Change is good…?

“I’m changing, Mom. I’m finally figuring out who I am. But I’m scared it’ll take me away from you.” -Meilin Lee, Turning Red 2022

I made a promise to myself, and to Bean, that no matter what I do or don’t do- Imma always try. I have not been trying lately. I’ve just been existing. Floating. Halfway in, halfway out; mostly out, sometimes in. I’m tired of floating and clinging, grabbing on to shit that don’t have my name on it. So I’m letting go; gonna sink for a while then come right back up, renewed and refreshed, like a new woman.

The Hot Young Mom was never really *it* for me. It was a cute name, sure, but it was never giving what I needed it to give. I couldn’t show up as my true authentic self because I had given myself this moniker that read “bad b!tch” “MILF” “hot girl with a baby on her hip”- all things that I am and could be just… not right now. When I started this blog and platform, I needed something to do. I needed a reason to get in the shower everyday and get dressed; then I never did. I couldn’t commit to it. I couldn’t pull the “hot” and the “mom” together cause I was struggling to survive. No cap. I just wanted to show up as me- the me I was right then- but I couldn’t cause I had given myself this standard that I couldn’t live up to. I had given myself a pressure that I didn’t need or deserve. So, I’m pivoting.

I can show up as the “fun mom” or the “cool mom” hell, even the “overly obnoxious, laughs too damn much silly mom”. I can not, currently, show up as The Hot Young Mom… and that’s okay with me. She’s not going anywhere and I have some ideas on where to take her but right now, I’m putting my girl on the bench. Turning down the fire and showing up as me- right here, right now.

Now, without further ado:

My name is Dee, the Mother of Fun! I am going back to square one to give y’all all things sensory play, imaginative play, intentional parenting, screen time and socialization and more. I am so very grateful to every single one of you who will stick around and to those of you who are just now joining the team. Let’s play and make some memories, yea? If you’re already following me on Instagram, Twitter, & Facebook (currently @ THEHOTYOUNGMOM) there is no need to try to find me again, my new name should be on your feed shortly. If you’re new here and wanna keep up, the new social addresses will be @ MOTHEROFFUN_ See y’all there!

“Umm, so yeah.” A single mom’s truth

I’m a bad mom. Like legitimately terrible at this motherhood thing and like maybe to outside people I’m not but I am. I lose my cool ALL of the time. I want to yell when I’m not being obeyed. I be tempted to “pop her legs” or say “Imma spank yo butt” like 75 times a week. I don’t like leaving the house with her, or at least the process it takes to even get out the door. I wish a certain somebody that will (maybe) one day be pivotal to her life would disappear. We don’t do mommy and me classes, play dates, hell I couldn’t even drag myself out of the bed last winter to keep her in swim lessons. I’m a bad mom and Im okay with that being true.

Kind of but not really.

It’s like I wanna be a good mom and I want to be patient and calm and like my mom idols but like… I just don’t think I have it in me. I don’t think I was made for all this “new age parenting” as my grandma calls it. But I’ve been trying my hand at it for almost 2 years so maybe I was? Maybe I can do this and I just need some help. Cause she’s a happy kid and she’s expressive and she’s fun and she’s soooo fracking cute and lovable and EVERYBODY adores her and people compliment me on my parenting alllll the time; so why do I feel like this? Why do I, the person this baby always wants, feel like a shit mother? Like I can’t get it right no matter how hard I try?

Crushin’

I think I might have a teeny tiny crush on like 2 people y’all. One more than the other but still… this is weird. And uncomfortable. And kind of fun? I don’t know. Whatever this is, it’s refreshing. New, different, awakening or whatever.

It’s been a long time since I even looked at somebody romantically and to be honest, I liked it that way. I was guarded and felt protected; can’t hurt me if you can’t get in! And truthfully, I liked it better that way- guarded and protected . I have a hard time being vulnerable anddd I don’t know if I necessarily consider that a bad thing right now. Like what even is the benefit in dating to marry and falling for people? Marriage? Bleh🤢 More kids? More bleh 🤢 Lifelong companionship? Bleh bleh bleh BLEH!!! I like being guarded and protected; Beanie & Mommy in our little world (but really I don’t). The idea of falling head over heels for somebody is so cute and used to keep me up at night but ever since The Terrible, Awful, No-Good Baby Daddy I just… can’t. And I probably should be open to it one day, maybe even now, but like… why?

Seriously though, imagine me giving my heart or anything else (wink wink) to another person and they break not only my heart, but Bean’s too. What the hell am I supposed to do then? Sit with that grief and heartbreak? Try not to let it consume me? Dust myself and try again? I think the fuck not!! Why have to catch myself when I don’t ever have to fall in the first place? That’s silly!

Except, it’s really not silly at all and it’s not crazy or far fetched to think that somebody likes me- maybe even one day will love me- and enjoys my company AND shows an interest in my child. Or maybe it is and this is all going to blow up in my face in a month or so but isn’t that the beauty in having crushes and getting to know people? Isn’t there something fun and refreshing about seeing what you do and don’t like, who you do and don’t like? I think there’s a certain kind of beauty in baring it all and throwing caution to the wind just for the sake of having a hand to hold when you’re walking down the street and I’m ready for it. I’m ready to redefine myself as a woman and I think dating is a big first step in that direction- to see what I do and don’t like, what makes me laugh now and what doesn’t.

It’s scary, sure, but silly it is not.

Feelin’ Good As Hell

“Baby how you feelin?”

“FEELIN GOOD AS HELLLL!” I’m screaming that from the rooftops today! Baby I am feeling good as HELL on today’s date! I feel unstoppable, powerful, cute, refreshed, grateful… all of the things and I’m holding on to it like it’s my last breath.

Wait, shit, that last line might’ve been in bad taste considering *waves around* all of this but whatever, y’all know what I mean! I got my pep back, my steps have been reordered; I feel like I can breathe again. God I haven’t been breathing right but today… today I might. I might go outside and stand under the sun (or moon, maybe both) and just BREATHE. A long, deep, belly sigh that rattles my rib cage. Did you know that most of us don’t breathe properly? We’ve been conditioned to take shorter, choppier breaths when we should be taking long, belly deep breaths. Try it with me: a long, belly deep breath. One where you drop your shoulders and roll your head around in a circle. A sigh should fill the space you’re in. Breathe.

I feel like I haven’t been breathing right since my auntie died- like the wind has been taken from me. I may never breathe right again but today I will; every chance I get cause clinging onto the hard shit only makes it harder. But leaving it out to dry also makes it harder so I’m finding my balance and feeling good about it. Recovery, that’s the word. Freedom, another one. Joy, it did indeed come in the morning, early in the morning and on a Friday, but it came. I’m feeling good on this Friday with my joy in my hand & my baby pulling the other… I can breathe again. I can smile and be okay. Get back to me a little. Do what I told my auntie I was gonna do.. make her proud & what not.

I hope you find some “feel good” in this here Friday like I have. Carry it with you through the weekend, hold on to it, & never let it go. Stand under the sun and breathe a little. You deserve that much. Show me your spot between (toddler) mom chaos and breathing; your feel good place. I’ll meet you there 💗

Anything for my baby: A Toddler Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

Picture it: Walmart (or Target or Dollar Tree- any store, really) 7 days before Valentine’s Day and you still have nothing but a box of candy for your toddler! You can’t believe the holiday has snuck up on you like this and you are absolutely stuck on what to buy. Don’t fret! I’ve got you covered; after all, I am the queen of last minute crafting and gifting.

Browse the gift guides below and keep reading to see how you can celebrate Valentine’s day with your little one! No expensive budget or extensive planning required 😉

Create your own gift bags, or show me what you bought on Instagram or Twitter @thehotyoungmom and keep an eye on my pages for more ideas!

What a Life to Take

“Hey Siri, Cue: real sad girl vibes, loads of liquor, and a whole bunch of tears!” My fawking auntie died y’all!!! My girl, my dawg, my mama when my mama was getting on my nerves- GONE!!! I swear to GOD my heart is about to walk out my chest. Forreal forreal.

When I tell y’all these have been the longest 9 days of my LIFE?!?! This song has been in my head on the worst kind of repeat and I honestly don’t even care enough to find a new tune to take over. I miss my girl! I’m tired of losing family, seriously. I honestly got some questions for my homie Big G (God, not Greg- but Greg too, shit!)! I’ve been here before- in the thick of grief and sadness and unknowing- but THIS??? This right here feels like my soul is outta my body. I ain’t ever been this sad and broken up before; and that’s saying a LOT cause I forreal thought I was gone die without my god daddy.

I can’t seem to find the right or appropriate words to euoligize my auntie AunTee (I HAVE TO EUOLOGIZE MY MUHFUKKIN AUNTIE YALL!!!!) but this seems wayyy more appropriate and non-chaotic than continously rambling on Twitter in short threads about her. Or have I just let other people’s ideas of “oversharing” cloud my mind? EITHER WAY, I have to give honor to my AunTee and the life she lived so here goes. Bare with me, it’s going to be messy and chaotic and kinda all over the place. My heart seriously wants out of my chest these days.

Mkay so where do I start? I guess I should just frame this like a conversation with her- say what I need to say, raw and uncut, in hopes that it’s recieved properly and gets a laugh outta somebody.

Tanisha, I miss you. I am utterly heartbroken and pissed off that you left me and I know that’s selfish cause you didn’t leave *just* me but dammit AunTee YOU LEFT ME! I don’t understand the plan behind this one and quite frankly, I don’t think there was one. I think sometimes God be f*cking up and this was one of those times but like how could he take you then be like “Oops! My bad! Wrong Tanisha!” ya know? So I think he just kinda had to rock with this mistake-really own it and sit with it and just give us the strength to deal with it. I still think it was bogus as hell! I miss you. It’s been 9 days and I got like 900 things to tell you already. First one being, where the hell my little chewy candies at?? You promised ME that big bag then I seen Auntie B with a small bag of em. Wassup with that AunTee, huh?? Hella whack LOL! I like saying “hella”, it’s always reminded me of you. I used to think you were sooo cool when you said it; how the word and the Bay Area accent rolled off your tongue like honey. Did you like honey? I never really knew but I feel like you did. Remember how we used to tell stories- all around the point, lose the plot, then circle back? Imma miss that. Imma miss you sighing and saying “Niecey Pooh, what’s the story?” then the way I’d laugh and refocus. We had sooooo many more memories to make. I have sooo many more stories to tell you. Remember when I told you about Bean, how you jumped into Mama-Auntie mode and was instantly on my side, no questions? Where else Imma find you at Auntie? In who else? I’m so jealous Baby Crystal got you back! I guess it’s only fair though, I did have her Mommy for 22 years. 22 long and good years that, right now, feel very short and futile. How did 22 years go so quickly and where can I get more of em? You changed me. You gave me some of the best of you even when I was giving very much monster teenager/young adult. I’m carrying this grief in my shoulders and the “one boob I have”. I was SO excited to share my motherhood journey with you- to make it ours cause I know what it meant to you. Thank you for walking me through it, for holding my & Mommy’s hand, for loving Bean like she was really your grandbaby. Tanisha, I feel like I can’t go on without you. I feel like Imma pass out at any given moment. Like my breath is being withheld from me. I can’t figure out how to do this; how to cherish the good when it’s reminding me so much of the bad. I need you to tell me how to do this. How do I keep going? I miss your smile and laugh already. I’m so glad we shared so many of those. I’ve cried for 9 days straight but Auntie if you coulda seen that ugly mess I bought for the service? Baybeeee 🤣🤣🤣! I can hear you now: “Foo, what is that??” I gotta wear it though. The dress made me feel connected to you, reminded me of you in a good way. Plus, it was on sale for like hellaaaaa cheap so like I had to get it! Also, can I borrow a pair of your heels for this weekend? I know you got some pink or orange ones somewhere in yo house! Imma ask the boys! You taught me how to put on lashes, braid with weave, do a 27 piece, encouraged me to get my lash certification, believed in me EVERY time I took up a new hobby or venture. You gave me you and I just hope I can do the same. I miss you so so much. My heart hurts but at least you’re safe. Tell my folks I said wassup, tell Uncle Rodney he could’ve waited at least 5 more years before needing his big sis but I get it ya know. I hope I do you some justice. I love you AunTee, my Jill of All Trades (& master of MANY!)

Surface Pressure & Other Encanto Life Lessons

I’m obsessed with Encanto; there, I said it. I’m obsessed with the movie Encanto and I want you to be too! If the soundtrack was on wax, I’d probably have run it down by now- that’s how bad it is over here LOL!! In my constant watching and analyzing, I’ve taken a couple of wonderful life lessons from the “Family Madrigal”, lessons I share with you below. Keep reading then tell me what lessons you took from the movie or if it’s next up on your watchlist!

Warning: This post contains movie spoilers. Don’t proceed if you hate spoilers!

Disney’s Encanto is now available on Disney+

Encanto’s opening scene shows Mirabel, the main character, and Abuela-one of the movie’s main antagonists- sharing a very intimate moment. As the movie proceeds, those shared moments get few and far between and you see the dynamic between the two change drastically. Mirabel is the only Madrigal that doesn’t possess a tangible gift and Abuela makes it obvious- and damming. Eventually, Mirabel’s gift is revealed and we see that her gift is the gift of chain breaking. By the end of Encanto, the message is made clear: You have the power to break curses. Birth order, magical gifts, and familial opinions be damned; YOU have the power to BREAK GENERATIONAL CURSES!

Mirabel’s older sister, Luisa, is the “strong one”. Her gift is strength; unsurprisingly she carries all of the family burdens. Luisa is the movie’s constant reminder to check on your strong friends, to give them a space to drop those burdens they’re expected to carry. As the movie progresses and we get to explore Luisa’s character I realized that strong doesn’t have to be my middle name, that it’s okay to lay my burdens at the feet of a trusted person, and that my worth is not tied to my acts of service. Lessons I needed and have since internalized. Thank you Luisa!

One of my favorite messages the movie emphasizes is: Perfectionism is the thief of joy. Isabela, Mirabel’s eldest sister, is described as “effortlessly perfect who’s never even had a bad hair day”. She is never allowed to misstep or make a mistake and her only gift to the town is her ability to create beautiful flowers. The girl is a friggin florist that has Abuela wrapped around her finger; the perfect depiction of the eldest daughter, actually. Once Mirabel frees her sister from the idea of perfectionism and the burden of the matriarch’s opinion, we really get to see Isabela blossom. You can never be truly happy if you’re focused on being “perfect”- I had to sit with that and then free myself as well.

Some gifts require a little soul searching. That’s it, that’s the message we got from Mirabel’s storyline. My mom often jokes that Mirabel’s gift is “empathy” and I semi-jokingly reply, “That ain’t no gift! Nobody wants to be empathetic!” But… it is a gift. Empathy is a gift and it is a necessary one; one that not everybody posesses. In the beginning of the movie one of the neighborhood kids jokes that Mirabel’s gift “might be denial” and..well… was it really a joke? How many of us run from the Mirabel Madgrial inside of us- the empathetic, trustworthy, “make magic without a gift” selves? I know I do, frequently. Or, I used to, I don’t think I want to anymore so I probably won’t. I think 2022 will be my year of sitting with myself and digging deep to find my “gift” even if it is revealed that my gift is empathy LOL.

Throughout the movie, Abuela is painted as the villian and this terrible, toxic matriarch but she’s really not. From an adult, and mom, lense she’s just an old lady with some baggage and some trauma; one who was never given the freedom or space to lay her worries down. Once Mirabel “snaps” on her we get to see a change in Abuela- a necessary change, that same freedom Luisa was given- and the lesson becomes: No one is ever really stuck in their ways. It’s a lesson that can be applied across many situations and relationships but especially to those family dynamics where you’re shaking things up. Positive Discipline and Conscious Parenting are such bold and “new” journeys that really push the status quo and force our own Abuelas to have to sit and reckon with some of their own shit; to admit that they did the best they could AND that they might’ve traumatized us in the process. I think that was one of the most important themes of the movie: push the boundaries, stand on what you say and believe, and be the change you want to see. When you walk in your true self it’s easier to convert and free others to be themselves, too. That’s a lesson I like to tell my workshop participants, and myself.

I hope you can take some of these lessons and apply them to your own life and personal growth, especially during these trying times. If you haven’t already, go give Encanto a watch and let the magic of the Madrigals transform you too. See you over on Instagram!

Chic, Cheap, & Comfortable: Winter Fashion Guide

If you’re anything like me- a new mom in a pandemic looking to dress for the weather- you’ve likely come to (quickly) realize that you have nothing! Ever since having C.C. last year, I’ve been trying to love my body again while also defining my new style as “The Hot Young Mom”. I decided that this winter would be my time to shine so I’ve been scouring the internet- Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter- and taking screenshots of all of the trends I might like. I’ve gathered my top picks, made style boards, and even got dressed to share them with you!
Fashion companies this year are pulling inspiration straight from the runways. “Bubble” coats, denim on denim, patterns, and complementary colors are all the rave right now; if you wanna be in, these are the styles to keep an eye on.
See how these trends come together in my Winter fashion guide below.

1: Patterns and Color

The Houndstooth pattern is totally in right now and I think it looks SUPER cute with a solid color top and shoe; to really pull the outfit together! Since houndstooth is typically black and white, you can get away with pairing it with a traditional holiday color- red or green- or play it safe with black, white, or a neutral color.

2: Patterned Outerwear

Like keeping it casual but also fun and flirty? Leggings and patterned outerwear are essential staples for those of us who like to pair comfort and style without hefty price tags and heavy clothing. When looking for a patterned jacket, coat, or blazer keep in mind what colors you already own or what colors you’d be able to wear year-round. Purples, greens, and oranges are perfect “all year” colors but really get to shine in the cold weather months!

3: Bubble/ Puffer Coats

A simple cream (or white) dress paired with a black bubble coat and a pair of combat boots create a streetwear look to die for! Streetwear looks are generally casual and comfortable everyday looks; pair with a statement earring and a functional bag and you’re ready to go.

For more style inspiration, tips and tricks, and style guides keep up with me on Instagram @THEHOTYOUNGMOM. Let me know if you wear any combination of these outfits or any replicas of them and how you like them!


I wanna give a huge shoutout to Haley at hanginwithhaley.com for letting me be a guest writer and getting this winter style guide out to her audience! Check her out once you’re done reading this.

Thank You for Bein My Friend

Oh my gosh! Hello 2022!!! Hello friends! What a freakin year 2021 was, yea? I literally still can’t believe it’s been two years of Miss Rona- two years of my life a blur.

Anyway, let’s get to the real tea: Betty White is dead y’all!!! I can’t even believe it like… it wasn’t enough for 2021 to go out silently; Miss Girl had to take an icon with her *eyeroll*. I feel like this always happens though- we lose somebody great at the beginning or the middle of the year and maybe not we meaning the world but we being my family and/friends. Honestly, I’m tired of it. I’m tired of death and having to be cautious about the memories I make cause I know one day that’s all they’ll be- memories.

I watched Golden Girls my whole pregnancy just like my mom watched it when she was carrying me. Rose Nylund and her regaling tales of St. Olaf got me through what felt like the longest, darkest days ever and now her death feels like one of those days. Not solely because she died but because, once again, I’m reminded that death is inevitable; that there’s no running from it. And I’m okay with knowing that, I just wish I didn’t have to carry the feelings that come with knowing that. If there was a way to watch Blanche and Rose and Dorothy sit around that table and laugh and not think of how one day in the (prayerfully very far) future it’ll remind me of my mom, I’d jump on the opportunity. All of the best memories seem to carry the heaviest price tags. The fondest laughs with your confidant always seem to be linger long after the laughs have bounced off the walls and echoed out of the room. I’m reminded of that today as I mourn this lady I never even knew and while I feel the grief that some of my closest friends are carrying- that this death compounds.

Taste Safe Play: DIY Gingerbread Playdough

It’s the most wonderful time of the yearrrr!

I haven’t been excited for the holidays in God knows how long but it is truly something magical about having a toddler around the holidays. There’s 15 days left until Christmas and I am pushing through all my grief, anxiety, and overall “cold weather” blues and aiming to give my baby a great Christmas while giving y’all some great content! First up, we have some sensory play ’cause y’all know how I get down!

I believe that playing is the key to life and since we have all our senses, we might as well use them. Chaotic Cutie- formerly known as Bean- is really into making messes and playing with her hands (albeit she hates being dirty ???) so we made some “Gingerbread Dough”! You can jump to the recipe or watch us make it over on Youtube.

Smells soooo good!!

C.C. had SUCH a blast helping me make this, then playing with it and I had so much fun watching her flex her independence. My mom and grandma have almost always had her in the kitchen with them and it is truly one of our favorite bonding activities. She provides sooo many laughs and moments of calmness while chaotically mixing and stirring ingredients; every kitchen should have space for a kid. This was our first holiday themed activity and it was so worth the dough that got in her hair, alphabet rug, and all on our skin!

Shoutout Pinterest recipes

Gingerbread Dough

Serving Size:
As much as you want
Time:
10 mins
Difficulty:
Easy Peasy

Ingredients

  • Flour 1 cup
  • Salt 1/2 cup
  • Ginger (or Nutmeg, lol) 1/2 tbsp
  • Cinnamon 1/2 tbsp
  • Vegetable Oil 1 tbsp
  • Water 1/2 cup

Directions

  1. Mix all of your dry ingredients in a plastic or metal bowl. I let C.C. use a whisk but a regular mixing spoon will do.
  2. Slowly add in your vegetable oil and water. Let your child help you stir and watch the dough clump together.
  3. Sprinkle a sheet of foil, parchment paper, or your counter with some flour and spread the dough around.
  4. Let your child help you knead the dough until it is a playable consistency.
  5. Play and enjoy the gingerbread smell!

If you make some “Gingerbread Dough”, tag me on Instagram @THEHOTYOUNGMOM & show me what you and your baby made! Enjoy!