My natural hair journey

I last relaxed my hair in September 2012. It wasn’t a intentional decision to transition my hair. While I always wanted to do it, my husband’s opinions and my own fears kept me from going natural.

After becoming a mom in October 2012, I couldn’t imagine spending hours away from our daughter in a salon. So, I installed weave (aka my accessory hair) for the convenience factor. After a couple of installs, I realized I had begun my natural hair journey. There was no turning back.

In September 2013, I marked a year without a relaxer. My husband finally came around. I wore my own hair for a little while.  The only thing left was to conquer my own fears of how to care for the multiple textures in my hair. I was also afraid of what my corporate colleagues would think. So, I quickly returned to wearing weave.

In October 2013, we celebrated Mary’s 1st birthday. I remember not feeling as if I looked my best. I knew I would have to be photographed.  Looking back, it seems the bigger I became the bigger my accessory hair became #realtalk

I started really researching natural hair through online channels and talking to friends, I began to think I was armed with enough information and confidence to let go of my security blanket … my old friend … my accessory hair. Despite all of that, I just couldn’t let go of the convenience of weave.

My 41st birthday was in December. I spent a great night with friends. I felt as if I looked nice until I looked at the candid pictures. I didn’t recognize myself.  I was disgusted.

Then a few weeks later, I got the extra push I needed in the form of divine inspiration and intervention. In January 2014, my church began a 21 day fast and daily prayer call focused on renewal.  Our pastor challenged us to begin taking care of ourselves.  I realized I couldn’t be a good wife or mother if wasn’t good to me. I asked God for will power, accountability partners and motivation.  I took the leap of faith and asked two friendly church members  for help. They both enthusiastically said YES. Thus, began 2014 as the Year of Laschanda.

I knew I wouldn’t be successful with any exercise regiment if I was worried about my hair. It is funny how women, especially African Americans, are emotionally tied to our hair.

In January, I shed my accessory hair and insecurities over my natural hair.  My hairstylist advised me how to do a wash and go.  I joined a walking group. These ladies are so encouraging and motivating. Despite the unusually cold temps, we continued to get up before dawn to walk. The first few weeks were so hard. I felt sluggish and out of shape. The 1.5 mile walk seemed undoable. I kept going. Now, only 10 weeks later, I’m up to walking/running 3 miles. My goal is to participate in a 5k later this year. I even go to the gym at work so I could workout during lunch. With my natural hair, I no longer have any excuses.

At the same time, I’ve had some hits and some misses with my natural hairstyles. My attempt to do bantu knots failed miserably. It’s all ok. I’m taking it all in stride.

My husband has been so encouraging.  He truly understands my natural hair is directly tied to me becoming a healthier and happier me. “Happy wife … happy life”

image

Don’t get me wrong.  I have had my fair share of natural hair naysayers, primarily my very  traditional parents. Oh well, while I would like to have their approval, I know greater is coming later. I’m looking forward to the rest of the year.

Advertisements

Countdown Begins to the Big 1st Birthday

Mary-Isabella’s first birthday is less than two months away. The pressure is on to plan a party she is sure to forget. For me, this party is extra special. Outside of celebrating her birthday, this is a celebration of love and it marks the day God answered my deepest desires. From the moment I saw her in the hospital, I loved her. I knew she was mine.

Now, that I’ve shared the reasons why I want to make it special, let me share my ideas. I’ve enlisted the help of our family and friends to pull off our Princess Mary theme soiree. We are using the Princess and the Frog as inspiration. The invitation list has been shaved down from the original 50 to 15. Our Aunt Anne is allowing us to use her home. We will have a face painter, customized coloring books, inflatables, gift bags and customized tshirts for the family. I would like to have ladies in waiting to attend to Mary. To pay for this big day, Anthony and I will need to save our pennies and make sacrifices. I will do whatever I have to do to make sure this a day Mary can look at the pictures and see was surround my love.

I will keep you posted on our party planning adventures.

First Day at Daycare

Today was Mary-Isabella’s first day attending daycare. As Anthony says, I cry at everything so I knew this morning was going to be an emotional experience. In her seven months, our daughter has only been cared for by family and very close friends.  And, here I was handing my precious baby to a stranger to care for. While I have no doubt, Mary-Isabella is in great and loving care; and believe me I did my research, I couldn’t help but feel vulnerable and scared.  

I know today is the beginning of many firsts for our little girl. I’m sure I will be emotional at all of them.  I’m equally certain that Anthony will be saying, “suck it up and come on.” Image

My first Mother’s Day

Mother'sDay2013

My very first Mother’s Day is now in the history books. It is still hard to believe I’m a mother to such a beautiful and precious baby. I prayed for her so long that sometimes it is overwhelming to know God actually granted my prayer. She lights up my world. She is at the center of everything I do. I’m so blessed. She and Anthony are more than I deserve.

Leading up to mother’s day, I daydreamed of the different gifts I would receive or what Anthony would do to make the day special. Once Mother’s Day arrived, we were jammed packed with activities; from worship service, then brunch with his parents, followed by a visit with family, trek to the grocery store before heading home to prepare for Monday. At the end of the day, I realized all I really wanted was a day of rest and relaxation.

So, I’m asking forgiveness now of my mom and pastor. I won’t be travelling to Mississippi, brunching with in-laws or going to church. You will find me on a beach hopefully or on my couch. Anthony, a nice gift, card and taking care of Mary-Isabella for the day will suffice.

Mother’s Day = Me Day. I say that now. We’ll see.