Meet RonDi Luz.
Q: What does being a mom mean to you?
My mom had four kids, and I'm the eldest. You just don’t realize what it requires – what it takes to be a woman first and then a mother. It’s like the whole world truly just needs moms. It’s all of you, not just physically. That was the most shocking part for me. When she’s breastfeeding I can feel energy leave me. All of you physically is required. And mentally, you aren’t just responsible for you and your wellbeing, but raising an entire blank canvas. I look at being a mother as truly the crafter and the shaper of human beings. What’s required of me right now, It’s a lot. And surprisingly, I am a natural at it because it is instinctual, but I guess I had a moment where I had to accept my new life.
My friend said something to me, she said “when you have a baby, a funeral happens.” There is a mourning because your old self died and your new self has emerged, and you have to learn that person and you have to accept that you’re a totally different person. You haven’t lost yourself, but you’re a new person with a whole new responsibility. You mourn being able to just walk to the store, and not having to get ready and prepare all these things. I have a whole new respect for mothers. It’s just amazing. I feel like women don’t get enough credit for it. You are your child's first home before they come out into the world. It took 9 months to have a baby, please give yourself nine months to recover. You do yourself a disservice when you don’t let yourself rest, let your body heal. Take care of it. Eat well. Have a good diet. I had a lot of growing up to do and accepting.
Q: I’m curious about the little moments. What moments do you feel like: “I’m learning from my child right now.” Tiny moments where you feel like a better woman or better mother?
One of the most prominent things was patience. She is new, she doesn’t know much about this new world. There is this unrealistic expectation that I have that I can still move like I used to, and do music like I used to. She’ll go down for a nap and sleep for 10 minutes and I am trying to do a beat, and then she’s crying, and I feel frustrated and upset. But you can’t expect to just complete all the things. Everything you do from now on will be interrupted as the baby needs you. Set a time where at the end of the day you can try and get that stuff done. I had to have patience with myself and the process. I didn’t know that I was an impatient person. Be patient with the process. Have respect for pregnancy, for postpartum, respect the process. I’m all about telling the truth. I want to know everything. If you can, learn from women that are close to you. I feel like the jobs of mothers, aunties, and grandmas now is if there is young women, we can start teaching them at a young age the real things to expect. When she’s old enough, you know, you can start telling her and showing her how to be a mom, without saying that’s what you have to be.
Q: How did Hamabi get her name?
Twelve is a very important number to me. Before I met my husband, he had 12 cents in his pocket when he went to visit his family in Maryland. He was at church with his dad and the pastor said to write down what you want from God and sew a seed toward it. He wrote that he wants to find his wife and he sewed the 12 cents toward it. Around that same time, I was being prophesied over by a woman who goes by Prophetess Lola and she told me that God was sending me a beloved. That happened on my birthday, which falls on the twelfth. Twelve days later me and my now husband were on a date just talking for hours, and he told me that he always said when he met his wife he would say, “what took you so long.” And then he asked me… “what took you so long.” He is my beloved. Two years later we were married on September 12th. When planning to have a child we noticed that the penthouse we were staying in had “p12” on the door.
Hamabi’s name means twelve in the language Basque, an old Spanish language. Hama is how they say ten and bi is how they say two – if you say them together it’s hamabi. We looked at the meaning of twelve and it means God’s power and authority and signifies angels being around. Every bit of what we named her is starting to shoot up in her personality. She is so assertive – not scared of anything. Sometimes I see all of the stuff in my personality that I try to suppress... it’s in her.
Q: Why do you try to suppress those things?
Since she was born… maybe from the time I came to LA... it’s been this long process of finding self. But not finding self in a difficult way... like “oh I need to find myself,” but instead who am I - the original person I was before life beat me up... you know, before life traumatized me. Before all of that stuff. My husband was such a factor in that because he sees... he sees through everything and you can’t ignore and pretend that it’s all good. It’s just the most naked feeling because you know someone can see your truth and see everything you have tried to cover up. I have had this long six months, before she was born, of just digging through the mud facing myself. First of all, you have to decide to see your ugly stuff. And then I just started finding where I am dysfunctioning.
Why when he tells me something in a certain tone, I get offensive or defensive and why do I feel like I have to fight – i’m so hard headed. But then you start to think of your past… I grew up in a turbulent home. Internally, I didn’t know that I didn’t want anyone controlling me because I had this trauma of being controlled. So if a man, especially my husband tells me something it’s like I hear it through the lens of the trauma of control, and it’s just not true cause everything he is telling me... it’s to help me. So I just had to find the root of where these things came from in my life, and decide that it didn’t come from me in the first place and just let it go. And it’s not always the easiest process, but as I made 30 it’s this sense of freedom, of just digging through the mud, and dealing with it, because my daughter doesn’t deserve the residue of me not dealing with my stuff. That’s what she did for me.
Q: I want to go back to that idea of control... and control when now you have a baby. What does control look like in your life now?
The interesting thing is having a baby now with my husband, I find myself having to relinquish control. He has a way that he is going to be with the baby, and I have a way that I am going to be with her. If I haven't communicated with him, “this is how you put this on, or how you comb her hair,” then I can’t get mad at how he chooses to do it. But if I do that and make him feel like he’s not adequate and doesn’t know what he’s doing, I’m just going to break my own house down. I need to just let go – I can’t control every situation. Sometimes I find myself just wanting to knit pick stuff – but how is that going to help us? Find ways to communicate. If you haven’t communicated something, don’t expect something a certain way. That control in that particular area was hard for me.
Q: If you had to choose one story, one lesson, one piece of advice what would that be?
It’s interesting, we spend so much time on “your pregnant, gender reveal, omg baby shower,” but what’s put in place for the 6 week postpartum hell that comes afterward? It’s as if you’re abandoned to just deal with this baby. It feels like you’re left to deal alone. Where is the family then? You have all the celebrations before, but what about after? We need something lined up for postpartum. In a lot of other cultures that happens. You’re cooking for the woman. You are cleaning. Put people in rotation to get stuff done to help the mom. I wasn’t able to communicate that enough. That’s where the value is to me... in the six week postpartum. The woman should know that she’s loved, supported and has help. She needs to know that she doesn’t have to over exert herself. The baby is here, and she can get rest, get sleep.
It’s important to know that having a baby is not going to fill your voids. It won’t fill the empty holes of love that you need, or that you needed growing up. It’s not going to take your problems away. It comes with work. It comes with mental preparation. It comes with stress at times. It comes with you changing. It comes with a lot. My daughter brought me a lot of deliverance in my life – not only health wise, but self wise. I don’t know what she will do for the world, but I know it’s going to be amazing. I just have to know that she’s being raised in the best way that I can.
Q: What does tribe mean to you?
Women that recognize when a mama needs help. I have a woman that lives right down the street. She would just bring me things, she showed me when you know a woman is pregnant be there for her, support her, be the tribe. Be what she needs. I have learned the value of being a mom, especially through this motherhood tribe. It is necessary.
Q: How can we bring out this idea of a ‘tribe’ more?
It’s as simple as a conversation. Just have a conversation. It’s okay to be vulnerable. You have help. You aren’t alone. It’s normal to feel the things you’re feeling. Let’s probe questions. Let’s share truths. Let’s learn from each other. You can start raising some really amazing moms, because from the time they’re pregnant they will see the realness of it. It will chop down so many expectations. The fluff... i’m over it. all the babies is normalizing motherhood. Real motherhood. Not the fluffy motherhood. It starts with simple conversations. Let’s create small gatherings and events with moms, with their babies. Probe the questions. Know what to say and ask. Sometimes we don’t know there are women around that are so close by. There are women around, there is support. You are not alone.
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