Cloth diapers are often marketed as the cheapest solution to our never ending diaper need and as a way to cut costs. Cloth diapers in fact do cut costs and are a very good alternative to disposable diapers. Even using cloth diapers part time can help many parents who are struggling financially. But here’s the thing, many parents can’t afford to buy a whole stash at one time, especially when food needs to be bought. $25 a diaper can be a daunting price for some. This is where I have a solution. My solution to cut the cost of cloth diapers is using thrift stores and blankets. It sounds pretty strange but I promise you will see my point in a few sentences. Items at the thrift store are already heavily discounted. Things that are already cheap at regular price are almost free at thrift stores. Many know that receiving blankets and cotton blankets in general can be used as flat cloth diapers. At a local thrift store you can buy cotton baby blankets for under $1 a blanket. This price cannot be beat unless, of course someone buys you a stash and gifts it to you. Baby blankets are incredibly absorbent. They can be used both during the day and at night. If more absorbency is needed a Insert can be added so you can get longer wear time at night. Baby blankets also are easy to both machine and hand wash. They also dry very quickly with air drying. This allows for a parent to be able to use less diapers and thus use their money for something else. Tight on a budget? Run to your local thrift store, buy some blankets and put your diaper covers to good use.
There was a point in time where I thought “no way I can ever be more tired than I am now!” This was said when I was in high school and when I joined the rowing team in college. Waking up at 4 am everyday was a breeze compared to motherhood. Motherhood is a BEAST and is not for the weak. I am starting to believe that emotional and mental labor tire the body more than actual physical labor! Raising children can be very taxing and rewarding at the same time. It takes a lot of mental energy to help regulate emotions and guide children all while not completing loosing your shit everyday (it’s ok to loose it sometimes and cry in the bathroom, no one is perfect🙃).
I wake up everyday and immediately get the ball running. I hop up! Most times my Afro is stuck to my head but hey!! I start breakfast, feed the dog and then take him out for his morning walk. After that, I’m back in the house feeding kids, playing and starting my morning cleaning routine before we start a homeschool activity. In between those things I try to drink a cup of coffee so that I’m not falling asleep by 12pm. Coffee is a must! I don’t care what anyone says lol. After 12 I let the kids watch a movie so that I can do some laundry, fold clothes, put fat baby down for a nap and get started on lunch and dinner. By 4 pm I’d like to crawl in my bed but that’s not going to happen. By 7pm I’m at my mental capacity and that is when it’s time to start winding down and get ready for bed. By 7pm I’ve been up for 12 hours and been tending to children for 12 hours. I’ve heard my namehh called 100 times. I’ve picked up toy after toy and made meal after meal on top of making sure everyone stays alive and is well cared for.
My brain is non stop thinking. My anxiety doesn’t help. The mental load of being a mom can be exhausting in itself. We are constantly thinking about other people, our children (as we should) all while trying to do everything that needs to be done to keep the house running smoothly.
Moms are tired! We need rest! Don’t ask me or any mom why we are tired especially if you don’t have children. Naps are required and mandatory if you ask me🤷🏽♀️
Take a break mama! Read a book or run out the damn door once your partner or babysitter arrives. A short walk can wake you right up because your mind won’t be running on overdrive.
People almost seem insulted when a black woman is tending to her children. If you aren’t the stereotypical black mother who beats her kids to death and calls them everything under the sun, I’m here to let you know everyone is going to have an issue with your parenting, even other black folks. It’s quite sad. My children have acted out in public several times and by acting out I mean crying. Now crying is normal for children but for some strange reason people think children aren’t supposed to cry. Some people even think toddlers and infants cry to manipulate people. Let that sink in. Now this is where it gets great. I’m a sahm and usually when I’m out with the kids I’m around other sahm’s and I’m also the only black parent. Yay!!🙄. For some reason whenever my child or children get fussy I can feel eyes staring holes into my back. I often look around to see parents staring at me, waiting for me to spank my child. When I respond calmly or ignore the behavior and leave the area, shock is all across everyone’s face. To see a black mother love on her children confuses folks. It makes them uncomfortable because it shatters the stupid thoughts they willfully believe. For some reason these people don’t understand that black people are not monolithic.
Being a good black mother is revolutionary because we are supposed to be incapable of raising anything other than thugs and whores. When you hug your crying baby you are doing something you are not supposed to. When you respond to conflicts with love and gentleness, instead of a belt you are doing something ground breaking. When you speak life and positivity into your children, the world just might split. When you don’t publicly shame your child on social media, you my dear, are changing the world. Haven’t you noticed how many negative parenting is often met with such high praises but a black mother being there and standing for her children is seen as her raising weak children. Encouraging your child to apply to multiple colleges and excelling and getting accepted is seen as “obnoxious”. It’s viewed this way because society cannot accept nor believe that there are good black mothers. That the majority of us are good mothers. When you don’t fit into the box of negativity you are attacked and threatened.
Society seems to believe that good black mothers are mythical creatures. Very rarely are whole black families praised, even rarer, black mothers who openly love their children. We are often portrayed as single(another myth), evil, violent towards our children and emotional unavailable to the point that all our children join gangs. The truth is most black mothers are some of the most supportive mothers in earth. We tackle racism and sexism and still find a way to raise phenomenal children who grow into phenomenal adults.
Ever so often I run into people who think that being a mom is the end of life goals and aspirations. I hear things like “oh you’re a mom, you should just focus on your kids”, I was even told once that if me and my partner broke up I should not date or do anything other than work and raise my children. I’ll be honest, that was some of the worst advice I have ever heard and I think it’s complete bullshit. See, the thing for me is, motherhood is NOT enough. If I solely focused on only my children I would loose my damn mind. Staying home with my kids everyday is enough to drive me insane most days. Raising children can be overwhelming a lot of the time. It is ludicrous to expect a mother to subject herself to having absolutely no life goals or desires outside of loving, caring and providing for her children. Now don’t get me wrong, I love being a mom but I need to be a mom AND have a purpose for my life outside of my children. I need to have something that will keep me going after they have left for college or move out.
When I speak of projects I’m working on or collaborations I have been chosen for, I am often met by deaf ears. I’m asked how will I have time for that and it’s been suggested that I don’t worry about any of my personal wants or goals. This is an extremely unhealthy and toxic mindset to have. This idea that mothers have to be martyrs is detrimental to our sanity. Self care takes many shapes and having a life outside of being a mom is crucial self care. Sadly this is preached to many of us by older generations who Sacrificed their personhood while raising children. That was common back then but mothers of 2018 have decided that motherhood is not enough and that is ok. It ok to not just be a mom! It is ok to NOT want to hang out with your kids every single waking moment of every single day. It’s ok to want to pursue higher education, start a business, and work on projects that set your soul on fire all while raising your children. In fact I personally believe that children need to see that mothers are complex humans who are capable of loving and providing for their children while also fulfilling their own desires and needs. Children should not see mom so exhausted and bored with life because she has succumbed to society’s expectation of once a mother your dreams die. So moms if you were looking for permission to live the life you want, you have it! Go live your life as the best mother and woman you can be! Start that business! Start that website! Join the gym! Enroll in a class! Write down all your goals and aspirations and start working on them TODAY. Break the cycle. Reclaim your womanhood and personhood. Woman first, mother second.
Somewhere when we give birth, when we become mothers, womanhood gets lost. All of a sudden we don’t take the extra time to care for ourselves. Those regular self care appointments just get pushed back farther and farther on the calendar. This is how you end up with frumpy moms. There is nothing wrong with being frumpy if that was your style before you became a mom. But let’s be honest most mothers at one point cared about their appearance. They made sure when leaving the house they were presentable. I don’t know about y’all but I have left the house several times with stains on my clothes and I did not care one bit🤷🏽♀️. That is definitely something I would have never done before I became a mom. In the midst of caring about and for our children our self care begins to fade away. Sex is often one the first things to go which is a huge no no !! Enjoy sex girl! If anything you need it more than you did before.
Everything that personally made us a woman becomes at risk when become mothers. I for one think it’s because society pushes the idea that once a mother always a mother and nothing else. You can’t be a mother and be stylish. You can’t be a mother and be sexy, you can’t be a mother and be accomplished. You can’t be a mother and have a social life. The only thing you can do ifs work, take care of kids and your partner!! Did I catch you trying to put on lotion?! This is why women/mothers who seem to have it together are so alluring and amazing. We wonder HOW can she be a mom AND (insert amazing thing here)? The thing is moms, we don’t have to loose it. We don’t have to sacrifice our womanhood or personhood to raise wonderful children. We CAN do both. It all starts with self care. A mom of two once told me to wake up earlier and do what makes me smile in the morning. She told me everyday she wakes up before her children, takes a shower, puts on nice clothes and makes herself feel like she did before she had children. She said she is a better mother when she takes care of herself. By taking care of ourselves as women we allow ourselves to be better mothers because we are running on the best versions of ourselves. When I feel sluggish or feel like I look horrible, I am much more irritable than when I’m feeling fresh and took care of myself. So moms, please even if it’s just one day a week find a way to take care of you, don’t loose the woman you were before you became a mom. Woman first, mother second.
I’ve been wanting to blog for some time. I never got around to it because I always thought no one would be interested. I always thought I wouldn’t have enough time. I shouldn’t allow that to stop me from having a creative outlet and putting myself out there. I trimmed down my gel tips so that I could properly type. I am writing this post while breastfeeding my 17 month old to sleep. I’m determined this time to see how far I can take myself. Most of you probably know me on Instagram as Muva Epiphany. My real name is actually Epiphany and I am a sahm (stay at home mom) of 4 outrageous and loving children. I have two girls and two boys. I was lucky enough to be blessed with two of each. Life as a sahm isn’t easy. Life as a mom in general isn’t easy but it can be a bit better with some self care and some self love, all of which I promised myself self in the year of 2018. This blog is to express my thoughts, ideas and feelings well as sharing work from other black moms who inspire me and inspire others😊 I hope that you want to take this journey with me.