Vegan Mommy Things

Will He Hate Me?

This thought has run through my head time and time again, sometimes all day. When Malakhai gets older, will he hate me?

If you’ve been following the blog for a while, you know that Khai’s dad and I don’t have the best relationship. In fact, we don’t have a relationship at all. We don’t coparent. I won’t get into all of the reasons why, but I always wonder of when Khai becomes old enough to understand, will he blame me for the lack of coparentship his father and I have.

Granted I will tell him the truth of everything, but will he forgive me? Will his father and his father’s wife say things about me to make it hard for him to believe me?

I always think about these things because if Khai ever resented me, I don’t think I could handle that. Granted as I grew older, I came to my own conclusion about my biological father and I’m hoping to do the same with Khai, let him see for himself.

If you are in a similar situation with your child’s other parent, how are you coping? Are your kids old enough to understand? How are they handling it?

My Life, Vegan Mommy Things

Old Time Christmas Tree Farm

This past Saturday, I took Malakhai to the pumpkin patch and as you can see below, we had a grand ol’ time. He loved touching the pumpkins and pulling up the hay.

It was $5 to get in, and they had numerous activities to do such as a hay ride, vendors to eat or buy things from, as well as thugs for kids to do. Of course, Malakhai is too young for much of the activities, but I did think the hay ride would be fine, however, I brought his stroller I’m not thinking, and there was no way I was going to be able to get it up on the car.

They also grow Christmas trees, so if you need a Christmas tree, you are more than welcome to purchase one, but you do have to cut it down yourself.

The farm is located in Spring, Texas off of Spring Cypress Rd.

All in all, it was a successful and well spent day with my baby love. Do you go to the pumpkin patch during pumpkin season?

Vegan Mommy Things

Back to work…

Today was my first day back to work and I thought it would be a disaster since I’d be leaving Khai for longer than I ever have before. I expected tears, withdrawals, constant fidgeting and lack of focus. I experienced all of that minus the tears.

Luckily, I’m still decorating my classroom so my mom brought him up there. I got to play with him and my coworkers got to see him. It was perfect. Now tomorrow on the other hand will be a different story since my mom is not coming.

I did end up pumping two full bottles because I missed him so much and thought about him constantly. I thought it would be hard to pump but I was pleasantly surprised at the outcome.

I think I’m going to survive this year. For my mamas who went back to work after having your first child, what was your experience like?

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?

confessions

Confessions of a Single Mom #8: Single Mom Friends

*Disclaimer: This post is to piggy back off of Confession #4.

I can’t stress how important it is is to have single mom friends as a single mom. I used to trip off having single friends because most of my friends are either married or in a relationship, and then there were those who had kids, so we couldn’t really relate in life. It’s funny that I’m having an easier time finding single mom friends than I did finding single friends. Strange, right?

As a single mom, hanging around married moms or moms who are in relationships is not conducive to a relationship because they don’t know your struggle. Their kids have both of their parents in the same household, they aren’t searching for a man to potentially be a stepfather, they don’t have to deal with their child’s father’s girlfriend or wife, unless they were once together and now they are with other people, they have in-house help, they are a two-income household (majority anyway). They don’t have to go through what us single moms do so how can we relate other than both being moms?

I have a group of single mom friends and I’m thankful for them. We don’t get to hangout all the time but when we do, it’s so much fun. Having play dates and chatting it up about motherhood, our kids’s father’s, dating, sex, you name it, is relaxing and makes me feel sane. Sometimes I need adult interaction. Don’t get me wrong, I love talking to my baby, but he doesn’t understand a word I’m saying and vice versa.

Not having single mom friends can make single motherhood stressful and seriously boring and lonely. If you’re in Houston, well technically anywhere, follow @singleblackmotherhood on Instagram and join the Facebook group. I will be posting an interview with the founder, Kim Williams during my Boss Lady series.

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.

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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?

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?

confessions, Vegan Mommy Things

Confessions of a Single Mom #2: Home, Sweet Home and Closing the Door

Yesterday Boo and I finally went home from my parents’ house. We had been staying with them for the past 7 weeks. We had adjusted to him being out of the womb and I was getting used to my parents helping out and watching him while I sleep, as well as doing a bunch of other things for me.

Scared was not even the word to describe how I felt about leaving my parents’ house and doing this on my own. Granted they live literally 3 miles away, they are currently out of town. My son’s father helped me to move all of our stuff back into my apartment. He then left right after for an emergency. I was left alone with Boo. That’s when the crying began. He would not let me put him down so I could begin unpacking. At one point I left him in the room and closed the door. I felt a panic attack coming on. Then all of a sudden, the crying stopped, so did my heart. I went back in and he a was laying there with a string of snot coming out of his nose. He looked up at me and my heart broke.

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I picked him up, wiped his nose and cuddled in the bed. I nursed him and he fell asleep. As soon as I got out of the bed, the crying started again. I put him in his vibrating chair and let him watch cartoons on YouTube. I cleaned up a bit until my mom came. She stayed for a little while and he was completely calm. After she left, he cried on and off for the next five hours.

Around 10:30, I called my mom. I put her on speaker so he could hear her voice.  He was calm again. After we got off the phone, I nursed him and he went to sleep. He slept the entire night until I woke him up at 5 to change his diaper and to nurse. He quickly went back to sleep.

I still feel bad about leaving him in the room to cry. I feel like a terrible parent for doing that.

If there are any tips or trick to soothe a crying baby that is not hungry, wet, or sick, please leave them in the comment section. Being a single parent living on my own is hard as fuck.

confessions, My Life, Vegan Mommy Things

Confessions of a Single Mom #1: Be Still, Cherish the Moment

There are times when Malakhai just won’t stop crying. Like today. We went to my apartment and it was his first time there. He cried and cried. I was trying to get things done with my blog, apply for jobs, plan new content, eat, and a cohort of other things. I started to think that he hated being there. Every time he would go to sleep, I’d lay him down and he’d throw an entire fit. He has never cried like that before and I was becoming frustrated. I changed him, I fed him, I rocked him, but what he really needed was my full attention and to cuddle with him. See, being at my moms house, we spend a lot of time cuddling and just us time. I haven’t really been trying to work like I did before I had him. Finally, I got undressed, cuddled him in my arms, got under the covers and laid down. He instantly stopped crying and went to sleep. So did I. In that moment, he taught me a valuable lesson. I have plenty of time to work but moments like that will soon go away, so I need to be in the moment, be still and just cherish it. Turn off YT, Netflix and Hulu. Put my phone down. Before I know it, he won’t want to cuddle anymore. So, I’m learning to take advantage of him wanting to be near me, close to me and just being still with me.

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Vegan Mommy Things

2 Weeks Postpartum

Today makes two weeks since I had Boo and I have to say it has been an adjustment but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. The first few days were hard because I was in some pain, but also he wasn’t feeding. I got really nervous and scared. 

I found out that he still had amniotic fluid in his throat that he had to spit up. Once all of that came up, he fed like a champ.

Sleeping at night was a challenge because he had his days and nights confused. I realized that he hated sleeping on his back because he can’t curl up like he did when he was in the womb. Now that I let him sleep on his stomach, we cosleep so I can keep an eye on him. He doesn’t do much moving in his sleep anyway, so I’m not worried about anything. Plus I can feel and here him when he makes the slightest noise or movement.

I’m now back to my prepregnancy weight and I’m stoked about that. I’m also embracing my postpartum body: the stretch marks and the small pouch. This body of mine did the most incredible thing that a body can do: it grew and nurtured a life, as well as delivered it and is continuing to nurture through breast milk. I still can’t get over how I brought this little human into the world. I did that. Me. 

Breastfeeding has been great actually. He latched on perfectly after he was born. Had no issues. He is a greedy one though, I must admit that. He’s been putting on weight and getting bigger. He was born at 7lb 2oz and is now at 7lbs 9oz. He Feds about every 1-3 hours (3 hours if I let him sleep that long). 

He is mighty strong to only be two weeks old. He pulls the glasses off my mom’s face, when he got weighed at the pediatrician yesterday he had a death grip on my arm and would not let go. I had to pry his hands off. He has strong kicks and as well (he uses my breasts as kick bags at night).

Diaper changes are still a struggle. Just this morning, Boo peed and it got in his face, on my arms, on the comforter and on his onesie. I ended up ordering some peepee teepees off Amazon. We are not going to keep doing this lol.

As for me, I am doing well actually. I’m so in love with him that it’s indescribable. This little human is mine and depends on me to love, nurture and guide him through life. I am honored he chose me as his mom. Truly humbled and honored. I’m going to be sure to give him the best life I can, a better life than what I had (and I had a damn good life).

The bleeding has slowed to spotting. The cramping from breastfeeding and my reproductive organs moving back to their position has stopped. I still experience some pain and pulling when I carry him while walking. 

My arms are getting stronger from picking him up and holding him while breastfeeding. I swear I have muscle definition now (just take my word for it). 

All in all, the first two weeks have had their ups and downs. I no longer cry from frustration or worry (not to say that it won’t ever happen again because I mean he’s a boy and boys tend to be reckless and get hurt constantly). 

I’ll try to work on updating y’all on Boo once or twice a month. 

Vegan Mommy Things

A Letter to My Son

 

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Dear Malakhai,

I remember when I first found out about you. My reaction wasn’t of joy but of pure sadness and disappointment. Not because I was single, but because I didn’t feel like a child fit into my life. As time went on, I realized that you were created for a reason and that alone had changed me. I’m not who I was 9 months ago. I’ve grown and morphed into a completely different woman: a woman that I never knew existed. As it is now time for your arrival, Idk how I feel about my seeing my heart outside my body, and that’s what you are: my heart. You are the greatest blessing that I could’ve ever received and I thank the universe (and I mean I guess your father, lol) for gifting you to me. I also thank you for choosing me to be your mother. You are loved by so many, more than you’ll ever know. A plethora of people are anticipating your arrival, but more importantly, mommy and daddy are. I want you to know that mommy is going to make sure you have the best life, a life that you deserve. You will never want for anything because mommy is a hustler. I say all of this to say that I love you so much and I can’t wait to shower you with my love and show you the world.

Love,

Your Anxiously Awaiting Mother

 

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