The nuances of motherhood that most impact our parenting happen quick. From the mundane to the powerful, there is beauty and knowledge caught within fleeting youth. One moment you’re making dinner, the next you’re explaining where babies come from. It’s all so magical – and a bit tragic, if you ask me. How we offer the world to our children is in direct relation to the values they keep as adults. That’s no simple task. As parents, we’re raising a legacy – our family legacy – and it’s important to be conscious of the values we expel.
That’s why I started blogging. I knew the nuances of my early motherhood would be lost to new memories. Life moves forward, and that’s a good thing, but I wanted to give my babies tangible lessons and stories of their family; something they could hold in their hands that encompassed all that my heart yearned for them. I also knew that by writing my values, understanding the personal baggage I bring to my parenting, I would be paying attention to motherhood’s nuances.
De Su Mama is Spanish and means from your mother. It speaks to the many love letters that are the foundation of my blog. I write love letters to my children as often as I can and believe they’re essential to forever documenting their legacy. Very early on in my writing, I also realized that my parenting had a lot to do with me: my insecurities, my apprehensions, my view on the world. Launching The Personal Identity Project was the starting point of assessing the woman I am and how best to evolve to raise the kind of family legacy I wish to leave behind. I’m not perfect, but my babies deserve the best me I could be. I am their first Legacy Builder, and it was time to start paying attention.
By no means a small part of our family legacy is the fact that we’re a multiracial family. I’m a bicultural Latina, born as the first generation to Cuban refugees. I speak Spanish and love the values of my culture. As an adult, I’ve embraced my Cuban heritage, mixed with a typical Southern California upbringing, and am purposed to leave a legacy of multiculturalism and bilingualism. My husband is African American, and shares the beauty of his family legacy and history with our children, too. I feel that raising a legacy, establishing traditions and documenting memories is even more imperative for multiracial children. Our babies are unique in that they have two distinct cultures to derive an identity, and I want mine to always know that they can be whoever they want to be. No matter what the world tells them.
We use food, culture and travel as means to express our values in parenting, but I also love the power of photography. I use it as a tool to speak to my children often. Becoming a Legacy Builder takes a myriad of tools – about as diverse at the legacies to create – and I’m excited to be at eHow to share those with you. From establishing traditions, to memory keeping, to parenting tips making sure our values are at the forefront, building a family legacy begins with us.
It’s a beautiful job, and I’m honored to do it.
Vanessa Bell is the writer and Legacy Builder at the award winning blog, De Su Mama: Building a Multiracial Legacy. Most importantly, she’s the mom of two beautiful babies and is purposed to build a legacy they’re proud of.