Tag Archives: Family

I Can Relate to Jenifer Lopez

English: Jennifer Lopez in 2009 Português: Jen...

English: Jennifer Lopez in 2009 Português: Jennifer Lopez em 2009. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jenifer Lopez admitted in an interview when she was prompted with a question about her “non-traditional” family, that she has let society get in her head.  She talked about  dealing with those grueling feelings of failure that moms tend to deal with on a daily basis.  She actually gave me an insight into her motherhood that allowed me to finally relate to her. Yes, I can relate to Jenifer Lopez, not because she is latina, not because she has two kids, not even because she is an artist. I relate to her because many times I have felt the same feelings about my role as a mother.

My mind is a daily battlefield. If my kids get a low grade on a test, I feel it is because I didn’t spend enough time studying with them and for that I failed them, or if they get sick with a cold, it’s because I forgot to give them their vitamins and for that I failed them too. I mean, the pressure I put on myself to be this “perfect mom” in this “prefect family” is out of control.  I try to be “perfect” just to be constantly confronted by my imperfections.  Every night I go through a mental audit to see where I failed that day and let me tell you the list gets longer and longer everyday.

Why this need to be perfect? Have I let society get in my head too? Am I a victim of my own crazy idea of being a “perfect mom” and having a “perfect family”?  I think so.  JLo said that she has to frequently remind herself that as long as her kids feel that they are loved  more than anything in the world, as long as they feel safe and protected, then that’s all that matters.  I must remind myself of the same and  give myself a break.  This constant battle is not a healthy way of living and it’s not something I want to pass on to my daughter nor my son.  There is no such a thing as a perfect mom or a perfect family  and I know that, yet I still thrive for that doing more harm than good to my family and myself.

I pledge to go easy on me,  to do the best I can and  to be ok with the outcome.  If I stop demanding perfection from myself and love myself anyway then my kids will know that they don’t need to be perfect in oder to be loved by me, and that my friends… is perfect!

CHEERS! 🙂

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Letting Go of Wanting to Hold On

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Tuesday morning my son departed to Washington, DC on a school trip with his fifth grade classmates. What an interesting day Tuesday was for me. Excited for him to have this amazing experience, but sad for me because my boy was leaving without me. The day before, while he was in school, I packed his bag organizing his outfits by day in big space bags. I wrote notes and placed them in every bag to surprise him every day. That night as I’m tucked him in bed he started crying and he said, “Mami, I’m going to miss you and Papi and Camila”. The crying went on for awhile so I told him that he really didn’t have to go, but he said he wanted to. I kissed him and hugged him and he finally fell asleep.
4:00 am came and the alarm went off, I woke up and realized that, that morning my boy was leaving. I got bombarded with thoughts, “Will he be ok? Is he going to get home sick? I don’t want him to suffer. I don’t want him to be miserable all the way across the country. Oh my gosh!!! I’m going to miss my boy” I was freaking out but I managed to get him up pretending I was excited and trying to keep it together. See, my boy had never been away from home without close family, so this trip is a big deal. We made it to the airport by 6:00 AM. My husband pulled up by the curve side as we were told to do, and we got out of the car. Gabriel hugged his dad goodbye and he started to cry. Immediately I took my phone and told them to pose for a picture, that took some of the intensity of the moment off. I walked in the terminal with him and right away the teacher leader of his group gave him his ticket and told him to get in line. Some kids were crying, some were laughing with friends and some were just going with the motion -Gabriel. He checked in at the counter with his luggage like a big boy and was immediately directed to the security check point line all while I looked from the distance. He wouldn’t make eye contact with me and I realized it was his way of coping with the moment. He made it through the check point, grabbed his jacket and backpack and was about to walk away until I screamed “Gabriel” he looked back, I waived, he waived back and off he went. I didn’t get to hug him nor kiss him goodbye.
My husband and I got back to the house and he went to work and then it hit me “OH SSSSSHHHHNAP I DIDN’T KISS MY BOY. I DIDN’T HUG HIM” and I started crying like a little girl. I know that was the best thing to do, not to hug him or kiss him because he and I know that would have been it. He would have lost it and so would have I, but man… I know this is a trip he will remember for the rest of his life. I know he is going to learn and have a blast. I know this is a growing experience for him and for me. I know allowing him to grow and experience things on his own is necessary and that we as parents won’t be able to hold on to them forever. I also know that letting go of wanting to hold on is the toughest thing I’ve ever had to do.
I miss my boy and I know he misses me but thank God for technology. The teachers have been posting pictures on twitter for the mental health of parents like me and once in awhile I can see him smiling and that makes this whole crazy thing a tiny bit easier. It’s only day 3 and I’m counting down the days to his return.
So I leave you now because I need to go back to twitter to see if I can see my boy one more time before he goes to bed.
CHEERS!

til next time,
Cynthia

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They Are Looking

photo (3)Today, as I drawn myself in the vast sea of images and news reports about the event that took place in Boston, I can’t help but feel overwhelmed and confused. Yes, I know that as Americans and as a country that has overcome and risen stronger from numerous tragedies, we are a resilient nation and know how to come together in moments like this. However, I can’t help but feel a very settle wind of fear and uncertainty specially when thinking about my children’s perspective of all this.
This morning while my son was getting ready for school, he turned on the news in my room. As I heard the tv I ran from the kitchen to my room to turn the tv off because I didn’t want him to have those images in his head specially before going to school. When I got to my room and told him why I didn’t want him watching too much of the news, he looked at me and with a very mature stare (which is really unbelievable the fact that I’m using the word mature when referring to my son) and told me, “Oh Mami, don’t worry. You want to know something? The thing I’ve noticed the most as I watch the news is how people put themselves at risk to help others. I noticed one guy who was bleeding but instead of running away he took off his shirt and wrapped it around another person who was also bleeding. That was nice of him. ” Little did that person know that an 11 year old boy would take notice of that small yet impactful act of kindness. Today my son is a better person because someone decided to put his neighbor first. Our kids are taking notice of the smallest things we most of the time overlook. We should always put others first because that’s the right way to live and love, but if that’s not enough, we should do it because they are looking.

Til next time,
Cynthia

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Little Big Hearts

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We’ve had a bunny for almost a year. His name is Fluffy. Beautiful little rabbit with a peculiar trait, one eye blue and the other brown. Fluffy’s house is really nice – rich wood, two levels, I’m telling you, a nice crip.

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He is a part of our family, the joy of every play date. Camila walks him on a stroller, she even put a dipper on him the other day. Fluffy is really special to my kids and for that reason, to all of us.
Unfortunately, fluffy passed away yesterday and my babies are extremely sad and heart broken. Last night they cried so much I didn’t know what to do to make it better for them. They cried until they fell asleep just to wake up and cry again. My son said to me, “Mami we are supposed to be happy, it’s the holidays” while crying 😦
Death is a part of our reality that we must face. It is so hard to explain to a nine and a ten year old. Nikki, their tennis coach, told them that Fluffy was a star and that they could always look up to the sky and see him. Unfortunately, it was cloudy last night and we couldn’t see stars. The truth is Fluffy is not physically with us and that makes my kids really sad. I just hope their little big hearts can heal soon so they don’t hurt.
Fluffy will always be our bunny.

Til next time

Cynthia

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“Let Me Guess, A Lazy Day For You Mami?”

“Mami, what’s for dinner?”  The very first question I get asked every day when I pick up my kids from school.  Sometimes my respose is well received, becuase the menu sounds appealing and to their liking, but other days, like yesterday, my respons,e is not welcomed and it paints a frawn on their faces. “Today we are having leftovers for dinner” “leftovers!, why? Let me guess, a lazy day today for you mammy?” – Did this creature just say that?.  Is this child out of her mind? Is she aware of  the fact that comments like that can be dangerous and sometimes even fatal? Lazy day!?  Of course all these thoughts are crossing through my mind in a matters of milliseconds and all I can actually articulate is “no little girl, it’s been a really busy day for me and last night I cooked enough food for two days, it won’t kill you if you eat the same thing again tonight”.

So many times I do things expecting my kids, husband or  people in general – did I mention my husband?- to interpret the real motive. Most times, I don’t get the reaction I hope for and that leaves me feeling unappreciated and frustrated.  But the reality is they don’t know any better.  For my lovely 9 year old little human, placed in my life to teach me lessons, my serving leftovers for dinner meant a lazy day for mami. In reality, however, it was the total opposite.  Oh, the complexities of communication. I’m not only a victim in this, I’m also guilty of doing the same, specially to my husband. How many times has he done something meaning a completely different thing than what I think or strongly believe he meant.  It’s crazy if you really think about it.  As I write, I realize that what I need to do is clearly say what I mean and be understanding when I’m on the other side. If I’m the one relating the message, say it clearly and if I’m the one receiving the message be open minded and understand that when he asks me if I put pepper in the chicken he is not saying the chicken is under seasoned he is probably saying he likes the way I seasoned it today. The issue is not always how he says it, it’s how I hear it and a lot of times is how I don’t say it. This whole communication thing is kind of tricky but I’ll get it some day.  Now, how do I say this?..oh, CHEERS 🙂

til next time,

Cynthia

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“And This Is How You Don’t Burn The Bacon Like Mami Does”

This morning was a very interesting one for me. Kids were getting ready and I’m in the kitchen making my cappuccino first, of course, and making their breakfast. I make eggs, bread in toaster and I start to cook the bacon. Suddenly, my son runs to the kitchen and abruptly tells me ” stop! I’ll cook the bacon”. “OOOO-K” I said, looking at him like a third eye had just grown in the middle of his forehead. He told me, ” Don’t worry mami, I just want to cook the bacon. I am the bacon expert.” So I let him. He cut the turkey bacon strips in half and put them in the pan and started sizzling away while singing “I’m sexy and I know it” and doing the respective dace moves. It was a sight to enjoy while drinking my double cappuccino.

I finished buttering the toasts and serving the eggs. He placed the bacon on his open face sandwich and says,  ”AND THIS IS HOW YOU DON’T BURN THE BACON LIKE MAMI DOES, TAH TAHHH”.
“Did he just say that?” I asked myself and then I said, ” little boy normally when I cook the bacon I’m also cooking the eggs and buttering the toast while serving your orange juice and making my coffee AT-THE-SAME-TIME. Sorry for overcooking your bacon” (with an overload of sarcasm).

I had two choices at that point. Do I let this comment take over my emotions and make me feel inadequate? I mean who burns bacon? My own kid feels the need to cook the bacon himself because I always fail at it. Or I could just decide to look at it and say,  ”Good, from now on you are in charge of the bacon station .” I chose the second option and I think I’m going to take it even further. I thinking maybe I’ll start burning dinner , who knows maybe they’ll take over dinner too.   Life is just how you look at it.

Enjoy your weekend,  CHEERS!

Til next time

Cynthia

 

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In Preparation For Take Off…

A long time ago I was a flight attendant. Just did it for one year, one of those things you just have to try. It wasn’t as glamorous as a thought it was.  As a flight attendant you have a check list of things you must make sure the passengers do before take off and landing.  As I said on my previous post, I’m traveling this Friday for a quick turn around, nevertheless the preparation is still intense. Not so much my preparation but my home’s.  This are some of the things on my checklist in preparation to take off  on a working trip :

* Clean bathrooms (cleaning lady is not due for another week)

*Do laundry (Got to make sure kids can find clean socks while I’m gone)

*Stock the fridge (Mind you, I’m only gone for 48 hours…)

*Make sure Tennis outfits are clean and in a “in your face” place so they can find them (my kids never find anything but candy and money)

*Arrange babysitting if needed (got to make it is effortless for the man)

*I also have to rehearse,  so I do that while cleaning (hey, whatever works)

I do this because I need to make sure my family understands that they are my number one priority.  I won’t lie, it’s not easy trying to do what I do. I’m very passionate about my music and I also love my family more than life, therefore, sometimes I find it very difficult to keep my priorities straight. But if I want to have my cake and it too, I have to make sure everything and everyone is ok.  The way I see it, my cake tastes sweeter when my family is happy. Now, can I have it all? maybe not, but I’ll have my cake with a glass of Pinot please 😉

til next time,

Cynthia

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I Never Saw My Parents Argue

Last night my husband and I had a fight. For sake of word count the bottom line is, I needed his attention and he wasn’t giving it to me the way I wanted it. So I said it, I said the words I knew were going to cause hell to break loose “It bothers me that…”and that was the beginning of our fight. He was angry and frustrated, I was hurt and frustrated (at least we had something in common). I felt completely misunderstood and he felt judged. I tell you, this relationship/marriage thing is way too complicated. Men are from another galaxy.  I used to think they were from another planet but the longer I’m married the more I believe in life in another galaxy “The MENaway”. Anyway, back to my story.
We got over our stupid fight (well not really it takes me 24 hours to a month to get over it and if it overlaps with my cycle we could be talking about two months easily :)) and went on with our night. We had dinner, kids watched some tv and then went to bed. My husband retired to our bedroom and I went to the living-room to do some reading and watch HOMELAND with Gin – a very light gin and tonic to relax after a frustrating fight 🙂
I sat down, turned on my iPad to get to my nook app where I have the book I’m reading, but instead, I decided to go on the Internet. When I opened my Internet application, I noticed there was an active google search that read “How to make your parents stop arguing”.  Our kids were searching the Internet while my husband and I were arguing. I sat there staring at the screen and feeling like the worse parent on earth.  As I started to indulge in my own guilt, I couldn’t help but think about my own childhood. Would you believe if I told you that growing up I NEVER SAW MY PARENTS ARGUE? NEVER! But one day after being married for 25 years they were ready to get a divorce.  That for me, at the age of 24, was the biggest shock of my life. I felt betrayed by my parents and felt like my whole life had been a lie up to that point. Thankfully they worked it out and have noe been married for 40 yrs.

They never argued in front of me because they wanted to “protect” me. They wanted me to think and believe that everything was perfect – talk about a mask. (refer to “Unmasking The Mask” post). That didn’t help me. It only made me want a “perfect marriage” that can’t exist because the components of a marriage are not perfect.  It made  create false expectation, unrealistic expectations, not to mention the pain I felt when I found out they weren’t really happy and finally after sh– hit the fan they wanted to call it quits.  This memory was a way of God saying to me “yes, you are little messed up,  but you are doing a heck of a better job than your parents did.”  By the kids seeing my husband and I argue (within guidelines of course) they see real people. They are not growing up expecting their spouse to be perfect.  By letting them see that, I’m being REAL with my kids and that’s part of letting go of my mask.

Yes, I believe we must be careful about how we argue, making sure we don’t cross the line of respect. However, I actually think that some arguing is healthy.  Today I asked them in a playful way, “so, somebody was searching online last night about how to make your parents stop arguing, ha?”  My son answered laughing “oh yes, and you know what it said? STAY OUT OF IT! hahahahaha”

I went on to explain to them that it was totally normal and reassured them that mom and dad are ok.

As per Gin and I, we had a lovely evening

So tell me, What do you think? Is some arguing healthy or not?

til next time,

Cynthia

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Unmasking The Mask

Have you seen the movie “The Mask”?  You know, Jim Carey with a green face, acting wacky and silly? The movie is about a nice and normal guy, who one day finds an ancient mask. The funny part is that this mask, when worn, has several effects on the person wearing it. The effects are superhuman speed, crazy flexibility among popping eyes and other things.  Well, I have a mask and like in the movie, my mask gives me powers.  When I wear my mask people like me and accept me and  that to me is pretty powerful. My motherhood journey is fueled by mask moments. Most of my adult life is filled with mask moments too.

My mask is SHAME. Shame (fear of reveling one true self) stops me from being vulnerable.  If I’m not vulnerable then I can’t connect, but my existence depends on my connection to others because that’s how humans are wired. So, for that reason, I’m unmasking shame. This is who I really am:

I’m the most anti-social person

I’m shy and insecure

I yell at my kids almost every day (I think I didn’t yell last Sunday…oh wait)

I deal with self-image issues

I don’t know how to manage time

I don’t know how to communicate with my husband nor my kids

Most days I feel like I have no clue of what I’m doing

I constantly battle thoughts of inadequacy (like I mentioned in previous post)

I can’t keep up with house, husband and kids

I forget my kids’ doctors appointments

I forget to put sunblock on my kids

I feel like a failure because my singing career is not where I thought it would be by this time in my life.

I feel like I’m a mess

I’m always conscious about my accent, I feel people can’t understand me

This is just a small list but I think you get the point.

Since I was really young I’ve known that I want to make an impact in this world, to make a difference. I’ve known that I want to empower women of all ages to live up to their full potential. But, how can I do that if I don’t open myself up? How can I help others if they can’t really see me?

I am tired of wearing this mask.  I am letting go of  who I think I’m supposed to be and I going to embrace who I actually am. I have decided to be vulnerable and let you all see who I really am.  I’m letting go of shame so you can see my face. I really hope that you’ll still like me but I want you to know that if you don’t, it’s totally ok.

On that note CHEERS!

til next time

Cynthia

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Not One of Those Days

Today I’m feeling like “a not so good Mom”.  I could blame it on hormones, I could blame it on the heat outside (southern California is burning up),  I could even blame it on fifth grade. The reality is that I often struggle with thoughts of inadequacy and failure.  The fear of failing as a mother hunts me day and night. The fact that I’m responsible for two little creatures that drive me insanely crazy is a scary thought.  Something I say or don’t say  could mess them up for ever.  Not only am I responsible for my health, I’m responsible for theirs.  Their doing well in school depends on me and if a behaviour issue comes up I feel like is a reflexion of something I did or didn’t do.  My mom told me when I got pregnant with my first child, that motherhood was the most beautiful thing a woman could experience. What she failed to tell me was that it is also the most challenging thing EVER. That there would be days when I would want to drop the towel and run away.  Days when I would have to build them up even when I’m crawling in my despair.  That motherhood is all about delayed gratification.

My days are 5-hour days. From 8am to 2pm I must do everything I need to do.  Go to the market, the dry cleaner, squeeze an hour work out, come home to make beds, pick up the kitchen to wipe away the evidence of the morning madness, try to take a shower, do a load of laundry and try to fold some laundry, prep dinner and leave the house by 2pm to find parking and get my kids.  After that, “my time” is no more.  Homework, arguing children, extra curricular activities (tennis in our case), dinner, showers all before their bed time, because they need to get their rest and I need to clean the kitchen so the next morning it could be the witness of madness one more time.

My lovely therapist, which I can’t wait to see on Friday, told me to enjoy my kids to the fullest because one day soon they will no longer need me as much. To what I replied; WHEN? I know I must enjoy and I get it, it’s just so hard to do when you are tired and overwhelmed and trying to figure yourself out in the process. There are great days where I can see their little faces and be mesmerized by their beauty and melt at their touch and smile at everything they say. But today is not one of those days.  And the hardest part?  I still have to show them love and respect and be present.  Today I went to the market and forgot to buy the milk, but thank God I remembered to buy the wine 🙂

til next time,

Cynthia

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