Tag Archives: higher education

Damaged Goods- Baby Brain and Work

“It’s a myth”, that’s what I’ve heard and read in research articles of how mothers’ brains who are expecting are unaltered.

Although I still think that at times I am going crazy and that I am not able to be as productive as I use to be, I do think that your mind is affected by the changes your body goes through. Just alone in month 6, theses are symptoms you will be going through:

  • Those baby flutters or as I like to call them, worm feelings, will start
  • Oh the gas
  • Heartburn
  • Indigestion
  • Backaches
  • Uterus is the size of a basketball
  • Increased vaginal discharge- yea i change underwear at least twice a day
  • Pain and stretching in the underbelly
  • Swelling
  • Most recent, bloody booty-hemorrhoids

Okay, you get the point. Well its no wonder that we can’t focus or multitask as much as we would like to. Something you have to realize is that you actually are multitasking while doing everything else, like work or thinking about what you and your partner have to do before the babe gets here.

Giver yourself a break. I’m trying too. I have become excruciatingly frustrated with myself because I was the type of employee that was able to do it all. Now i’m missing meetings because of appointments, getting undermined by people from other departments and co-workers and my boss are giving me a break with work (I hate it). To top it all off, our VP spoke to my direct supervisor and insinuated that my supervisor should not expect much out of me, as a result my student enrollment goals should be adjusted. Talk about sexism and discrimination. Although I truly am blessed to have coworkers and a boss who is wholeheartedly understanding, it sucks. I want to do it all but I physically, mentally and emotionally can’t. However, there are things that you can do to make it no one else’s business of what you can and cannot do. You also don’t want people’s pity.

  1. Stop talking about baby brain and mommy brain. Even though you are convinced that you are going crazy or feel like you are a bit more clumsy than before, stop mentioning it and stop complaining. I know, you are going through so much but at the same time, you are what you want people to see and if you want them to see you as a person who is tired all the time and needs help doing the work, then who is losing out here? Believe that you are this human who was given the opportunity to pop a sucker out. You are strong and you CAN do it. You won’t be able to do it all at once but be patient with yourself. Also seek out a group outside of work and/or talk to HR about what your rights at work are. If you can’t find anyone, I’m here to help! I can be your support!
  2. Plan! Not only plan for what changes will happen with baby coming into the world but plan for the things you can control such work events or responsibilities and be intentional. If it takes you longer to complete a task, start early and give yourself time to successfully complete it. I use to be able to do projects within hours of receiving marching orders but that’s not the case anymore. You are now responsible for yourself and another being. Time is no longer your own. You will have to adjust to the changes and pee a lot more or pump!
white paper with note
Photo by Bich Tran on Pexels.com

All in all, as a person of color as my dad would say, “don’t give them a reason to fire you”. And although it would be illegal to not provide certain accommodations, don’t be surprised by anything or anyone that might try to undermine your ability to successfully complete your job. I have always been a firm believer of being ten steps ahead of anyone and ALWAYS have paper trail, be transparent and work with integrity.

On the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission you will find information about the type of rights you have as a pregnant person. Per law, while the PDA does not require employers to provide time off for pregnancy disability, it does require employers to treat pregnancy disability the same as other disabilities for purposes of sick leave or temporary disability benefits. Be your own hero and know your rights!

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#anxiety #depression #highereducation #latina #latinx #latinainhighered #lifestyle #mentalhealth #newmom #wokemom #woke

Another day, otro dolar

On the issue of feeling alone I have come to realize that I’m not the first one to feel this way in a primarily white institution, nor will I be the last.

We live in a time where everyone is scurrying to their people of color to figure out how to tackle issues of racism, self-hate, colorism, anti-semitism and any other things white people, here, don’t want to directly work on. As a result, they pawn on the few people of color that work in their institution. It’s happening to all of us and it will happen over, and over again until we become compassionate individuals.

When shit hits the fan, as in now during the Trump Era where DACA has ended, we (people of color, the brown one’s specifically), are forced to drop everything for anyone that is going through emotional distress, and left with a dump of emotions. I am then alone again figuring out how to approach the situation. Wouldn’t it be nice just to say, “its no my job” or “let our Diversity Director take care of it”, when it is those same people that come running to us when students reach out to them because they have no idea how to handle the situation. Its a never ending cycle.

We instantly become tokenized and its something I never grew up knowing about until I went to college. This was mainly because I grew up in a predominantly Mexican neighborhood. In college I was the spokes person for my people and now as an administrator, I am again pigeonholed into a position I never wanted in the first place. Do I like seeing people not get help? No, but does that mean that we always have to be the ones reaching out and making sure our students of color are okay or that we have adequate programming for our students? I thought this would never happen but it keeps happening, time after time- with no compensation might I add.

I am caught between administration that is stuck in their ways, wants to help but becomes instantly paralyzed as soon as something is thrown their way. Then we have those students who want instant change and gratification, and end up throwing people under the bus; the wrong people. I am 1 of 5 Latina pillars on this campus, when will it be okay for me to reach out for help?  Another day, but no dollar….

Its not normal to carry around everyone else’s baggage. Make sure to take care of you.

Shoutout to The Wellness Center Blog on Latino Mental Wellness

One of the few

Its lunch time, well late lunch time. I’m sitting here in a lonely lobby. I always knew I was independent and loner but when did it become okay to default to being lonely all the time? I work for a small religious based university- in Illinois. We preach solidarity and community but as much as I try and become part of a community, I always end up sitting by myself somewhere and mentally preparing myself to be alone. Is that right?

And so I turn to what my parents and family taught me, “mejor sola que mal acompañada”. As I look around I am again the lonely Latina, who from the outside of a glass window is looking inside to a world I could never belong to. The white world.

The archetype of my fucking life. Everyone wants to not feel alone and I’m over here the 27 year old Latina who had to grow up being okay with being alone.

I did it in my childhood being one of the few to be studious, one of the few to go to college, one of the few to finish grad school and one of the few Latinas to work in this god forsaken place that is the farthest from what it teaches.

Chuy, visit this catholic school already. ..we need you