Today is my birthday, so we are having a double celebration. Grab your favorite beverage as we delve into the inspiring stories of three immigrant mothers in Brooklyn on our latest White Label American podcast episode. Bertha, Murielle, and Preet sha...
Today is my birthday, so we are having a double celebration. Grab your favorite beverage as we delve into the inspiring stories of three immigrant mothers in Brooklyn on our latest White Label American podcast episode. Bertha, Murielle, and Preet share their unique challenges and triumphs in motherhood and how their immigrant journey has shaped their experiences. From building a community in a new environment to breaking cultural barriers and raising bi or multilingual children in multicultural America, our guests offer valuable insights on resilience and self-confidence in the era of social media controversies. We'd like to extend a special thank you to Bertha Jimenez Ph.D., Murielle Miszcak, and Preet Pannu for taking the time to share their stories, as well as our Patrons Nnenna and Sarah for their questions and support, and our dear friend Beatriz Nour of InBetweenish Podcast. Stay tuned for our upcoming Father's Day episode!
If you're new to the podcast or a returning listener, you can also support us on Patreon for as little as $3 per month. You'll get access to loads of bonus content, and you can help us out by sharing our podcast with your friends and on your socials and giving us a five-star review on your favorite podcast platform. We really appreciate it!
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[00:09:26] Growing up in a strict Indian household in Kenya with multigenerational households. They were taught to respect elders, be polite, and eat dinner at the table. Education was valued. They now struggle to enforce these values with their American children.
[00:27:30] An individual discusses their open-mindedness towards spirituality and their willingness to let their children choose their own path, regardless of religion, while also acknowledging traditions and the importance of a spiritual connection and community.
[00:40:02] A woman discusses her unique mother who overcame traditional gender roles and familial abuse, and how her family ultimately accepted her husband despite their differences. She also values the concept of a supportive maternal community.
[00:55:54] Supportive attitude towards pursuing non-illegal interests, but critical of certain music genres.
[00:58:24] Be mindful of the messages in hip hop, especially with regard to disrespecting women and the lack of representation for women and older adults.
[01:04:34] Prioritizing being a hands-on mother over her career but has recently returned to full-time work. She emphasizes the importance of finding what works best for each individual's path and identifying one's needs for self-care.
[01:19:34] Describing her anxious biracial child's need for a therapist who understands his identity.
[01:22:40] The practice of gratitude is important for everyone, even atheists. Remind yourself of what you are grateful for before bedtime to keep yourself from feeling alone and lonely, and realize that you have everything you need at every moment in your life.
[01:31:49] Stay resilient, have a strong sense of self and values to not get influenced easily. It's up to individual families and parents to solve such influences on teenagers who may not have a strong value system. It's crucial to explain and show the consequences of one's actions to prevent violence.
[01:43:46] Social media is orchestrated and mostly for entertainment, people should remind themselves not to take it too seriously or apply it to their own lives. Opinions on social media are mostly BS.
Raphael Harry [00:00:00]:
Welcome to White Label american Podcast. This is a podcast that brings you bold, in depth interviews with interesting people that are mostly immigrants taking down artificial walls one story at a time. This is a podcast that empowers immigrants to share their stories and listen to those of others. Thank you for joining us. You hello, everybody. Welcome to another episode of White Label American. Thank you all for joining us today. And before we meet today's guest, I would like to invite our new listeners and old listeners who haven't done it yet. Go give us five star reviews. If you haven't given us a five star review five stars. Give us on your favorite podcasting platform. You've been enjoying this podcast. You know it's the right thing to do. So take the honorable shame and hit the podcast apps and give us a five star review. Otherwise, Obayaga will come get you. So you don't want Babayaga to come get you. Because today's episode is all about Mother's Day, and you got to make your mama proud. So be a good kid, do the right thing, and if you want to show more love and take it to the next level, you can sign up for Patreon for as low as $3. There's loads of bonus content out there, and you have our in house regular, Ashwin. So with me over there, we discuss a whole lot of stuff. We just did a recording on the show Beef Part One. We'll talk about Beef again with Yuan, hopefully because it ties into social media, the anger and how people overreact and things like that. So we'll discuss some more stuff like that. We are immigrants. We have opinions that's not just tied to how people came to America. It goes farther than that. So that's on patreon only. Give us money and we'll give you access to that capitalism. Yes, we do that too. So with all the good stuff being said, go give us five stars. You can buy our match. Go to www.whitelabelamerican.com. You get access to our Match, support small businesses and veteran owned businesses. You can also give us feedback. We love feedback, constructive feedback. If you got Negative Nancy's to send to us, well, we'll send it to the same place that it all goes to. Thank you very much for the person who's doing that on YouTube. I appreciate you. You help me with my algorithm too, as they climbing up. So I appreciate you asking your comments. I don't know what I have to do with Joe Biden's Son's laptop, but oh, well. But I saw the comment. Thank you. So with all that being said, let's meet today's guests. The journey of many immigrants includes the transformative experience of becoming a parent and embarking on a new chapter in their relationship with motherhood. Today, I have the honor of featuring three immigrant mothers on my first Mother's Day episode. Two of our guests are returning for the second time and we are excited to welcome a first time guest. If you missed episodes 145 and 146, I encourage you to check them out to learn more about Prit Panu and Morial Mischeck. Additionally, Beth Himinez solo episode will be coming soon. She's our first timer, in case you weren't paying attention. So longtime listeners of the podcast may already be familiar with her husband. Ashwin already said his name before, so you get it again. That's enough Ashrin for today. So here's our main stage. If you didn't know, all of our featured moms share a few things in common. They are in interracial marriages. They are raising bilingual kids in different cultures, navigating interracial marriages, and carrying on their family traditions while forging their own paths. So with that being said, welcome to the show, everybody. How's everyone doing today?
Murielle Miszcak [00:04:29]:
Thank you so much.
Preet Pannu [00:04:31]:
Nice to be here. Raphael.
Bertha Jimenez Ph.D [00:04:33]:
Nice to meet you, everyone.
Raphael Harry [00:04:34]:
Hey, thank you all for coming. It's an honor to have you. And I know we are not recording exactly on Mother's Day, but this episode will come out the week of Mother's Day.
Preet Pannu [00:04:45]:
We trust you with that timing.
Raphael Harry [00:04:46]:
Yes. Happy Mother's Day.
Murielle Miszcak [00:04:48]:
Is Mother's Day anyway.
Raphael Harry [00:04:49]:
Yeah, that's right. Also, I should have said this before we began recording, a few of my patrons, my patrons, a couple of mothers who support this podcast, who are also immigrants, sent some questions, and a friend who also has a podcast, who does a podcast that covers a lot of immigrant related topics, she's also an immigrant, sent two questions. So I will be letting you all know when I introduce those questions, and it's just for the sake of transparency, but we all have our fun, and we still have fun. It's not going to be like, all serious and World war. We're not going to solve all the world problems today. But at the same time, we still here to have fun. We are here to learn, and it's all about your journey. All right, so, Beth, you're the first timer. When I drop the first question, I think we'll allow you to start the floor. But before we start the questions, let everybody just go ahead and introduce yourselves to the audience so they meet you officially. So, brethren, do you want to go first?
Preet Pannu [00:06:07]:
Bertha Jimenez Ph.D [00:06:07]:
Hi, everyone. My name is Berta Jimenez. I came to New York in 2009 for my PhD, and actually, that's where I met Ashwin when we're both doing our PhDs. And now I'm a proud mama of a three year old named Edgaraya. So I'm really happy to be here. I also a professor at NYU. I'm teaching entrepreneurship and innovation management. So thank you so much for the invitation.
Raphael Harry [00:06:39]:
Hey, we're glad to have you, and we look forward to having you back again for your solo episode. So, Prit, want to go next?
Murielle Miszcak [00:06:48]:
Preet Pannu [00:06:48]:
Hello, everyone. Nice to be back here again. And greetings to Raphael's army that's out there. All the people that listen in. It's nice to be here and talking about something that's very close to my heart, but, of course, I'm sure both the ladies here our experience of motherhood here in the US. I moved here in 1999 and then met my husband. Didn't really plan to become a mother in New York, but things just happen fate, and it just happened organically and you just go with the flow. And before I know it, I now have a 15 year old and a ten year old. Been raising them in Brooklyn, and in the meantime, holding down a career in the media industry, as Raphael spoken about before.
Raphael Harry [00:07:32]:
Murielle Miszcak [00:07:34]:
Hi, I'm Muriel. I came to the US in 2007 from Switzerland.
Raphael Harry [00:07:41]:
Same. You asked me.
Murielle Miszcak [00:07:45]:
We yeah. I did not plan to be a mother here either. It happened. And I now have three kids, six, eight and twelve, in the public school system. Yeah, it's a little roller coaster ride and always something, but I thoroughly do enjoy it. And I think maybe we do solve world War problems by being mothers and raising kids for the future. I'm also the director of Kinderhouse, which is a very progressive German emergent preschool, which is kind of my other child. And, yeah, we're into education and forming the future generation.
Raphael Harry [00:08:38]:
Yes. So thank you again and appreciate three of you. And you all do amazing jobs. And, yes, you all solve World War problems. World problems. I mean, I say world without well, you all prevent wars in your ways.
Bertha Jimenez Ph.D [00:08:54]:
Raphael Harry [00:08:55]:
So I think something you all have said ties into the question that my good friend Beatrice, the host of In Between, ish podcast, sends. So I will start from there. So, Beatrice asks, how has your cultural upbringing influenced your view on motherhood? Whether that is to have children and how you parent and how you parent them. So who would like to go first?
Preet Pannu [00:09:26]:
Yeah, I can take it. So I grew up, of course, as you know, in Kenya, but in a very Indian household with multigenerational households. My grandmas were there, my dad's mum all the time stayed with us, and my mom's mum would take, you know, turns staying at her different siblings houses. And so I had my grandmothers also that were part of my upbringing, and it was pretty strict. We had to have respect for our elders and behave ourselves and please and thank yous and clean up our mess if we left a mess. But at the same time, we're in Nairobi and we're in Kenya, so we have people picking up after us anyway, people helping us make our beds and iron our clothes and stuff like that. So it was a mixed bag between having it together and then also being pampered at the same time. And so, for me, some of that doesn't apply to motherhood in the US because I need my kids to pull their own weight and clean their room, which is still a massive battle with the teenager at the moment. And I've learned that I have to sort of let it go. I can't be on him about it every day. There are some days I just have to turn a blind eye and be like, that room doesn't exist in the house. And then there are other days when I'll be like, okay, today is the day. You're going to go for it, and you're going to sort this out. But definitely the values I grow up with, respect for elders, being polite, and then something that we did in the tradition that we had, which I'm sure the ladies here have, too, is eating dinner as a family every night at the table. I go into some American households, even my in laws sometimes, and we're eating in front of the television. Everybody's eating something different from a different restaurant. It was a big deal to cook dinner and eat as a family. That was very important for me, and that would give us the chance to just reconnect at the end of the day, just check in with everybody about how the day went. And I'm not saying those conversations are always peaceful at that table. Sometimes we're arguing with each other or we're not seeing eye to eye, or somebody doesn't want to talk and wants to be quiet. But we're there. We're with each other. We're taking that time, and we're putting off the screens because that's the biggest distraction now. And then I would say one more thing was education. That was something that was always important, especially for my dad, because he came from a village in India. He never had formal education for very long in his life. He did a little bit of middle school and high school, and then he was straight into work at the age of 14. And he always told us, nobody can ever take away your knowledge. You can lose everything in life. People can take everything away from you. But if you get a good education, no one can take that away from you. And that's something we always talk to the boys about, making sure that they stay on top of their studies. They don't have to get A's, but they have to do their best. If we see them being lazy, there's consequences for that. Nothing major, but they'll lose their iPhone or whatever. I whatever it is, is going to make them upset.
Raphael Harry [00:12:30]:
Yeah, you reminded me of some of the things that Michelle Obama said on what's it called again? The talk that I saw. I think it was based on her book, The Tour, that she think was the X. I think I wrote it down from them, the Light We Carry it's on Netflix now, where she was being interviewed by Oprah. Oprah.
Preet Pannu [00:12:56]:
Yeah, I saw that.
Raphael Harry [00:12:58]:
Watch the whole I won't finish watching the whole theme, but yeah, the dinner table conversations. Yeah, it's part of it. Thank you for sharing that.
Murielle Miszcak [00:13:14]:
I can go ahead. Let me try to get my thoughts back together. It's so interesting to listen to you in such a special background. I was just thinking to myself, I was so thrown off before when I was supposed to say who I am because I've never met an Indian heritage family from Kenya. It's just extremely special and interesting. The founder and owner of Kinderhouse is actually Indian, and I see lots of reflection in what you told so far. And I learned so much from her. I mean, she's been such a great mentor and teacher along the way at Kinder House, where I've been since 2013. And I know her parents, I love them. And I see so much similarity with the educational part. Anyways, in Switzerland, I went to a Waldorf school, rudolph Steiner School, as we call it. I grew up very different. I grew up very I wouldn't say anti authoritic, but just my mom always said, we're all here together in this world and children are not less because they are children. So I was given a lot of responsibility in decision and just in how I want to be from the beginning on. And I think I carry this on with my own kids. They have a lot to say, so they have a lot to say what they want to eat, where they want to go, what they want to do school wise. I grew up with no pressure, and I try, although they are going to public school to do the same, I do not want to put any pressure on them. Fortunately, they're all three in relatively good schools. My younger two are going to 321. They've been at Kinder House until Pre K and then for kindergarten and up, they are now in 321. My daughter went to 39, actually, which was much more pressure and rigorous than 321. Both Park Slope schools, both good schools. But I see a huge difference also with her and the stress level. And I'm thinking this is just all so early. And I think the biggest carry in to being a mom is I want to take off that academic stress that is being placed by the American government on our children. I want them to be children because in Switzerland and in Western Europe, children are allowed to be children. They are not being drilled to read and write at the age of three or four or five. And they're still doing better at the end of the day when they're done with their whole education than the American Graduation Schoolers graduates. Sorry. There we go.
Raphael Harry [00:16:15]:
I was going to come to that.
Murielle Miszcak [00:16:16]:
But before we get I take it all away already.
Preet Pannu [00:16:19]:
Right, that's fine.
Murielle Miszcak [00:16:21]:
But I think yeah, like, being a child is one of the most important things that I took from Switzerland to how I raised my kids here in the US.
Raphael Harry [00:16:32]:
Yeah, but before you got to your children? I mean, based on your cultural upbringing, how did it influence your view on motherhood and whether you chose to have children and you becoming a parent? Because I think you've answered how you decided to raise your kids. You said earlier, I think there are some similarities to myself where I wasn't sure if I wanted to have children. At one point in time, I was like, I'm all for children's rights. I'm all for taking the rights to provide better education for children, better access to after school programs and all the good stuff for children. But me personally, I don't want kids.
Murielle Miszcak [00:17:23]:
At one point, although you have one.
Raphael Harry [00:17:24]:
And that's why there are people who are surprised because I didn't post a lot of stuff on Facebook, was just baby shower. And then two weeks later, Clara arrived, and there were people like, man, you hit the baby better than Beyonce. Like, wow, baby, that kind of thing. So based on my cultural upbringing, I'm like an abnormality because people would have people who come from my background who were raised in the same culture. They're like, well, as soon as the baby is coming, you start announcing, hey, except if you are superstitious and you are afraid that something evil might happen or the baby, you might lose the pregnancy, then that's when you keep quiet. But by the stage where I was at when we had Clara, I was like, Baby is coming. My baby. I love the baby, no matter that was me then. But for you, I'm just trying to gauge, based on your culture, upbringing, how did you approach how did that affect you choosing to have children? Was there any change?
Murielle Miszcak [00:18:28]:
No. I'm an only child from my mom and then my dad's previous marriage before he met my mom. So I have two half siblings. He had two kids, but I grew up by myself. But then again, I now have three kids, right? But then no, I always wanted children at least one to two, and I kind of was also okay when I had to. And then there was that third one just flying in with the sword from the door. It's just really, anything I did as a child was okay. And that was not only because I was an only child. I think it would have been the same way if I had siblings. But my parents always told me, if you want to become, like, work in sanitation and clean up garbage, that's fine, as long as you're happy, whatever you do, we're fine with that. So that really influenced me, going the way I want to go, and that's really what I want to carry into for my children.
Raphael Harry [00:19:41]:
Murielle Miszcak [00:19:42]:
It has more of a philosophical generational thing with having children and education and so on and so forth. And it's not only the education in school, right? It's that kind of education. You just get in between that kind of thrives you and jumps to the next generation.
Raphael Harry [00:20:05]:
What about you, Beth?
Bertha Jimenez Ph.D [00:20:06]:
Yeah, I'm from Ecuador. Ecuador. We grew up in your household. So you don't have your grandparents or your costumes living in the same household. How are they living in the same city? So I was used to go to my grandma's house or to my costume's house. So that is something that I really miss because here it's just us with me and Edgar, nobody else. So I really, really miss the fact that we don't have any social structure. So it's really hard because we have three kids. So I'm the middle kid. So it was always fun to have meeting with the cousins, being with you. Even though I will fight so much with my sister, I miss her so much. And my brother, I miss him a lot. And I also see that all my nephews, everybody has kids over there. So I see how much all the pictures of the family meeting. So I really feel like Edgar is missing that part. And it's a little sad for me to see. We're trying to give him the best in the US. And that's why I think we are in Brooklyn. But at the same time, we are missing all that family community that we don't have here. So I grew up with that and also I grew up a little pumper. So it's something that I also kind of miss, the convenience of being pumper of somebody else. Like picking up your stuff, which we don't have that having a maid, having a cook, having a chauffeur. I am the maid and the cook the chauffeur.
Preet Pannu [00:21:52]:
And it sounds like those are expensive things to have. But I understand. We're similar in Africa. There were conveniences of life and it wasn't a break the bank scenario. It's just what all families had. I mean, my maid had a babysitter. It's that level. You know what I mean? She would come and clean the house and then somebody looking after her child where she lives. It was just part of the culture and something we did.
Bertha Jimenez Ph.D [00:22:17]:
Yeah. So it's not like if you have those things here, you are like filthy rich, right.
Preet Pannu [00:22:24]:
You would have to be here.
Murielle Miszcak [00:22:26]:
I feel so blessed to have that.
Preet Pannu [00:22:28]:
Cleaning lady once a week.
Murielle Miszcak [00:22:30]:
Families have like cleaning ladies, especially at 321. When you talk to other families, they all have cleaning ladies, babysitters, different nannies. It's not that far.
Raphael Harry [00:22:43]:
Yeah, but for you to be able to afford that here.
Bertha Jimenez Ph.D [00:22:53]:
$2,000 a month, it's a lot of money.
Preet Pannu [00:22:56]:
That's if you get a nanny, right?
Bertha Jimenez Ph.D [00:23:00]:
We have a nanny that was leaving the middle class.
Murielle Miszcak [00:23:06]:
Totally agree. On the other hand, I mean, spending time with your kids is even more expensive, right? Like in terms of value. So you kind of also choose, I think if you want to get somebody to pick up after your kids or yourself or whatever, you could get that I think you can get anything you want to. You just need to want to do it. So whenever you want to create your parts of your home or how you grew up, you can do that. Totally.
Preet Pannu [00:23:36]:
Yeah. But the one thing you can't replace.
Bertha Jimenez Ph.D [00:23:39]:
Is the family you cannot replace.
Preet Pannu [00:23:41]:
I struggle with that as a mom.
Bertha Jimenez Ph.D [00:23:42]:
Here, because here you are by yourself. It's not the same because you grew up with certain values from your culture and even the people that I meet that are like but also people who.
Preet Pannu [00:23:56]:
Have a history about you and your life. I got really sad one time when my kid was five. I struggled with this when I was an early mom. And I got really sad once because I was looking back at our photographs, and I saw that at every single birthday party, there were different faces, different kids, different families. And I was like, what are we building here? Where's the community in this? And I really struggled with that. And my brother, meanwhile, is posting pictures with him and his kids, and they're in Kenya, and they've got birthday parties, and my parents are there and my uncles are there, and their cousins are there. Yeah.
Bertha Jimenez Ph.D [00:24:26]:
And that's the same thing, what that means.
Preet Pannu [00:24:30]:
Like she said, once you start embracing what you have here as your family, it gets easier. It takes time to get to that point.
Murielle Miszcak [00:24:39]:
In Switzerland, you're not so much in your family structure, probably both of you.
Bertha Jimenez Ph.D [00:24:45]:
Yeah, it could be that. Because I know other people. It's okay for us, it's kind of like we really miss the family. And it's also from both sides. Like, my husband is from India, so it's not like we can have family. Like, I'm married with somebody from here that we can go up and see them now and then. And he also missed tremendously, you know, like, that our kids are not with his cousins or his grandmas.
Preet Pannu [00:25:14]:
What helped me with that? Just the hurt. I understand the hurt, but what helped me with that is that that hurt is mine. It's not my children's. I used to carry that pain for my kids and feel sad for them. I'm like, they're missing out, and they're growing up like this, and I'm so sad for them. They don't know any different.
Bertha Jimenez Ph.D [00:25:31]:
Preet Pannu [00:25:32]:
And they're happy to play with their kids at the park and go to the playground, and they're happy to do their sport and go to their school and meet their teachers and friends.
Bertha Jimenez Ph.D [00:25:40]:
That's true. Maybe because my kid's still little. He's three. So it's like I see a lot of kids that are always edgar, he has a lot of fans, a lot of girls that are like, Edgar, you're here. But Edgar doesn't even look at them.
Raphael Harry [00:25:58]:
Is he cute?
Preet Pannu [00:25:59]:
He must be really cute.
Bertha Jimenez Ph.D [00:26:00]:
Yeah, he's really cute.
Preet Pannu [00:26:01]:
He has the long eyelashes.
Murielle Miszcak [00:26:02]:
Preet Pannu [00:26:04]:
Have those eyelashes.
Bertha Jimenez Ph.D [00:26:05]:
They're so cute. But I don't see him looking back at the girls. He's like, okay, whatever.
Raphael Harry [00:26:12]:
He knows he's getting all the attention.
Murielle Miszcak [00:26:15]:
I also think it's going to get better once you get into a school where you actually start to volunteer and organize events, where you can bring your own culture in and so on and so forth, because it just started with three K. Once you get into it took me, actually, until now, just school wise, to actually find my people. And then it starts to just wrap.
Preet Pannu [00:26:41]:
Up with yeah, because sometimes your kid will have friends, and then you won't like the parents. You'll meet parents.
Murielle Miszcak [00:26:50]:
You'Ll meet parents who.
Preet Pannu [00:26:51]:
You like, and then your kid doesn't necessarily like that kid. You're like, Damn it, why can't you just like this guy so I can hang out with this mom?
Murielle Miszcak [00:26:59]:
Raphael Harry [00:27:00]:
Yeah. I've had that you guys have touched on some of this, but I still have to ask this question, the second question that Beatrice sent. What aspects of your cultural background do you intend to pass down to your children? And what traditions or beliefs do you hope they will outgrow or reject?
Preet Pannu [00:27:30]:
That's interesting, the outgrow and reject part. Immediately, my mind goes to arrange marriage. Not that I was ever forced into that, but my cousins had that scenario. That's something that was deep in the Indian culture there in Kenya, luckily. My family, of course, they were much more open minded about that. That's something that we would definitely lose and happily. But my kids, they've grown up American. They've grown up. I think they would grow up very similarly in Kenya as well, just because of my personality and who I am. I'm very open minded person. I'm a free spirit. And they would grow up the same way even if we did grow up back home in Kenya. But what we would keep is definitely things like have a spiritual path. They do go to church. They're braids Catholic. They know about my background as well, which is Sikh Muslims. So we're a multi faith family, and they can choose their path. And it doesn't even have to be one of those. It can be anything. If Zach says one day, oh, I want to become a Buddhist, I'm like, okay, go for it. Or somebody Jason comes up, he's like, I'm going to be Jewish. My name is Jewish anyway. I'm like. Okay. Sure. Yeah, become a Jew. It's fine. Just have a spiritual connection. Have a spiritual path. Have something that will ground you, and then that gives you community, too, I think, especially if you go to a different country. You're on your own, you're missing family. You can go to church or you can go to the temple, and you can connect with people there, and you can have a sense of belonging, a place where you can go and find peace no matter how hard things get. And I think that is something that I would continue for them, and I would want them to continue in their own traditions with their children and their families too.
Bertha Jimenez Ph.D [00:29:12]:
So I guess for us it's funny because you talk about religion, so we're also like, I'm Catholic, raised Catholic. Ashwin is Hindu. But if you ask him, he's kind of like, I'm Hindu because I'm from India. But it really doesn't matter much about he knows about everything. He knows everything, but he doesn't practice. He knows the practice. I remember when I met him, he was like an atheist. So it's really funny because I was raised in a really conservative Catholic mindset. So then I go, if you are dating someone and that person is like evangelist, they're like, oh, no big deal. Because you are dating, even though they're both Christians, they're like, no, against evangelists. And I'm here marrying a Hindu who is an atheist, right. So it's kind of funny, but I think living in New York and kind of seeing the difference, it's about spirituality. I think. When I met my family in India, it was really nice to see how we connected spiritually. So we do want to kind of pass that to Edgar. He is baptized Catholic, but we also went to India and they did like a special ceremony for him. So it's like, I do want to pass the spirituality that you can have in both families. So at the end of the day, yes, he can choose whatever he wants. He doesn't have to be Catholic. However, I do have the bias. But you have to be Catholic is.
Preet Pannu [00:31:04]:
An easier thing to pursue here in Brooklyn than it is to pursue Hinduism. Or if I decided to go and take the boys and take them to the Sikh temple, that's much harder. It's not as accessible. Churches are everywhere. Brooklyn is kind of the borough of churches. It's much easier to do here.
Raphael Harry [00:31:21]:
This neighborhood alone. How many churches?
Bertha Jimenez Ph.D [00:31:24]:
Yeah, but I think the part I would like to kind of get over, it's like my country is kind of like really close minded. And you don't get it until you get out of the country. How close minded we can be in Ecuador. So I want him to and I'm sure living here, he day well, not to be so like this has to be red. If it's like pink, that's it, we are done. So that part I want to kind of reacting of my culture. And I think it's funny because even though Indian equality is so far, we are so similar in so many things. And if you ask that to Ashwin, he will say exactly the same.
Raphael Harry [00:32:10]:
I think the only place you guys differ is on time. The way Ashwin has described time, the time concept, I think that's the only difference. But everything else that you just said, it's literally. You can throw Nigeria in the mix too. We are on the same boat with Ecuador and India. Including the spirituality, too, but that's a different topic for another day.
Murielle Miszcak [00:32:34]:
But yes, maria yeah, so similar. Actually, I first thought, I don't even know what I would not want them to carry from my background or my upbringing because I just was very blessed to have such a strong mother who like, if you guys meet my mother, you see why I am how I am. And totally everything makes sense. So she paved this path. She broke generational trauma with therapy and just lots of spiritual ceremonies where she has been taken herself back into her very early childhood, and she was left alone home, and she had lots of trauma experiences, and she was able to break that for me. So I'm forever grateful. So that being said, I'm like, yeah, how I grew up was just great. So I want my children to experience all of this. One thing I maybe do a little different. My mom always kind of made sure I don't get too many plastic toys and kinder health. Really extremely mindful. She was very mindful with what she bought me. My kids, they can have whatever they want, because now when I go to a store, I'm like, oh my gosh, look at this cute doll, this and that, and I still want to buy it. And I don't want my kids to have this. I want them to be fully done with that when they are my age, obviously. But then when you said the closed mindedness, switzerland is no different. Swiss people are very close minded. You know, all these mountains make them not see any further. We call it Eurocentristic because it's something that is kind of European wide. But Swiss people, they are so close minded with all the neutrality. You can absolutely, you cannot because they're so neutral too. Right. You cannot discuss things with them because they're like, that's how it is, and that's how we do it. And that's the best day to do it, obviously, because you know what?
Raphael Harry [00:34:45]:
That makes sense. I just thought about your national team, the Swiss national team, the soccer national team, and there was at the 2018 World Cup, I need to go delete some of those face because I used to write a lot of crazy stuff. But I made this joke then that Switzerland is where you have United Nations, you have a whole lot of refugees.
Murielle Miszcak [00:35:16]:
All the pharmaceutical industry headquarters are sitting there in the mountains.
Raphael Harry [00:35:19]:
So they should have had a diverse national team for a long, long time. And what you said just proved that. They've had black people playing there. They've had people of color in their leagues for a long, long time. Even coaches before the major were the bigger leagues. Switzerland has had a lot more diversity, but it would never reflected in the national team until 2018 and then 2022. Their team now look blacker than England. And people are like, wait, where does black come from? I'm like, they've always been they just forgot to it just seemed like we don't win, but it's like, oh, we can't win anymore. Okay, let's start using the people that we have always had here. And the people started thinking that they started shipping. No, I was like, they always had them there. So we were joking about this in 2018, so it made sense that they were like, yeah, we're not going to open about we're not going to diversify now. We just really stick to what we've always been using right from time.
Murielle Miszcak [00:36:22]:
Raphael Harry [00:36:22]:
Even if we keep failing and failing.
Murielle Miszcak [00:36:24]:
And failing and failing that way. It's sickening. That's why I left. That's because you cannot have conversations with people like this, right? You could tell them, listen, you could win the World Cup if you would actually get these guys on your team, right? But they're like, no, we always did it that way. Why would we? There's no point. There's no point discussing things with Swiss people because you're not going anywhere. So I actually already broke that part because we're here in Brooklyn and my kids are so not Swiss. They're just so not Swiss. They like, it's my son, my middle son. He loves France and he loves Italy.
Raphael Harry [00:37:03]:
He doesn't like Switzerland.
Murielle Miszcak [00:37:04]:
They just like the surroundings like I do. I like the Swiss surroundings too, because it's much more international. And then again, yeah, they're little Americans and they're fine with that. I mean, their dad is Trinidadian. It's good.
Raphael Harry [00:37:19]:
Yeah, just tell them to stop supporting France, that's all. No, I just had to throw my little thing. It's all good. I'm messing with him. So before I move on to the next big discussion question, one quick question I have to ask. I didn't actually write this one down. I'm guessing with Muriel, I might know the answer from Muriel. But for everybody, who do you consider the most moderate no. Who do you consider the most modern figure in your life? Because I think for men, we always get this question, who is the most father like figure in your life? And it took me until just this year. The person who I've been claiming was the person I used to call my father like figure was actually not the person was just recently I actually finally admitted that it was actually a woman who was the person who had identified with the most as a father like figure to me. So who do you consider to be your most mother like figure in your life?
Bertha Jimenez Ph.D [00:38:35]:
Like, my mom.
Raphael Harry [00:38:38]:
Can be your mom. That's fine. I know most people go to their mom, but why I asked this question now is because the first time I was asked about the father like figure, I said the first thing that came to my mind. And then I don't know. The question kept repeating my head for months afterwards until the day it seemed like I was finally ready to say the right answer. And that's why that's great. It dawned on me, like, oh yeah, the first answer I said was not. It was just what I wanted to say that day. So I'm not saying you're wrong. There's no right or wrong answer. That's the point I'm making. And for people listening, feel free to let me know, you know how to get in touch with me. Contact. Hit the contact button or the microphone on www.whitelabelamerican.com. Let me know. Who do you consider your mother like figure? And we also have people who grew up with our parents. We have orphans out there. So, yes, everyone has a different person in their life who they consider their most mother like figure.
Murielle Miszcak [00:39:43]:
Same goes with the father figure. Yeah.
Raphael Harry [00:39:45]:
When we get to Father's Day, don't worry about that Father's Day episode will come up.
Murielle Miszcak [00:39:49]:
Well, then again, you go to you said it was a woman, right?
Raphael Harry [00:39:51]:
Yeah, I just had to point that.
Murielle Miszcak [00:39:53]:
Out because it may have been a mother and a father. So that goes back to actually honoring the woman, right?
Raphael Harry [00:39:59]:
Preet Pannu [00:40:02]:
For you breeds, I mean, I'm going to go with the cookie cutter. Yes, it's my mom because but it's I haven't spoken about her yet, and of course it's a Mother's Day episode and I should and I feel like this is the perfect time to do that, to bring her into the conversation, because she's a very unique woman. Again, she was also a free spirit. She grew up in a very traditional Muslim environment, but her dad passed away when she was quite young. She was about eleven years old. And then after that, she was sort of raised kind of by her uncle. She went through some abusive relationships with some aunts who were very difficult on her and treated her like she didn't belong in the family. And physically they were abusive of her as well, too. So talking about breaking generational trauma, she definitely did that for us as well. And when she moved to Nairobi, she educated herself. She taught herself English. She found basically a Catholic church with a school neck attached to it. And she was kind of raised by nuns, and she lived in that world for a while. And that's why I have this very big comfort zone with the Catholic world as well. And when I met my husband, I was very comfortable in church and everything, but she met my dad at University of Nairobi when she was studying there. And he used to come and teach karate. He was deep into the karate world, and she became one of his students and fell in love with him. And he's Sikh. She's Muslim, and Sikh and Muslim together is like taboo. It's a big deal. Especially back then. Her family would have just they wanted to ostracize her. They did not accept her. My dad's family was not really into it. His brothers were okay with it. So they eloped to get married. And so she's definitely my, you know, she's my champion. She's she's my warrior in some ways. And when I met my husband, he's black. I grew up in Kenya, but it was very difficult for my family in the beginning to accept that my mom was fine from day one. Of course, she has always been my champion, and my dad struggled with it. He sort of the first, I guess six months. He kind of just shut me out. When I told him about who I was dating, he's like, no, didn't want to talk to me, nothing. So I felt like I was going down my mom's path. I was going to have to leave my family behind and sort of elope and marry this man. And eventually my dad came round for different reasons, and they came on board with everything. But she is definitely this woman who's very strong personality, worked hard, didn't just sit at home, worked, had a job. When my dad's business was not doing that great. She carried things herself through the family, and she educated herself. And she will basically walk into any room and be comfortable and at ease, and she can walk into any kitchen and cook up a storm. She's one of these well rounded individuals that can do everything. So she's definitely the mother figure in my life. But if I think further, of course, there's aunts that come into play and grandmothers that come into play. And I was very much raised with that concept of, like, it takes a village. And there were all these mothers women that have supported me in my life, and some of them even my older cousins and things. So I've been fortunate enough to have that in my life. Sad that I don't have it here, like, you would understand, but lucky that that's always been there in me, and it's it's always something I can fall back and go to.
Bertha Jimenez Ph.D [00:43:27]:
Yeah, you know, it's funny because I'm still like, I told you, it's my mom, my my mother fear, of course. And I love my childhood echo. I love being with my parents, and my mom was there with us. She was a professor at the university in Ecuador. And she will work part time. So we go to school, she goes to school. So we came back, she was there, and she will just make sure everything was going fine. And she tried. We're not very into exercise, so she tried to put us in all the sports, like basket, kung fu, tennis. She tried everything. We just don't have the gene. We were so bad. But she tried. And she's always been kind of like our champion, our cheerleader. I'm still going to get sick. I have my phone. I call my mom. He has a fever. Oh, what? He has, like, a stomach, tummy ache. I'm still calling my mom every time, trying to figure out what to do. So, yes, she's, of course, my mother figure. I'm still when I was pregnant, she came when I was going to get bird. And it was funny because I have an aunt that live in Cleveland. So she went to visit my aunt, her sister, for like a few days before I was going to have my baby. And Erica came ten days earlier. So I'm calling Cleveland saying, Mom, I went to labor, and she took the first plane and just came back to see Edgar. And she was with me for the first month. And she will wake up in the middle of the night to help me with Edgar. So I'm still like, you know, like, I'm far away, but I'm still like, you know, I need my mom and I love her. But of course, I also have other people that I consider that also have, like, a mothers figure in me. Like my grandmom, my aunt, the one that lives in Cleveland, she never have any kids, so that's why we are so close to her. They're so important, I think our mother figure is so important. I think it doesn't matter what age you are, you still need them. You always need them. They are there for you.
Raphael Harry [00:46:04]:
I think that also speaks to community, because that's where the community comes in. Because when you have a community, if your mom is not there, someone easily steps in and plays the role of the mother figure and stands in for you. So with your mom not being nearby, you have your aunt, you have the other aunties.
Murielle Miszcak [00:46:33]:
That's interesting. My mom was there for my first born, for Imani. And then she couldn't come. No, she was actually there also. She was with Imani while I was giving birth to Cyan. My husband was there with Cyan. He was no good. So the third one, my mom actually couldn't come for some reason. I can't remember why she wasn't there. Or maybe she came later. My husband had to stay with the kids. My friend, one of the greatest and longest kinder house teachers, Katya, was there. So that's where the community comes in. And growing up, of course, my mom not of course, but my mom. Listening to me before my mom is my mother figure that has been guiding me through life. Growing up, I always saw her with lots of female friends. She had this community of female people. She chose to kind of be her family, right. Versus actually family family. So I really growing up, see that I can do the same thing here. That's my husband's family. I don't like them too much. I kind of just got them all far away from us, which is good. But I have my people here, which are mainly female, who are there, and we're there for each other. And I only kind of realized this now that I'm doing the same thing as I actually saw growing up.
Raphael Harry [00:48:12]:
Hi, everyone. If you're new to the podcast or a returning listener and you enjoy what we are doing here, did you know that you could enjoy more of our content and also support our work via Patreon? For as little as $3 per month, you get access to loads of bonus content that you'll find nowhere and be the first to latest news. Don't miss out. Go to Patreon.com White Labelamericanpod or just search for White Labelamerican podcast on Patreon. P-A-T-R-E-O-N. I've heard this before, that it's not about what we tell the kids, it's about totally what we do, what they see us doing.
Murielle Miszcak [00:48:59]:
Raphael Harry [00:49:00]:
And that's another example of it. And I know it's not about me. I'm not the mother. I'm still having to account to make.
Preet Pannu [00:49:13]:
Her own community and have her own friendships and build out herself, choose her and build her own family. That's very empowering and that's something it's a gift that you can give your kids and they can do that no matter where they are and where they end up in life.
Raphael Harry [00:49:27]:
That's a good gift.
Preet Pannu [00:49:28]:
It's very powerful.
Raphael Harry [00:49:29]:
That's a good gift to give them. And I think I may have said this to Ashwin before. I think it was on his second appearance when we're making a joke about him not having he claimed he said he doesn't have American friends. And I said, I'll get your American friends. I've lived in different a few states and cities, but it's not easy when you don't get to stay somewhere for long. But you try to create community, but it's not even like I'm thinking about it. And of course you get bond, you test, but you make the attempt and it's like you're thinking about it, but you still make the attempt. And I think with Clara coming into our lives, that's when it's like, okay, now I'm more serious about doing this community thing. Who do I want to be in my life? And this I believe in community and I believe in village, but I don't want it to be like for like what I went through, because what I went through, I don't want other kids to go through that, to be honest. But if I can pick the good that I went through, that I faced, then yeah, I would give them the good. So it's kind of like trying to recreate that without the baggages, the bad, the burdens that I went through. So that's kind of like what I'm doing. But it's kind of like building a village. But it's difficult if you're doing it like my style, it's difficult. So it's hit and miss here. You think you've connected with this family and then all of a sudden they just stop showing up to bed days or text messages. And then one day you go to the park and you see them there and it's awkward. You guys are staring at each other from a cross like, okay, I don't know why you just stopped showing up to my house. All right, well, I know how to move on, though. It's not like I was in a relationship. I wasn't dating you. So I'm like, yeah, I'm not going to push it, but if my kid runs up, play with your kid. I'm like, take it now. Do I start a conversation now? No, I'm not going to talk to you anyway. I'm just going to act like you saw me because I was staring at you. We stare at each other and it's like we're doing that movie thing where we are both stare at each other. We're not going to talk. No. Okay, all right. Then our kids will just play and we're just standing there watching each other. Okay, so it's weird, but well, you go through that sometimes and with some people it works, some people it doesn't. So I think I've met up where I am now. It's going to work. For some people, it's not going to work. But apparently I've been doing some community building when I was single because there are some people who have been showing up since Clara came on. They've been like some of the day ones, apparently. And I'm like, yeah, I didn't realize that I was actually doing community building by bringing you into my life. And those guys are like, yeah, let me know anytime you need babysitting or something like that. We'll come true. And I'm like, oh, how did you ever come into my life?
Murielle Miszcak [00:52:52]:
Oh, love that.
Preet Pannu [00:52:54]:
Raphael Harry [00:52:57]:
For some of us who we've moved from, we've had to move. Life has made us move from where we're born, from our countries and continents of origin to another place. And you're not in a place where it's like you have a large community of people who are with your same ethnic group of ethnicity of origin or religion or whatever. You get to be given this chance to construct your own thing in your own way. And there's an experiment that I'm trying right now, seeing how it works. I'm in the garden phase right now.
Murielle Miszcak [00:53:41]:
As soon as the kids get a little older, they start to realize the same thing. So while Clara still may play with these kids whose parents are just staring at you, the older I mean, kids are their parents kids, right? So this will show through and Clara will see that, too. So the older I always say that because I'm so thankful I'm out of this rough phase of this first five years, everything kind of starts to fall into place. Yeah, I get it. You're in the garden, but you're at the end. They will show up and one day.
Preet Pannu [00:54:20]:
You will be waking her up. She won't be waking you up. It comes.
Murielle Miszcak [00:54:28]:
That'S right. That's so funny. Oh, my gosh, that's right.
Raphael Harry [00:54:36]:
So let me see. I have two questions from my patrons. Let me see which one should I do? Okay, let me take Nana's question first. Sarah, both of you join Patron at the same time, so don't come after me. You're both important to me and I love both of you. So, yes, there's love for everybody.
Murielle Miszcak [00:54:59]:
Go by alphabet.
Raphael Harry [00:55:01]:
Okay, well, that's first.
Preet Pannu [00:55:04]:
Switzerland is talking.
Bertha Jimenez Ph.D [00:55:05]:
Murielle Miszcak [00:55:05]:
Of course. Stay neutral. We love all of you.
Raphael Harry [00:55:11]:
Okay, so fellow immigrant mom and Patrona wants to know, how do you go about supporting your child's aspirations, even if they conflict with your own expectations?
Murielle Miszcak [00:55:23]:
Oh, you cannot you have to put yourself to the back. I mean, you cannot tell them what to do. They're Americans. We're in a free country here.
Preet Pannu [00:55:37]:
I mean, it depends. Does my son say he wants to become a professional drug dealer? Then we're talking, we're having words.
Murielle Miszcak [00:55:44]:
Let's make money.
Raphael Harry [00:55:46]:
It depends on what kind of drugs.
Preet Pannu [00:55:49]:
Raphael Harry [00:55:52]:
There might be a legal loophole.
Murielle Miszcak [00:55:54]:
Preet Pannu [00:55:54]:
Is it a legal dispensary? Fine. That's different. Is it meth? Are you going to cook meth? No. Okay, now we're having words. Now we're having words. But if it's like, I don't want to become a professional ballet dancer. Yeah, go for it. I mean, I never thought you'd do that. You seem like a real strong male boys boy, but if that's where your heart is, go for it and succeed. Whatever it is you do. As long as you're successful and you do well, I'm with it. I'll support it. I may not love it in the beginning, but I'll back off and give him space. Trying to think of an example. So right now, he's very into hip hop and contemporary hip hop, which I like. Old school. I've come from old school. I love up to the 90s, mid 90s. I'm good with that. What they listen to now is like, my husband and his best friend. They call it mumble rap.
Raphael Harry [00:56:48]:
It is mumble rap.
Preet Pannu [00:56:49]:
Raphael Harry [00:56:50]:
That's what it's called.
Preet Pannu [00:56:51]:
And most of it's about sex and relationships and having sex and having drugs. Most of it's about that. It used to be stories about the street. I mean, that was there. That narrative was there in hip hop always. But I feel that narrative has taken over most of it, and we don't have, like, any there's not much woke hip hop happening now. There is some, but there isn't that much going on. And so we don't see eye to eye with that hip hop world, really. Raphael is like, okay, pre, I'm going to school you.
Raphael Harry [00:57:25]:
I try to play legal counsel for some of the youth. I get it, though, because Scott and.
Murielle Miszcak [00:57:34]:
Stuff like this, right? Very strange.
Preet Pannu [00:57:41]:
Little baby, big baby, giant baby, devilish, all the baby.
Murielle Miszcak [00:57:44]:
I find this so strange. Yeah.
Preet Pannu [00:57:46]:
So that kind of stuff. And I know how much joy your music gives you because Nairobi, growing up there, everybody was pop and we all had those. Now, whatever now, whatever came out and it was all the pop music, pop music. I went deep into metal and 80s hair metal, guns and Roses, AC DC, and I didn't even know where the goth was, but I was a goth. I used to dye the devil I dye my hair black. And it was it's black. It was pretty black. Anyway, I used to wear black nails, red nail polish, and I had no idea what a goth was, but I was goth in Nairobi, of all places.
Murielle Miszcak [00:58:24]:
So I'm like Zach.
Preet Pannu [00:58:24]:
Go for it. Do your thing. You're into it. I'm okay with it. But think about the messages that you're hearing. Think about whether that's what you represent in the world. If it's just music for the sake of music and you're not following the words and everything fine. But if you're going to disrespect women, that's an issue. You need to think about how women are represented in hip hop. I've always had an issue with that. It's always been difficult. There aren't enough female voices in hip hop. There never have been, and I don't know if there ever will be, to be honest. Sadly, that's a big one for me. Another one is how there's this sort of lack of representation for anybody old in hip hop. Like, nobody above the age of 40 exists in that world.
Raphael Harry [00:59:12]:
Hip hop just celebrated its 50th anniversary.
Murielle Miszcak [00:59:14]:
Yeah, but these kids don't know what we were.
Preet Pannu [00:59:17]:
No, I mean, I asked him if he wanted to come to rock the Bells Festival, which is going to happen in June at Barkley Center with Ll Cool J, Queen Latifah, all the old school hip hop heads, even rock him Method Man. So I'm definitely going for that. And I was like, Why don't you come for this? This is my hip hop.
Bertha Jimenez Ph.D [00:59:34]:
Murielle Miszcak [00:59:37]:
That'S boring mom. Okay.
Preet Pannu [00:59:41]:
He's like, it's all synthesizers and synthetes, and I'm like, well, okay, very different frequency. That's an example of where we don't see eye to eye, but he gives him passion, makes him happy, you know, that's what he likes to do. And we enable him in some ways. He has his Spotify account, we pay for it and that kind of stuff. So, yeah, we support him and we buy him the clothes that he likes.
Bertha Jimenez Ph.D [01:00:06]:
Edgar is also into hip hop, so I love the music that he check west. He likes that. He like Kendrick Amar. So we call that baby music because Edgar likes it. So all of these that's better than Lil Uzi.
Preet Pannu [01:00:24]:
For sure it is.
Murielle Miszcak [01:00:28]:
You haven't seen Lil Uzi yet.
Bertha Jimenez Ph.D [01:00:29]:
Yeah, he has really good taste in music, but he also is super physical. He climbs, he runs, and Ashley and I were both PhDs, and we're not the best physical activities, so I feel like we have to trade in order to be with him. So I don't know, whatever makes him happy, we are happy. And if he wants to go, wants to run, a marathon even though I run one block and I'm dying. Whatever makes him happy and wherever we can empower him will do for Edgar.
Preet Pannu [01:01:07]:
Yeah. My son tested me once, and he was asking a question, and I was like, well, is this coming from your heart or are you just trying to test and see what kind of a mom I am? And he's like, mom, what if I decided I was gay? I was like, okay, well, I need to meet them. I need to meet their family, their parents. Where'd you guys want to go? You want to go to cinema? It's like he was completely taken back by that. He's like, slow down, there's no wedding. I'm like, okay, fine. He just wanted to see how I'd react to it. Just be happy.
Raphael Harry [01:01:38]:
That's where you get the answer, the one we answer. Like, you think I was born yesterday.
Murielle Miszcak [01:01:43]:
Preet Pannu [01:01:44]:
My son and I say that to each other, the younger one all the time because he tries to school me, and I'm like I point in him and I poke in his belly, I'm like, born yesterday. And I point at me and I was like, not born yesterday. And then he starts doing the same thing.
Murielle Miszcak [01:01:59]:
That is so cute.
Raphael Harry [01:02:02]:
Yeah, they will test you. They will test you. But yeah, I'll come back to the messages, though. I have a question that ties into that or something. I was watching on I think Vice, but I will come back to that. Let me knock out the patron questions so I don't forget them. Where is Sarah's? Question. Okay, all right. Yeah, I get a question from Sarah. So fellow immigrant mom and patron, Sarah asks, how do you balance your career and mothers while still making time for self care? As immigrant mothers, many of you prioritize your families above else all else often neglecting your own needs in the process. How can she wrote it in her own words? I should have rephrased it. But how can women find a way to take care of themselves while still fulfilling their responsibilities?
Murielle Miszcak [01:03:11]:
First we need to realize what we need and that we needed. Well, I guess the other way around that we need it and then what we need. But that's well with me. At some point I started to have this ringing in my ears. And then you start to feel dizzy and it just all comes down to you. And you're like, okay, I think I need acupuncture. So that's how it goes. And then you just have to make time. If you did not make time before, the time will come where you have to make time and again. You can do whatever you want to in your life. You just have to do it right. You have to make time to do. You have to want to do it. I'm also very blessed to have a very flexible schedule. Flexible schedule also means that you're kind. Of working all the time. And not always really, but then again all the time. But yeah, I go to Acupuncture, I go to regular, I have a massage therapist. I make time for me to go shop. Although I have a twelve year old who likes to interfere with that always is like, oh mom, can I come? So it's not always self time, but it's also fun to then have time with them alone, which I also think is important for moms with multiple kids, right, with them alone.
Preet Pannu [01:04:34]:
This is something I'm guilty of, is not being able to balance all of it. So in the beginning, I saw how women raised their kids here in New York and I went to the daycare and I was reviewing places when I was pregnant, what were we going to do next once the baby comes? What's the plan? And I was working at the time and I would see women with three month old babies handing them off to strangers and then going to work for 6 hours, 8 hours, 10 hours, whatever it was. And I knew, I'm not going to do that. That's not the kind of mum I'm going to be. I can't first of all, I'd be heartbroken. I'm not going to be able to hand off like a tiny being to somebody else and just step away from them. So I am guilty of putting my career on hold to be a mom. And I told my husband, when I have an infant, I am going to stop working and I'm not going to work until they're about eight, nine months old, especially while I'm breastfeeding. I'm going to be with them the whole time. And so he was supportive of that. He understood that we had to tighten the belt on things. I'm not traveling to Kenya and stuff as much, you know, how expensive that flight can be. So of course my career took, you know, it took a backseat and and I didn't progress as quickly as I would have liked to in my career. I'm now working with people who are probably in their late 30s. I'm almost 50 in a couple of years. So the things like that, but I'm okay. I have no pride about that. I don't feel bad. And I have somebody who's younger than me who's my senior career wise, I'm fine with that. I'm very comfortable with that and I'm happy that I was able to be able to get back into it. The last few years I was working part time. I've just started working full time now since January the last four years, I was working part time. So if you can have that leeway to have a flexible schedule and make space for yourself and your family and your kids, that's great. You just have to find your path and what works well with you. Some of the mothers hearing this out there might be like, no, I could never give up my career, and that's fine. That's what's right for you. I think everybody's path is different, but you have to like Muriel said, you have to identify what you need. Right. And then make space for that to happen in your life. And acupuncture is something that I do. That's definitely something that I go for. And for me, roughly, always spoken about this before is music. I have to go and listen to live music or go and listen to a DJ and dance. Dancing is very important for me, and that's something that fills me up. It's not something I have to do every Sunday or every Saturday. I'm good with, like, once every three months. It fills me up, and it lasts me for a long time. Totally self care.
Raphael Harry [01:07:11]:
You have to do it 24/7, but it's still self care.
Preet Pannu [01:07:16]:
Bertha Jimenez Ph.D [01:07:17]:
So balance. What does that mean? No, I'm kidding.
Preet Pannu [01:07:24]:
Exactly. Just scramble, scramble, scramble.
Raphael Harry [01:07:28]:
Bertha Jimenez Ph.D [01:07:30]:
Especially like, Elgar is a COVID baby, so we started and actually he covered what's covered in November. He was born in November 2019. So the first 6810 months, it was just us with the baby inside because nobody could live. So it's totally different experience, I think, from the people that have their babies when it was not COVID. So it was kind of hard. But then at that time, we were not even thinking of daycare because everything was closed. So everything was asked with the baby change. Yeah. And then we were having a small company at the time, and it was kind of, like, really hard to do anything because you are also afraid that you might die if you go out and get groceries and stuff like that. So it was pretty hard to do that, raising a small kid, a baby, and nobody here, and we were calling our family, like, can we go to see you?
Raphael Harry [01:08:42]:
Bertha Jimenez Ph.D [01:08:43]:
You're living New York.
Preet Pannu [01:08:44]:
Oh, my gosh.
Bertha Jimenez Ph.D [01:08:45]:
It was really tough.
Preet Pannu [01:08:47]:
It was the best time to travel. If anybody had the balls to do it, it was the best freaking time to travel. The flights were empty seats to yourself. No one's messing with you. You're like. Now I'm in business class.
Bertha Jimenez Ph.D [01:09:00]:
Yeah, I was really cheap.
Murielle Miszcak [01:09:02]:
Now it's so expensive, right?
Bertha Jimenez Ph.D [01:09:04]:
Yeah. But I guess the way now.
Raphael Harry [01:09:10]:
Bertha Jimenez Ph.D [01:09:10]:
Gets older and he goes from 08:00 A.m., and he goes, like, 03:30 P.m.. So now we're kind of like seeing how to balance a little bit more business. Yeah, more alive. Because before, that was really tough. But also, like I told you, I'm from Aqua. Or Ashwin is from India. So every time we go to Aqua, we were like, one and a half months. We go to India one and a half months. So I guess that's when we're able to kind of breathe and be like, okay, now I can make my nails done. Now I can go and do something without having ever by my size all the time. But I think it's tough. I think it's really tough. But yes, you do need to make time for yourself because otherwise, as you said, time will come for you, especially health wise. If you're having something that's related with your health, if you don't make time, you're going to pay for that. So it is important to find ways to self care.
Raphael Harry [01:10:26]:
And that's not good for the kids.
Murielle Miszcak [01:10:29]:
Exactly. So your family will, by end of the day, benefit from that, and you.
Preet Pannu [01:10:35]:
Come back to them happier, wholeer, more open to them, more receptive to them, less grumpy. I know I get a temper. I get grumpy when I don't get enough of my sort of breaks. And it's not like I said that break is not a daily thing. I haven't painted my nails in a very long time. When you said that, I was like, okay, hiding my nails now sitting on my fingers.
Bertha Jimenez Ph.D [01:11:01]:
Raphael Harry [01:11:06]:
One thing I'll throw into self care recommendations. Therapy, too. Therapy is also self care that people should explore. It's also part of taking care of you. So for the audience listening, it's funny.
Murielle Miszcak [01:11:22]:
My daughter had therapy or wanted to have therapy and then actually had therapy during the last spring to now, she just stopped. And while she had therapy, I was like, actually, I think I need a therapist, too. Yeah, but absolutely. I mean this because of the questions.
Preet Pannu [01:11:44]:
She'D come up with and things she was talking about.
Murielle Miszcak [01:11:47]:
Not really. It's just a therapist is somebody who you pay to listen to. You also happens to have a background in something you don't have. Right, which is psychology. Whatever. Like human might neurology. There's just a benefit to it. I mean, if you talk to your friends, you're like, okay, everybody has problems, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Sometimes your friends, whatever. Yes. It's just a very different interaction versus you actually have a therapist, a person who you pay. Like when I'm talking to someone therapy wise, and I pay them, I don't want to hear their crap. I don't care. I don't care what's going on in Delhi if it's about me. So, yeah, absolutely. Totally agree. I haven't had a therapist yet, and.
Raphael Harry [01:12:37]:
That'S spirituality who uses therapy, I'm a good therapist. For me, the ones that I prefer tend to give you exercises that will get you to where you're supposed to be going to. It's like when you have a headache and you take pain killing medication. That's kind of how I see therapy, because there are different types of therapy. Like even what do you call it, like yoga? It's a form of therapy.
Preet Pannu [01:13:07]:
That's what I was going to say. That's kind of my therapy zone, the yoga and stuff. But I understand what you mean by the steps, like cognitive behavioral therapy. I think that is sort of the most valuable because I've been to a psychiatrist where you sit and you talk and blah, blah, blah, and I was going through some depression because I was really sick then. And I don't know. I'd walk out feeling like I had more problems than less and then ask questions, and I'd be like, oh, this is shit.
Murielle Miszcak [01:13:35]:
Oh, that's fucked up.
Preet Pannu [01:13:35]:
Oh, that's messed up. Excuse my french. We're on HBO today.
Raphael Harry [01:13:40]:
Preet Pannu [01:13:40]:
Yes, we're HBO Today. I don't know. I didn't feel like it was getting me anywhere. I didn't find solutions. I felt like I found more problems. So I think something that has steps is what I need, what I would need, and that would be more valuable for me.
Raphael Harry [01:13:59]:
Yes. Final thing, I was shown to therapy. I'm not a therapist. I'm a therapist. I'm a therapy advocate. I think many people always tend to forget that when you try therapy, especially for mental health, wellness. When I don't say wellness because there are too many people taking advantage of that on this social media thing.
Preet Pannu [01:14:21]:
But, like, I've had gwyneth POW two.
Raphael Harry [01:14:24]:
I'm not saying it. I ain't got money to defend my podcast. Accept donations, though. You can donate. Those are the views of Pre, not the views of white label American. Yes, because she sues. I've had two therapists, immigrants who are immigrants, and they do great jobs on the podcast, and they specifically were one of them on social media. He's progressive, the progressive migrant. He specifically targets his clients, specifically immigrants.
Murielle Miszcak [01:15:07]:
Raphael Harry [01:15:08]:
And I also know someone I can't remember social media handle. She's a therapist, but I think she does she's mostly for I know she talks mostly about kids, of multi children who belong to multicultural backgrounds. Multicultural backgrounds. And I learned a lot from her. I have to open Instagram and then start looking for her right now.
Preet Pannu [01:15:40]:
You want that information, too?
Raphael Harry [01:15:42]:
Yeah, she's fantastic.
Preet Pannu [01:15:44]:
Raphael Harry [01:15:45]:
So there are therapies I started knowing that the first time I did therapy was through the VA, veterans Affair Affairs, the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Murielle Miszcak [01:15:57]:
That's a very different background, too.
Raphael Harry [01:15:58]:
They sent me to a therapist. Like, I had an outburst one of my bad days, and I had an outburst, and the right person was listening to me and said, would you like to talk to somebody?
Murielle Miszcak [01:16:10]:
Raphael Harry [01:16:11]:
And I was in the right mood because normally I would have said, what the hell are you talking about? I said okay. I said okay. And they said, These are the options that we have. We can send you to NYU Langone. You come in house. And I said, whatever. I don't care. I don't really care. And ended up that's how bad it was. I was really down, but on the outside, I was performing fine, but inside I was really down. And I ended up going to the therapist that they offered me at NYU Lagon. And we connected. But I don't think now that I look back, I think it was just where I was back then. That's how down I was. So I did that program for, like, two years, and then I was like, okay, I'm cured. I'm good bye. That's it. But for something like that, I should have moved on from that therapist to someone who was more of my culture, my background, who understood where I was coming from. And then that person could have walked with me. But I'm like I'm cured. I drank two tablets. I'm good bye. And then so when the problems were stuck later on, I started feeling like I'm drowning again, but I could tell the signs were coming up. And this time I'm the one that reached out to them. I said okay. I'm feeling something. I don't know. I'm not going to do something crazy, but if I don't take care of it now, probably maybe one year's time I'll do something crazy. And they were like, okay, these are the options that we have. So they had, like, group therapy, but it was during the pandemic. So you sit down in a group call, and I tried it. I'm not a spiritual person. I guess now I'm the black sheep. Now I reveal that I'm more on the atheist side, but I'm the type who I believe in everybody's right to practice. As far as you don't tell me I must worship your God, but I collect offerings, give me offerings, but I participate in a group therapy. I've done the art therapy where you do paintings. I've done the yoga. So I've tried a whole bunch of different therapies, and I've seen that. Oh, many people just tried one and said, it's bad, that's it. And then they go on social media and start making videos, and that's very dangerous, and that's very problematic, and I wish people will stop doing that. It's very bad because a lot of people who I've talked to are not even aware that they have different options.
Preet Pannu [01:18:45]:
So if you try, there's so many options out there, and you have to find what's right for you. Like you said, you found somebody who understood your background and your culture. I think that's what I didn't have, and that put me off, and it hasn't taken me back into that traditional therapy world again. But I'm now digging into it for my son for different reasons. He has anxiety.
Murielle Miszcak [01:19:06]:
I can actually yeah, that would be great.
Preet Pannu [01:19:10]:
That would be great because he has anxiety. He's had it since he was young, but it became really bad in Kenya. We got stuck in the riots once in coming back from Naivasha to Nairobi, and he was nine. So he remembers all of it. He's 15 now, and that was difficult and very scary for him, and it can be a very jarring experience. So I feel like he has some PTSD in him.
Raphael Harry [01:19:33]:
Preet Pannu [01:19:34]:
And he'll just get startled if I'm in the bathroom, for example, and he doesn't realize I'm there. I'm doing makeup, whatever, and he opens the door, and he sees me there, and he's like and really shocked. And it takes him a while to calm down. And his eyes are wide open, and I can see his heart is pounding because he just got shocked that I was there. So he definitely has some anxiety going on. And I'm taking my time and looking for the right thing. Like you said, I need to find the right person for him, the right fit for him. And he's biracial as well. And he needs somebody who gets that what it's like to be Black Indian kid. And that's also something that's part of his identity and who he is. And that's something that somebody has to understand who's going to talk to him.
Bertha Jimenez Ph.D [01:20:18]:
I'm in therapy. I've been in therapy since COVID for Ashwin. And I don't know if Ashwin told you, but in 2019 was like a really hard year because Ashwin dad died in February, and then I was pregnant, and then my dad died in August.
Preet Pannu [01:20:37]:
Bertha Jimenez Ph.D [01:20:38]:
Yeah. So I was six months pregnant and he had a stroke. So it's not like my dad was sick. He had a stroke less than 24 hours he was dead. And I have to flew back to Ecuador with a six month pregnant. And it was really hard for us. And then we came back. We are by ourselves in New York. My mom came and then everything shut down. So I have missing my dad so much. So then I start therapy and I try different people because I think it's like, until you find that person. And the first two, they were okay, but I think it was just weird for me because, like, I started just, like, three weeks before, like, everything shut down. And then we're, like, making phone calls, and it was just like it just feel weird for me. The other one was also I feel like he had more problems than I had. I'm feeling very bad because I'm like, oh, my God, I should be helping. I should be helping him. But then the therapist I have now, I really like her, and I think she's not immigrant, but we have a PhDs in kind of similar stuff. So I think we kind of get it. That's why we are connecting. And I really like her, and I making I think therapy helps you to put scenes in perspective.
Raphael Harry [01:22:13]:
Bertha Jimenez Ph.D [01:22:14]:
And that has been super helpful for me. So I think it's a matter of finding what it's useful for you, maybe therapy, maybe something else. I also go to church every Sunday, and that's the time that they have for me. And pray and kind of say and say thank you for all the good things and help me with the bad things.
Preet Pannu [01:22:40]:
Having a practice of gratitude is important. And even if you're not spiritual, even if you're an atheist, you can have gratitude. Of course, that's something that helps me, and it's sort of what we do at night sometimes with the kids will talk about everything as we're going to bed or at bedtime. Everything that we are grateful and thankful for. I think it's really important to remind yourself of that. And that just keeps you up in some ways. I mean, not ecstatically happy all the time, but it doesn't let you fall into that place where you're feeling alone and lonely and like you have nothing or you're looking at everything and it's not enough. You fill yourself up and you realize you have everything you need at this particular moment in time and at every moment in time in your life. If you look at it, you have everything you need to get through that second, the next second and the next second.
Murielle Miszcak [01:23:27]:
Yeah, I totally agree. Sometimes with teenagers this is tough because it's hard for them to kind of see the good when there is so much problems. Like my daughter, I would say, listen, we are one of the very few who have everything. There are so many people, they don't have enough food, they don't have medical care. They die because they can't get basic things. And she is like, I don't care. Yeah, you don't know how this feels.
Preet Pannu [01:23:57]:
To me, right teenage phrase right now. I got so angry with my son the other day. I'm like, I don't want to hear you saying those words ever again. I don't care. But that's his phrase right now. And I think it's like it's just what the teenagers do. It's like, I don't care.
Murielle Miszcak [01:24:12]:
You have to take a deep breath and just focus on what is it? What do you need?
Preet Pannu [01:24:18]:
And often now I just tell them, one day you will care.
Murielle Miszcak [01:24:21]:
Well, often they just really need you to listen. Yeah, because the other day, my daughter so ever since she's not in therapy anymore, because she and her therapist, they decided to that they were great, but there were some things she wasn't. Therapy is a little bit on the verge, right, from traditional to so much more. And it could be so much more. So this place she went to is wonderful. The therapist was wonderful, but it has to be, I think, 80% or something of sessions from 100% each month, whatever. And she wasn't doing this. She had a big disclosure. She wasn't doing this because obviously she didn't want to talk about this big disclosure because, like you said, it just gets you down. Anyways, now back into the picture as a person she talks to. So she told me something. I said a few things. She was like, Mom, I just need you to listen. I was like, okay. She doesn't want to hear anything I'm saying. She just needs somebody to listen. And that's something moms have to be good at doing. I agree. Whatever.
Preet Pannu [01:25:29]:
You have to train yourself not to react, not to respond, and not to offer a solution. They don't necessarily want a solution. They don't either.
Murielle Miszcak [01:25:38]:
Absolutely. They just want to be hurt and felt and be supported that way.
Preet Pannu [01:25:44]:
But as a mom, you're like, where's the Band Aid?
Murielle Miszcak [01:25:45]:
I want to fix this.
Preet Pannu [01:25:46]:
Where's the medicine? I want to pour it down your throat.
Murielle Miszcak [01:25:48]:
You're like, I don't want to fix everything. Right?
Raphael Harry [01:25:51]:
That might be the title of this episode. They don't want a solution.
Murielle Miszcak [01:25:54]:
Well, we can fix everything, but not everybody wants things fixed all the time, right?
Preet Pannu [01:25:59]:
No, they don't.
Murielle Miszcak [01:26:00]:
Yeah. It's not about the fix. And you're right. We are so much of fixing this, fixing that, this, done, that, done. I know I could fix anything I want to, but if the person doesn't want it fixed or is not ready for it to be fixed, it's not at that point, then we cannot do anything at all. Right. But it goes back into kind of that thing, that question where it said, how do you support your kids without kind of putting yourself over them, right?
Raphael Harry [01:26:32]:
Even if they conflict with your expectations?
Murielle Miszcak [01:26:34]:
Yes, because we expect it to be fixed. It even goes into that direction of, we want only the best for them and only support them sometimes we just can't.
Preet Pannu [01:26:49]:
And they will tell you, I'm okay with this. It didn't need to be fixed. My son had a racial issue with somebody in school, in the school that he was in. Some comments were thrown out, and he was very upset about that, but it was thrown out, attacking him racially, but also economically, because we're in a school with very rich families, and they pointed out in a public arena that Zack is one of the poorer kids because he's on financial aid, blah, blah.
Murielle Miszcak [01:27:18]:
Preet Pannu [01:27:19]:
So he was really hurt by that and upset by that, and he was festering, and he talked to us about it, and he had these little sort of pranks he wanted to play on this kid as revenge. And I was like, Zach, don't do that just yet. Just wait. Let's see what happens. Just hold back a bit and let's see. Fate might take care of this kid anyway. So he held himself back a little bit for a couple of days, and then eventually I was like, so do you still feel that way? Do you still feel like you want to go after this guy? And he said, no, I'm okay with it. I'm done with it. And last week, this particular student got suspended and then expelled from school because he lost his temper with a girl and punched her. So he's out of mind.
Murielle Miszcak [01:28:06]:
Preet Pannu [01:28:07]:
Like, that was karma.
Murielle Miszcak [01:28:09]:
Absolutely. And it's interesting to hear that you go private school, right? I almost said the name of the school before. I don't want to. That the same thing happens in public everywhere it happens, I guess, part of that.
Preet Pannu [01:28:25]:
And people say, oh, you'll be your kids in private school all these problems have gone away. No, they haven't.
Raphael Harry [01:28:32]:
The history of why? Why do we have private schools in the first place? It was because they didn't want kids to be around black kids. How private schools came to be about. But we're not going to go there.
Murielle Miszcak [01:28:43]:
I'm looking for defense.
Raphael Harry [01:28:50]:
I have to start, I have to watch the time. But there's some fun questions I have to get to. But before I get to the fun questions, there's one important question I didn't even get to. So let me knock that out of the way. So it still ties into some of what we just hit. Social media is big. We can't escape it. We're going deeper and deep into the social media world. And I'm sure Beta will hit us with some PhD stuff. So I saw this report on I think it was Vice, if I'm not mistaken, but it tied into what? A friend who has a podcast. Well, he used to have a podcast, but he stopped. Dominic Rivera is a comedian in the DC area. He talked about this on his podcast. His son just joined the Air Force and luckily he caught it before his son left. His son was 1617 when he caught this problem. The son had been watching the manosphere videos. And then the son started talking in certain ways where you look down you have to look down women because the women are beneath men and they have to be put in their places. And then this Vice report that I saw last week was of teachers of 6th grade boys, 6th grade teachers complaining that the boys in their classes have been watching the Andrew Tate guy and other manusphere influencers on YouTube. And they are having more cases of boys being violent to the girls in their classrooms. And they are saying that this is becoming more and more of a problem. I didn't know about this manosphere theme because I don't play in that box on YouTube and on social media until I see the parody videos and I just laugh about it. And then when this Andrew Tate guy got arrested recently, then I realized that he has a huge following online from UFC fighters all quoting him about how men should be treated, how men have to be this and that. But it's got into the kids and we can't deny it anymore. It's a lot of kids. It's very influential. So I know Ed guy is young, too young to be there yet, but it's some that either for those of us who have the older kids and for those with the younger kids, we have to be aware of these kind of things. So how do you feel and what are ways that how do you feel that something like this can be managed and what can we do to prevent the manosphere damage that social media in my mind pushing?
Preet Pannu [01:31:49]:
First of all, I go to the media right and I would say that these things are going to happen. There's always going to be something like this that's going to come up on social media, that's going to come into our sphere, that's going to come into our lives, right? But we have to have some level of resilience and we have to have some sense of self. Like, who are you as a person? Are you going to be influenced by every freaking thing you see and watch and hear and listen to? Or do you have some values that you stand for? These kids who are being influenced by it may not come from I'm not judging the families, but they may not have a strong roots or strong value system, right, that supports them. They may be lost in themselves. They may be seeking something, or they may just be curious teenagers who are like, trying to rediscover themselves. And so they get influenced by something like this. This is going to be a fad. It's going to disappear, it'll go away. But that doesn't solve the issue, right? The next thing I would say is the way these things are solved is it comes down to the individual family and the parents. That's what's going to fix this, whoever those people's parents are. If it was my son, for example, who came to me and I realized that he was sort of being influenced by this, and he thought that he had to demean or belittle women and then be abusive towards women, I'd go full out. I'm taking him to a shelter where women who are abused go. I would take him to a shelter. We have a few in our neighborhood. And I would take him to meet with these women and meet with the people there that have to accept these women into the shelters and tell them what that life can be for a woman. And is this the person you want to be? You want to be that person that puts this woman in a scenario like this, that forces her to live in a situation like this, that creates a person that is so terrified that some of them can't even go out in society because they think they're going to be hurt and they're not going to be safe. Is that who you want to be? Right? So that's what I would do as a mother. It's the same thing that I did when vaping started coming up into our lives. And he started middle school. He was only twelve years old. His friends were, were vaping. And this article came up in the Bronx about this boy who died from vaping. And so we looked for the funeral, and the plan was to take him to that boy's funeral and give him some first hand experience, education. If you want to vape, that's fine, but this is the path you're going on. If that's the choice you want to make, have all the information, give them. All the information. If this is the path you're going to walk on, look at the consequences. People do things because they don't think do things that are bad or do things that are impulsive and do things that are very brash and end up in situations of violence or perpetuate violence, I think, in my mind, because they don't think of the consequences. A lot of the time they think, I'm just going to do this because I feel like doing this. But they're not thinking about five minutes from now, ten minutes from now, ten weeks from now, a year from now, what that impact is going to be, what the consequences? And that's something that I think teenagers also it's known as there's articles about it. They don't see consequences for their actions. So I think that's something that's important to bring into play.
Murielle Miszcak [01:35:01]:
Drops mike, what else is there to say? I mean, absolutely. I so agree to the first part of what you said about the background. I know my middle son has been watching Andrew Tate before, and he never mentioned anything about this. He is not the type of kid who would be in any way belittling to girls or women or misbehave himself in any way. The only thing but that's boys, he would like rough with some boys, but then again, boys also give you hints. He wanted to play soccer. Now he's playing soccer at PSU Select League four times a week, and that's where he gets this roughing up and he doesn't have to do it anywhere else. It is so much on the family and what values you give your kids and how open you are, too. Right. I have this example from the same middle zone. There is this experiment, tea bag experiment that they did at kinder house. Very bad advertisement, but you kind of light up a tea bag that has been emptied out, and then it flies from the heat. One day at home, he thought he needs to try it. I did not see it. I put on the stove, made my coffee. He must have got the fire from there. He comes to me, he says, there is fire in the room. The room was on fire. Thanks God. He first thing came to me and let me know versus exactly trying to hide it. You have to just I mean, it will always be there. The bad things will always be there. You cannot shield your kids, really from the bad things. You can delay it a little bit. My kids, for example, don't have any YouTube filters. They are able to choose. I would look what they're watching and then I would talk to them about it or let them tell me about it. Or you see certain things, like if your kid says something weird, you're like, this must be from a YouTube video. So you can ask them, whatever. But this open path of communication is so important plus strengthen your kids, give them enough alternatives that strengthens them and fills them up with other things as well. I'll definitely take your advice with the boys. If they want to vape, let's go look at these things. That's amazing. Yeah. I always say, you'd rather smoke cigarettes? Don't vape, just take the cigarettes. I'm okay with that. I smoked when I was 15. My parents were okay with that. I stopped eventually. It's an experience. I feel like in this country, it's all up to that 21 or 18 or whatever it is in my country. I grew up drinking, smoking, traveling, doing all the bad things with 14, 1516, 1718 while I was still in school. And then when I was actually going into the work field, I had this done. I didn't have to repeat that. I don't have to repeat this now. I'm not the mother who now can finally go back out and has to drink every weekend. I like to go to a party every so often, but I mean, I have not been to a party probably since last October or whatever. So it's really there are developmental steps that are there for a reason, and the parents are there for a reason during these steps. It's just in this country, it's a little backwards. And we as immigrant moms parents, period, we just really need to kind of go with what we know.
Preet Pannu [01:38:45]:
Murielle Miszcak [01:38:46]:
Go against that system a little bit.
Bertha Jimenez Ph.D [01:38:49]:
I don't know what to add because these ladies have say everything. But yeah, it's true. It's about the values, because when you're thinking like, oh, this is happening right now. No, that's not true. That was happening when my mom was a kid. That was happening when my grandmom was a kid. So it has been happening forever. It's just that now maybe it's faster because there's the access to information that we have before, but it's every time, and it keeps repeating. History keeps repeating itself. But I think it's about the values that you inculcate in your kids, and it's also about having an open communication, because if the kid can trust you, you can help them. So it's not about being like a helicopter father, parent, and being over your kid, but it's able to kind of make them trust you so you can be like, hey, yeah, what do you think? I'm going to take the shelter thing that you say for sure if Elga ever day, something like that. But he's still three, so he's still a little baby.
Preet Pannu [01:40:00]:
But it's also like Raphael said that this father just found this out, right? You have to know where your kids at. You have to be involved as well. You have to be able to gauge what they're doing and see where their head is, where they spend their time, definitely where their head is in media. And like you said, your kids can do whatever they want, what they're doing.
Raphael Harry [01:40:23]:
Slight correction. I think his son came to him. His son came to him. But it was more like the son had been consuming that stuff for a while, and it was more like a challenge, or in a way, it was like putting into the dad, like, why aren't you this type of man? Like, this is how men should be, and you're not this type. And the dad had to sit him down, like, dude, I used to actually be this. I thought this was how men should be. So he made it an episode on his former podcast, the Mind of Dom. His podcast is quite funny because he likes talking about reality shows. I like being messy sometimes, so we used to just joke on there. But this was like a serious episode. And he said, this is where I sat him down to the point you guys made about being open and open communication. This is where it became an open communication between himself and his son, because I believe that was the son where he's from, his former marriage. So there was a period of time where the son wasn't in his life. So I believe that was part of the issue. But he didn't hide anything when he wasn't like, oh, this is not how you treat women, blah, blah, blah, punch you, that kind of thing. No, he was honest with his son and said, look, I used to think this day at one point in time, and I thought, this is how women should be. And probably that's how I made the mistake with your mom that led to you, and I will always regret that kind of thing. But that wasn't how a man should be. And he used himself as the example, as a template, and showing that this is the mistakes that I made in the past and that mindset was so wrong, and look at how many mistakes that I made. Do you want to go to that same path? Look at your grandfather, look at the mistakes that he made. Why, we don't even talk today. Do you want that kind of thing for yourself? So when he started talking about as soon as I realized, oh, there's something called this, and it's on the Internet. And you got to be aware because it doesn't make any sense why there were some people who were in my circle who were always clashing, because it's like I joke around a lot, and they're like, that's a green light for them to throw some of these ideas at me. And I'm like, I was just joking, but why are you trying what are you talking about? But these females anyway, put down here. And I'm like, Hold on, I was making some joke. What do you mean about females? And the females don't serve men anymore. Like in the 50s, okay? You could reinvent a timetable, travel machine and move back to the 50s. Then I don't know how you survive as a black guy, but good luck with that. And person was like, no, you don't understand. Women don't save men anymore. Women need to put I'm like, okay, bye, I'm out of here. It's not a conversation, but it started making sense why the energy was there was a clash between certain people and myself. Because this thing, like Beth, I said, it's always been there, but now with social media blowing up the way it's blown up now, I guess it's faster access and now kids are getting more access to it. But if you don't have the right person around you to be honest about it and say, no, this is actually BS. You don't need this in your life.
Preet Pannu [01:43:46]:
I think that's a very important phrase there, that this is BS when it comes to social media. Not that we're going to get too deep into social media, but I think that's something everybody has to remind themselves of because this is all created, orchestrated. It's been put together, it's been acted out by somebody. Most of it is to entertain. It doesn't have to be taken to the point where you're thinking, okay, this is life and this is what I should apply to my life. It's different. If you're doing a course on a particular, I don't know, you're learning C plus plus programming or something like that. Yeah, that's real. You can learn that, that's fine. But if it's somebody talking about their opinions, it's opinion, right? Most of it is BS.
Murielle Miszcak [01:44:25]:
That's what it is.
Raphael Harry [01:44:27]:
The Maui concern is that they're going after they're getting kids to think this is how the world works and then the kid gets reality.
Murielle Miszcak [01:44:34]:
That's how you create reality, though. It is, I agree, orchestrated, it's been created, but this is how this generation is growing up, with exactly that kind of with those pictures and you're in their heads and with these expectations and so on and so forth. I think just really quickly, going back to your friend, I wasn't even thinking about him anymore. But being a man, as a mother, being a man of boys, too, but just as a woman, as a mothers, being a man, I think has been and is really hard. And what is also really hard is father son relationships. So hard, so difficult. So for us as women, right, we're like, oh, yeah, we're open. We're talking about the things with our boys and this, and then it's all good. I think for men, it's just so tough. It's just so tough. Much more than maybe like 20 years ago, they would have said, oh my God, for women, it's so tough and we have to emancipate ourselves and this and that. No, being a man is just tough. Expectation upon expectation. Don't do this, don't do that. You're too little of this, you're too little of that. It's insane. Totally insane.
Bertha Jimenez Ph.D [01:45:51]:
Anyways, all right, I don't know you guys, but my mom will just see me, and she's like, there's something wrong with you. And I will be like, no.
Murielle Miszcak [01:46:05]:
To be said, she knew in my.
Bertha Jimenez Ph.D [01:46:07]:
Mind there was something maybe she didn't know. Exactly.
Murielle Miszcak [01:46:14]:
That's what I'm saying. We have it so easy.
Bertha Jimenez Ph.D [01:46:17]:
Raphael Harry [01:46:19]:
I don't know if it's easy, but that mothers radar.
Bertha Jimenez Ph.D [01:46:22]:
But you have it even with ashwin sometimes. And I'm like, something's wrong. You have that intuition. There's like something in the eyes not blinking. You know, whatever.
Preet Pannu [01:46:35]:
You can feel that, right?
Murielle Miszcak [01:46:36]:
Yeah. We're so powerful, aren't we?
Raphael Harry [01:46:38]:
All right, so we've gone way over time and shout out to Josh for.
Preet Pannu [01:46:42]:
Allowing us if you cut out all the curse words, you'll get more time.
Raphael Harry [01:46:49]:
All right, one quick final. Let's end on a happier note and a quick answer from everybody. What's your favorite immigrant mom experience so far? More.
Murielle Miszcak [01:47:00]:
You'll go, oh, my God, I love when you're walking. You don't know what's going on. First-time mom doing something wrong, and then these older ladies are coming to you.
Preet Pannu [01:47:11]:
Don't let your kid touch this and that. You know, there are charms.
Murielle Miszcak [01:47:16]:
And I'm like, okay. Now, I would say fuck off, right? But as a first-time mom, these ladies, they always like to tell you what you're doing so wrong. And we don't want to be these ladies, which is really don't.
Preet Pannu [01:47:32]:
All right, well, it wasn't fun. It was an eye-opening experience. My little guy would wake up at four in the morning until he was four years old every day, and it was exhausting. And so a lot of the times that the weekends would be the first ones at the playground, like, literally, they're opening the gates at 630 and I'm there at the playground. And he loved the sand pit, and we used to let him get the sand pit.
Raphael Harry [01:47:57]:
Something about it.
Preet Pannu [01:47:58]:
He was very in love with that sandpit. I'm sorry to say this, but I might ruin the sand pit for you. We saw the rats leaving the sand pit that early in the morning. I'm like, okay, I'm definitely a clueless mom. I had no idea. And I've been letting my kid go in that. And I've seen mother's moms, they're like, out of stay out of the sand pit. After that.
Raphael Harry [01:48:16]:
I was like, that's a sign.
Bertha Jimenez Ph.D [01:48:19]:
I know, right?
Murielle Miszcak [01:48:21]:
Play with the rats. No, exactly.
Raphael Harry [01:48:23]:
That's good. Make friends with the rats. What about you, Bertha?
Bertha Jimenez Ph.D [01:48:34]:
Oh, my God. I don't know. I think I haven't lived that much with Edgar because he's just three. But my favorite experience as an immigrant mom, I think I really like the fact that Edgar it's so different than my nephew's because he eats curry. My sister just put salt in the chicken, you know, like, just like he eats garam masala. He eats, like, all different spices, which it will have never happened in Ecuador. Like, people are like 25 and they're just trying something different. So I think I really love the fact that he eats everything. Of course, like, Indian food, Ecuadorian, it's me. So he's like, every single recipe.
Raphael Harry [01:49:30]:
Like, Cuzine, that's my man.
Bertha Jimenez Ph.D [01:49:32]:
So that's like it's something that's just, like, so different from the way I was raised.
Murielle Miszcak [01:49:36]:
Yeah, I see future play dates with Raphael and Edgar.
Raphael Harry [01:49:47]:
I'm all about food. All right, so once again, can't thank you all enough for giving me your time and for hanging out with us. Really appreciate you all. And shout out to Josh again for giving us extra minutes to record this wonderful episode. Thank you to everyone listening. Please share your favorite immigrant mom moment with us and send us emails. Leave any concerns, any answers, all the questions we got you. Listen to the episode, share your moments, and share your opinions. Yeah, I'm down to listen. Happy Mother's Day to everyone and see you all at the next episode. And don't forget to support and give us money, too. We need it. We're not socialist. We're capitalist. Remember that.
Murielle Miszcak [01:50:38]:
Raphael Harry [01:50:39]:
Murielle Miszcak [01:50:39]:
Raphael Harry [01:50:40]:
Bye. Thank you for the privilege of your company. Thanks for listening to White Label American. If you enjoyed the show, please give a five-star review on your favorite podcast app. You can follow the show on all social media platforms. Visit the White Label American website for links, donations, episodes, feedback, guests, match, and newsletter. Don't forget to download the free White Label American app on the Google Play store and Apple, coming soon. Thank you for the privilege of your company.
Co-Founder / Entrepreneur / Mentor / Professor /
Bertha is a multifaceted social entrepreneur, mentor, and professor. She began her journey with a Ph.D. from NYU, focusing on co-curricular programs in higher education to cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset. Her comprehensive understanding of the entrepreneurial ecosystem—encompassing universities, incubators, venture capitalists, and more—comes from this deep-dive academic work. Post-Ph.D., she co-founded RISE, a startup that innovatively repurposes beer industry by-products into healthful flour, partnering with international brewery giant AB-InBev and earning numerous accolades. Even as the CEO of RISE, she found fulfillment in mentoring emerging startups and fostering women in business, leading her to teach entrepreneurship and innovation management at NYU.
Editor / Producer / Volunteer
Preet is a media professional with an impressive portfolio of credits in the industry, including Documentary Film and Travel TV featured on PBS, Travel Channel, and Discovery as well as East African Radio. She has been based in the UK, USA, and East Africa throughout her career, and is currently based in Brooklyn, New York, where she works as a Global Producer at A+E Networks.
Preet's career began in Kenya, where she was discovered by a newly launched radio station East FM in Nairobi. Despite her move to America, her passion for Africa remains and she continues to travel back to Kenya, organizing wildlife excursions and contributing to a non-profit called Leo Local in Laikipia.