low and behold, yours truly gets sick. Not sure if it’s due to allergies, getting wet in the rain and then entering into the cold of my apartment and not changing clothes immediately. Who knows? All I know is I keep sneezing, I had a sore throat (it’s gone now), and I’ve been blowing my brains out (I wonder if you can pop a blood vessel from blowing your nose too hard).

Even though I had today off from work, I didn’t have today off from being a mother. As a parent, there are no days off, even if your kids are with relatives. You still worry if they’re  okay and anxiously waiting to be reunited. I knew this is true for me.

It’s hard being sick and having a four month old who still needs you to take care of them. My son wants to play with me and laugh and have fun, and all I want to do is sleep. However, I had to push through. Sure I could’ve dropped him off at my parents, but they keep him everyday while I’m at work. I know they need a break too (though they’ll never admit it).

Along side of needing to take care of my son, I had to do laundry, meal prep, speak with the people to get my Child Safety Kit, sign up for life insurance and re-enroll for health insurance. Today has been quite busy, as have been the last two days.

All in all, I perservered through the day and now it’s finally time to go to sleep. I’m hopping this ginger tea and the humidifier will knock whatever this is out.

Fun fact: when a breastfeeding mother is sick, she should still nurse her child. The antibodies that are fighting her illness will pass to the child through her milk to build up their immune system and antibodies.

How do you handle being sick and being a mother/parent?

My Life

Hello September…

It’s September and I couldn’t be more excited. My birthday is right around the corner. I’m still in the works of planning my bday but I think I’m going to book a local air bnb. Of course Malakhai will be with me. Can’t leave him out of my festivities.

I’ve finally accepted that I have some form of PPD and I have been talking to someone about it. I’ve been ignoring it and trying to make myself believe it was something else but it’s PPD and apparently, you can get it even when your child is an adult. Imagine that.

Last week I wrapped up my Boss Lady series and if you haven’t checked it out, click here. I will be beginning a new series either next month or in November, but I’ll be sure to keep you all posted.

I finished my first week of school (I’m a teacher) and I’m about to start the second week. Funny we have a three day weekend for Labor Day and next weekend will be another three day weekend. I’m wondering who I need to convince to make school four days a week instead of five because that extra day on the weekend is necessary.

Busgeting has been rough, especially for the month of August. I did not stick to the budget and went over in every category. However, I won’t dwell on the past. It’s a new month and that means I can start anew and try again. I’ve learned that with budgeting, it takes time. I can’t continue to beat myself up over the mistakes or going over in one or all categories. Also, I get my first check since coming off of my temporary leave of absence, tomorrow. So I’ll be setting up my budget based on that check for the next two weeks.

I’m renewing my lease in my apartment because I’ve decided it’s best I pay off my student loans before investing in a house. I also need to pay off that emergency personal loan I got over the summer to float me until I got paid. My budget was going so well and I budgeted from when I went on leave, up until now. Not sure where I went wrong, but I did mess up somewhere.

I’ve been making some goals that I want to seriously work towards, one being to pay off my student loans before 2021. It’s definitely feasible, but I need another side hustle, preferably one that brings in an extra $1,000 per month.

Malakhai is starting to try to roll over. He has the gist of it, he just needs to follow through. He’s getting so big now and it’s going faster than I’m ready for. He is definitely a mama’s boy.

Some of my goals for this month are:

• stick to the budget

• cut eating out to maybe 4 times this month

• meal plan every single week

• only but groceries that I’ll be eating that week

• limit my time on social media

• take Khai out more

• make a conscious effort to post at least two blog posts a week (this may be doable)

• be consistent with financial Friday’s and my money FB group

• make a schedule to post videos for IGTV

• workout (I’ve lost all motivation to lose this baby weight)

• go out at least two times to meet ups or take myself out

• better prepare my lessons each week and have materials ready for the week

• get better organized

I know this is a long list, but I do need to get better about a lot of these things.

What are some of your goals for September?

Health + Wellness, My Life

Fast Food for Standardized Testing? Nah.

Yesterday my students took their standardized test for the subject I teach (writing). Every year on standardized testing day, some fast food restaurant gives free breakfast. Now I’m all for free, however, the restaurants giving the free breakfast are terrible. This year, it happened to be the worst fast food place of all: McDeath…I mean McDonald’s.

McDonald’s has to be the worst fast food place of all fast food places. Their food is fake, full of chemicals, MSG, and a host of other things that should not be ingested. Everyone knows that they should not go there. Not only that, because everyone was waiting in line for their free meal, kids ended up being late.

Another reason I hate that these places give free fast food on testing day is that the parents will take their kids and give them this terrible food, which causes them to be sluggish, unfocused and sick. They won’t perform as well on their test because of the chemicals affecting their brain and ability to concentrate.

I really wish parents would stop giving their kids fast food. I have a student who gets donuts every morning for breakfast and for lunch they have some kind of animal on steroids because I have never seen meat that big. Then the parent wonders why this child is always sleep. The shit you’re feeding them is slowing them down and shutting their system down. To me, giving your child fast food is child abuse. People never think about what they’re feeding their child is child abuse. Child abuse comes in different forms but that’s a topic for another post.

How do you feel about children eating fast food? If you feed your child fast food, why? Would love to get a healthy discussion going.

My Life

Thank You for 600+

When I started this blog back in college, it began as a news blog. Had you told me then that today it would be a thriving lifestyle and mommy blog, I would’ve told you that you’re crazy and to not wish that upon me. At one point I had over 2,000 followers, then I deleted that blog and all of my social media. I started over. I have actually started over numerous times over the years and have changed my blog name as many times as well. When I found out I was pregnant, I knew that I could no longer keep The Black Vegan Author. I knew my blog had to be more versatile.

As of today, I have 647 of you lovely people following, and counting. I am so appreciative and thrilled for all of my new followers and that you somehow found my blog. Many of you are email subscribers and how you found my blog, I have no idea but I am glad that you did. I hope that you find my up and coming content inspiring and helpful, as well as relatable to your own life. I want this blog to be about my experiences through life as a millennial mama, a vegan, an author, an editor, an entrepreneur, a debt crusher, an educator, a blogger, and a traveler.

My hope is that you will go on this journey with me and share anything that you think your loved ones, friends, family, or social media peeps need to see. Tell everyone you know about my blog and let’s keep the family growing.

When I continued to have my blog, I didn’t imagine that it would grow back to the 2k that I had before. I didn’t even think I would be as consistent about it. In all honesty, I didn’t even know why I had a blog until more people started reading posts, liking, sharing and even leaving feedback. It gave me even more reason to delete all my videos on YouTube and start putting them in posts on my site instead. Keeping my content in one place is easier for me and as many of you have mentioned, it is easier for you as well.

Let’s keep going and strive for 1K followers. Maybe I’ll even do a giveaway at that point. My first giveaway at that.

Thank you again for subscribing and following!

Moniqua LaShae

My Life, Vegan Mommy Things

Getting an Abortion

When I first found out I was pregnant, I was devastated. During that time, I was set to move to China and start a new life and career. I had my visa documents and everything. All I was waiting on was my plane ticket. Then I found out I was pregnant. That brought everything to a screeching halt.

I was getting medical checks regularly because you have to be in good health. The doctor kept saying my blood pressure was high and I have never had high blood pressure. I thought maybe because I was stressed and I also didn’t like her. Unbeknownst to me, I was pregnant.

I found out I was pregnant on August 13, 2017. My period was late by a day or two and I just knew I was pregnant. I took a pregnancy test and it came back positive. I laughed it off and took another. It came back positive too. I immediately stopped breathing. I literally felt my heart stop. I wasn’t ready to be a mom nor did I want to be one. I didn’t want kids.

My first stop was to my mother’s house because I was going painting with her and my grandmother that day. I told my mom through my tears and trying to catch my breath. If you know my mom, you know she was hella excited, this being her first grandbaby and all. I also told my brother and stepdad who were there. They were all supportive. Then I told my baby’s father and that’s when things changed.

We agreed upon me getting an abortion because I had life plans and so did he. I was going to fucking China!!! So, I called the abortion clinic and went the next day. I just knew I was doing the right thing until I got there. I won’t mention the clinic but it was small and not very attractive. I waited in the waiting room for what felt like hours.

Once I was called back, I sat in this hallway with a bunch of other women. The woman sitting next to me was telling a woman who was crying that she’ll be fine. She had had several abortions with her boyfriend and she turns out fine every time. That’s when reality set in. Women actually do this to fix what they consider a “mistake”. Some even do it repeatedly with no remorse. At that point I wanted to leave, but I stayed. Something told me to stay.

I looked a few seats down and there was this room I kept seeing women come out of with a nurse. These women were in a daze and could barely walk. That’s when I realized we were by the operating room. We were also by the back door where the women went out of once the abortion was done.

I started to really panic. By that point a nurse called me in to get an ultrasound. They couldn’t find the baby on the screen. I began to breathe hoping that meant those pregnancy tests were wrong. Then they made me take a pre test and blood test. The pee test came back as a light positive and I had to wait 24 hours for the blood test.

After that I went and saw a counselor and she explained to my how the operation worked and how the pill worked. Both options sounded horrific. I was mortified. I made my appointment for two days later, on a Wednesday. I came out and passed this room that was dark and I saw all these women in there. Some curled up, some crying and some sleeping. These women were waiting for their rides to come pick them up. They had already had their procedure. I quickly left the building.

I cried all the rest of that day and that night, into the next morning. I was scared and didn’t know what to do. One thing was for sure. I can’t remember at which moment it was: the woman telling about her numerous abortions, the operating room, the counselor or the room full of post-op women, but I knew I was going to keep my baby. I knew for certain I was not going to go through with the abortion. That morning the clinic called me back to confirm my blood test came back positive for being pregnant.

The morning of when I was supposed to get my procedure, I got a phone call from a school to come and have me interview for a teaching position. I ended up getting an interview and hired the same day. I realize now that had I gone through with the abortion, I wouldn’t have gotten this job. I would also be in China right now. This job was a job I had been wanting: it was a writing position. I was going to be teaching writing and I was happier than anyone could ever know.

I share this story because I know women contemplate abortions every second of every day and I know women who actually go through with them. Either way, both are difficult decisions: either keep or get rid of your baby. Ultimately, my decision to keep my baby was that there are no mistakes. I knew the outcomes of having unprotected sex with no birth control. This baby is not at fault and therefore, having an abortion, was not a solution because being pregnant wasn’t a problem. This was an unplanned planned pregnancy, meaning it wasn’t intentional but I also didn’t try to prevent it.

Now, almost 7 months later, I am in a better, happier place. I have an amazing job, a new car (not fancy though), a new apartment and a bundle of joy who will arrive in April. My child’s father is now on board and excited about having a child. This is a first for the both of us so we will be learning as we go. We have the support of family and friends. Even though I am single mom, the relationship I have with my child’s father is going to make for an awesome coparenting relationship.

Every time I feel my baby kick, I get more and more excited. I’m at the stage in my pregnancy where the baby is moving around a lot and making their little presence known. I know as I get into my third trimester, I will feel the baby kick and move even more. I keep thinking what if I had gone through with the abortion, what my life would be like now. Then I think about how my life is now and I’m happy. I can’t keep living in the what if’s or the past.

Granted, I could’ve still gone to China with my baby, but being a single, FTM in a country that I’ve never been to, that just didn’t seem logical. Plus, here, I have the help of family and friends.

It’s interesting to look back on how I started at the beginning of my pregnancy and how I felt, to now. I feel like I’m a completely different person. I’m already in mommy mode and my baby isn’t even here yet.

If you have a story to share, share it below or feel free to contact me if you want it to be private.

I want to let women know that they are not alone in whatever decisions they make. There is always someone who has been through or is going through the same thing. It may seem scary right now and like it’s not the right time, but everything happens for a reason. I think me getting pregnant and deciding to keep my baby, is going to make me a better woman, someone whom I never thought I could or would be.

So this is my story and I hope that it helps someone else.

Financial Advice, My Life

First Week of School | First Adult Purchase

This week was a week of firsts for me. Due to hurricane Harvey, we had to start school two weeks later. Just wrapped up the first week and I feel like I’ve really gotten a feel for all 70 of my students and we have gotten into sort of a routine. Now it’s time to really get into teaching writing (did I mention that I am a 4th grade writing teacher?! I’m still stoked about that).

I’ve gotten a feel for the school and working in a public school as well as a district (last year I worked at a charter school). I prefer a public school because of the surmountable resources, trainings and help from other teachers.

I ended the week with making my first adult purchase that was not financed or charged to a card: I bought a couch!!! You all have no idea at how absolutely lit I was when I swiped my debit card. The fact that I swiped my card and didn’t feel like I was going to have a heart attack, that was a long time coming. I have been working so hard, living paycheck-to-paycheck for so many years (6 years to be exact), going from job to job (8 jobs in the past 6 years and that does not include freelancing, UberEats, Postmates, Lyft, Shipt and being an author and YouTuber) and taking out loans and credit cards just to stay afloat. Granted during this time I was living with my mom, however, my bills are my bills.

Now that I have paid off those loans, credit cards, IRS and teacher certification program, I am able to make adult purchases such as buying a couch, in cash. I actually felt like an adult. People always ask at what moment do you feel like you were an actual adult. It wasn’t the real job, getting my first apartment, getting my first car (or second or third), or having actual bills. It was being able to make such a large purchase and not feel my chest tighten or have to look at my bank account. To live comfortably and not be worried about money 24/7.

I say all of this to say that you don’t have to be controlled by money. Take charge of that money and your life. No one else will do it for you and I know that all of this seems cliché and repetitive, however, it works. Budgeting, saying no to extracurricular activities, saying no to Chipotle (that was hard af, and now I want Chipotle), saying no to Starbucks, the club, the movies, dinner, lunch, whatever. A couple years of just saying no, has paid off for the countless years of living reckless and saying yes, balling with no money of my own (all charged or borrowed).

Let me know your financial journey in the comments below.

xoxo The Black Vegan Author