I had a brief exchange the other day with a facebook friend about temper tantrums. She’s a mom of a 3-week old and a step-mom/coparent to a 5-year old; she believes that temper tantrums are avoidable. I do not. She believes that kids should do as the parents says and I would like to qualify that.

Despite temperament and environment, you will not be able to force your one-year old to digest your commands and their emotions at every moment. There is so much growth and development occurring for toddlers who are experimenting with sounds, gravity and mobility, it’s almost unfair to expect them to be on their best behavior. The best thing we can do is lay the groundwork for emotional intelligence. I teach him that frustration is a part of life, I identify the emotion (anger, sadness, tired, FRUSTRATION, etc.) what caused it and ‘resolve’ it for him.

Example: He bonked his head on the wall turns around slaps the wall because it hurt him and then yells at it with some extra smacks.- At first, I use to smack it with him. THEN it occurred to me I don’t want him smacking someone if they get in his way or an accident happens. I don’t want to encourage violent behaviors. So, I now hold him and I make a silly voice for whatever the object was and make it apologize to him. I’ve been doing it for a little over  a month and he no longer hits everything when it frustrates him. He still smacks things and people every now and again, but he’s learning to be more gentle with the family and pets that we’re living with so I’m really proud of him.

Of course, I don’t expect Buddha to fall out and writhe on the floor if he doesn’t get his way. Has he? Yes, in private, mostly when I’m trying to put him to sleep & we’re sleep training now while he’s teething (oh joy, you must be thinking). Most of his meltdowns are associated with, ‘it’s bedtime’ and not getting extra outside time and I always promise him we’ll go back outside or that he’ll get to see/ play with xyz at a later day/time. & I always come through. Don’t lie to your kids, that’s ugly. Be dependable. Show your kids they can trust you. Especially if you’re a single parent, YALL ARE A TEAM!

The latter part of this discussion was that kids should do as parents say. Sure, to make my life easy I want my son to do as I say and he does for the most part, but to cultivate the strong-will that he was blessed with I want him to question authority. I want him to be curious and I want him to be an independent thinker. Does that work out for me all the time? No. Will it benefit him in the long run? I absolutely believe so. I think this will lay the ground work for social consciousness and questioning (mis)information, which is especially needed in a time of heightened political propaganda.

It’s important to me that he is intellectually curious even if he sticks his hand in the toilet after I told him 20 times to not touch the lid, even if he puts all the pots and pans on the floor after I told him for 2 months to only play with the plasticware, even if he throws his toys to the ground until I eventually confiscate them. I reprimand him and I try to not yell too much, I try to find a stern but gentle voice when dealing with misbehavior. I get mad every now again, especially if he did something to hurt me (so far, I got my first lick about a month ago with a wooden toy clubbed to the eyebrow and hairspray to the side of my nose 2 weeks following that incident) and I always remember IT’S NOT MALICIOUS.

He’s not purposely hurting me (or you, if you’re going through this), I teared up that last time and I was pissed and I just held his hand and my nose and stayed completely quiet and still, I was fuming, and told him that he really hurt me and he had already stopped paying attention and started on something else. HA. Their attention spans are hilarious and can out run a snap, don’t expect too much on listening skills at this point. Tell them so that information is shared but don’t be disappointed if they don’t acknowledge the sounds you’re throwing at them. He’s learning about his strength and his capabilities to grasp, kick, smack, throw, push, pull, lift etc. Everything’s new to toddlers, why be mad at them? Let them explore.

A lot of raising and teaching a kid is also being aware of your own reactions and demeanor. So, while you’re teaching them with how to deal with their frustrations there are plenty plenty of opportunities to learn about how to deal with your own frustration. I’ve learned to watch the volume of my voice, to not so easily be offended, to not take things personal, to let go of grievances, to know there will always be a mess and laundry to clean up 😅

What are some ways you mitigate frustration for you or your child?

Let me know!

WTF? What even is a ‘Low Key’ Nurturer?

When I began the blog, I had intentions on being a ‘mom blogger’. I assumed and chose topics that covered basic ‘mom’ taking care of baby processes. I wrote about washing bottles, because these were ‘mom’ things I hadn’t thought about prior. I had so many ideas but they felt so impersonal and in my own life I ran myself ragged making my sun the center of my universe but I forgot my own needs – proven by my need to go to the hospital for dehydration around 6 weeks (I thought I was having a heart attack, go figure).

A more holistic approach was needed to my mothering. I had, not only, to adjust to my new life as a mother to my son, caring for and nourishing his well-being, but myself! As my postpartum experience expanded and welcomed other mothers into my healing and seeking their advice, I realized that the nurturing and nourishment didn’t stop at my baby. I wouldn’t only be giving nurturance; I’d also be receiving it.

As my son grew up and I basked in my family’s compliments of my mothering (because we have to before we turn into skeptics of our own abilities), I began to consider the idea that I was becoming a nurturer. What a glorious day FOR ME! To some folks self-esteem and confidence to do everyday tasks are normal functional emotional capacities, for ME these are competencies I find difficult to sustain.

The notion that I became a nurturer was such an achievement in my eyes and as my son grew up and I became accustomed to our routines, this belief was reinforced. I AM taking care of someone and to provide the care they deserved I would have to invest in my own self-care. My perspective changed on, what used to be, trivial responsibilities. A shower was ME time. A walk with baby could be meditative self-care AND quality time. Gathering my hair in a braid was my time to gather my thoughts. Writing IS MY outlet; I found a coping mechanism that didn’t include self-medicating (thanks to nursing, I’ve found clarity at multiple points through this journey).

The notion that I could help someone grow and develop their authentic self in a healthy and happy environment (as it should be) still astounds me. That is a LOT of pressure. I’ve been an incognito LOW KEY nurturer this whole time and it took having my son for this perception of myself to find me. I had to really align myself with my vision of what a mother is, because I didn’t grow up with a healthy example. I didn’t readily have a concept of what a healthy family dynamic was at home. That’s why I chose the site name because we all have this innate ‘nurturer’ inside of us, but because of our environment, lifestyles, etc. we’re not able to access it.

I want to create a space of collaboration for mothers and young women alike so that we can build ourselves up internally so that we may take on the challenges that this world has for us. I want to help other (new) moms that are overwhelmed and were in my shoes with baby blues. I want to extend a hand to new initiates of single motherhood/parenthood. The inception of Low Key Nurturer is the acknowledgment that I am on this journey to raise my energy and frequency with the support of MY VILLAGE to meet the needs of my son and myself, to break cycles of abuse, to educate (BATHE) ourselves in pools of knowledge that will be our lifelines, to teach us how to love ourselves, to build financial and intellectual and spiritual wealth.

We all make choices and if we choose to sit in the toxic stew instead of using our strength as women and especially (single) mothers we could be modelling patterns and habits that we don’t necessarily endorse.

What does nurturing look like in your life?

Tips to Freelancing and Moming

This summer has been so good to me! I had a fairly busy summer full of different photography and creation work. I had three different photography projects. I had two parties that I’m helping with/ planning. (My dad’s party was yesterday and Buddha’s is in a week).

Of course, none of it would be possible if not for Budda’s and my support system, without them I would have Buddha on my hip at meetings and for photography sessions. Buddha’s daddy has been living with us and just bossing the heck out of house-/baby- work. Really, since he’s been back Buddha has been so joyful and I have learned so many multi-tasking tips and ideas. If I put them to use is a whole other matter.

When freelancing you work for your clients and yourself so your work directly reflects your quality of care and effort you put into your projects. When working for an employer you may or may not feel this pressure.

Here are some tips I try to employ:

1) Always make work you’re proud of.
– Never half-heartedly create. Create with a purpose. You can have something in mind, but the amount youre getting paid does not equal the amount of work to achieve it. It’s ok to shelf it & revisit it on your own time. Or it just turns into another idea that didn’t work. That’s ok 🙂 You’ll get the opportunity to take your time and on projects that you want further in your career. Or refer to #2.

2) Set mini-goals for yourself in your professional development.
– Some goals of mine as a photographer / graphic designer are centered around Adobe programs. I have a mile long list of youtube videos I should be watching to learn how to do xyz on Adobe. You can YouTube almost anything nowadays so you can learn how to do just about anything.

3) Make time for self-maintenance between projects.
– Whether that be personal (mentally, physically, spiritually) or professional (classes, workshops, etc.), make time for it because your work will never grow if you are not actively contributing to your self-care and well-being.

4)Make time for your family and support system.
– Don’t lose sight of the fact that you’re taking all these side jobs and time away from your family to provide for them. I have to remind myself to be present and enjoy my family. Some wisdom that my boyfriend imparted on me was that: the most important person is the person in front of you. I don’t believe that, but I like the reminder to be in the moment.

5) Prioritization
– The better you can prioritize, plan and execute your necessary tasks, the better off you are in the long-run. Always look at your plans in a short- and long- term scope.

& make visual timelines.

Those are my tips to freelancing and moming. Feel free to share some ideas with me. I’m all ears 👂🏽

The Countdown to the FIRST birthday

Yesterday was Buddha’s monthaversary & After 11 months … I’ve realized:

  • Baby blues are real – ruminating on the barren emotional landscape of my transition into postpartum & sympathizing with new moms and their struggle to maintain … it’s so hard to navigate with a seemingly unforgiving ANXIETY. I. Feel. You. & it fades, trust the process.
  • Motherhood is not easy. – remembering when I thought ‘hmm why doesn’t she do this and that’, judging moms when I had NO IDEA of how difficult raising a little one would be. I indulge in humble pie regularly.
  • I have to trust my mothering style and trust my partners parenting style… they might not match up exactly but there’s a reason the universe brought us together to have a kid. Don’t micromanage him.
  • Babies will teach you about biorhythms. You will learn, if not your own, the circadian rhythm of a whole separate tiny human- reminiscing on when junior use to eat every 2 hours, on the dot.
  • Breastfeeding is rewarding, a lot of time sweat and tears (+ raw nipples, bad latches, engorged bubbies, sleepless nights) BUT completely worth it! – looking back on CRYING at 2 weeks when my baby could FINALLY latch. DONT GIVE UP!!! Keep trying, stay focused on your resolve !!! Don’t be discouraged, if all else your baby can still be fed breast milk if you dedicate yourself to a pump and always offer the boob! I’m 11 months in ❤️❤️❤️
  • Pumping is hard. Pumping in a jewelery store and dodging cameras is… 🙄 an acquired skill. – looking back on all the preparation and equipment needed before I could hide and pump 😂
  • Confidence is 🔑 – excogitating on the fact that I’m STILL learning that I have to trust my motherly intuition! I know what’s best; JUST DO IT! To not second guess myself. Grandma daddy etc aren’t going to have the connection that I have with baby, after all, I did carry them around for 9 months. I have to have faith in our relationship.
  • Daycare’s difficult. – Thinking back on the terrible sitter and daycare I put him in. No one is ever ‘good enough’ and no one is going to take care of him how I take care of him.
  • There’s never enough time in the day – remembering the stress I use to feel & thankful I’ve begun the process to prioritize and be forgiving.

I CANT BELIEVE IT. Ill have a ONE year old in one month! 😩

Tips to Multilingualism

Here are some tips to creating a multilingual house:

  1. playing music in the secondary or tertiary language, for Spanish I’ve been playing Maná or Julieta Venegas and looking up lyrics.
  2. Naming body parts in each language , bonus points for directional words (besides, on top, below etc.).. were not at cardinal directions yet,
  3. Counting and using ordinal numbers (1st, 2nd, etc.)
  4. Nursery rhymes
  5. Bilingual books, or make your own with alphabets or numbers (I’m slacking on my Thai literacy)
  6. Telling baby what you’re doing and what they’re doing.
  7. Labeling things. Telling them object names. I would want some tags when he’s literate in the different languages with coordinating colors later for his room. Or a word wall, I’m still figuring it out.
  8. Converse! Have conversations with other speakers and of course your baby. You can’t learn a language fully, if you don’t speak!

We have a lot going on because my mom is a native Thai speaker, so I speak Thai whenever I’m with her. My mom also watches Buddha while I work so he invariably hears Thai throughout the day.

My dad speaks Spanish but not very frequently outside of his family so I’ll narrate things were doing in Spanish or talk to him here and there in Spanish, we get the most exposure through music and reading (I bought a lot of bilingual books off of eBay).

I guess we won’t see the results of the leg work for awhile until then I’m going to watch Univision news because it’s better/ more honest than its English counterparts.

Have any tips you’d like to share with me? Comment or message me. My ig handle is @tinyjune 🤗

The main picture is a cultural outfit of folks from northern Thailand.

The Conscious Parent

I am reading The Conscious Parent by Shefali Tsabary at the recommendation of a friend of mine who recently had her son. Congratulations Kimari! She is an avid book reader and a great mind that I admire, so I took the suggestion to heart and began reading it (better late than never).

I’m going to do a micro-review of the first 50 pages. This book, so far, resonates with me and the style of parenting I wish to live up to. It emphasizes being present and mindful of your childrens individuality. To accomplish this Tsabary recommends self reflection and ridding ourself of ego.

I agree with her view of breaking down the hierarchy of typical parenting and replacing it with a horiZontal power structure where both the child and parent are contributing to the growth of one another. It was nice to read and hear a voice of someone that doesn’t advocate perfection or give an opinion on right or wrong. She speaks on understanding yourself wholly so that you can recognize your kids individuality and spirit. That’s nice. It’s nice just to see it written and hear it and roll it around in my head.

Getting exposure to this book is good for any parent. I believe in the balance and interdependence it hints towards and, ultimate, the expulsion of ego can be beneficial to all of us, not just parents. We all can benefit from creating space and allowing room for growth, it’s healthy advice for individuals. There are a lot of grains of wisdom that can be gleaned from this book.

I recommend this title.

Organic cotton ergo original baby carrier with hood on over by son.

Baby Wearing

(Disclaimer: this isn’t an ad and I’ve only tried the following two baby wearing items).

I use the ergo baby original on a day to day basis when it’s a shorter trip/ not a lengthy walk involved or somewhere space restrictive/not handicap friendly (stroller is a huge wheeled apparatus). It’s made of organic cotton so it breathes (but you can definitely still get overheated, I’ve worn him with no pants (just a diaper and a shirt) in it before since you can’t even see his bottoms.

I personally love it! It’s easy to use. I wear it to the store usually but I’ve taken baby out for walks in it. I initially bought it to go to an Astros game which was AWESOME (til people started clapping and doing the wave and certain doom was foreseen in the form of sensory overload). There is a hood for shade and the baby can still turn and look around but you won’t be able to see them anymore.

It’s a very easy ‘installation’ with only two clips, one for your waist and one mid-back. I Clip the waist belt then I put him in the front of me flush with the top of the carrier, plop, holding him with left hand. I have to jiggle a bit to get him to relax his legs . Loop the arm holes in and clip it with my right hand and that’s it! You’re good to go.

Junior likes the thing, has never fussed and we for sure have worn it more than 20 times already. We got it mid-March and he’s about 25lbs and 29 inches and he’s good. I have not tried him forward facing. He has jumped a few times at the store but it’s more like when you put the spurs in a horse, HURRY UP MOM. The most interaction with the carrier is gnawing at the strap on either side.

Prenatal I wanted to baby wear junior because it seemed like the natural thing to do. I was hesitant.

So, when I got juniors Moby he was already about 3 months. Which would be ok but he was also really tall and my torso is really short so it was just an awkward fit. We tried it twice but it just didn’t seem comfortable for neither of us.

I think it could have been really beneficial for the first 3 months. I would highly recommend it and specifically this one because it’s super soft and feels solid. Obviously it gives and is just fabric but it feels very secure and there is plenty of fabric to make sure you’re baby is sitting correctly and has structure.

The only downside is it takes FOREVER to put on but maybe if I wore it another 10 times it would have worked out. Seriously the two times I did try wearing him, he got fussy before I could even tie the thing on.

I think for either carrier a free form or fitted one, it’s very important to look up videos on correct posture for baby (on the products website!!!)… and to be vigilant about how your newborn is sitting, especially. I would hate for someone to have their babies hanging the wrong way because they’re following someone on YouTube and BAM their kid has hip dysplasia.

I would recommend putting them in the first few times over your bed and then checking in a full length mirror the positioning of his head and legs. You want the nasal passages clear, their head should be Kissable. & you want their legs to be like M’s not an upside down U, I think that’s the best way I can explain it… do the research for yourself. I love it, personally, just wish I would have done it sooner.

What’s your experience with a carrier? How do you feel about baby wearing?