Pam Covarrubias has bounced between the US and Mexico her entire life. As a business coach and host of the Cafe Con Pam podcast, she has learned to stand in her power and will explain on this episode exactly what that means and what it took to get there. She also explains how embodying 2 separate countries and cultures gives her the necessary experience to help her clients build successful and sustainable businesses.
In this episode, we deconstruct the common Spanish phrase "calladita se ve mas bonita," which translates into the idea that quiet little girls are more beautiful. That one little phrase has managed to pack in a heavy dose of misogyny and stripped people of their own voices. Because when people feel like their voices bear no weight and they lack confidence in themselves, they're so easy to control.
Controlling people, especially women, is what the patriarchy thrives on. And women like Pam and I are here to call bullshit on that belief and behavior and minimize its impact. As a childfree Latina, Pam points to how gender and societal norms (in both the US and Mexico) affect how she is perceived and how the bingos she hears give her real insight on to people's own projections of themselves.
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We also chat about coffee, dogs, and discuss whether or not moms are more productive than non-moms. Let me know if you agree or disagree with her assessment!
To get the full show notes, and an episode transcript, go to PauletteErato.com.
Like what you hear? Reach out to send your thoughts, and don't forget to grab a limited edition LVMC baseball t-shirt. Check it out at pauletteerato.com/shop.
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[00:00] Paulette: Buen día mi gente and welcome to La Vida Más Chévere , the place where child free Spanglish speaking Latines are inspired to find their confidence, la confianza, to overcome some of the bullshit and toxicity in our culture. I'm your host, Paulette Erato.
[00:19] Today is a real treat for me, and I hope it is for you too listeners because I'm meeting with Pam Covarrubias who talks about the things that we hear everybody say, like standing in your power, but she'll actually explain to you what the hell that means.
[00:32] So let me tell you a little bit about her. Pam Covarrubias became the business coach that her immigrant mom needed. She's a resonance business coach and an E F T practitioner. Prior to this, she ran her own branding agency, bringing a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her work with clients. And her work is grounded in decolonizing and liberation principles, which she uses to support clients in adopting trauma informed practices that are kind to their nervous system.
[01:01] Pam also created the Liberated Business Roadmap, which helps entrepreneurs tap into their intuition, amplify their voice, and flow with the natural rhythms of their bodies and seasons. In addition to her work as a business coach, Pam is also the host of the globally recognized podcast Cafe con Pam, where she shares stories and insights from diverse voices in the world of entrepreneurship, social justice, and personal growth.
[01:29] Her conversations are candid, thought-provoking, and deeply informative, making Cafe con Pam a valuable resource for anyone looking to build a business or create positive change in their community. Through her work, Pam is making significant contribution to the world of entrepreneurship, social justice, and personal growth, helping her clients build businesses that are both successful and sustainable.
[01:53] That last part, sustainable. That's really what makes people successful. So let's dive into this conversation con Pam.
[02:03] Hola Pam, ¿cómo estás?
[02:04] Pam: Hola hola, bien bien gracias
[02:06] Thank you so much for being here today. I am in awe of everything that you have accomplished. So why don't you give us a snippet or like the nutshell version of who Pam Covarrubias is.
[02:20] Pam: I don't know if I can do the, the snippet version of it. I'm a coach. I became the business coach my mom needed, and this was after a long exploration of who I am and lots of digging into identity and identifiers, quoting my friend Babelito from Latinos Who Lunch, and I realized that I love productivity and I love business, and so I have deconstructed a lot of old business practices.
[02:50] And the way that I teach and guide other business owners is through doing business from a liberation lens. And of course, instilling productivity and rest.
[03:00] Paulette: Rest is a topic that I have a very deep relationship with because for so many years I didn't. And then my body let me know in my late thirties, well, now you're going to.
[03:12] Pam: Mm-hmm.
[03:13] Paulette: And my whole world shifted upside down. So I'm a huge proponent of rest. And when most people talk about productivity, it's about the absence of rest and you take a completely different tact from it. You say you're a recovering procrastinator. Tell me more about that.
[03:27] Pam: Yeah, I realized it was a procrastinator when I was in college. I went to art school. And so if anyone's familiar with art school, the way that you do tests instead of writing papers, you do projects. And you get critiqued in front of your whole class and literally you set up your project in the class and everyone walks around and critiques you, including the teacher. And one of my favorite projects, it was a clothing brand that we created.
[03:56] She came up to me and she said, Pam, what happens here is that I gave you, I don't remember if it was a month or three months, but it was a long time, a long time to complete this project, and I know you were here last night. You pulled an all nighter. Some of these bags that you created are falling apart.
[04:14] This is a project that would've been worth sending it, submitting it for awards, for design awards. But because you didn't put the time, it's not. I can't do this for you. And I was like 19 years old, and that really put me into this spiral of like, my brain is broken because I knew I had all this time. And I was like, la mujer del mañana. Mañana lo algo, mañana.
[04:40] Like tomorrow, I'll get it done until it was like the day before and I realized that I had ADHD, and so this was the other thing of like, well, why do I procrastinate? I learned that procrastination is rooted a lot in freeze mode. And so part of procrastination is a trauma response, and this is where a lot of the experts in productivity that are like, no, it's all mindset, you know?
[05:04] And I'm like, oh, actually, actually not. That's when I learned about tapping, which is the tool that I use to support my clients and myself and my nervous system. And from that moment, I really started diving into this productivity thing and what's going on with the brain and why do we put things off and why do we care about other things, and why do we overwork?
[05:27] And here we are.
[05:30] Paulette: Pam just mentioned tapping and she's referring to E F T or emotional freedom technique tapping. For more info on what that is, check out the link in the show notes. I'm actually about to embark on a 30 day tapping challenge myself, so check in with my socials in 30 days to see how that's coming along.
[05:48] In this next section, Pam talks about the dichotomy of being raised in both the US and Mexico and how in one she could just be herself, but in the other it was about checking a box. And a lot of what she talks about relates to what one of my former guests, Ana Del Castillo, also talked about for more about what she had to say about fitting yourself into a box, check out that episode called Choosing Yourself Insanity with Ana Del Castillo.
[06:14] You have a BFA with a focus in photography, is that correct?
[06:18] Pam: Graphic design and photography and a minor in Spanish.
[06:21] Paulette: But of course, of course, because you,
[06:23] Pam: I had to.
[06:24] Paulette: You were raised in Mexico City, right? So going to school in the US and Mexico,
[06:29] Pam: Yes.
[06:29] Paulette: And then in the US again. How do you think that's, uh, shaped you?
[06:33] Pam: My journey of being a first generation immigrant because I'm both, has also influenced a lot of my work. Because when I was growing up in Mexico City, I was Pam, I was Pam Covarrubias, ¿y ya no? And then I came to the US and all of a sudden I had to fit myself into specific boxes, whether I had to check off the Hispanic box or the US citizen box or the whatever.
[07:04] And that was really confusing to me because all of a sudden I transitioned from being a human being to being a census data checker, you know, and so that has really influenced the way that I work. I think because of that experience that I have, I'm able to also kind of like bounce between worlds and understand people in different ways. Whether you're an immigrant that came to the US or you were born here, or you were like the third generation. Me having had bounced between countries so much has allowed me to be like, I get it. It's hard.
[07:40] Paulette: No kidding. My mother came from Mexico at a very young age and, you know, created a life here, which was, I'm sure not what she envisioned. She will tell you it's not what she envisioned and is now in her sixties and thriving in all of these great things.
[07:54] But I only know such a, a small portion of her story of the origin of Rosalba Fontanez that she has shared, right? And, and as I've gotten older, she's shared more and, and she hasn't shied away from the stark reality of what it was that she went through to become who she is today.
[08:12] Pam: Yeah.
[08:13] Paulette: I talk about her and she gives me chills because she is such an important force. I'm sure you have a similar relationship with your mom, who you talk about a lot on your show. That to do anything less than be the full force mujer fuerte that she raised would be a dishonor to that legacy.
[08:31] Pam: Right? Hmm.
[08:33] Paulette: So you feel that too, right?
[08:34] Pam: Yes.
[08:34] Paulette: Ai yai yai and then like all of our, our ancestors are looking at us like...
[08:40] Pam: Come on, let's go.
[08:42] Paulette: Like, that's not a burden at all. That's not that, that, that's not heavy.
[08:47] Pam: Right.
[08:48] Paulette: Hey, coffee snobs. This next part is for you. Pam's podcast Cafe con Pam is a play on the phrase "cafe con pan" with an N, which means bread. Cafe con bread, which is a popular pairing, not just in Mexican culture, but who doesn't love a pastry with a warm mug of coffee or tea?
[09:07] That's comfort food at its best. But if you've been listening to me for any length of time, then you know how I feel about coffee. But Pam may have converted me to mushroom coffee, which you'll hear about here. Plus, I'll link the brands we discussed in the show notes.
[09:22] On your podcast. You talk a lot es Cafe con Pam so you talk a lot about cafe. What's your favorite type of way to have coffee?
[09:30] Pam: Oh, tricky question is like asking a mom what's your, who's your favorite kid? When I go to coffee shops, local coffee shops. I visit local coffee shops. In order for me to go to like a chain, I have to be in the middle of nowhere when there's no other options.
[09:45] And so when I go to local coffee shops, I tend to order pour overs, whether it's a Chemex or any other pour over form of brewing, that's my way to like enjoy their coffee because it's the, it's one of, I mean, some people might argue, but it's one of the purest way of, of enjoying all the notes of the coffee.
[10:04] And this is like my snobbiness is coming out when it comes to coffee. At home, I am very simple. Sometimes I do pour overs. Sometimes I use the greca, which is, you know, the traditional silver thing. Everyone in Latin America uses it.
[10:18] Paulette: A mocha pot.
[10:18] Pam: Yes. Thank you. So sometimes I do it that way, and most days, TBH is a drip coffee, but I do drink mushroom coffee, which has adaptogenics for my brain.
[10:30] Paulette: Mm-hmm.
[10:30] Pam: And different mushrooms to support the focus and clarity on my brain.
[10:36] Paulette: Where do you get that?
[10:37] Pam: Different places. So Four Sigmatic is one that has mushroom coffee. It's pretty big. Four Sigmatic mushroom coffee, the owner's from Finland. And the thing is that in Finland coffee, fun fact, coffee was banned for a long time.
[10:51] And so Finnish people started drinking chaga, which is a mushroom. It's kinda like the mother mushroom for the immune system. And Chaga as a tea, mushroom tea, it looks like coffee. It doesn't taste like coffee, but it looks like coffee. And so when Finnish people couldn't drink coffee, they would start drinking chaga, and so they became avid mushroom drinkers.
[11:12] And so now Four Sigmatic infuses different types of adaptogenics and different mushrooms into their coffee, like Lion's Mane is the one that I use for my brain. Another brand that I buy from is, it's Wonderground Coffee, and this is a local coffee shop in Seattle and they're awesome. They grow their own mushrooms and they have like oof great coffee.
[11:33] Paulette: I don't like coffee.
[11:35] Pam: I heard somewhere that I heard you drinking iced coffee. On one of your shows, so I'm like, huh?
[11:41] Paulette: Yes, I grew up drinking cafe con leche, but it had to be super sweetened. And my husband, like you, is a coffee snob. So he's, he's very particular about his coffees and, but you know, I turned him on to Bustelo and so that's like his go-to every day coffee, which you can, you can get in instant. I didn't know that.
[12:01] Pam: Right?
[12:02] Paulette: And I'm just like, it, it tastes like dirty bean water to me. I'm sorry. Unless there's a ton of like milk and sweetener in it. I don't wanna know. I'm, I, I love tea. I'm a big tea drinker. Anyway, one day I read that cold brew is a great way to get all the nuances of the coffee because, you know, like I love wine, I love beer, and I love talking about the different ways they pair with food. Like food for me is culture.
[12:28] Pam: Yes.
[12:28] Paulette: You know, and enhancing that with a beverage just takes it to the next level. And so I was like, oh, well that's intriguing to me. So he started making me cold brew in the mornings sometimes, and I was like, oh, I get it. I still don't like coffee, but I get it. And so a local coffee shop that we go to, family owned by a Latino family called Ground Hideout here in Long Beach, they do chagaccino.
[12:53] And so, I have started ordering that every once in a while when the matcha tea latte just isn't gonna hit. Right?
[12:59] Pam: Yes.
[13:00] Paulette: When I need something a little bit stronger, so I get it. I'll have to turn Ryan onto these other mushroom coffees, cuz that sounds exciting.
[13:07] Pam: It's super fun. Super, super fun.
[13:09] Paulette: And maybe something I might like.
[13:12] Pam: Yeah. I mean, chaga tea is great. It has that, that like depth of coffee a little bit less. But it's really great for your immune system.
[13:23] Paulette: Which we all need, especially right now.
[13:26] The weather in California when Pam and I recorded this was a trip. I really don't remember it being that cold in a long, long time, which you'll hear us talk about as we transition into her time in college.
[13:40] Listen in here because this is where that phrase stand in my power comes into play. And she'll describe what that meant and how she found her voice and her strength in the face of racism.
[13:52] Did you have the crazy winds the last few days?
[13:54] Pam: Oh my gosh. I woke up one day at two in the morning, like who's dragging stuff? And it was like trees that had literally fallen.
[14:02] Paulette: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.
[14:03] Pam: I did a story on my on Instagram. I was walking my dog and literally a tree was like covering the sidewalk.
[14:09] Paulette: Thankfully the wind's stopped. You're in San Diego? I'm in Los Angeles, so that's why we've got similar weather patterns, right? Yes. It was scary and cold.
[14:18] Pam: Super cold.
[14:19] Paulette: We went out last night and my husband's from Wisconsin.
[14:22] Pam: And it was cold. It was cold for him.
[14:24] Paulette: He's like, this is what it was like walking to my classes when I went to school at Madison.
[14:28] Pam: Yep.
[14:29] Paulette: I'm like, oh yeah. No. No, thank you.
[14:32] Pam: know.
[14:32] Paulette: So you went to school in Missouri, is it?
[14:35] Pam: I went to school in Missouri. Yep. So I know those like intense winters.
[14:40] Paulette: What was that like?
[14:41] Pam: It was interesting. It was a moment that really shaped who I am. And going to college in the Midwest, middle America. I got a taste of what, what America is like. And very different from California. Like, you know, in California we talk about white people.
[14:59] There's like white people in the Midwest. And it was a time in my life when I had to truly stand in my power and it took a long time. And I owe it to black women because when I was in college, I either had the option to hang out with white people or black people. That was it. And so one of my biggest mentors, shout to Tay Triggs, she took me under her wing.
[15:23] I went to the Center for Multicultural Education when I found out that that existed. And I walked in and she gave me like the best hug and was like, oh my gosh, you remind me of some kids that I mentored because she was the mentor for a sorority in another school that she worked at. And it was a Latina sorority.
[15:44] And I was like, I just need a place to belong. And, and she was like, well, here's your home. And I worked with her, actually, she hired me. I was her intern. So my internship was actually at the Center for Multicultural Education. And I was a student worker for years there on top of my full-time job. But yes, because I worked full-time while I went to school full-time and it was amazing.
[16:05] I met the most incredible people. I got to plan campus-wide events. I brought speakers, all focused on multicultural work, and it really rooted me in my social justice work. So it was like super fun. Of course, I had, you know, these aren't the best moments, but I got yelled at at Walmart one time talking to my tía in Spanish.
[16:28] And you know, the comments were right behind us. Like, oh, these damn people need to go back to their country and learn English. And so those moments is what really pushed me to stand in my power and to really use my voice. Because I could have just at that moment, when that woman said that comment, I could have just ignored it, but I turned around and I said, we actually do speak English, but we choose not to.
[16:50] And so mind your business. This is my conversation. And I think it was necessary. It was important and a lot of lessons came from that time.
[16:59] Paulette: Kudos to you for sticking through that. And you're a disruptor. You say it yourself on your show all the time. Yeah. I'm gonna cause friction!
[17:06] Pam: All the time. All the time. Yeah.
[17:09] Paulette: This next section is the real meat of what I wanted to talk to Pam about. What I call the quote, toxicity and BS of our culture, unquote, she has distilled down to seven pillars of what she calls calladita culture, a culture of staying quiet and not questioning. Also full disclosure, after she and I had this talk about it, I went and joined her Power Sisters program.
[17:33] My first meeting with my Power Sister will come on the same day that this episode drops. So if you've got questions about the program, feel free to reach out and ask me how it's going.
[17:42] So the real reason I wanted to have you on was to talk about calladita culture. Because I feel like this is my point of departure as well as a child-free woman, as a first born, first gen Latina.
[17:54] Calldita culture I feel like, especially the older I've gotten, the more I see how my own journey has been shaped by these products of our culture. There's great things to being Latino Latinas.
[18:08] Pam: Mm-hmm.
[18:08] Paulette: Latines, there are not so great things about our culture. And I think this is true of a lot of cultures of people of color, that there are certain things we don't talk about that gets pushed under the rug. We close the door on that, we tolerate it.
[18:25] Pam: Yep.
[18:26] Paulette: Tell me how you devised this program and how you see that carry through.
[18:32] Pam: Yeah, calladita culture is a thing. I grew up with a really Catholic grandmother, and it was interesting. I've talked about this on my show before where it was a dichotomy of on one end, a very Catholic grandmother, and I grew up with my dad.
[18:46] So my mom, because I'm a rebel, she couldn't deal with me, and so she sent me to my dad and she's like, here you go. Take care of your child. So I ended up with my grandma and my dad who is the brujo of the familia, no? He's the one that people are like, este loco what's going on? Like actual comments because he, I mean, he's a Reiki master.
[19:11] I learned about Reiki before Reiki was a thing. Before it was like mainstream, you know? I like, I was 11 years old and my dad was doing Reiki on me. And then on the other hand, this very Catholic grandmother, which I believe calladita culture is deeply rooted in the colonization of our faith and religion. Because "calladita te ves mas bonita" is something that we hear all the time.
[19:35] And with the raising of my grandma, she often invited me to stop questioning things. And thinking about how I grew up and talking to a lot of my clients, that's how I developed the seven principles of calladita culture. The first one is be a secret. Don't tell anyone your things. Just keep everything under the rug.
[19:54] And like ¿como el dicho? There's one that's like no pongas tus trapitos al sol. Like...
[20:01] Paulette: Don't air your dirty laundry.
[20:03] Pam: Yes. And so that, and not questioning, I've always questioned everything and so I remember having conversations of like, why La Virgen? If La Virgen de Guadalupe por ejemplo is actually the Cōātlīcue. Learning the history of the Virgen de Guadalupe, I was like, well, why can't I go to have the Cōātlīcue, which I have right here, have her behind me? And that's the Virgen de Guadalupe, you know? So she would be like, Nope, we don't question it because it's what God wants and blah, blah, blah. And so I've always had this like questioning of like, why are you trying to quiet me?
[20:39] And frankly, because of trauma, because of lots of things, I did get quiet. I did get quiet in corporate. I did get quiet with my family. I did get quiet even after podcasting. You know, one of the ways that I use my voice is through podcasting, but even after, I found myself hiding, and so calladita culture is something that I feel like first generation women and femmes in the US will always have to kinda like work through because it's so ingrained in her whole body.
[21:09] It's like visceral.
[21:10] Paulette: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. It's the shadow work that we have to go through in order to...
[21:14] Pam: Indeed
[21:15] Paulette: ...end that generational trauma.
[21:17] Pam: Mm-hmm.
[21:18] Paulette: Because that's what it is. It's pa—
[21:19] Pam: It's passed on.
[21:20] Paulette: It's passed on from the ancestors. They're like, here you go. All of it. You get the good and the bad.
[21:27] Pam: Yes.
[21:28] Paulette: So is that a program that you still have active?
[21:32] Pam: Yeah, so I'm developing a course right now and I teach it inside Power Sisters, which is my group coaching program. And Power Sisters is the accountability program I wish existed when I was in college. Because one of the things when it comes to productivity is that accountability is so important.
[21:48] 95% of chances of accomplishing thing comes from having an accountability person. So that's why I created Power Sisters. When I learned that, I was like, oh my gosh. Makes sense. And so inside Power Sisters, that's where I talk about calladita culture because calladita culture also reduces productivity because you stay quiet, you stay submissive.
[22:05] We put other people first. We only take responsibility for what we are "supposed" to do. And you know, all the things. Andso inside our sisters is where calladita culture the course exists.
[22:19] Paulette: Do you have plans for a separate course?
[22:21] Pam: Maybe. So what I have done is I do teach calladita culture in corporations. So I have done it to several companies and anytime I share the principles, and I ask people, and I've gotten to share calladita culture, the principles to ERGs, very specific, like Latino ERGs and to full companies, the whole company. And any time I share the principles to the whole company, of course, to the Latinos, everyone's like, yeah, been there. I've been there. But any other culture, they still resonate.
[22:55] I mean, it's a thing. That's why I say that first generation women and femmes deal with this because the shame that has been added onto just being a woman in the world, is part of calladita culture.
[23:08] Paulette: In this next section, we're going to continue the thread of shame and calladita culture as we talk about being child-free Latinas. Here's a heads up I wanna give you. Part of Pam's story includes the discussion of PCOS and a miscarriage. If these are sensitive topics for you, jump to about the 28 minute and 30 second mark to hear us talk about doggos. I've also had another guest, Breanna Aguilar, who discussed how PCOS affected her life.
[23:35] If you're interested, that episode is called "Your Child Free Cheerleader with Breanna Aguilar." It should be easy to find just a few episodes prior to Ana's, and I'll leave links to both in the show notes.
[23:45] I wrote a book for my niece when she went to college and it was called Benchmarks are Bullshit. It was all the things I wish I had known when I went off to college to prepare for the culture shock and all of these things that are coming at you. And you're considered an adult, but you're still so naive about certain things.
[24:00] And one of the things was that decisions are not life sentences. Like there are so few things in this world that you can't reverse course on. So few things and of the few things, committing crimes that put you in jail for life, cutting off a limb, tattooing your face, and having children are permanent.
[24:21] And I just, I just knew for myself this is not what it's gonna be. That doesn't mean I hate children. Right?
[24:28] Pam: Correct.
[24:29] Paulette: And I think that that's a huge disconnect when women are pitted against each other, those who have children and those who do not have children. And so I'm just here who's like pero I'm a really great tití.
[24:41] Like I write books for my nibbling. I want to guide them into the world. All of these things. And that's so counter, being una mujer sin hijos, is so counter to our cultural norms, both as Americans and Latinoamericanos. So tying that back to you, have you faced any friction in that way?
[25:03] Pam: Of course. I think less now. When I was 13 years old, I realized I had PCOS and the doctor at the time said, ponte la idea que you're never gonna have kids, because it's really hard when you have PCOS.
[25:16] Paulette: Mm-hmm.
[25:17] Pam: And so at that moment it was kinda like a self-fulfilling prophecy because I never played with... I played with dolls all the time. I, I had like a collection of Barbies and I was very privileged because my mom was a flight attendant, so she would buy them from the US
[25:32] Paulette: Nice.
[25:32] Pam: And bring them to Mexico. But it was always like, my games were like, she's a banker and she works at an office. And it was never like we're getting married and having babies. It was never, you know, part of my games. And so when I heard this from the doctor, I was like well, I didn't want them anyway. And uh, and so I grew up with this internalized idea of me not ever being able to have kids.
[25:57] It was never part of my story. You know, when you write, when you grow up and you're like, this is who I'm going to become. It was never part of my story. And then I found out that I could have kids cause I had a miscarriage and I was like, oh, then he was wrong. But good to know. I think at this point my family's like, she's not gonna have kids, you know, it's like done.
[26:16] For a while my mom would be like, well, nietos. But then my sister started having kids and so I think she had her fix with her kids. And then my sister and I joke that my niece and nephew, they're my kids too. We went on vacation last week en Mexico estábamos en Cancun, and of course like because of that "everyone needs to have children," the people there were like, oh, they thought I was the mom.
[26:39] Because my sister's younger than me and she's like, no, I'm the mom, but she's the mom too. She borrows them from time to time. And so yeah, I've had the questions. I mean, it's part of the journey also that I've embarked into standing in my power and say, that's none of your business. Like whatever happens with my body. Why do you care?
[26:57] Paulette: Yes.
[26:58] Pam: I think because I have this mouth that just kinda like spits. I'm a Scorpio also, so I like sting sometimes. Like mejor ya no me preguntan, you know? It's one of those like, fine. Pero si pasa todo el tiempo. I've even had like from strangers, like ay, probrecita. No tuviste hijos you know, like type thing. And I'm like, this is really interesting how you project all your feelings.
[27:20] So yeah, it's there.
[27:23] Paulette: Yeah. It's, it's the undoing of all of this, the societal norms, the growing up with all of our, what's the word I'm looking for?
[27:31] Pam: Gender norms, no?
[27:33] Paulette: Yeah, the gender norms, but also everything you see. Everything that is like what a family looks like.
[27:38] Pam: Oh, the model.
[27:39] Paulette: The mo— Thank you. The model for what family looks like. I was like, when I met my husband, I'm like, you need to know I'm not having children. And he was like, oh, that's an option. Okay. That's like short version of that. But I just, I, the fight that then began, family-wise from that point on was really interesting because I, like I said, I didn't experience that on my side.
[28:04] M- my parents were like, okay. I actually interviewed my mother about it because we had never talked about it. I was like, well, what does it feel like to have a kid who doesn't want kids after everything you did to bring and, and raise children in this world? And she was like, you know, I never thought about you guys having kids.
[28:21] I just wanted you to be happy. And she has four grandkids, so she's fine either way.
[28:26] Pam: Mm-hmm.
[28:27] Paulette: And there's also the grand dog who is just spoiled, spoiled rotten.
[28:31] Hey, if you just skipped over to hear about the doggos, here we go.
[28:35] So you mentioned your dog earlier. You took him for a walk this morning. How's Thor?
[28:40] Pam: Thor is getting old. He's 10. He's now getting to the place where he sleeps a lot, which is great for me. He's awesome. He's my perrhijo. It's funny because when I, when we were little, my mom was like anti dogs because she's like, I'm a single mom, I have three kids. That's enough to take care of. I can't take care of another life.
[29:01] My siblings and I joke that we had glimpses of dogs and then they would disappear. You know, like we adopted one and then like, do you remember what happened? We dunno what happened. All of a sudden dog was gone. And I mean, kinda like a side note, but that I think helped me a lot to be detached.
[29:18] Could be a toxic trait too. But Thor's doing well. He's just getting, you know, old. And when I got him, I remember my mom gave me this little tarjetita, like this little card that talked about how dogs leave us first. And she's like, I know this is your dog. This is not a dog that I can take away from you like before. So you, I know you're going to keep him and I want you to understand that he's going to leave you first, and this is why.
[29:44] And so it was this beautiful card, you know, written of like why dogs leave you first. And so I think he still has some life, but it's 10. He's a senior dog now.
[29:54] Paulette: Yeah. Have you had him all 10 years.
[29:57] Pam: All 10 years, yeah. When people say, is he a rescue? I often respond, he rescued me. He literally appeared at a time when I needed him to be there. He was three months when he came to my life.
[30:09] Paulette: Aw.
[30:10] Pam's podcast has been on the Oprah Daily list of top Latino podcasts for several years now. Which proves not only its cross-cultural appeal, but also the necessity to have these conversations that she highlights on her show. I'll leave the two that we refer to in the show notes, but honestly, take your pick. They're all pretty fire.
[30:30] She recently recorded her 300th episode live, which I was lucky enough to catch. But what I want you to get from what she says in this section is about consistency. Even if she couldn't show up every single week.
[30:45] Let's bring this back to Cafe con Pam. You've been doing this for 300 episodes as of
[30:52] Pam: 300 episodes.
[30:53] Paulette: I, I was there yesterday watching.
[30:54] Pam: I know you were there. Thank you for being there.
[30:56] Paulette: You're welcome. It was a lot of fun. I me Luis, DI Guey two weeks ago for a Valentine's thing, making pinatas and, and I had no idea the two of you were connected.
[31:06] Pam: Oh, he's one of my best friends.
[31:08] Paulette: The universe is tiny.
[31:11] Pam: Yes.
[31:11] Paulette: So how did you get Cafe con Pam on Oprah's list?
[31:15] Pam: I don't know. By being consistent, frankly. Most, actually all media that I've received as of today has been organic. I don't have a PR team yet. And the first time I didn't know. And so I started getting messages and people were like sending me dms, like, oh my gosh, congratulations. This is amazing, blah, blah, blah.
[31:36] And, and I woke up and I'm like, what? And I'm in California and anytime I wake up, like lots of things have happened in the east coast already. It's like midday. And so I was like, what's happening? And finally, somebody was like, you made it to the Oprah list of best Latinx podcast to listen to, or something like that.
[31:56] And was like, what? How? Send me the link. Like I don't even know. Like I was just getting the congratulations and I didn't know where to go. And so finally I got the link and I got to see it and I was there and it was super awesome. I think I didn't do anything as far as like talk to anyone to get on the list or anything like that I was selected to be on.
[32:17] But I think what has allowed me to be on those lists has been to stay consistent. And I mean 300 episodes later, it's been, you know, a process of consistency, of belief, of using my voice, and I think really caring about spreading the message of who we are and our stories.
[32:39] Paulette: Yeah, I think your podcast, the conversations you have with every person that comes on are so genuine, you're so genuinely curious about them, and that comes through.
[32:50] I mean, my favorite one was one of the first ones I listened to, Bad Mexicans with the professor who talks about the borderlands and see my degree is in history from UCLA, so that's like wow. Right up my alley. I was like, what? Yes. And just this curiosity that you bring to it is like, wow. And, and people just open up to you. They just open up to you.
[33:14] Pam: Yeah.
[33:14] Paulette: So clearly a natural gift. So congratulations on 300 episodes. You've been doing this since 2016.
[33:21] Pam: 2016.
[33:23] Paulette: Every week?
[33:24] Pam: Most weeks. I mean, the Cafe con Pam has gone through a journey and it's funny cuz like this week I got a one star review and I'm like, oh, this is really interesting.
[33:34] Like, yay, we made it again. And I used to edit the show by myself and that's when I took breaks because it was my body, like you shared at the beginning. Sometimes your body's like, you're done, you need to rest. And I'm not an audio editor, you know, I leave that to the people that have that gift and that skill.
[33:58] And so most weeks I have podcasted. I've taken breaks. Some on purpose, some not on purpose. So frankly, from 2016 to now, there should be like 400 maybe episodes. So I've skipped some weeks but I've stayed consistent. I come back.
[34:13] Paulette: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. You say should, but you have as many as you need to have, right?
[34:18] Pam: Correct. Correct.
[34:19] Paulette: Because the weeks that you took breaks, it's because that you needed to take a break.
[34:23] Pam: I needed them. Mm-hmm.
[34:25] Paulette: 300 is not something small, like that's huge.
[34:28] Pam: Yeah. It's a whole whole life.
[34:30] Paulette: This next section might piss off some child free people, and that's okay. It's about how Pam proved to herself that moms get more productive after they have children.
[34:40] But hey, if this rubs you the wrong way, remember this was not a scientific study. It's the reality for two different women whose lives are not yours. So if it worked for them, great. If you're feeling unproductive, no te preocupes, don't worry. Having a kid won't necessarily change that for you. What changed for Pam was how she allocated that finite time, and that's something all of us can do through the use of the Pomodoro method or any number of other time management techniques.
[35:10] I'm half Puerto Rican, so we say Titi, but the rest of the Spanish speaking world says tía. So you mentioned you don't have kids of your own, but on one of your podcasts you talked about how you take your niece and nephew for a month.
[35:23] Pam: Yeah.
[35:23] Paulette: Because it increases your productivity, which is a totally own brand for you. But wow. Tell me about that.
[35:30] Pam: Yeah. So the, that started as a social experiment because I did an interview with this guest. She actually was sharing her story of how she ended up having kids later in life, like late thirties. And during that conversation, she said, I became much more productive. And I was like, bs.
[35:48] There's no way. And she said, I promise you Pam, data shows that mothers are 60% more productive than non-mothers, because you just need learn to prioritize your time. And I'm like, BS. Called my sister and I was like, send me your kids. I need to like prove this. And she was like, don't ask me twice. And so she sent the kids to San Diego.
[36:12] My sister lives in Kansas City, so she sent the kids to San Diego for a month. And I became 60% more productive. And what I realized is that the reason for this, it's true. So the fact has been proven right. Because time becomes so much more finite. What I ended up doing when I had the kids was I truly focused on the 20 minutes I had before the kids woke up.
[36:37] I truly focused on the 30 minutes while they were eating lunch. And so I would get so much done in a, in a smaller amount of time, which proves also Newton's Law of you use up the time that you're given. So that's how it happened. And then my sister was like, next summer you down? So...
[36:56] Paulette: And now you can't say no.
[36:57] Pam: And now, now it's a thing. Now that the kids are older, actually, they're like, well, we wanna spend summer with our friends. So now they've chosen to stay, but I either go there, because that's the beauty of working from home, and hang out because I mean, I like to see my kids from time to time.
[37:16] Paulette: I think it's really sweet that Pam takes her tía duties. That was really hard for me to say. Her tití duties, her auntie duties so seriously and has that relationship with her niblings that she goes as far as to call them her kids too. I know that's not the relationship that every child free person wants to have, but it works for her. And that's just one model of what a vida más chévere can look like. You know, she's living her best life. That's Pam's version.
[37:42] Next up we talk about what our relationships are like with non-parents and parents alike. And this is a topic I wanna hear from you about. What are your friendships like with friends who have kids and those who don't? Listen in on what it's like for Pam and me, and then tell me what it's like for you.
[37:59] If you're listening on Spotify, you can answer this question right in the app. Otherwise, feel free to DM me on Instagram, Twitter, or TikTok, and we can chat about.
[38:08] Pam: I would say 50% of my friends have kids and maybe 50% don't. And my mom friends, they often talk to me about non-kid stuff. And they always tell me, I love that you understand that I have to cancel last minute.
[38:24] I love that you understand that somebody vomited and I just like can't get on the phone with you. And because I'm like, yeah, I mean kids happen and so like things happen with kids, you know? And so instead of us talking about their kids, conversations with me are about like anything, but. From what they've told me, they appreciate that because they have their mom friends, right.
[38:46] You know, they can talk about kids with their mom, friends, and then they are anything but moms when they hang out with me.
[38:51] Paulette: Mm-hmm. But yeah, I mean, the older I've gotten, one day we looked around and realized all of our friends, none of them had kids either. We live in a building now where nobody has kids either there's like one or two.
[39:03] But I have plenty of people in my life who do have kids, and you're right. When it's our time together, they get to leave the mom persona at home and they get to go back to being the person they are without the children, and I think that's great. I think that...
[39:19] Pam: I agree
[39:19] Paulette: ...that's what the relationship should be between women who have children and women who don't, or just people in general because we're not on separate sides.
[39:28] We're all in this together. So I'm glad that that's your experience, that your friends with children are like, yeah, I got my mom friends for that. Let's talk about whatever else. Yes, whatever else. That's cool.
[39:40] The last topic Pam and I tackle is confidence because she exudes it and who wouldn't want to know her secret? Again, she talks about the power of her voice, but there's also more, and I think this is the big takeaway from this episode.
[39:55] Final, final question for you is you're a confident woman. Where do you draw your confidence from?
[40:03] Pam: It's coming from somewhere. I think it might be a toxic trait because I think it might come from... I'm the oldest daughter. And as the eldest, the thing that I always heard was "eres el ejemplo." And so that's always in the back of my head. Like, what kind of example am I sharing and being the eldest, even with Cafe con Pam, I'm like, I'm the tía of everyone. You know, because I'm the eldest and I've always had that pressure of "eres el ejemplo." And so maybe my confidence comes from that responsibility that's been on my back forever to, to be the ejemplo.
[40:43] And the understanding that every tiny thing I do is being witnessed and in some way como calificando. You know, like it's been graded in a way. Like, Hmm, are you being a good ejemplo? Like I have the voice of my grandma like behind me, like, and so it could be a toxic thing like on one end.
[41:02] And on the other end, I think it's been fully exploring who I am and really standing in my voice and my power to really embrace the uniqueness of who is Pam, because I looked for models all the time.
[41:17] That's why Cafe con Pam existed. And when I didn't find them, I'm like, well, I guess I'm my own damn model. And I mean, I wouldn't want a model that's not confident. So I just have to like make sure I trust myself and I honor who I am and I pull from my lived experience and my wisdom to just live.
[41:37] Paulette: Beautiful.
[41:38] Uhh, one last thought before we close out this episode.
[41:41] I know that this conversation had a lot of Spanish in it, and if you're not a full fledged Spanish speaker, then that might be frustrating. Subscribe to my Substack newsletter for free and I'll have a translated version of some of our conversation available for you to read later this week. And maybe I'll also share Pam's secret recipe for her newest coffee obsession, which I did not include in this episode cause I'm a cheeky little chingona like that.
[42:05] Pam, thank you so much!
[42:06] Pam: Thank you, Paulette.
[42:07] Paulette: This has been a really nice time with you sharing our morning cups of brew. Yes, and I appreciate you coming. So you know how we end this.
[42:18] Pam: Yes.
[42:18] Paulette: Would you please?
[42:20] Pam: That's a burrito!
[42:22] Paulette: Got something to say about this week's episode. Feel free to DM me on Instagram, TikTok, or even Twitter. My info is always in the show notes.
[42:30] And if you're looking to be a guest in the future for La Vida Más Chévere, check out the guest form on my website atPauletteErato.com. That's Paulette Erato dot com.
[42:41] And hey, muchísimas gracias for listening to this episode of La Vida Más Chévere? Are you subscribed or following on your favorite podcast app? If not, now would be a great time to do that. New episodes come out every other Tuesday. I'm on Apple, Spotify, wherever you listen.
[42:56] And then can I ask you a favor? Please spread the word and share this podcast with your family and friends, tu familia y amigues. Because they'll probably need a little bit of this in their life too. And I'd really appreciate it if you could rate and or review it wherever you're listening to it right now. Hasta el próximo martes. ¡Cuídate bien!