One of those days.

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photo via

Have you ever had one of those days where:

you rush out of the house to get to baby circle time. And it’s canceled.

while you are there you change a diaper. Poop explosion. And you forgot wipes.

you go to the post office. But you forget to bring the stuff you wanted to mail.

you have a phone appointment to take care of while you are running around doing all this stuff. But you left your phone at home.

It’s only 11:49 am and I am officially starting over for the day.

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Things I love about being a single mother of a 5 month old.

Uhhhhm. Even that title was hard to write. The truth is the past couple of weeks have been really tough. I’m in between babysitters and baby suddenly hates being in the car-seat at all. Even 5 minutes in the car-seat = screaming. Besides that – and probably because of it – I want to focus on what I love about it by listing what I love about being a single mom. Maybe it will give me a little breath of air. All of the thing I can think of also have a negative flip-side, but again, focusing on the good parts. Here goes…

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1. I’m his favorite person. Sorry folks! I’m the winner! Don’t even try! 😉

2. I get to do things exactly how I think is best. No negotiations necessary.

3. We have an extra strong bond.

4. I’m learning how good at multi-tasking I am. We are surviving!

5. When people comment on what a happy baby he is I know it is because of me and the home I have made for us.

Phew! That was kind of hard. I will keep practicing. It’s so easy for me to look at other mothers who have partners and families and see every which way they seem to have it easier or better. All of the things above are things that moms with partners often have, too. But I’m trying to see and write down that I have these things going on as well!

Bill of Rights for People of Mixed Heritage, by: Maria P. P. Root

I found this Bill of Rights when I was pregnant and researching how to be the best mother to a biracial child. I definitely didn’t find all the answers, but this was a good start…

I have the right…Not to justify my existence in this world.Not to keep the races separate within me.Not to justify my ethnic legitimacy.Not to be responsible for people’s discomfort with my physical or ethnic ambiguity.I have the right…To identify myself differently than strangers expect me to identify.To identify myself differently than how my parents identify me.To identify myself differently than my brothers and sisters.To identify myself differently in different situations.I have the right…To create a vocabulary to communicate about being multiracial or multiethnic.To change my identity over my lifetime — and more than once. To have loyalties and identification with more than one group of people.To freely choose whom I befriend and love.ImageAnything you would to add to this list?

Dun dun dun!

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What do we have here…

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Looks like a tiny little Communist has been here.

And would you look at that profesh photography job!  ::puffs chest::

Ok, well, I’m totally cracking myself up so I’m obviously delirious with exhaustion. Good night!

5 things I wish someone told me as an expecting single mom.

Becoming a mother totally qualifies as culture shock in my book. The other day, I was talking with a friend who is also a new mother and she is not single but we both agreed on some things that are difficult and that we wished someone had filled us in on.  Here are 5 things we wished someone had told us when we were pregnant.

1. When you have a newborn you will not only be too tired to cook, you will be too tired to even know what you are hungry for. Plan your meals now – start a Meal Train and invite anyone who asks how they can help, make a months (or two!) worth of freezable meals, stock up on snacks to eat while nursing, compile a list of easy meals and healthy food delivery. It’s too hard to think this stuff up when you are tired.

2. People will tell you it “feels funny” the first time you walk after giving birth. “Feels funny???!!!” How about: your pelvic floor will be dangling between your legs. Let’s be honest people. I feel really burned on this one for some reason.

3. You will need help. I don’t care how independent you are or have been your whole life. You will need help. Start building your community now. If you don’t have super-involved friends or family – hire a postpartum doula (they really know what they are doing). Take people up on their offers to help (this is easier if you keep a running list of things people can help with. When you are so tired all you can think to say is “…uhhh. umm. uhhh…”). I would tell any new mom – especially single ones – to hire a postpartum doula to come by a few days per week and have help overnight (a friend or doula) once per week. New doulas are often willing to volunteer or work for a low fee as they gain experience. And let me tell you – those ladies know their shizzz.

4. Some of your friends might seem to be punishing you for having a baby. Maybe “punish” isn’t the right word but they won’t treat you the same. They might leave you out of things and events, they might not ask you how you are, might not respond to your texts and emails as quickly or with as much interest as they used to, they might treat you like you are their mother (and this is not always pretty), they might think you are incapable of being interested in anything besides the baby. Becoming a mother might feel very gradual for you but to some you are instantly an entirely different person. You might as well rename yourself. It’s often more pronounced if they have not had a child. So I guess you can’t really blame them. I now know I have been a perpetrator of these things in the past. You learn something new every day. I hereby apologize publicly.

5. It can be really hard to go back to work. Whether it’s because you and the baby are inseparable, your stitches/breasts/back/fill-in-the-blank still hurts, you still can’t walk normally, you don’t have childcare you are totally comfortable with, you haven’t slept more than a two hour stretch in months, your co-workers are now insufferable, you now find your work meaningless. Etc. Etc. Etc. For one reason or another it can be really hard to get back in that game. Now is a good time to brainstorm some ideas on how to either stretch your recovery time or make a career change. Hats off to those who go back happily and with ease. I’m truly jealous.

Oh! Shhnap! I forgot a couple of things we though of! Here are two bonus tips:

  • Don’t expect to be late! As in past your due date. Plan to be 2 weeks early. Get as much done by then as possible. It’s really a myth that most first time moms go past their due dates.
  • If you live in a state where you can sign up for leave before your due date: do it! Yeah, it’s great to make all the money you can before the baby comes and the pregnancy leave money is not as much as you would make at work. Buuuuut, trust us, you need to sleep as much as gawdamn possible before you give birth. I didn’t know about this (I swear California makes it purposely confusing) and it still stings.

Despite all of this, someone still loves you anyway…

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And gawdamn he used to sleep a lot.

Trying something new.

It has been such a hard year. Starting this blog is me trying something new to counteract that. It feels like putting a fishing line out there in the world to see what is out there. I’m already getting connected to people I otherwise would never have made contact with. Good stuff.

Back to it having been such a hard year for a minute. And I’ll make it quick 😉 It has really been a rough one.

  • Was forced out of my job due to reasons related to pregnancy. As many stood by and watched.
  • came face to face with race based hate – in a very unexpected place (though nothing compared with what others deal with every day. We need to talk about this).
  • became homeless for 3 months
  • went hungry for a short time while pregnant
  • saw a lot of friends fade away during these hard times
  • parted with a best friend (projectile tears on this one, I tell you)
  • became a single mom (horrible and wonderful)
  • endured 3 months of serious illness directly following baby’s birth
  • more that I still fear sharing here

It’s hard to feel like this stuff is “over.” In the past. Done. It’s still very fresh and I’m still picking up the pieces from it. And let me tell you – the pieces are all over the place. Scattered far and wide. I do not wish what I have been through on anyone. 

You know, you get to a point in your life that you think some of the things I listed above…won’t happen to you. You feel untouchable because maybe you now have a college education, you have done big things in your life, you have seen the world, you have turned a corner and have found yourself able to turn around and help others. This year has been a reminder that as safe and secure as I can feel now…the type of things I listed above are just at my back. Waves lapping at the shores. The cycle of poverty has a very, very strong pull. One misstep and you land right back where you started.

I just heard from a friend who was mentioning about how she she is basically allergic to negativity these days. I get that. I do. And lord, goddess, ghost, tree, little bunny fufu: have mercy on my soul – I want to be able to be that way too. This year has had me on my knees. I cry as I write this. This has been the worst year and the best year. I did not know that such a thing could be. So I’m trying something new by starting this blog. I’m learning as I go and might make some mistakes, but my intention is to shed a little fear of the world and be as honest as possible. And to put out the energy of good intentions while I earnestly put it all back together.

Thanks for meeting me here. See you soon!

Life out there – links to look at.

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“Together you were a captive audience, and that backdrop practically did all the bonding/sameness work for you.” Some interesting points on making friends at different times in life.

A great list of table foods for baby. Especially if you are like me and are so tired you can’t think past sweet potato and avocado.

Another part-time job idea for moms. I have a single-mom friend who does this kind of work and she makes a lot of money in very little time – therefore minimizing her time away from the baby.

Does your baby have eczema? Here is the best website out there.

Subtle cues from you will keep your baby crying. Who knew? Makes so much sense.

Having a baby can be so isolating. But it’s a weird two-sided thing. Some of these comments are really interesting.

The age-old question of how to deal with passive aggressive people.

A gene for “harsh parenting.” This could explain A LOT.

What do kids think about a white writer writing from the perspective of a person of color. Got to love kids. The honesty is so refreshing. I dare you to dive in an start talking so honestly.

And last but not least… Money turns people into assholes. But you probably already knew that.

Have a great weekend!

xo, Beck

p.s. While you are at it check out this really interesting blog that the image above came from. Awesome!

A real mother…

It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare. – Mark Twain, author and humorist (1835-1910)

I guess I’m a real mother now if I’m posting quotes! I can’t help it. I like them. But let’s be honest: the real mother of them all is moral courage. The real mother is being able to be truthful every step of the way. I see a lot of neutrality around me. I see a lot of being careful. Politically correct. I don’t think that’s any way to live and it’s really a disservice for everyone. For the history of the world. Life is too damn short to be that kind of careful. Why then do I find myself doing it everyday? I feel like I have to be so careful or I will lose my job… Or a friend… Or the real slap of losing a babysitter. (Oh the horror! Seriously). I miss my old life of radical honesty and I’m really struggling with what to model for my child.

Among many things it is scary be honest about – how hard it is to be a mother is way up there. There are so many hard things about it, but being honest about those things seems to mean: raised eyebrows, scaring people away or losing their respect. I think it’s time to be honest about how hard it it. Even though as I say that I hope others will break the ice. Here is a start.

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