Tag Archives: Parenting

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! 🙂

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , ,

Abercrombie & Fitch: My Kids Are Too Cool For You

Abercrombie & Fitch

I haven’t been the one to constantly be offering my two cents on politics or any other controversial issues. However, today I can’t keep quiet. Abercrombie & Fitch really stroke a cord in me this week. The comments perfunctorily made by this company’s CEO really show how shallow and irresponsible he is, reflecting badly on his company. I understand branding and marketing but to go as far as naming his target market “the cool kids” makes me angry. What is that saying to the kid that will never be a size 2? What is the message being heard by that girl and boy who has been struggling with self-image issues and/or eating disorders?
It is really obvious to me that he doesn’t understand what civic responsibility is, which is shocking to me because you would think a person in his position is educated enough to know this.
I am a mother of two kids. My daughter is a gorgeous tennis player, and she may never be a size 2, how can one know? But she is cool as heck. My son might fit your target but he is way wiser than you and that makes him way too cool.
Mr. Jeffries, as citizens of humanity we have a responsibility to do the right thing for ourselves as well as for others and that, by the way, is civic responsibility. When your career places you in a position where your words and actions can make an impact on millions of people you better think before you speak. My problem with you is not your marketing strategy; is your insensitive way of communicating it. Next time before you open your mouth, THINK!
I will never buy your clothes and my kids will never wear your clothes again. I refuse to give business to a company whose leader is so irresponsible and careless. Abercrombie & Fitch: my kids are too cool for you.

til next time,

Cynthia

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Water or Wine?

Water or Wine?

Water or Wine?

On Wednesday and Thursday my baby girl stayed home because she was sick. She had a high fever that wouldn’t break, a headache, and a sore throat. I took her to the doctor first thing Wednesday morning. They did the whole “open your mouth and say aah” thing and sure enough, STREP. Right away she was given the prescription for the antidote and off we went to the pharmacy. While we waited, we decided to go next door to get something to drink and that’s when it all began. Camila was faced with a choice, water or juice? It might seem like a very simple thing, but in that moment it wasn’t. It was a split-second where she knew what was better for her, and she also knew what I would rather her have yet, she hesitated.
I’m trying (with emphasis on “trying”) to teach my kids to stop and think before making a decision. I want them to be able to use that second to assess the situation and figure out what is the best thing to do, while also taking under consideration the values they are being taught. For some reason my efforts have given me faster results with my daughter. I can see her thinking and for the most part, she makes good decisions. On the other hand, my son often realizes what the right choice was after his cards have been read and a two-week without tv sentence is in his horizon. A lot has to do with not being shame resilient yet (I’m also trying to teach them that). It’s hard for him, and most boys for that matter, to stop and think in the middle of feeling embarrassed or belittled. I get it, it happens to me too. However, as an adult, I also know and understand that there are consequences to every action. He is learning and I know he will get there. Meanwhile, I’ll pray that I don’t get a phone call from school saying that he is at the office or that he doesn’t get any more tv time taken away. God knows I need him to be able to watch tv Saturday mornings so I can sleep in.
I won’t be able to make choices for them, all the time, so they must learn. As of Camila, I’m so glad she knew water was better for her. I too, get faced with a similar choice, water or wine?… and I always go for the wine 😉
Cheers!

til next time,
Cynthia

Tagged , , , , , ,

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

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

They Know, Trust Me.

The Ones that drive me crazy but I love them more than life

The Ones that drive me crazy but I love them more than life

As you know by now, I have been blessed with two kids. I have a hormonally flatulent 9 year old beautiful daughter and an imperfection intolerant handsome 10 (soon to be 11) year old son. They are very close in age, seventeen months apart to be exact. I know what you’re thinking “who does that?”, well it was not the plan but I’m glad it worked out the way it did.
Deep inside of me, really deep, I believe my kids love each other. I would like to think the endless arguing that lives in the car, dinner table and everywhere they coexist, is just a front. I don’t think they want to show us the love they feel for each other. Yeah right!
From the moment they wake up to the moment they go to sleep, they are arguing. It’s the worst thing to experience. It’s a situation that is driving me to unthinkable measures. There are moments when I really think I can end up in a mental institution, or at least they think that because of how I react to their arguing.
I’ve tried everything. I’ve tried “the hippie mom method”, you know, whispering voice, smiling and letting them be the natural beings that they are. Peace and love and heck!…it doesn’t work. They get me out of Zen two seconds in.
I’ve tried “the iron mom method”, this one is where you ignore them no matter what’s going on. Nothing makes you flinch. You are as cool as ice. You see no evil, you hear no evil. Couldn’t do it. How can I ignore the fact that they are hitting each other, one can easily make the other bleed and then I would have to clean up the mess.
I’ve tried “The drama queen method” where I just scream in a very dramatic way, in the middle of them arguing: “Oh No, what did I ever do to deserve this pain. My children don’t love each other. There is nothing more painful for a parent than to see her kids fight and argue. Guys please stop this because I don’t think my heart can take it.” Couldn’t keep it up for too long. They know that before they kill me, I’ll…they know, trust me.
I’m currently using “The crazy, lunatic, mentally unstable mom method”. Say we are in the car and they start their annoyance, I wait and wait and wait and then all of a sudden I scream OMG!!!!!! STOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOP!!! Sometimes I stop the car and tell them to get out (not that I would let them, but…). Sometimes I just scream one of their names in the same manner and that’s been getting their attention. They get a little nervous because they know, oh they know, trust me. They know their old school, raised in the islands, Dominican mama is crazy and she will always get her way. So until this method fails I will continue and then it will be on to the next one. But until then, lord have Mercy on THEIR souls, CHEERS!

Til next time,
Cynthia

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Ciao Bella!

20121211-171119.jpgThis morning I got out of bed and sleep walked to my espresso maker as I do every morning. I pressed the button to turn it on and got no reaction. I unplugged it and plugged it again and got no reaction. At this point I’m waking up because panic is taking over my body. “No, no, no! Come on baby stay with me, stay with me”. But after trying for a few minutes I got a flat line. It had decided to quit on me. Do you all know what this means? Anyway, I managed to make the kids breakfast and take them to school. As I walked into the school campus, I remembered I needed to speak to my son’s teacher. I will refer to him as Mr. You. I went up to him and tried to make eye contact but, those of you that know him know that’s close to impossible. So I went on and started to talk to him just to get interrupted by him and blown off. “Yeah yeah I know…blah blah blah” he says as he walks away from me.

Now, you all remember that my morning had, up to that point, been traumatic enough. My espresso maker is dead and I’m still seeing in black and white. I haven’t had my coffee, right? As he walks away I can feel my heart beating out of my chest and all I want to do is follow his behind and give him a piece of my mind. I mean I got tunnel vision, it was like if hulk was about to appear, but instead, I walked away.
Mr. You is a very interesting being. He has a way of communicating that I still don’t understand and, quite frankly, I don’t care to. I know he is a “good teacher” and all, but man…
It is very difficult to communicate with him and more so for my Dominican self.
So with my tragic loss and communication glitch you can conclude that my morning was indeed a challenging one.
To my espresso machine, I’m sorry I worked you to your max. You and I were really good together. I won’t forget how warmly you greeted me every morning and afternoon- it was like you were saying “Ciao Bella” in a sexy Italian accent, every time. You were very important to me. However, I need to move on. I grieved for an hour or two and now I need to move on to a better you. It’s time for an upgrade. And like Beyonce would say “I’m gonna upgrade ya” 😛
As per Mr. You, well…
I’m sorry you don’t like talking to parents. But guess what Mr. You, I will talk to you anyway. I will walk behind you and continue to talk to you when you walk away from me. I will ask as many times as I need to until I get my answer. I will repeat myself twenty seven million times whenever you pull the “I don’t understand what you’re saying because of your accent” card. You see, God has entrusted me with my son’s life. I’m responsible for raising a man of integrity and honor. My kids are my most precious possession and I would do ANYTHING to ensure their well being. Besides, you should be thanking the heck out of me for making your job a lot easier. I reteach my son everything you “teach” him. The reason your scores are so high is because of parents like me. Parents who care and are involved. Parents who ask and ask and ask questions just like I do. It is for you to endure me, not the other way around.
So for now, ciao Mr. You.
I will now raise a glass to celebrate and welcome my new love who is coming home in about two hours. My new upgrade espresso machine. Cheers!

Til next time

Cynthia

 

Tagged , , , , , ,

“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

 

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

The New Member of the Family

For a few months now, my daughter has been expressing her wanting to learn how to play an instrument. I asked what instrument she was interested in and she said drums. “DRUMS!, really honey? Are you sure?”  all I could think about was, afternoons and saturday mornings filled with non stop thunder. Couldn’t she pick something else? A few days passed and she came to me and told me she had changed her mind.  She wanted to learn to play the guitar. “YES!” I play a little  so I happily volunteered to teach her everything I know to see if she really liked it. We did one lesson and she changed her mind.

At school there is an orchestra program where kids can learn an orchestra instrument and then perform at the end of the year.  Once she found out about the program she couldn’t think about anything else. I was really interested in knowing what instrument she wanted to learn this time, so I asked her. Her reply?  “the trumpet”.  “THE TRUMPET!” right away I could see it in my mind . Coming home from school, getting through homework and then having to endure through the sound of a crying hungry elephant for an hour everyday or until my collapse. I couldn’t tell her no, I’m her mother.  I’m supposed to encourage her and support her, right? Thankfully, since they were so many kids interested in the program, she needed to list her top three choices of instruments to play and so I helped her choose 😛

She listed violin, which I liked because is cute and girly.  Trombone, Really! Is this a conspiracy to land me in a mental institution? and Cello. I liked cello, I figured it wouldn’t be scratchy sounding like a violin being played by an inexperienced child, and  at least you can see her face instead of being buried under a giant horn. I crossed my fingers and hoped for a good outcome. Well, today we welcomed the new member of the family “The Cello”. She came home did her homework and since then she hasn’t stopped practicing.  She calls it “her baby”. Yes, I have a headache. This thing sounds like ten humming cockatoos and now I’m starting to believe that maybe her playing the drums wasn’t such a bad idea after all because at least I could walk to the beat and make a workout out of it. She is happy and that’s what really matters.


I don’t know if this cello thing will ever work for me, too early to tell but I know is working for the dogs. Cheers to that 🙂

til next time

Cynthia

Tagged , , , , ,

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

Tagged , ,

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

Tagged , , , ,
Advertisements