My daughter likes her last name but talks openly about changing it. It is a perfectly adequate name, but different from mine and my husband-to-be. The thought of him and me having the same last name makes her feel left out or, in her words, alone. Although she's only been on this earth for seven years, she exudes an incredible sense of self-awareness and emotional intelligence. We have discussed the possibility of changing her last name through adoption since her father is non-existent and has never played an active role in her life. I want her to have autonomy over the decisions that affect her. But even with her deep albeit short consideration for this process, I think we need more time before making such a final decision.
The key is balance, explaining both sides, and coming to a decision that brings harmony to our home. Even more importantly, what brings her peace.
Reasons Why Your Child Should Take the Father's Last Name
Children usually take the father's last name unless their mother wishes them to have a different one. I feel like it establishes a connection between them at birth and allows the child to carry the legacy of their father's family. If two people are in love and decide to have a baby, then it's their prerogative.
I guess I'm a bit of a traditionalist. I gave my daughter her father's last name because it made sense at the time. We were not married, but that was not a prerequisite for me. It established his paternity and our love for each other at the time.
Reasons Why Your Child Should Not Take the Father's Last Name
Giving the child the father's last name is an antiquated tradition. Establishing a family legacy is not just about the last name; it is about the story we want to tell. If both parents are in agreement, they can choose whatever name works best for their child.
Sometimes we are given the gift of knowing that the man isn't ready for his parental duties, and we can determine early if the relationship is going to work out or not. This can make it easier for a woman to give the child her last name to account for any future disappointments.
In my situation, our child has no attachment to her father's last name and has requested to change it. And to change it, we have to go through a lengthy process of getting it changed legally. This particular process is only necessary if the child's father signs the birth certificate. A birth certificate is a legal document, and when he signs it, he is taking legal responsibility for the child and gets fifty percent of decision-making power.
According to the NY Courts: "You can ask the court to change a child's name if you are the child's biological or adoptive parent, the child's legal guardian, or next friend. A name change is not an adoption.
"Changing your child's name to your spouse's or domestic partner's name will legally change your child's name, but it will not legally make your spouse or domestic partner your child's parent. For example, if your child is from a previous relationship and you now change your child's last name to your current spouse's name, your spouse will NOT be your child's legal parent. The only way to do this is to do an adoption."
What happens if the non-consenting parent contests the name change?
The Family Law Self-Help Center reports, "If one parent will not agree to have a child's name changed, the other parent can file papers to request the change. The non-consenting parent must be served with copies of the name change papers and given a chance to object. A judge may or may not grant a child's name change without the other parent's consent."
A name is important because it establishes personal identity and individuality. At the end of the day, you have to make the best decision for your child. A failed relationship is not the main reason for not giving your child their father's last name. There are plenty of healthy co-parenting relationships that come out of a break-up. However, children cannot speak for themselves, so they need you to advocate for their future.
We're still in the process of considering if the name change is right for us or not. But, I'm sure when we - my daughter and me - make the decision, it'll be made in love and not lack.
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Ayana Iman is a certified life coach, professional speaker, and mama of one based in New Jersey. She's also known for her love of big hair, travel, and cooking. Find her across social @AyanaIman.
How Content Creators Hey Fran Hey And Shameless Maya Embraced The Pivot
This article is in partnership with Meta Elevate.
If you’ve been on the internet at all within the past decade, chances are the names Hey Fran Hey and Shameless Maya (aka Maya Washington) have come across your screen. These content creators have touched every platform on the web, spreading joy to help women everywhere live their best lives. From Fran’s healing natural remedies to Maya’s words of wisdom, both of these content creators have built a loyal following by sharing honest, useful, and vulnerable content. But in search of a life that lends to more creativity, freedom, and space, these digital mavens have moved from their bustling big cities (New York City and Los Angeles respectively) to more remote locations, taking their popular digital brands with them.
Content Creators Hey Fran Hey and Maya Washington Talk "Embracing The Pivot"www.youtube.com
In partnership with Meta Elevate — an online learning platform that provides Black, Hispanic, and Latinx-owned businesses access to 1:1 mentoring, digital skills training, and community — xoNecole teamed up with Franscheska Medina and Maya Washington on IG live recently for a candid conversation about how they’ve embraced the pivot by changing their surroundings to ultimately bring out the best in themselves and their work. Fran, a New York City native, moved from the Big Apple to Portland, Oregon a year ago. Feeling overstimulated by the hustle and bustle of city life, Fran headed to the Pacific Northwest in search of a more easeful life.
Her cross-country move is the backdrop for her new campaign with Meta Elevate— a perfectly-timed commercial that shows how you can level up from wherever you land with the support of free resources like Meta Elevate. Similarly, Maya packed up her life in Los Angeles and moved to Sweden, where she now resides with her husband and adorable daughter. Maya’s life is much more rural and farm-like than it had been in California, but she is thriving in this peaceful new setting while finding her groove as a new mom.
While Maya is steadily building and growing her digital brand as a self-proclaimed “mom coming out of early retirement,” Fran is redefining her own professional grind. “It’s been a year since I moved from New York City to Portland, Oregon,” says Fran. “I think the season I’m in is figuring out how to stay successful while also slowing down.” A slower-paced life has unlocked so many creative possibilities and opportunities for these ladies, and our conversation with them is a well-needed reminder that your success is not tied to your location…especially with the internet at your fingertips. Tapping into a community like Meta Elevate can help Black, Hispanic, and Latinx entrepreneurs and content creators stay connected to like minds and educated on new digital skills and tools that can help scale their businesses.
During a beautiful moment in the conversation, Fran gives Maya her flowers for being an innovator in the digital space. Back when “influencing” was in its infancy and creators were just trying to find their way, Fran says Maya was way ahead of her time. “I give Maya credit for being one of the pioneers in the digital space,” Fran said. “Maya is a one-person machine, and I always tell her she really changed the game on what ads, campaigns, and videos, in general, should look like.”
When asked what advice she’d give content creators, Maya says the key is having faith even when you don’t see the results just yet. “It’s so easy to look at what is, despite you pouring your heart into this thing that may not be giving you the returns that you thought,” she says. “Still operate from a place of love and authenticity. Have faith and do the work. A lot of people are positive thinkers, but that’s the thinking part. You also have to put your faith into work and do the work.”
Fran ultimately encourages content creators and budding entrepreneurs to take full advantage of Meta Elevate’s vast offerings to educate themselves on how to build and grow their businesses online. “It took me ten years to get to the point where I’m making ads at this level,” she says. “I didn’t have those resources in 2010. I love the partnership with Meta Elevate because they’re providing these resources for free. I just think of the people that wouldn’t be able to afford that education and information otherwise. So to amplify a company like this just feels right.”
Watch the full conversation with the link above, and join the Meta Elevate community to connect with fellow businesses and creatives that are #OnTheRiseTogether.
Featured image courtesy of Shameless Maya and Hey Fran Hey
Probiotics Vs. Prebiotics: What's The Difference? Which Is Better?
When it comes to the overall well-being of our bodies, gut health takes the top spot. Commonly referred to as the "second brain" due to its intricate connection to the brain, our gut plays a vital role in maintaining the healthy and flowing state of our bodies.
We often hear about the benefits of taking probiotics and prebiotics to support our gut health, but with so many recommendations on the market, it can be easy to get confused about which ones to take, when to take them, and how to choose the ones that best fit our body’s needs.
It could all be a lot simpler if we knew the functions and the role each played in our body, so maybe it’s time we break down the do’s, don’ts, and how’s of taking probiotics vs. prebiotics so you can always trust and care for your gut.
WHAT DOES THE GUT DO?
The gut is home to trillions of microorganisms, collectively known as the gut microbiome. These microorganisms help break down food, produce essential vitamins and nutrients, and protect the gut from harmful pathogens. When the balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut is disrupted, it can lead to a variety of health issues, including digestive problems, autoimmune disorders, and even mental health issues.
Research has linked gut health to immune function since a healthy gut microbiome helps regulate the immune system and protect against infections. Gut health has also been linked to mental health — since the gut and the brain are so closely connected, the gut microbiome can produce neurotransmitters that impact mood and behavior. Meaning, a well-balanced gut can equal a well-balanced you.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PROBIOTICS AND PREBIOTICS?
While probiotics and prebiotics may sound similar, they have distinct roles in promoting gut health.
Prebiotics are a type of fiber that the human body cannot digest. These natural compounds are commonly found in foods rich in complex carbohydrates, like resistant starch and fiber. Prebiotics act as a fertilizer for the good bacteria in your gut, promoting their growth and overall health. By feeding these beneficial microorganisms, prebiotics help keep the gut microbiome in balance and support optimal digestive and immune health.
On the other hand, probiotics are live microorganisms, such as bacteria or yeast, that are beneficial to the gut microbiome. Consider these to be the good bacteria that live in the gut (or your gut’s best friend). These beneficial microorganisms can help promote healthy digestion, boost immune function, and even influence your overall wellness. Probiotics work by maintaining a healthy balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut. By supporting the growth of beneficial bacteria, probiotics help keep the gut microbiome in check and support optimal immune function and normal inflammation response.
BEST FOOD TO FIND PREBIOTICS:
- Legumes, beans, and peas
- Dandelion greens
BEST FOOD TO FIND PROBIOTICS:
- Yogurt (with live and active cultures)
- Apple cider vinegar
- Aged cheeses
PROBIOTICS VS. PREBIOTICS: WHICH IS BETTER?
It’s not so much that one is better than the other, but rather that incorporating both prebiotics and probiotics into your diet through food and supplements can help the two work in harmony with each other.
Prebiotics function as nourishment for the good bacteria in your gut, while probiotics are the actual bacteria themselves. When consumed in either supplement or food form, prebiotics and probiotics work hand in hand to promote a healthy gut.
So, is it possible to consume prebiotics and probiotics simultaneously? Absolutely! You can find them as a combined supplement. While probiotics are capable of functioning independently, incorporating prebiotics may enhance their effectiveness, but prebiotics alone may not provide significant benefits.
TRY THESE SUPPLEMENTS:
Culturelle Pro Strength Daily Probiotics
Garden of Life Probiotics for Women
Love Wellness Good Girl Probiotics
Rae Pre + Probiotic Dietary Supplement Capsules for Gut Health
HUM Nutrition Gut Instinct Probiotic Supplement
With the right combination of prebiotics and probiotics, you’ll be on your way to smoother digestion, a stronger gut, and boosted immune system in no time.
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