Babies

7 things i'd like my future babies to know

Hey! How you holding up? I hope this long weekend has treated you awesomly so far and if not - I hope next week will treat you way better! Mine has been a good one. Post midsummer's lack-of-energy state had me slow-mode:ing and introverting all Saturday and I'm not complaining. However, the sleep I intended to get went right out the window thanks to Copa América so I'm seriously considering continuing this slow-mode:ing thing I have going on this whole day too.. 

I've been trying to write a letter to my future self quite some time now but  everything about it has felt so yucky and blaah so I decided to ditch that idea and write something for my future kids instead. Way more fun. 
 

So. This one for my future babies. These are the seven things i'd like for my curly haired monos to know...
 

On guilt: You are never responsible for someone else's actions. You are only responsible for yours. If you hurt someone else, that is on you. But if you are the one being hurt, manipulated or harassed, that guilt is never yours to carry. You are NEVER responsible for someone else's actions, whether they are triggered by your actions or not. 
 

Forgive yourself: Imma J. Cole you right here. "Born sinner, was never born to be perfect." Your future mama believes in a God who loves you despite you making the wrong choices, screwing up and getting completely off track. Whether or not you'll end up sharing my belief, I want you to at least believe in grace. Because grace tells us that though we are flawed, we are cherished. That instead of letting our mistakes serve shame, we will let them serve a greater purpose. Grace says that we’re not only beautifully imperfect, we are also amazingly exceptional, even when we do wrong  Being filled with guilt, shame and whatever usually increases the risk of unawaringly being an ass too so It's really a win-win for everyone.

 "When I say I am a sinner it is not an excuse; it is a measure of humility facing betterment." - Pharrell Williams

Forgive others: I wholeheartedly hope your childhood won't be anything like your mama's, but whatever your upbringing and life will look like, there will always be people who will hurt you whether they intend to or not. The best thing you can do for yourself is at least try to forgive them. Not for their sake, but for yours. It seriously sucks going through life holding onto all the anger that comes with never forgiving. And you know what? Trusting and giving people second chances, that is all your choice amor. Forgiving is not the same thing as accepting. It's okay to actually close doors and lock that shit, it's okay to not want someone in your life and it's also totally okay to love people from a distance.


On being sensitive: Being sensitive is being vulnerable, Being sensitive meaning; allowing yourself to feel stuff; not allowing every kind of behaviour; stepping away from situations and saying no more often than your friends. Saying that it's hard is putting it lightly. However, young padawan, it's all worth it. This world needs more sensitive people. They are game changers.


On crying: You know what? My father always got angry with me when I cried. It was awful and confusing, and I know you'd feel the same if I told you to stop crying, too. So, cry all you want! Seriously. I might think you're a bit ridiculous & dramatic at times but by all means cry. You'll probably see me cry a couple of times too, it's not that big of a deal. And if people tell you to stop crying, you totally have my permission to throw a scientific report on how crying is good for you up their face and then get the hell outta there.


On choosing your friends: Okay, I know this is a hard one. New people will enter your life all the time, you change, they change and sometimes it takes time until you realize whether or not someone is bad for you. It's an ongoing process. Just know this. When you go through low parts of life, your friends are either the ones giving you the hope, love and support you need to get through, or keep you in the state of thinking life is awful, hopeless and that you should just accept life being shitty. Just as these friends either encourage your growth, cheer you on as you succeed and win, or try to keep you as the version only they happen to be comfortable with.

So, just as important it is for you to be a good friend, it is for you to have people in your life that add greatness to it instead of being stones in your shoes.  


On protecting your heart: Well...mama is still trying to figure this one out. We live in a world where people make things that could be really simple incredibly complicated, and it's impossible to have a "one size fits all" template to life because all people you meet are different. You learn though. You're smart and you'll do good. Whatever you do: playing games, becoming what you yourself have been hurt by and shutting people out just to "protect your heart" ain't the way to go. Be brave. Try again. Do your best. Keep up that good work with seeing goodness in people. 
 

PS. I don't know but ending up in really weird situations and making things awkward doesn't seem to disappear with age so sorry in advance. 

 

x

 

Yaasss it's that time of the month so you can't judge! Also I've got questions. Have you ever thought about what you want your future kiddos to know? Hit me in the comment section! 

 

raising multilingual bebé

To have another language is to possess a second soul.
- Charlemagne

I’m a Boricua de Suecia. I talk Swedish, write + partially think in English and wish I was better at Spanish. My native language is Swedish in which I am fluent, but my mother tongue are English and Boricua Spanish and as a kid I was (actively) taught neither of the latter.

I think, the gift of language is one of the greatest and most precious gifts we can give our children. I have to admit not being passed on my mother tongue makes me frustrated to this day, however, since ethnicity & culture are such important parts of my life and identity (in the making) I have taken it upon myself to become fluent in both so I one day can pass on these languages to my own babies.

I want my kids to be brought up in a multicultural home where they will be part of both their parents' cultural identities. I want them to be able to understand me when I read them bedtime stories in all three languages; to ask for abuela or titi; to sing Barney’s “I love you” as good as “Det lilla ljus jag har”; to see their tiny little bodies joyfully move to the rhythms and beats of latino music, to say “Mira, mama!” when they proudly come to show me the fish they've caught and most importantly: I want them to grow up with enough multicultural goodness for them to apply & develop a cultural identity of their own.

I've shamelessly discussed this matter with a lot of wise human beings and been reading articles upon articles to see what thoughts and different perspectives there are on raising multilingual kids. What I've realized is that it's pretty much like raising kids in general - everybody have different opinions on what to do and you have to find, follow & create your own methods & ways that are good fit for your situation, family & little ones. Also, we all know there are situations that potentially could make it extra hard passing on language and culture to our kids, like being ill or not being the primary custodial parent making it hard or sometimes even imporrible to raise multilingual bebés full time. There's really no "one size fits all" and we can only do what we can do! 

The following is a little collection of a few of my favorite #multilingualbebe links; stuff that make me ponder + I find useful already and things I want to try out when the time comes. I hope you find them interesting and helpful!

How about this for a calm, loving and precious preparation for the soon arriving little one: exposing the baby with the language while it’s still unborn. (Spanglish Baby) LOVE THIS!

"In other words, as a direct result of my bilingual quest, I think I've ended up giving more of myself to them during their childhood. And this has no doubt deepened our bond." 
The very best thing about raising bilingual kids (Bilingual Monkeys)

The best (and longest!) list I've found so far with tips on raising multilingual children (Bilingual Monkeys)

Okay, this list might be my favorite too (Lazy Mom's Blog)

"How raising multilingual children made me a better person" (European Mama)

Making it a team effort if you have a partner (go team mom and dad!), playing and singing songs and setting up play dates are a few goodies from this article. (wikiHow)

An interesting article about how babies sort our language. (New York Times)

Bilingual mom Jeannette Kaplun shares her thoughts on raising bilingual kids (YouTube)


So, what does it really take to raise multilingual children? I guess that will remain an exciting mystery of theories & thoughts until I experience it myself.  However, what I think I can say now already without sounding completely ignorant is that I believe the most important thing you need to have when it comes to all this is the will (and ability!) to share your language with your bebecitos. Raising multilingual kids can be out of this world amazing and rewarding, but requires a lot of hard work and it would be a lie to say it doesn't come with lots of trials and tribulations too. The will to share the language and culture with your kids definitely has to be matter of the heart (or plain stubbornness, haha). 

I might not have been actively taught my mother tongue as a kid, but I most certainly inherited the love for these languages. Enough to have become fluent in English (at least when it comes to writing, my accent is a whole other story...), enough to have gone from only knowing how to say "caca", "mira, mira" "vamos" and "caramba" to know how to say "pass me the donuts" and "I'm on my period, can you please buy me some chocolate?" in Spanish (among other incredibly important phrases and words), and enough to have the determination to learn more so I one day can gift my own babies these idiomas de mi corazón. So...pase lo que pase, come what may! Whatever, I'm all in for this whole raising multilingual bebé thing! 

Are you raising, or planning to raise multilingual bebés? Are you a multilingual kid yourself? What problems are you facing and what advantages & victories have you experienced? 
I'd love to hear your thoughts!