All Black Everything

Top U. S. Cities for Human Trafficking

I was listening to Mahogany Momology podcast and something they mentioned really stuck in my head. One of them said the reason that they don’t let their child run around or pick up stuff or stop paying attention is because Dallas is the 3 largest city for human trafficking (Houston is actually number 3). They also mentioned little black boys being a target for organ harvesting.

I never thought of why black parents are so adamant about children sticking close or paying attention, or not being distracted by touching things. I really never thought of any of that until I became a parent, and even though Malakhai is not old enough to roam around, it’s still something that I will keep in mind once he gets older.

I wanted to share the top cities in the U. S. for human trafficking from lowest to highest.

15. Orlando

14. Baltimore

13. New York

12. Chicago

11. Los Angeles 

10. Dallas

9. San Francisco 

8. San Diego

7. Las Vegas 

6. Sacramento

5. Columbus

4. Miami

3. Houston 

2. Atlanta

  1. Washington D. C.

As you can see that California has the most cities on the lit, being that they have the highest issue with human trafficking. Being that I live in Houston and it’s number 3, that’s scary. Be sure, especially if you are a POC, that you are watching your children when you are out. 

Source:https://www.insidermonkey.com/blog/15-top-us-cities-for-human-trafficking-in-2018-651630/?singlepage=1

Product Reviews

Farmacy Honeymoon Glow

*DISCLAIMER: I received this as a complimentary gift in exchange for my honest opinion. All views are those of my own and no one else’s.

So, I am very particular about products that I use, especially on my face. When Influenster sent me this nighttime serum, I was instantly skeptical. I did some research and found that this is actually a brand that I could stand by.

I’ve never had a nighttime routine, well when it comes to washing my face that is. The first time I used this serum, I was instantly taken aback because it tingles. Silly me didn’t read on the bottle that it will tingle. I immediately wiped it off and was about to through it away until I read the label.

For the last month or so, I’ve been using it either every night or every other night and I absolutely love it. I first wash my face with Dr. Bronner’s soap, then I smooth on the serum. It isn’t strong smelling and doesn’t smell chemical filled or perfumeish. I wake up in the morning and my face feels and looks brighter and tighter.

I highly recommend this product if you haven’t tried it. I will also definitely be buying more items from this brand.

My Life, Vegan Mommy Things

Bedtime with Khai

Each night, I make it my mission to ensure Khai gets an excellent night’s slumber. I give him a bath in his new tub. He’s in a big boy tub now (cue the water works). I bathe him, wash his hair, let the water out and then fill it with clean water up to his waist. I let him play with his toys and I stand back and admire how much he has grown in the past six months.

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When we’re all done, I pat him dry. His hair is so curly and silky, that I have to make sure it stays healthy, as well as his scalp. I use either mineral oil or grapeseed oil in his hair. I rake it through with my fingers and then comb small sections at a time. Next, I lotion him up and put his footie pjs on. He either sleeps in a silk bonnet or one of his hats so his pores can close.

 

Now is my favorite part: bedtime stories. He loves for me to read to him, especially The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. I think he likes all of the colors and my animated voices.

By story’s end, he’s sleepy. I lay him down to nurse until he falls asleep. Once he’s sound asleep, it’s me time. I tend to clean up from his bath time and clean whatever else I need to. I also spend this time writing and scheduling blogs, journaling, meditating, taking long baths, or reading. Bedtime for Khai is usually around 7 o’clock, so I start getting him ready for a bath around 6 or 6:30. During the time from when I get off work until bath time, we are playing, watching Puppy Dog Pals, or singing.

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What is your night time routine with your little one(s)?

xoxo Moniqua LaShae and Malakhai Lee

Breastfeeding, Vegan Mommy Things

Evenflow Manual Electric Pump

When I became I pregnant I knew I wanted to breastfeed, so I knew I’d need a pump. Well, at the time, I didn’t know manual pumps existed (I know right?!). I went with my mom to Just Between Friends which is like a thrift shop for baby and kid stuff. I found a bunch of bottles and pieces for my breast pump that was coming through my insurance.

In this pack was a manual breast pump part, one that you do by hand. I was intimidated by it and let it sit up for months. After a while, I pulled it out to use because I knew I’d soon be going back to work and didn’t want to bring my electric pump. I needed something mobile.

I tested out the pump and it was a game changer. It cut my time in half and I got out more milk. So when I went back to work, I used that one. After a while, I noticed that I had to use two hands and couldn’t multitask at work, which is something I need to be able to do. My breasts are too large to only hold the pump with one hand. So, I went in the hunt for an electric manual pump and low and behold, Walmart came through.

I stumbled upon the Evenflow breast pump by accident. Medela had the one I really wanted but it was $300 (gasp). I then saw this pump and the color of the box caught my eye (bright colors drive marketing). It was a manual, elective breast pump that you could use with the cord or could be cordless (insert batteries). I was too stoked.

I bought it and sterilized it at home. The next stay, I took it to work and used it for each of my pump breaks. It works like a gem and I don’t have to use both hands. It expresses more milk than my Medela manual one and the electric one.

The only con is it takes much longer, 20 minutes for each side. At work, I pump before school, mid morning (an aide steps in) and during my planning time. My mid morning break is only 15 minutes so that definitely won’t work. So I use the Evenflow at home, during nights where Malakhai sleeps longer than usual, and I still use my Medela at work.

The Evenflow pump can also be used when I’m driving since I only need one hand. For my breastfeeding moms, what breast pump do/did you use?

My Life

Fall is fast approaching!!

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It’s my favorite time of year and, yes I think I make this post every year, but I can’t help it. Fall is coming! That also means it’s pumpkin season. I’m an October baby so naturally I’m drawn and attracted to this time of year. I feel joyous and in my element. It’s also when I’m the most creative. I love the smell of cinnamon and pumpkin spice, leaves on the ground and sitting on my patio sipping tea.

I know I haven’t been on much and that’s because I have gone back to work. I started last Monday. School starts next Monday so I am doing the final touches on my classroom and getting ready to welcome the students back.

Fall reminds me of my childhood when all of my favorite movies came on Disney channel like Twitches and the Halloween Town quartet.

Though I live in Texas, we don’t typically wear fall wear until it gets closer to December and even then, it’s far and few in between. I remember this time last year I missed fall because I found out I was pregnant and was trying to adjust, also, Hurricane Harvey kind of swept in and damaged everything. I was also in the midst of packing to move into my new apartment. So it was all a blur.

This year, I vow to take in fall and all that it brings, though I’m sure it’s going to bring warm or scorching weather. There are no major hurricanes that are threatening to ruin yet another school year or fall, nine that I know of (🤞🏾).

Do you love fall? What’s your favorite part about it?

confessions, Vegan Mommy Things

Confessions of a Single Mom #10: I Finally Took a Bath

 

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Yes, you read that right. I finally took a bath. I haven’t taken a bath since before I was pregnant. I know many of you are probably wondering, “WTF? She doesn’t take baths?!” I know many people who use bath and shower synonymously, however, I’m specifically talking about taking a bath. Ya know, running water, adding bubbles, sitting in the tub,  soaking for 30 min.

I cant blame Boo for me not taking a bath. It’s my own fault really. I’m always trying to be so quiet when he’s napping since my apartment is so small. Then since he takes cat naps, I try to shower and be out before he wakes up, but not today. I turned the water on and added the bubbles and while it ran, I rocked him to sleep. Once asleep, I quickly undressed and hopped in the tub. It was so refreshing and much needed. I definiently need to do that more often.

What is something that you rarely get a chance to do for yourself due to having kids?

confessions

Confessions of a Single Mom #9: Co-sleeping

I know from the moment I found out I was pregnant that I was going to co-sleep, no if’s, ands, or but’s about it. Due to the fact that I knew I was going to breastfeed, it only made sense.

After Boo was first born, we stayed with my mom. He did sleep in his bed that she has at her house in the beginning, however, when he stopped wanting to be swaddled, I knew that sleeping in his bed was over. My mom really pressed the fact of him sleeping in his own bed. The thing is, parenting styles have changed since I was born (30 years ago) and many Millennial moms co-sleep just like many breastfeed. It’s funny how my generation, in many ways, is reverting back to a time when my parenting style was natural.

Co-sleeping, just like breastfeeding, is a taboo subject. Many people, mainly the older generation, don’t agree with it because it causes the baby to be spoiled, attached, not wanting to go with anyone, not wanting to sleep in a baby bed, etc., which is all not true. Boo is friendly and will go to anyone. He sleeps whenever and wherever. As for the attachment part, he is very attached to me, when I am around. If he can’t smell me nearby, he’s fine.

Much if what the older generation believes is due to what their moms told them, and what their moms moms told them. It’s really just a way of controlling how a woman raises her kids and getting her to do what the woman’s mom did. Many older women feel, in my experience, slighted because of the bond is younger women have with our children due to breastfeeding, baby wearing and co-sleeping.

It’s always said that it’ll be hard to get the baby out of my bed when he gets older and I personally don’t care. He’s my baby and he can sleep with me as long as he wants. As his mother, I know what’s best for the both of us and co-sleeping is it. I love having him near me and he loves being near me. I can check to see if he’s breathing (oh how he hates being touched when he’s sleeping), and when he’s hungry, I can roll him over, pop my boob in his mouth, and when he’s done, roll him back over (he’s a tummy sleeper and burps on his own).

Co-sleeping along with breastfeeding creates this close bond between a child and their mother. The closeness is as close as they’ll get to when the child was in the womb. Many days I miss him being in my womb where he was safe and I could take him everywhere (I still can take him everywhere now but I have to carry/wear him).

Do/did you co-sleep? If so, for how long? If not, what was your reasoning?

Breastfeeding, mommy must haves, Vegan Mommy Things

Breastfeeding Series: Stop Wasting Breast Milk!! (Mommy Must Have #2)

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Silicone Breastfeeding Manual Breast Pumps Milk Pump Suction with Lid,Breast Milk Saving Made Easy,Flexible & Lightweight ,Pack of 2

 

 

If I tell y’all, every time I nurse Boo, I waste so much breast milk. How, you might ask? Well, the let down of the milk when he’s feeding on one side, leaks out the other. I legit waste 2 oz of milk every feeding. My breasts were not created equal. At any given time, I can pump a full bottle from my left breast but my right breast, I get 2 oz at best.

At my last group prenatal, one lady had a version of Haakaa, which is a manual breast pump but is like a suction cup to catch the milk from the side you’re not feeding on. Mind was blown so of course I went to Amazon to buy one. Works like an effing charm and now, I can stop wasting breast milk.

*DISCLAIMER: I may earn a small commission for any link to any products or services from this website. Your purchase helps support my work in bringing you real information about motherhood, health, writing and all things lifestyle.

confessions

Confessions of a Single Mom #7: I Could Never Love Another

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More so I don’t want to love another. As much as I love my son, I don’t think I could ever love another child like a love him and I don’t want to. He is my entire heart and my entire world. Honestly, having another child is just out of the question and I know women have multiple children all the time. But I always wonder if moms who have multiple children, love them all the same. I’ve heard some moms favor a certain child over the other(s), and I don’t want to end up doing that. I feel like I would love Malakhai more since he’s my first born.

So I’m wondering, for the mamas reading this who have multiple children, did you find yourself loving or favoring one child over the other(s)? If not, is your love the same for all of them?

For moms of only one child, can you see yourself being able to love another child like that one? Do you plan to have more children?

Breastfeeding, Vegan Mommy Things

Breastfeeding Series: Discrimination and Harrassment

I was listening to the Badass Breastfeeder podcast and they brought up something that I find mind-boggling. People turn their noses up to women breastfeeding in public and are even offended, but it’s okay for women to walk around half naked. Where’s the logic?

Women have been asked to cover up, go somewhere private (often the unsanitary and disgusting bathroom stall), or to leave an establishment for breastfeeding, but let a woman walk in with cleavage and nipples about to pop out, no one bats an eye, except for men of course, specializing her. Why is there this stigma around breastfeeding? People act as if it’s just not natural.

I think most people don’t know that a woman’s breasts are first and foremost for breastfeeding. I can’t express that enough. Yes, it is pleasurable in sexual situations to have them fondled, nibbles or sucked, but breastfeeding was and is their initial function. It’s funny that it’s women that have more of an issue of a woman breastfeeding than men. That’s the part where I am completely baffled. WOMEN!! What the hell???

Is it because you couldn’t breastfeed and this woman breastfeeding makes you feel inferior or jealous? Is it because your SO is staring and you feel that it’s inappropriate (which any man getting arouse by another woman breastfeeding is creepy, weird, perverted and pedophile status)? Is it because you lack the knowledge about breastfeeding? Is it because it was something that was frowned upon in your family? What is it that makes women shame other women for feeding their babies the natural way they know how?

Even before I had my son, before I was pregnant, I never saw anything wrong with a woman breastfeeding. I didn’t even blink or think twice about it. In my mind, it has always been natural. So where does this stigma come from?

Even in the work place, though by law employers are to have spaces for women to breastfeed and allow them to, many make women feel so uncomfortable or inconvenienced for breastfeeding that the either quit or stop breastfeeding altogether because it’s next to impossible. I truly believe in word of mouth and using social media to get the word out about jobs and establishments like these.

Employers should be glad that us women come back to our jobs. Some of us want to while others don’t have a choice. As far as stores, restaurants and other places, making a woman feel uncomfortable or bad for breastfeeding, is bad for business. There are many advocates like myself who will speak up.

One example on the podcast was a woman was asked to go to the restroom stall to breastfeed her child at her brother-in-law’s high school graduation at her alma later. To me that would’ve been a slap in the face. Not only am I here for a graduation, but I paid damn good money to get a degree hear and you’re going to belittle me by asking to take my baby into a nasty bathroom stall to feed them? Instead of speaking up or asking for a manager, she went into the stall. I know she probably felt shamed already. The kicker is she was covered up. Her breast wasn’t hanging out.

Another example was a woman who went back to work after her maternity leave and her employer made it next to impossible for her to pump other than to go into the men’s restroom. The men’s restroom? Do you know how filthy that is? With the urinals and all kinds of stuff floating around. She wrote a letter to HR and the higher ups and never heard a single word back. That’s bad business. Atrocious even.

Luckily, I live in the great state of Texas and for other Texans, you can find the breastfeeding laws here. We also have the Texas Mother-Friendly Worksites. To find out more about that, you can go to http://texasmotherfriendly.org.

mommy must haves, Vegan Mommy Things

Mommy Must-Haves #1

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I may or may not get paid per link click.

As a new mom, there are things that make life so much easier and allow you to get things done. I had a baby carrier before he was born and after he was born, I wore him in it. It did not have any back support, so he was just hanging, which pulled on my back and my not yet healed stomach. I knew that wasn’t going to work. So, I headed to Amazon and found a carrier that I knew would work.

This carrier by Infantino is the absolute gag. It offers great support, he sits up higher and he’s not just hanging. He’s actually sitting in it. I can now do so many household chores, cook, go on long walks, etc., with him attached to me. I swear by this carrier. I don’t know if I would ever be able to do anything without it.

<a target=”_blank” href=”https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00M0DWQYI/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00M0DWQYI&linkCode=as2&tag=moniqualashae-20&linkId=7ceddebf7e10a76c9875d4b66979c410″><img border=”0″ src=”//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?_encoding=UTF8&MarketPlace=US&ASIN=B00M0DWQYI&ServiceVersion=20070822&ID=AsinImage&WS=1&Format=_SL250_&tag=moniqualashae-20″ ></a><img src=”//ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=moniqualashae-20&l=am2&o=1&a=B00M0DWQYI” width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”” style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” />

One thing I did everyday when I was pregnant was walking. I knew that once he was born, walking would become more consistent. My coworkers got me this stroller as a gift when they threw me a surprise baby shower. It’s pretty much a jogger, though I stopped jogging a couple years ago. This stroller is lightweight and it comes with a car seat. Once he gets older, though he won’t be able to always fit in the car seat, he can still sit in the stroller.

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Breastfeeding, Vegan Mommy Things

Breastfeeding Series: Benefits and Challenges

Breast milk is specifically tailored to fit a baby’s nutritional needs, all nutritional needs. It changes as your baby does when they grow. There’s nothing else on earth more fitting for a baby than breastfeeding.

When your baby is born, the first milk the receive from your breast is called colostrum. It is rich in proteins and antibodies which protect the baby from environmental diseases and illnesses outside the womb. This colostrum is how your baby begins to build their immune system.

As your baby grows, the mature milk contains a higher fat and sugar level to meet the demands of your baby. Breastfed babies have a decreased chance of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) and diabetes. They also have better cognitive development. Aside from all of that, breastfeeding creates this bond between the mother and child.

My son will be two months this Thursday and he can already push himself to stand, hold his head up, can turn his head from side to side while in his tummy, talk baby talk, focus in on objects, laugh, smile, has tremendous strength, scoot, turn his body so he can face me while he’s in his stomach, reach and grab objects, and can turn on his side while on his back. He is far developed than other babies of the same age and I think that has a lot to do with the fact that he’s breastfed.

Some challenges are that around the world, according to the World Health Organization, only about 40% of infants under 6 months are exclusively breastfed. Given the number of people in the world, that is a great number, almost half.

Many mothers face difficulties likelatching issues, pain, discomfort, and not enough milk coming in. Another issue is babies feeding on demand, most mothers feel like they can’t get anything done or they’re always holding their baby. It almost becomes a burden.

You then have women of the older generations imposing their beliefs that babies should have solids earlier than 6 months in order for them to sleep longer. Why would you want a baby to sleep longer? That’s increased risk of SIDS. My son typically will sleep in 4-5 hour chunks. He will occasionally sleep for 6 hours if I bath and then nurse him. In my opinion, wanting a baby to sleep longer is for selfish reasons and not the best interest of the baby.

Breastfeeding is a learned skill for the baby and the mother and many mothers get too frustrated. For the new moms, don’t let the beliefs of others influence your decision to breastfeed. Don’t let the temporary pain and discomfort discourage you, because it’s just that: temporary.

If you breastfeed/fed, what are/were some pros? Cons?

All Black Everything, confessions, Vegan Mommy Things

Confessions of a Single Mom #6: The Talk

And I’m not talking about the sex talk either. As a black mother to a black boy, we have to have a talk that our white counterparts don’t: being a black boy in a society that sees him as dangerous and a threat because of the color of his skin. It’s a shame that I have to even have this talk with him and to say that I’m terrified of it is an understatement.

Why do I have to tell my son that because of the color of his skin and he’s a male, he was born with a target on his back? Why do I have to tell him about obeying the police no matter what and not to run even if you’re innocent or they will shoot you down? Why do I have to tell him that no matter what the cop says, don’t become defensive or combative, just cooperate? Why do I have to tell him that if he’s hanging with his white friends and cops come around, he’ll be the one they look at while his friends get to go free, or that he’s the reason for there being any trouble?

Why do I have to explain to him that in school if he seems to be smarter than the rest and he isn’t properly accommodated, his acting out will automatically have him labeled ADD or ADHD or even SPED, when in reality he is just smart and ahead for his age? Why do I have to explain to him that he won’t be able to do everything his white friends do because his skin doesn’t allow him that privilege? Why do I have to explain to him that he will be stereotyped until the day he dies with people assuming he’s a ball player, can run fast and has a big penis?

Why do I have to explain to him that some, not all, white women will go after him for his penis or his money if he decides to play ball? Why do I have to explain to him that he will be fetishized by white women and gay white men? Why do I have to explain to him that there is a certain way he has to act around white people just to make it in this world?

But you know what? Why do I have to explain anything aforementioned to my black son? Because that’s the world we live in and if he’s not careful, he’ll find himself at the barrel end of a gun. I’m not even looking forward to having to have this conversation with his father about when we should talk about these things with him. I know that someone will say why is race always involved. If you live in America and anywhere that black people, especially black boys and men, are shot down for no reason, you’ll understand. Coming from a black mother, our worry about our babies is ten times worse than those of any other race, including those of biracial children.

confessions, Vegan Mommy Things

Confessions of a Single Mom #4: Loneliness and Meltdowns

Being a single mom from conception is hard as fuck. I won’t even sugarcoat it. Being a single mom period is hard as fuck. There are good days and there are bad days and the bad days make it seem like they outnumber the good. The past couple of days have been trying.

With the transition back home, I’ve felt a sense of loneliness, even when Boo’s dad comes to see him, which has been almost everyday. At times when Boo doesn’t stop crying, I feel helpless and like I have no one to turn to.

There are times when he’s awake for hours at a time and it’s exhausting to the point of severe frustration. I had a complete meltdown today because he was just fussy. He wasn’t wet or hungry and he didn’t want to play: just screaming and crying. It’s hard because he can’t tell me what’s wrong and I have to do my best and try everything.

I found that 9 times out of 10, he’s fighting his sleep. Even though I can call my mom, I still feel lonely with no one here. It’s funny because I live in the same city as my entire family and all of my friends, yet I still feel isolated and secluded.

Mad I had this meltdown while rocking Boo, he just stared at me and smiled as if to say, “It’s okay mommy, we’re both learning.” I cried even harder. It’s moments like that when he just looks at me and smiles, let’s me know I’m going to be okay; we’re going to be okay.

Motherhood can be lonely sometimes, whether you’re single or married, doesn’t matter. You’re the mother and no one else can replace you. What I’m learning is I need to reach out to my mom friends and meet up with the kiddos. Today, I am going to Mommy and Baby yoga and I cannot wait.

One of the best things to combat loneliness is to get out of the house and surround yourself with people. Being around other people can break some of that loneliness, even if you are an introvert and don’t tend to interact with other adults.

Do you ever feel lonely as a mother, despite having a support system? Do you lack a support system and the loneliness is unbearable?

My Life, Vegan Mommy Things

My Reason Why

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“Mom” is the best and most important title that I hold. It’s more than a job: it’s a lifetime of love, tears, trials and triumphs. When I became pregnant, I didn’t know how drastically my mindset would change. I think so much differently now. I don’t only think about myself, I think about my child first.

1. Malakhai is the reason I am on this debt free  journey. Getting out of debt has never been more important to me than it is now. I began budgeting towards the end of last year and I was even able to get my savings to 4 digits, which is something I have never been able to do before.

I’ve always been a spender instead of a saver, but now I think long and hard about purchases I make. I have a complete list I run through before I make a purchase, which I will share in another post.

I’m also doing this debt Free Journey so that he and I can travel. By the time he is school age, I want to be able to work part time in order to spend more time with him, teaching and traveling the world. I feel the best kind of education is done outside of the classroom. I want him to be well-traveled and know that America is not the only place there is.

2. Malakhai is the reason I eat healthier than I do prior to becoming pregnant. I now have to decide if what I’m about to consume is going to benefit him. It’s no longer about just benefiting me, but him as well. Since I’m breastfeeding, he consumes what I do.

3. Malakhai is the reason I want to work for myself so that he can see that he doesn’t have to punch in for anybody but himself, hence why I want to be debt free so I can focus more on my business and become a certified health consultant. I want him to be as open minded as I am and to think outside the box.

4. Malakhai is the reason I haven’t lost my shit after giving birth. He’s how I’ve been keeping it together as far as adjusting to motherhood. Looking at his sweet face and holding him, makes me feel like we’re going to be okay, that everything is going to be fine. I am an awesome mother and he is an awesome child. He is why I know I am going to be the best parent I can be for him.

5. Malakhai is the reason I want to better myself: mentally, physically and emotionally. Since he’s a boy, I’m going to have to be in the best shape physically in order to run around and play with him. He’s also more than likely going to want to play sports and go on adventures and I need to be fit to be there for every single thing. Raising a boy into a man, I am going to have to be emotionally and mentally stable to show him that there’s nothing wrong with asking for help or talking your feelings out. I don’t want him to hold anything in. If he’s having a hard time, I don’t want him to hesitate coming to me.

Malakhai is my reason for working towards living the best life I can. He makes me want to do better and be better. It’s amazing how having a child can make you see the world through different lenses.

If you have a child, how did they change you?

Vegan Mommy Things

Self-care Sunday

 

I haven’t been to a nail salon in years, so with boo arriving soon, I figured why not pamper myself today? I washed my hair and touched up my roots. Then I went to the nail salon and got a much needed pedicure, manicure, and eyebrow waxing. Since there will be photos and video footage of my water birth, I definitely have to be camera ready. Call it vanity, but I call it preparing for the future and having something beautiful to look back on.

My Life, Vegan Mommy Things

Thoughts on being a Single Mother

Never did I ever think that I would be a single mother, nor did I ever think that I would be pregnant, but, here I am. As for being a single mother, I am not depressed or upset by it because I know that there is a man out there who will love me and my baby. Granted getting pregnant under the circumstances wasn’t ideal, I am so glad that I am going to be a mom.

I used to always look at and judge single parents, women mostly, despite the fact that at one point my own mother was a single mom. It wasn’t until I started realizing the situations that makes a woman a single mom and becoming pregnant myself, that I understood.

Reasons a woman becomes a single mom:

Boyfriend/fiancé/husband dies

Divorce

Abuse

Incarceration

Irreconcilable differences

Rape

Man is married

Prostitution

Stripping

One night stand

Incest

And the list goes on and on and on. There are so many reasons and it’s crazy because women get judged for being single mothers, but men don’t get judged for being single fathers. In fact, they get praised (ain’t that some shit?).

For me, being a single mom and my baby isn’t even born yet, I have become such a stronger person. Decision-making has become so cutthroat for me and I don’t even care anymore. If it does not benefit my baby or brings negativity, it’s gone. My only concern nowadays are staying healthy, stress/drama free, birthing a healthy baby and being an amazing mom to a dark-skinned child. If you are not trying to help with any of those things, keep it moving.

I have yet to go to any single parent meetups because I honestly am not comfortable just yet, and that has nothing to do with me being ashamed of being a single parent, because there are millions of single parents. It more so has to do with me being an introvert and also being asked the situation with my child’s father. The situation I know many women have been in (no it’s not rape, abuse or incest, nothing like that), but I am not ready to talk about it more so because of embarrassment because I used to judge women in this situation and now I am one of them.

I have a cousin who is a single mom and despite her situation with the father, she is a damn good mother and has been doing it on her own for a few years, by herself (of course with the help of our family, hey Azia!). I also have a cousin (Azia’s brother) who was a single father for some time. I come from a family of strong individuals, and the amount of support they give, you never feel alone, even though I do feel alone at this point since no one agrees with my decision to have a midwife and have a water birth (that will be for another post).

Being a parent used to mean that my life had to stop and that I couldn’t do any of the things I want to do, which is why I never wanted kids. But having met and watched through social media, some of these amazing, black, single mothers and how they are manifesting on their own with their child(ren), I can’t help but to believe that I can still do everything I want, and still be an awesome mom. Having a child by yourself does not have to be an obstacle or barrier in the way of you are your dreams. Life does not stop when you have a child. It tends to accelerate and you have to go with it.

My time management skills are so on point that, that I know I can continue to be a blogger, YouTuber, writer, and entrepreneur even after my baby is born. Single motherhood does not define who I am. Yes, I am single and a mother, but I am also so much more.

Vegan Mommy Things

Nutrition vs. Taste

Many things change when a woman becomes pregnant. Hormones, skin, physical features, mentality, etc. one of the biggest changes for me was food.

As a vegan, I already eat pretty healthy (in my mind anyway). However, when I am making food choices now, it’s no longer about me; it’s about the baby. I’m always wondering if what I’m eating has a high nutritional value: fiber, iron, folic acid, protein, vitamins and minerals. I’m always thinking of how what I’m eating is going to be beneficial for my tiny human that’s growing inside me.

Most pregnant women have cravings, many of astronomical absurdity. For me, my only craving has been kale. At first I thought maybe I was low on iron, but because I eat a lot of grains, I take an iron supplement, and the doctor says my levels are in the normal range, I exed that off the list. Then I thought about protein, but as much as I eat pumpkin seeds (everyday, don’t judge) and other protein rich plants, I knew that couldn’t be it either. Finally, I just settled on the fact that maybe that’s just my pregnancy craving, which to most, is pretty weird.

Before becoming pregnant, I would eat for taste. If it tastes good, I’m eating it. Even when I cooked I would go heavy on the herbs and spices. Now, taste is not even a thought in my mind when I cook or eat out.

What were some of your pregnancy cravings? Did your attitude about food change when you became pregnant?

My Life, Vegan Mommy Things

Midwife and Water Birth

I have been searching and searching for months to find a midwife (specifically a black one) to deliver my baby. I have always been interested in a water birth and I have seen hundreds of videos. Yesterday (November 20) I met with Afua Hassan, owner of The Birthing Place, in Houston, Tx. Soon as I stepped in, I knew immediately that that is where I wanted to have my baby. It’s so welcoming and the scents from the essential oils is what really got my attention (I’m an essential oil junkie).

She gave me a tour of the center. It has two bathrooms, two birthing rooms and two birthing pools. I was sold. She is very personable and attentive. We talked for quite some time and I knew that when I left, she was going to be my midwife. I didn’t know how I was going to pay her, but I knew she was it.

A water birth resonates with me because they baby is in water for 9 months (actually 10), so why not have the baby born in water? It just makes sense. She went over the transfer procedure, in case I need to be transported to the hospital. She basically settled all my doubts and fears, and answered all of my questions.

Though I don’t have much support in this decision, I have to do what is best for me and my baby, and having a midwife and water birth is best.  I am all about energy and vibes, and I don’t get positive or energizing vibes from the hospital. I wait for 2 hours in the waiting room just to see my OB/gyn for five minutes then pay and leave. I want and need an experience that I will remember and can tell my child when they get older.

I am excited to work with Afua and bring my baby safely, and naturally into this world.