relationships

My Mom Read My Daughters A Feminist Picture Book But I’m The One Who Walked Away With Critical Lessons

“Mimi, vamos a leer este libro,” my three-year-old tells my mom, handing her a picture book.

I watch as my mom gathers my kids around her, mama-hen style, and sits on the floor to read.

You know that stage in your life where you realize that your mom was right about everything (or at least most things)? That’s where I’m at. I’m always learning from my mom, both by her example and by thinking about the things I have the privilege to do differently.

Right now, my mother, with a children’s book in her hand, is unknowingly teaching me a lesson: to be a mom who plays.

The book my daughter chose is called “Daniela Pirata,” and it’s about a little girl who dreams of being a pirate. The ship’s captain, however, isn’t really into the idea of letting a girl pirate join his all-male crew. It’s one of my favorite picture books, and my girls love it, too.

“Niña, ¿eres fuerte?” my mom reads. A brief pause, and then she looks up at me. “¡Que bonito libro, mija!” she says.

Later, I realize the reading has stopped again while my mom watches, smiling, my toddler absently give the baby a head rub. It’s kind of rough, but I guess it’s the thought that counts.

I notice my mom has just taught me lesson No. 2: Pause to appreciate motherhood’s small, but significant, moments of great beauty.

Motherhood is full of less-than-awesome moments; I know this isn’t news. And perhaps that makes the small beauties even more poignant, because you know so well their opposite.

So on the days when we wake up feeling raw and spent after a sleepless night with a sick kid, or when anxiety over what’s next career-wise (and, for that matter, when next is) knots our stomach, or when we feel like the week’s small slights and emotional bruises have rendered us paper thin, we can still find so much joy in the small beauties. They’re there.

My train of thought on this serious matter is interrupted when I realize that the baby, true to form, rather than looking at the pictures in the book is sitting on top of it while also trying to rip the page out and stuff it in her mouth.

Everyone tells you that the worst thing you can do to your kids is compare them to each other, so every time I remember longingly how calm and easygoing her sister was as a baby, I try to stop the thought in its tracks.

My toddler is experiencing serious stress at the sight of her sister about to rip up the book, but my mom just laughs. A few seconds later, baby has been gently moved off the book, given a toy to play with, and the reading has resumed.

My mom glances up at me with a laugh in her eyes, and I know she’s amused by my girl’s feisty, mischievous personality.

Here is lesson No. 3: celebrate your kids for who they are.

We’re nearing the end of the story, and my mom reads the part where the captain tells Daniela that even though she has passed every test he’s given her, she still can’t be a pirate because only boys can be pirates. The baby, tired of the toy and ready for a nap, is trying to climb on to my mom’s lap, where my oldest daughter is sitting.

My mom subtly shifts my oldest and makes room for both girls as she reads how the ship’s crew banishes the captain from the pirate ship (for unfair leadership) and makes Daniela their captain instead.

Watching them, my mom with my two daughters on her lap, I remember what she told me when I was pregnant with baby No. 2. Tired, and worried about whether there would be enough of me to go around for two little ones, my partner and my professional responsibilities, I sought her advice.

“Mijita, el amor se multiplica, no se divide,” or love multiplies; it doesn’t divide. Laps and hearts expand; there’s enough love for everyone. This is probably the most important lesson.

With the book finished, my girls get up to go do something else.

“You know, we didn’t have books like this when you guys were little,” my mom tells me, a little wistfully.

Maybe not.

But I’ll never read one of the beautiful picture books we own now without thinking of this small moment, the snapshot in my mind of my mom and my babies in the afternoon sun reading, while I stand back and learn every important thing about motherhood there is to know.

Read: My Immigrant Parents Sacrificed So Much For My Success That I Felt Guilty When I Decided To Be A Stay-At-Home Mom

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Kehlani Welcomes Baby Girl After “Hard But Powerful” Unmedicated Home Birth

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Kehlani Welcomes Baby Girl After “Hard But Powerful” Unmedicated Home Birth

R&B star Kehlani is a mommy. The singer welcomed her first child, baby girl Adeya, over the weekend.

In an Instagram post on Monday, Lani disclosed that she had an unmedicated home birth, describing the experience as both strenuous and beautiful.

“This weekend our angel arrived healthy & perfect in every way in our bathroom at home,” the 23-year-old crooner captioned a photo of a baby blanket with colorful pine trees. “Unmedicated home birth was the absolute hardest yet most powerful thing I’ve ever done. Thankful beyond words. In love beyond comparison.”

Lani, who had her first baby with guitarist Javie Young-White, talked more about her decision to have a home birth on Twitter.

“All birth is extremely hard and transformative,” she said. “Home birth is a medical decision as is hospital birth, all birth is mind blowing & powerful. … it’s a next level journey whichever way.”

While emphasizing the splendor and power of childbirth, she didn’t deny the physical pain that accompanies it.

“But I hope everyone knows no one can tell me SHIT after that because LORD…next level, no words!”

Lani said she wouldn’t be posting on social media much in order to rest and spend time with her new family but sent her gratitude to her fans for their love, support and well wishes.

Days before the birth of her child, Lani released the music video for “Butterfly,” which appears on the singer’s While We Wait mixtape that dropped last month.

Watch the video for “Butterfly” below:

Read: It’s The Beginning Of The Year And Cardi B and Selena Gomez Have Already Topped Spotify’s Most-Streamed Female Artists

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Christina Milian’s Sister Appears on ‘Botched’ After Traumatic Surgery And Death Of Her Newborn Left Her Scarred

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Christina Milian’s Sister Appears on ‘Botched’ After Traumatic Surgery And Death Of Her Newborn Left Her Scarred

It’s been four years since fans of Cuban-American singer Christina Milian watched as her younger sister Danielle experience the heartbreaking experiencing no mother should have to bare. After weeks of anticipation on Millian’s TV show at the time, and nine months in real life, Danielle gave birth to a son who had been diagnosed with omphalocele, only to watch him die hours later. It was a harrowing moment for the Milian family and their fans and while 5 years have passed, Danielle is still very much scarred from the experience.

Her recent appearance on the show “Botched,” revealed just how much.

During her appearance on the show, Milian opened up about the emotional and physical scars she was left behind after the death of her child.

@danielle_milian / Instagram

Danielle Milian has dealt with some unfortunate medical problems in the past. In 2015, Milian gave birth to a baby boy named Richie born with Omphalocele, an often fatal condition where interior organs form on the outside of the body. Unfortunately, Richie died a few hours after being born. The traumatic experience still impacts her to this day. When Dr. Dubrow warned her that the tummy tuck would leave her with a scar, Milian responded: “I welcome new scars if they help me get rid of all the old ones with the negative connotations connected to them”.

According to plastic surgeon Dr. Terry Dubrow, Milian’s abdominal wall has been “dramatically separated” from pregnancy and gastric sleeve surgery.

“You’ve had some bad things happen to you so maybe its time for you to have some good things happen to you,” Dr. Dubrow said during the show’s segment after agreeing to help her by providing a full regular tummy tuck.

Twitter, as usual, had quite a few opinions on Danielle Milian’s decision to opt for corrective plastic surgery.

@danielle_milian / Instagram

The truth of the matter is, plastic surgery is still a controversial topic.

Some Twitter users were complimentary to the mission of the show, which is to improve people’s lives after they’ve been negatively impacted by poorly-done surgery

i wish all doctors came across so concerned. i find that I’m rushed and feel less important. i kniw we have probelms with the healthcare system. communucation is key but WOW. I LOVE THIS SHOW. Fixng people’s lives one episode at a time!!!! #veryimpressed— Debby G (@DebbyG99285194) March 12, 2019

Women, especially, know the feeling of being neglected by doctors who don’t take our concerns seriously.

Some Latinas found this incident to act as a sort of warning for those considering plastic surgery.

It’s easy to forget that the decision to get plastic surgery shouldn’t be taken lightly–it’s still major surgery that requires anesthesia and weeks of recovery time.

Others want the doctors to spill the tea on which plastic surgeons are the ones botching peoples’ surgeries (and we can’t blame them!)

It’s hard to be confidently make a decision regarding your health and appearance when there are so many cases of plastic surgery gone wrong.

We, for one, hope that Danielle Milian’s surgery went well and that her body brings her nothing but joy from now on.


Read: This Month Marks The Anniversary of Selena’s Death And 22 Times We Couldn’t Handle Selena’s Cuteness In Her Interviews

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