Tag Archives: frida villalobos

I do not always have it together

9 Apr

470179_400075410013790_284055658282433_1313376_679222801_oNo, I do not always have it together. Most of the time I do not. It may come across as if I do, cute photos on social media, outings with friends, dinners etc. Friends say; you are doing so well or ask, how do you do it? My thoughts,  you have no idea! If you only knew!!!

There are weeks when I feel like I do have it all together but there are weeks like this week when I don’t. I feel lost, over whelmed, and a bit angry. At times I feel really dumb because I wish I knew how to do things better. I wish I knew how to fix things. How to fix me. Balancing work and being a mom is not easy. It is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. You want to be good at everything yet you always feel like you are lacking in one area.  It is hard. It is exhausting. If you are good at your job, manage long hours, attend important events you feel guilty because you feel as if you are lacking as a mother. If you work late you feel guilty for not being there for your kid. And yet when you are there all the time you feel like your career isn’t moving. It is so hard to be good at both and so easy to feel as a failure. Not only a failure to yourself but a failure to your child. It’s really not that easy and I’m not always doing so well. And I know many women who feel the same.

Earlier this week, I read a blog post by a mother who described her feelings about being a mother. The title drew me to it, “I don’t like being a Mother.” It was raw, honest and emotional. She shared feelings so many women are afraid to even think. Afraid to share with anyone. Afraid to allow those words to come out of their mouths. I am sure most women can relate to some of her feelings but will never admit it. I think there’s so much pressure on women to do it all. We must do it all, do it well and don’t complaint about it. If you do, you feel guilty. If you do, you are a bad mother.

The mother who wrote this post said she felt as if she was missing “some chain of DNA all mothers are supposed possess.” She shouldn’t feel this way but this is what society says to women. This is what you are supposed to do. You are supposed to be good. It will come naturally. You are less of a woman if you don’t. Motherhood isn’t for everyone and that’s okay. It is not okay to judge anyone for making the choice to not have children. And it is okay if you don’t want any. Believe me,  it really is! That does not make any woman worth less. So can we please stop asking married couples without children, “so, when are you guys having children?” Stop asking single women, when are you getting married? Don’t you want any children? Stop asking first time mothers, “are you ready for a second?

Motherhood isn’t always a magical journey. It’s not always filled with happy feelings or thoughts. It’s not always nice. I too have some of those feelings. I’m not always happy. I get sad. I cry. I watch Gael and wonder if I’m good enough for him as I struggle to keep a career. It is hard. Sometimes I get angry at myself for having these feelings and then I remind myself I am human. There were so many things that have been going wrong this week, moments of weakness and defeat, moments of failure and disappointment, moments of anger and hopelessness, moments of mourning and sorrow. Moments when you feel broken all over again. Yet, there’s always a glare of hope at the end of the day when Gael smiles. He is my clutch. He brings me back to balance. I know I may not be the best mom but I do know I am good enough for him. He has no choice; he is stuck with me J

I thank that anonymous mother for writing her feelings like she did. She is amazingly brave. I hope life gifts her with a glare of hope. Hope and happiness. She deserves it.

My semi anti-Valentines Day post

14 Feb

IMG_1451Today I couldn’t help but to be annoyed by overwhelming Valentine’s Day social media posts, balloons and the impromptu flower shops outside grocery stores. I had to ask myself why? Do I really hate it this much? I don’t think I do but I dislike the idea that as human beings we are programmed to be told when to celebrate certain things. I’ve always been a cheerleader of spontaneity, just because gestures on ordinary days. Yes, I’m sure it is very nice to get flowers on Valentine’s Day but wouldn’t be nicer to get them when they are not expected? When everyone is else isn’t doing the same thing? Maybe it’s just me being a Grinch but I think V-Day lacks originality and romance. I also think it brings more pressure to relationships and at times unrealistic expectations. It is great for business though!  Keep in mind this is coming from someone who cannot remember the last time she received flowers for Valentine’s Day. I think the most memorable and meaningful flowers I’ve received were when Gael was born, those were special!

I think showing love on Valentine’s Day is nice but I think showing love every other day is nice too.  I like the idea of having one day to celebrate love, not with things but with gestures, smiles and kindness. I think love should be celebrated every chance we get, every chance we receive it and every change we give it. I don’t think there’s one thing anyone can give to show how much they love someone but I do think they can show it in many different ways. We can show it in the way we treat people. We can show it by simply sharing a smile with someone. We can show it by simply checking on a good friend. We can show it by sharing a meal with our family and friends. We show it in the way we care for our kids. We = by simply being there for someone who needs us. We can show it with one kiss, one simple kiss can say what we can’t say with words. I hope you are celebrating love in an out of the ordinary kind of way. I wish you love, kindness and a really good kiss.

My reaction when I found out I was pregnant was not what you would expect

29 Jan

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The day I found out I was pregnant wasn’t at all how I would have imagined it. I didn’t feel how I thought I would feel. I cried so much but not because I was happy, I was terrified. The circumstances were not ideal for a baby, the relationship wasn’t what a relationship should be when a child is conceived. I wasn’t in a good place. We were not in a good place. I was disappointed in myself. How could I have gotten myself in that situation? What about my career? What about all the things I still needed to do? What about my family? What would they say? My friends. Society. The world felt like too much for me in that moment. Life felt like too much. I didn’t feel warm and fuzzy like in the novelas. I was devastated because I was not going to be able to give the family I wanted to give to my baby. It was all too much. This is how I felt and I’m not ashamed to admit it because I know I’m not the only one who has ever felt this way. And you are not allowed to judge if you’ve never been in the same situation. You are not allowed to judge if you have never fallen in love with wrong person. You are not allowed to judge because you do not know the story. 

Photo by Carlos Avila Gonzalez

Photo by Carlos Avila Gonzalez

Fast-forward more than 8 months to January 28th, the night I drove myself to the hospital. I was so nervous and excited because I was finally going to be able to meet my little guy. The little guy I learned to love and embraced with all my heart. I wanted to be alone for night because I knew the birth wouldn’t happen until the next day. I didn’t want anyone to have to spend the night at the hospital. I wanted to be alone because I didn’t one anyone to see me once the contractions kicked in. By anyone I mean my family or Gael’s father.  I didn’t them to hear me screaming or see my in pain. I wanted to experience that alone like most of the important milestones in my pregnancy. I needed to do it alone because that’s just how it was going to be- it was going to be just me and my little guy most of the time. I needed to know I was okay in that room alone. But I was never alone- Gael’s heart beat was with me in the entire time. He helped me through from the beginning and still helps me today. 

Photo by Carlos Avila Gonzalez

Photo by Carlos Avila Gonzalez

Today Gael and I celebrated his first birthday. We are celebrating 22 months together because I cannot forget about 10 months he spent in my belly. Those 10 months changed my life, and the next 12 changed my world. The last 2 years have been the most stressful yet the happiest of my life. Yes, that is possible! It has been stressful because I’m a new mom and most of the time I have no clue about what I’m doing. It’s not easy doing this thing alone. Gael’s father is present and a good father. I have been pleasantly surprised with his support and constant presence. Having said that, Gael and I are on our own most of the time. I’m thankful for family and friends I can count on when I have to work late or I need a night out. It is a blessing to have good people in my life.

Gael and I celebrated by going out for mac and cheese. The kid recently discovered mac and cheese and loves it! I had a beer to celebrate my motherly efforts. When we got home I attempted to bake a cake from scratch and make some whipped topping. I’m not a baker so this was not an easy task for me but I figured what the hell. The cake didn’t turn out too bad and the topping after several failed attempts I finally got to thicken. I seriously have no clue how people do this stuff. I told myself I would bake Gael a cake every year so I better practice some more. In all, it was a good night for the both us. I think Gael could have cared less about the cake; all he really wanted was mommy time.

Today I kept thinking back at that day when I found out I was pregnant and how overwhelmed I felt. I would have never imagined the feelings I have today, the happiness I feel being a mom and the joy my little guy has brought me. I’m in a good place. A great place! I’m not disappointed anymore. I’m actually pretty proud of everything I have been able to do with my little guy. My career will continue. I can still do all those things I wanted to do but now with my little guy beside me. My family and friends have never been more supportive. And society can kiss my ass with their traditional idea of what a family should look like.

Life happens when we least expected. Beautiful things come into our lives in different shapes and forms. At first, we may reject the idea of change because it scares the crap out of us; it shakes us to the core and creates unbalance. I realize today life is not supposed to always be balanced. Life isn’t always supposed to feel nice or pretty, warm or fuzzy. Life it’s supposed to overwhelm us from time to time. Shake us. Scare us. Life isn’t meant to be perfect or always planned. Life can be hard but it can also be easy. Life can be ugly but it can also be so beautiful. We make life what ever we want it to be.

Gael has brought so much beauty and joy to my life. I cannot imagine how my life would be without him, I just can’t. I don’t want to. He loves for who I am. The imperfect woman I am. He makes me laugh like a kid. He makes me cry for joy. He makes me want to be better. He gives me hope. He makes my world a better place.  And oh my God when he hugs and kisses me my world stops- and everything, I mean everything is okay. 

Here are few collages of photos from Gael’s first year. 

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A lil rehab from Facebook

25 Jan

 a=]ceSeveral online dictionaries define an addict as a person who is addicted to an activity, habit or substance. The definition on Merriam Webster includes, a person who likes or enjoys something very much and spends a large amount of time doing it, watching it, etc.

I think we all have become addicts of something at some point in our lives.  I know a lot of us are addicts of social media one way or another. I know I am. How many times have been on a red light and you check your Facebook or Instagram? What about while having dinner with friends or family? What about in the mornings? Is this one of the first (maybe the first) things you do when you wake up? Maybe while seating on the toilet? I think we have become addicted not only to social media but our smart phones. The other day some shared on the elevator they forgot their phone at home and the first thing someone said, “how did you survive?” how did this happen to us? Do you remember the days before text messages? Before any social media took over our lives? Do you remember how it used to be? How you interacted with your friends and family? Seems like so long ago, doesn’t it?

I shut down my Facebook page about two weeks ago because I realized it was taking too much of my time. I was becoming the person I described above and it made me feel pathetic. I felt pathetic because I realized I was wasting precious time. I felt pathetic because I was starting to lose connection with those closest to me. I felt pathetic because I was taking time and attention away from my little guy. This last part is probably the main reason I decided to take a break.

I re-opened the page because there are a few major events coming up that I would like to share with some of my friends I don’t get to see too often. This and my blog is probably the only reason I will keep the page open. Most of my blog visits are thanks to Facebook, which keeps this blog alive.  Don’t get me wrong, I do like Facebook and enjoy seeing what others are doing. Facebook is not the problem, I am!! I’m the one who makes the choice to constantly check it and take time away from the important things.

I will say I didn’t miss it one bit! It wasn’t hard at all to take it out of my daily routine. It was actually refreshing. I began paying more attention to my surroundings. I called people and even did face time with a few of them. I paid more attention to Gael during playtime. I didn’t have the urge to check it.

I encourage you to try it. Give yourself a social media rehab. Don’t try it all once maybe just one- Facebook, Intagram, Twitter, or Pinterest etc?? Disconnect from it and connect with people. Call friends instead of “face booking” or texting. I know we are all busy and we like to convenience of a text message or quickly scanning our friend’s walls but once in a while call your friends. If we have time to text or surf our feeds we have time for a call, a visit and even a lunch. Keep social media around but don’t let the connection you have with people depend on it. Just try.

Birthdays

1 Jan

It was maybe about 5 years ago birthdays began to feel a bit awkward for me. The idea of celebrating “me” feels a bit uncomfortable. I used to get really excited about celebrating and turning one year older. I’m not sure when or why that changed for me. Maybe the idea of getting older doesn’t seem so cool anymore. I’m not sure because I don’t mind saying how old I am and I don’t mind getting older either. I think the fact my birthday falls on New Year’s Day doesn’t help either. It sounds cool but it really isn’t. The celebration of the New Year always wins over the birthday. The only thing I do enjoy about is that it becomes a great excuse to get good friends together in one room- that I do love!

Last year was one for the books, I became a mother and life changed. My world changed. Sometimes I feel I’ve lost a little bit of me in the process and it scares me. Now, my life revolves around a very active 11 month old and making sure he is okay. Most days I’m okay with it but there are days I do miss some of the old me. I miss my voice and sense of adventure. I miss being able to sit quietly at my favorite coffee shop to process feelings and issues through my writing. I love each moment I spend with my son but I do miss some of my old moments and there’s no shame in that. 
I haven’t made a list of unrealistic resolutions that will stay written in a piece of paper but there are 2 things I would like to commit to for the next 364 days:

1. Finding myself
I want to find the sense of self I lost while becoming a mother. I would like to focus not just on my life as mother but also as a woman. I would like to regain some of my independence and voice.
2. A happy baby
I know I’m not the best mother of the world but I do know I make my baby happy. I know this because the way he smiles, the way he looks at me and the way he cuddles with me in the mornings. I want to continue doing this and find new ways to make him happy.

That’s it. These are my two big ideas for this year. I hope you have a fantastic year and may 2014 bring you beauty, joy and smiles. Cheers!

photo

Our not so perfect Christmas Photos

25 Dec

I had vision of the perfect Christmas photos with Gael. I wanted them to be in our home and as natural as possible. Well, they are in our home and very natural alright! Our photos are the opposite of the perfect holiday photos I’ve seen posted on social media lately and I’m okay with that. My original vision was to have Gael give his picture perfect smile while I hug him or do something along those lines but it didn’t quite work out that way. The night my friend Rafa came by take some of these Gael wanted to do exactly what babies his age do- crawl every where! He did not want to hugged or kissed and certainly not be on Mommy’s lap. He wanted to eat the ornaments, play with the lights, play with my hair and crawl outside our homemade studio area.  At the end of it all Rafa and I said, “this was a total FAIL, how the heck do professional photog’s do this??” I’m not quite sure but I give them lots of credit because photographing babies takes a lot of work and requires MUCHA paciencia.

The following are some of the photos Rafa took as well as a few I attempted to take another night. After going through these I realized this is exactly what I want Gael to see when he grows up. I want him to see the reality of a moment, his curiosity, his funny faces, tantrums and the bit of chaos in our life. This is our perfect!

I hope you are having a wonderful holiday with your loved ones. Thank you so much for taking time to stop by.

Texas Posadas: Making new traditions with my little man

18 Dec

IMG_9519My family doesn’t really follow any traditions during the holidays. We just get together in someone’s home, eat and watch the kids be kids. I guess this is a kind of tradition, no? Some of the traditions I grew up with in El Salvador were lost when I came to United States.  Christmas felt different there, it felt nicer maybe less complicated.  The focus was never on gift giving but more on the birth of el niño Jesus. It was a celebration of his birthday. I realized now the gift thing wasn’t such a big deal because most didn’t have much to give. Some waited for the 3 Reyes Magos (3 kings) celebration in January. I think this gave parents a little extra time to get gifts for the kiddos.

IMG_2726Things changed when I came to the United States. The feeling of Christmas was never the same and this is one of those things I missed about my country. I used to count down the days until December 24th because I could wear my new clothes and eat traditional food we wouldn’t normally eat everyday like chicken or tamales.  I missed that feeling. I remember some of my friends believed Santa couldn’t make it to El Salvador every year because he lived too far (this is what their parent’s used to say when they couldn’t get gifts on time and used the 3 Reyes holiday to buy some time). I missed that innocence.  I our Christmas tree wasn’t a big pine tree but a tree branch we picked out with grandma and decorated with lights, and colorful ornaments. I missed the simplicity. These memories are very dear to my heart and I’m so thankful I was able to experience that kind of Christmas as a child. I want Gael to know what that feels like.IMG_2709

For the first time in a long while I am excited about the holiday and this is all thanks to my little guy. This is Gael’s first Christmas and it brings me so much joy to be able to share this with him. He is too young to understand the meaning behind all of it but one day I would love for him to feel excited about more than just gifts. Here are a few of my hopeful traditions I would love to share with him.

  • Thanksgiving meal together- Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays and this year I cooked a meal for just the two of us. I want to be able to do this every year. I want to teach him the importance of gratitude and make it a daily practice in our lives.
  • Christmas Décor until the day after Thanksgiving- We will not put up Christmas decorations until the day after thanksgiving. I would love for us choose the colors together and make it a tradition the day after thanksgiving.
  • Ornaments: I would love to for us to make our own ornaments. This year I made a simple ornament with his photo inside of it. I’m not crafty but I want us to be able to make things together.
  • Nativity Scene: I want him to understand the meaning of the nativity scene and when he is older, if he chooses, celebrate the birth of el niños Jesus at midnight Dec. 25th.
  • Posadas with friends- This year we hosted friends for dinners in our casita and also visited some in their homes. I would love for us to continue doing this every year. I want him to learn about the importance of friendships and appreciate the special people in our life.
  • Making Gifts- I love personal, meaningful gifts. I would love for Gael to make simple gifts for certain people in his life like his father or grandma. I don’t want him to ever feel pressured to buy expensive gifts for anyone. I want him to understand the real value and meaning of gifting.
  • Hot coco, cookies and presents- This is a tradition I always admired from some families. I would love it if we could wake up on Christmas morning to open presents from Santa while zipping on hot coco with homemade cookies.
  • End of the year dinner- I want us to sit down to have dinner before the end of year.  One day I’ll be able to talk to him about everything we did during the year and share what we want to do in the New Year.  I want us to set goals and talk about how he will accomplish them during the year.

IMG_2770Gael has changed my world in ways I could have never imagined.  Reading through this list makes my heart warm and makes me excited about the future ahead with my little guy. He has brought so much joy into my life and I couldn’t be more thankful. He is making the season feel different- much nicer, less complicated and much more joyful.

I wish you nothing but joy and may the new year be a great adventure full of smiles, goodness and mucho amor.

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TEXAS POSADAS BLOG HOP

I’m participating in a Texas Posadas Blog Hop as part of the Texas Social Media Network (#TXSocial). You can visit these other blogs for more on Posadas: food, traditions, etc. We’ll be celebrating our Posada Blogs for the next nine days. Join us!

12/16 – My Tots Travel

12/17 – Sweet Life

12/18 – Expecting The Unexpected

12/19 – Frida’s Cafe and Juan of Words

12/20 – Tejana Made

12/21 – Monica Wants It

12/22 – Sybilline

12/23 – Your Sassy Self

12/24 – ¿Qué Means What?

#NaPhoPoMo 2013 Last Day: Look for the light

1 Dec

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#Naphopomo is officially over and although I started a little late I’m proud of myself for posting 27 straight days. I really enjoyed the practice because it got me back into photography and on a regular routine of writing.  I have to thank the wonderful Karen Walrond for introducing me to Naphopomo and encouraging me to put my camera to good use. 

This came at a perfect time because I was feeling a bit lost with my blog. I wasn’t dedicating much time because I was always second guessing myself and what I was writing. I decided to make a practice to simply post a photo a day and not worry about writing a long post. This gave me so much room to breathe and helped me realized I do not have to write a long post in order to keep this space up to date. I can do so much with an image or a simple thought. 

This last photo is the perfect ending to a great month. Karen always always encourages to Look for the light and so I did in different ways.  

I found light in my camera. I found light in unexpected moments. I found light in an unexpected someone. I found light in a ordinary day. I found light while watching my sweet boy sleep. I found light in good friends.  I found light in my home. I found light even in dark moments that tend to creep up once in a while. I found light within me I hadn’t seen in a good while.

Thank you for following along, liking and sharing my posts. I really do appreciate your time and support. This practice should help me keep Frida’s Cafe current. I won’t bore you with my thoughts every day but will do it at least once a week. I hope you have a wonderful December and remember to look for the light. 

This photograph was taken as part of #NaPhoPoMo (National Photo Posting Month) – a shot a day for the month of November.

Check out other photos

#NaPhoPoMo 2013 Day 26: Our Christmas tree

30 Nov

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Our mini Christmas tree is up! I’m not usually a Christmas kind of person but I’m really excited this year because is Gael’s first. Last year I put up the tree because I was pregnant and this year he gets to see the light beam. The holidays are just so much nicer when you have someone so close and special to share them with. I’m excited about starting new traditions with him and doing things on our own. I look forward to the day when we have a bigger home and we can decorate it together. For now, our mini tree and lights will do. 

This photograph was taken as part of #NaPhoPoMo (National Photo Posting Month) – a shot a day for the month of November.

Check out other photos

#NaPhoPoMo 2013 Day 25: 10 months

29 Nov

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It is hard to believe today he is 10 months, just 2 months shy away from being 1 year. I remember the days when I could take a photo with that zebra to show his growth from month to month. Now it is hard to get him to stay still. He crawls non-stop, stands on his own and wants to explore everything insight. He is a social butterfly who doesn’t mind new people and will give you a nice big smile if he really likes you. He is the light of my days.

This photograph was taken as part of #NaPhoPoMo (National Photo Posting Month) – a shot a day for the month of November.

Check out other photos

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