Hurt People, Hurt People

My grandma popped my baby. That’s it, that’s the story.

My grandmother popped my baby & I LOST! MY! SHIT! I couldn’t see past my triggers and I lost it! The helpless and scared kid in me jumped out and was front and center to defend my child; cause if I say “don’t hit my baby” that’s what I mean.

Here’s the thing though- while asserting boundaries and breaking curses you have to be considerate. Insane concept right? I have to be considerate of people who want to, or could potentially, harm my baby? You must be crazy! Except, it’s not that crazy of a concept. I have to remind myself that while this is the right journey for us, it is also a very new one.

My grandma popped my baby and I LOST! MY! SHIT!

I still can’t believe it almost a month later. I blacked out on my grandma over my child! (Sidenote: I’ll do it again, to anybody, bout my baby’s boundaries and body!) After the fact, I cried. I cried so hard 1: because “WTF I just spazzed on my grandma???” 2: because I was triggered and seeing red and 3: because “GOT DAMMIT how hard is it to not hit a baby?! MY baby at that??” I felt bad but I had to prove to my daughter that I will ALWAYS go up for her and that nobody and no thing can shake that or change that… right?

In defending my baby, my actions, and my inner child I made my grandmother cry; and that’s not a soft lady, ok! I was hurting so I reverted back to the very behaviors I’ve been trying to run from and unlearn- yelling, cussing, crying to guilt trip. How can I model “connection before correction” if my go-to in adult interactions is flying off the handle? I cried and realized I had the tools to make this right. If I want to stick to this positive discipline thing I can’t just reserve the tools for children- my child. So, I cried until I fell asleep and I woke up ready to apologize. I’m not used to apologizing, or apologies, after a lash out. I have something to prove, though. So I apologized. I did exactly what I would do to Bean, to my grandma; eye contact, nervous laughter (cause that’s my thing), and I apologized. I can’t break curses and shake up the violent lineage without offering grace to everyone around me and starting at the top of the line. So I apologized. I gave my grandma a hug and bellowed the biggest, most sincere “sorry” I had and I made sure my child saw it; because hurt people, hurt people but healed people heal nations.

I‘m trying to heal nations and generations. I’ve got a lot of work to do but it starts at home. Literally. This is your reminder that it’s never too late to start healing; you just have to be consistent. If you’re ready to make a shift in the atmosphere (Gospel geeks, where u at?), join me in my upcoming 6 week “Wash, Rinse, Repeat” Positive Discipline course. Sign up below for more information!

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If Yo Girl Only Knew

I wish I knew that:

1: Every day will not be sunshine & rainbows. In fact, you might outright hate motherhood and that’s okay!

2: There is no smooth transition from woman to mom. And it sucks.

3: Self-care is no longer easy.

4: This is your journey and yours alone. YOU are the mother.

5: Spending time with JUST your baby is important. Seriously.

6: You are not bitter for being heartbroken, disappointed, or saddened by the way your child’s father treated you. You have every right to feel those feelings.

I wish I knew that. I’ve been sitting on this post for months. I like reminding myself of what was and what could’ve been. I keep having to remind myself of what was and what could be.

I coulda been a hairstylist, working all kinda hours in all kinda places, for whatever price I deemed reasonable. I can still be one. I coulda been a bottle girl, in college classes, all in the clubs having fun. I can still have fun and go to college. I coulda been an influencer- a “IG baddie”- linking up with anybody my daddy (& beauty!) could’ve connected me; taking trips, doing whatever I wanted. I can still leverage my beauty and my connections and “get to a bag” through Instagram. I just gotta do it with a baby on my hip.

I’ve been mourning “me” so much this past year but how dare I? Seriously. How dare I miss the young carefree girl who was just waking up and going? Why would I wanna be her ever again? (Hint: ’cause that carefree sh!t is FUN!!) I’ve really had to sit and grapple with the fact that I’m never going to be the me that I thought I was, and was going to be. That that’s okay and that this new me is someone I can love AND like, too. I wish somebody would’ve gave it to me straight- “you’re growing your own new life, too, not just that baby’s. Your birth is not just your baby’s; it’s yours too.” I don’t even know if I would’ve listened, but it would’ve been something nice to remember hearing. Your birth is not just your baby’s; it’s yours too. When you birth that baby, you’re birthing a new you. A you you may not like at first. A you you have to relearn and rediscover; somebody who might not like what you used to like and might like what you used to hate. You’re birthing and creating a new you. Own that shit! Walk in it. Dig your heels into this upgraded version of you and embrace her. Find what she likes and fall in love with yourself again. Own! That! Shit!

Why Not Play?

My mom is always telling me I need to “work on my poker face so Bean doesn’t think everything is funny.” Well, here’s the thing, everything IS funny- to me, at least. I literally get through my days by laughing and playing.

I need laughter. I need humor and good times and foolishness and fun in my day to day. I tried to work on my poker face but for what? Why can’t I laugh when my baby is doing something funny and silly? Who says it’s bad to laugh while also setting boundaries and being “firm”? Will Bean take everything for a joke or will she one day learn to assert herself and boundaries, even in fun moments?

Yes, she will, actually think everything is funny AND she will be disciplined! Go figure.

There is a parenting approach called “play-based parenting” and it generally follows the child’s lead; allowing them to create and solve problems for themselves while strengthening their emotional and social development. I know you’re probably rolling your eyes and thinking “not another one of those parenting styles! That’s that new-age parenting!!” But it’s not! Play-based parenting directly aligns with the Montessori lifestyle and Positive Discipline. NAEYC says “rough and tumble play—has been shown to promote early brain development.” There is a method to childcare centers’ “madness” and their love of play centers, after all. Playing helps children learn emotional regulation, social skills, social cues, problem-solving, and conflict resolution-among other things. Play-based parenting, or just playtime with a caregiver involved, teaches children that they are fun to be around and fun to engage with. It builds emotional intelligence and boundaries. Fifteen minutes of play is really all you need to create lasting memories and help build your child’s brain better than any book ever could!

So I said all that to say: Sorry mom, I’m actually not going to work on my poker face! I’m going to keep laughing my way through my frustration and turning on my most goofy face when I need to power through a tantrum; because my baby needs it and I need it. In Sunday’s post (and all weekend on Instagram *wink wink*) I’ll be sharing some of my favorite ways to play with Bean and how I “laugh through our loco”! See you there and remember to keep on laughing!

P.S. Check out the links below for some articles to support play-based learning!

https://www.naeyc.org/our-work/families/10-things-every-parent-play

https://www.naeyc.org/resources/pubs/yc/may2017/case-brain-science-guided-play

Hide Me Mommy

Warning: this will be kind of long. I’m not apologizing.

It is 5 am, I’ve had no sleep, and I’ve decided that sharing Bean with the public IS actually anxiety inducing and not something I’m 100% comfortable with. If you’re reading this and wondering if that means you need permission to share her going forward, yes. Yes you do; whether it be from me or her in the future.

I battled with myself and the idea of sharing her my entire pregnancy. How can I teach her consent while sharing nearly every part of her life with strangers? My mind took me in circles and constant loops until finally we settled into the idea that “we” would not share her whole name or her entire birth details, her whole face, or her arrival into this world until it had been a couple days. I was okay with that and everybody else was, too. And then… I was no longer okay with that and it was time to either A: tell people what the new rules were or B: suck it up & power through-because I had a vision in mind. I went with B. I sucked it up and powered through unprovoked online harassment and hacked zoom calls; because I had a vision. I thought my story was bigger than that and that’s not where it was to end, so I kept on.

I swallowed the anxiety that came with her grandmas having Facebook albums dedicated to her and aunties posting her every time they got a new picture of her. I let it be okay- so much so that I even started a blog where SHE was the main focus. I let it be okay! And it was, it really really was… until it wasn’t. I argued with myself and I watched for the way my baby acted around cameras and she seemed ok with them? She started to notice herself in a selfie and SMILE!! She was alright with being on the camera! I was alright too, I thought. I kept doing the mom blogger thing and I was doing it WELL and it was all good; until I realized I was sharing the same pictures everywhere and to everyone. There were no “exclusive” photos to her dad or grandparents or aunts and uncles, no difference between Instagram & Twitter & Facebook. That seemed like a solid plan in my head. How could she be embarrassed or humiliated if only the same pictures are showing across the board? Then I was reminded how evil people on Twitter, especially, are when a “rapper” compared a young black girl to a corpse. I was gutted and triggered; sent back to that time that random white man clowned me, playing a baby shower game, and said something alluding to me eating shit. I was playing a traditional baby shower game. That was enough though; enough for me to stop and rethink everything. How could I put my daughter in harm’s way like that? How could I give someone the opportunity to EVER “drag” her like that? I can’t… so, I didn’t.

I got real cautious about what I posted and said to people. I combed my socials to make sure my baby was “cute”- as if that other child wasn’t. As if “cute” stopped wretched people from being wretched. I started seeing posts about “privacy before consent” and “ask your friends before you post their baby”; things that validated my feelings. Then I wondered if it was divine timing or me just seeing what I wanted to see, what I needed to see, to validate me. Was I really becoming a private person or was I letting social media and strangers get to me? Am I really protecting her or am I projecting onto her? Surely she won’t turn 18, or 10 or 11, and suddenly become embarrassed by all the cute moments I’ve shared of her. Surely her first successful sign language session won’t be a source of embarrassment and anxiety… But what if it is? How will I rectify that and give myself the grace necessary to go forth and heal her?! I’m struggling with all the “what ifs” and since she and I come first, I’m making an executive decision to “hide her from the world”. To wipe her digital footprint clean from here on out. Here’s to giving me peace of mind and her, some privacy and protection. The world is scary enough as is, the internet doesn’t need to be too.

I sincerely regret coming to this decision and feeling these feelings but if you take nothing else from this, take this: be kind to strangers. Watch what you say. Children are off limits, always, and you should be honored to even have access to people’s families in this day and age. Go touch some grass and be merry.

Match Me, Mommy

We’re a day away from Halloween and I have 555 costume ideas. We have a very full weekend so I have finally narrowed down my top three ideas for the last-minute parents like me.

First up: Matching pajamas! They’re simple, cheap, and easy. We got ours from Walmart and found some for everyone in our house; sizes infant & toddler (2T), adult women (M, 1X, and 2X). We wore ours to Bean’s daycare for her Fall Festival and despite it being cold out, we stayed incredibly warm! Go Walmart!

Next up are mermaids. I put a costume for myself together with this seashell bra and this very cute and comfy mermaid skirt; both from Amazon. I found an accompanying headband and faux rhinestones from Dollar Tree that I’ll be pairing with my costume. I got Bean a custom crotcheted full-body mermaid outfit from Etsy. I love Tiffany! She is an awesome woman and creator and her talent exceeds expectations every time!

My grandma bought Beanie a “rainbow witch” costume from Walmart and in true matchy mommy fashion, I thrifted this really cute dress. I’ll probably pair the dress with a plain black floppy hat and some long press-on nails in similar colors to Bean’s leggings. These will probably be our Disney On Ice costumes since we’re sitting by the ice and it’ll be cold.

How are you dressing your baby or babies up this year? Will you match at all?

Feel It Friday

Fridays are reserved for feeling!

Today has been full of sensory play and fresh air! The weather here in Cali is still pretty nice so Bean & I took advantage by picking some tomatoes from our garden and then playing with this quick & easy sensory tray I made 👩🏾‍🔬

My grandma was cleaning out the silverware drawer last night and Beanie took a particular liking to this old silverware tray so we reused it today got our sensory play! The multiple slots made for an even more engaging and challenging play experience as she had to figure out how to position her hands and toys to remove and replace them.

Anywho! It took me all of about five minutes to make this sensory tray so here are the details:

For the colored rice, I just took some plain white rice, a dash of water, and some yellow and red food paint and mixed it together! The water beads were purchased at my local dollar tree and after adding some water and yellow food coloring they were ready to sit for about 4-6 hours. I did them overnight so they would be good and ready for us the next day! While on one of my weekly trips to Dollar Tree, I also snagged those super cool eyeballs, foam (and glittery!) skeleton heads, faux vampire teeth, AND the animals! I then threw them all in the tray and outside we went!

P.S., The water color play was just some water and the Crayola Bath Fizzies but food coloring would have worked just as well!

As you can see, Miss Bean had a world of fun and this actually held her attention for about 20 minutes. Once she realized the eyeballs could bounce we were on to the next activity- bouncing and chasing eyeballs!

If you try this activity, I’d love to hear about it in the comments or on Instagram @ THEHOTYOUNGMOM 😊 Enjoy your play!

Fall Family Fun


The weather is changing so y’all know what that means; it’s my favorite season! I love all things fall and I’m so glad my Beanie is finally old enough to engage in some fall fun. Below is a list of some toddler-approved, family fun fall activities we love and will be engaging in. Comment below and tell me what your favorite activities are!

Go to a pumpkin patch. Pumpkin patches are generally low cost, visually and sensory stimulating, family fun. I love going and picking my own pumpkins to carve! Some pumpkin patches go all out and include hay rides, corn mazes, and even a small farmer’s market.

Find a local childcare fall festival and stop by to support them! Seriously, go. They are usually so much fun and the staff puts so much time and effort into them.

Fall fests are often hosted by a local organization and are loads of fun; equipped with games, face painting, door prizes, and even enterainment. Yelp or Google a local one and check it out!

School’s sometimes host their own haunted houses and I remeber always having so much fun at our annual ones. It was even more being on the planning committee and watching my community members enjoy our efforts.

Trunk or treats held at local churches are often safe and simple fun that require you just showing up, basically lol.

Bike ride or a picnic. Or both! The weather is nice enough to throw on a light sweater and be out almost all day.

Boo at the Zoo was always super fun for my family, especially on the weekends when costumes are encouraged- and allowed! It’s a fun first time zoo experience for family members of all ages.

I hope these ideas come in handy when you’re trying to plan your next family outing! Let me know, in the comments below or on Instagram THEHOTYOUNGMOM, if you’re going to partake in any fall themed fun!

Hey BOO!

It’s nearly Halloween and for the first time in YEARS, I am excited about the holidays again! In the spirit of passing the joy and giving my baby a memorable Halloween, I have come up with the idea to “Boo” my village. Well… in a way.

So, the tradition of the Halloween “Boo” game was first introduced to me by one of my favorite aunts. It is usually a community game, held only in the neighborhood in which you live and “played” by your neighbors. Well, Bean and I don’t really have neighbors so we’re going to do this Sisters of the Traveling Pants style!

If you’ve never heard of the sisterhood let me explain it to you real quick. There’s a group of women who all will share a pair of pants- how this ever worked I still don’t know- as they travel through life and distance tries to separate them. The pants are their anchor; the buckets (or boxes) will be our anchor. In our version, each family will be paired with another family to “Boo”. The spending limit is dependent upon each family’s budget and will be discussed between the pairs. If you are interested in participating, download the attached PDF and then please send you and your child, or childrens’, names to DESTTHEHYM@GMAIL.COM for further details.

One anddd…Nowhere near done!

Custom bday shirt from Life’s A Stitch on Etsy!

And just like that, my baby girl is 1! I’m still trying to process that and deal with the fact that a year ago I was in labor-barely conscious-and birthing this beautiful girl.

A weekend (or two, lol) ago, we celebrated Beanie’s first birthday!! In keeping with my family tradition, we hosted two parties for my sweet girl- a virtual and in-person party. I was extremely nervous about hosting an in-person party so I bought ALL of the masks, sanitizer, clorox wipes, and lysol sprays I could find and pushed through. In hindsight, we needed that moment. I needed to feel secure in my village and Bean needed to play with some people her own age… well, she needed to play with some kids LOL. We don’t have much family who’s in that 1-3 age range but with the way my baby was keeping up, you’d never be able to tell!

Slide, baby, slide!

For the in-person party, we gathered at a local park and I did some simple table decorations and balloons. I managed to find an entire party set on Amazon and just used that as the base of our decor then used another table cloth for the gift table. The balloon decorations consisted of these really cool 34″ (or 35″, I can’t remeber lol) Queen Poppy balloons that my mom found at Walmart for TWO DOLLARS!! Plus these really sturdy themed balloons that we used as signifiers for our guests to find us. The number 1 balloon from that set was honestly my favorite and has since turned into one of Bean’s favorite wrestling competitors LOL. For some of the party favors, I took these colorful buckets from Party City and my Cricut Joy and created some simple and cute “Trolls”. Since we had a small number of female guests, I also created some party favors from these really cute Trolls World Tour themed lunchboxes I’d found at the 99 Cent store. I filled every favor with themed PEZ dispensers– there were was only one Queen Barb & that sucked but overall, 10/10!-, a sticker sheet, a small bag of candy, a magic towel, and a sticker story, puzzle, coloring sheet and crayons/markers, or a mini suncatcher kit. I found the fillings at my favorite Dollar Trees. For our “VIP” guests (aka, whoever grabbed it + Bean) I threw in these really cute sunglasses masks from the 99 Cents Store. I paid $3.99 for them; 2 Queen Poppy and 1 Branch.

Since it was a park party and I figured the kids would be more interested in running around than eating, I kept the food simple. My mom & I made some turkey, or ham, and cheese wraps and sandwiches, stuffed them with lettuce and called it a day! I sent my grandma to Costco for chips, Capri-suns, and mini water bottles for their snacking pleasure and never even had to use any of the plates and cups we bought lol. In addition to the food, my troll-tally awesome grandma made these SUPER good sugar cookies using this recipe from Wilton’s and I ran to our local grocery store for some “Unicorn” cupcakes. The actual cake didn’t arrive till the next day but it actually ended up being perfectly timed!

Sunday was Beanie’s actual birthday so we celebrated with a Zoom party for our distant family. Initially, I had this entire super detailed plan for it but after that first party I was TAPPED OUT!!

We took an empty corner of our sun room and hung a custom made banner, the same “1” and Queen Poppy balloons from Saturday’s party, a pink table cloth and a helium rainbow balloon and had our setup. Since I forgot to make her the highchair banner I actually envisioned, I quickly made some Trolls cutouts with my Cricut and stuck them to the front of her highchair literally seconds before logging onto Zoom lolol!!

The setup & a gift from one of her aunties!

The actual party lasted about an hour and consisted of her father helping her open presents, a birthday song, and a glorious cake smash! The cake (and popcorn) was made by my auntie Just A Tee Spoon and was a marble cake with a whipped cream frosting. The rainbow consisted of sour straws, the clouds marshmallows, and the “floor” was nerds. Let’s just say Bean was EXCITED and thorougly enjoyed smashing her cake! There were two flavors of popcorn; strawberry cheesecake and cookies & cream.

To round out her birthday, we went to my aunt’s house to swim and enjoy some super fun time in the water! Bean absolutely loves water and swimming AND family time so she had the actual time of her life and I think it’s safe to say she enjoyed her first birthday weekend! As an added bonus, we found this HUGE lime growing on a tree and Bean got to taste the zest of a lime for the first time.

Pool nursing & giant limes

To finalize this long-awaited birthday blog, here are some final details and photos from my baby girl’s first birthday!

My hair was Queen Poppy inspired and accomplished with some hair wax, Pump It Up!, and a whole lotta bobby pins. I found my overalls and shirt, Bean’s shorts, at Target and Bean’s dad’s headband and her tennis shoes were found at Walmart. My earrings are TheNu Bamboo and can be found on https://thenubamboo.com/

Bean’s dad, Bean, & me

All I Am… All I Was…

All I am is a mom; Mommy, Mama, Mom.

I have no other identity outside of “Mom”. I’ve lost the “hot” part of The Hot Young Mom. I’m just young and mom and I hate it. I’m losing my mind. I’m snapping and short and tired and just downright “not myself”.

The beauty is the fact that I can acknowledge this and name my feelings AND the source of them; the downfall is they’re mine so I have to sit with them. I have to sit in my anger and frustration and exhaustion and regret, fear, and jealousy and I have to call them by name and carry them with me- everywhere I go- and they’re a lot like my baby. These feelings, and Bean, they’re mine and I have to carry them everywhere I go; and that’s okay I suppose… until it’s not. Lately, it hasn’t been. I’m tired and I’m losing sight of the beauty in my ability to feel these feelings and call them by name; my Bean too. I’m forgetting just how grateful I am to have her and how much it took to even get her here- SO many long and lonely nights.

But, I’m tired and that’s all that I am and all that I’ve ever been. Tired, my synonym for: sad and depressed and lonely and ungratfeul and SCARED (Lord, am I more scared these days!) and just plain ole sad. I’ve been taking my vitamin D and seamoss and daily showers and trying to self-care it away but I am TIRED and I have nothing else to give. And yet, I muster up the strength everyday to give. Give my body, give my joy, give my gratefulness, give my strength, give my tired; everyday. Lord, I’m so tired of giving when I have nothing to give and I really really REALLY wish I was one of those moms; the ones who feel no guilt for taking breaks & “leaving them kids with they grandma”. LORD, I wish I was one of those moms… I think. I think that, in theory, I would love to be one of those diassociated moms who don’t mind abandoning their kids for a period of time because “they with they grandma, they good!” I think they carry a lot of guilt too but I also think they’re strong! It takes so much courage and strength to recognize when you’re spent and you have given it ALL and reach out for help. All the “we got your backs” in the world couldn’t give you that- ask me how I know.

I miss all that I was and I’m mourning all that I currently am… and it’s hard. It’s hard to be in a constant battle of joy and gratefulness and grieving and exhuastion because of this small human that you’re raising. I love my child and I would have her one hundred times over but I miss all that I was. I want to be more than I currently am, and, I suppose some day I wil be but for now, I’ll take the good with the bad and pray it works out in the end.