MelanatedMama is near and dear to my heart because it was birthed organically from me simply sharing my journey of parenting. Through my very public breastfeeding journey to tackling attempts at developing a healthy co parenting situation. I have taken much pride in my ability to be vulnerable. When the organizers of thee "P3- Pretty, Plus Size and Powerful" reached out to invite me to sit on a Motherhood panel, on behalf of MelanatedMama, I was humbled and honored.
I mean it surprised me that folks really want to hear about my highs and lows as a career driven, mama of 2 little care free black children.
I sat on a panel with some absolutely amazing, dope ass, kick ass Black mamas. While the goal was to inspire other women with our stories, expertise and experience. I surely walked away inspired and motivated to be(come) even better. I say self-care is an important thing and that Black women saved my life with out effort and very often. For those who missed out on the powerful kinetic energy that was in the space, you really missed out. Lucky for you I took notes and wanted to share. Being a mother didn't come with manual, but here are some tips to keep in your pocket for raising healed, care free Black Children while keeping your shit ( as the mama) together!
1. When raising your children and noticing gaps, the first and easiest step to begin repairing is going inward. To some degree, your children are immediate reflections of you. Fixing you, fixes them!
Example: During the pregnancy of my daughter I was an emotional wreck. Consistently living on the highs of becoming a mama and lows of accepting I would be doing it alone. I cried and smiled a lot.I felt like I had no control and that almost always made me sad and disappointed. Every time I am trying to redirect my child I am presented with this energy of highs and lows. A simple request to prepare for bath time results in tears and tantrums, especially if the request came at time that did not allow for a pre-conversation that gave her some sense of control over what was about to happen. It's the exact opposite with my son. While pregnant with him I had a totally different energy. I had come to fully accept things that I wrestled with and carried on during that pregnancy with the energy of ASÉ. It so it will be. I say one thing to my son and his typical response is "ok mommy".
2. Honor your child(ren)as a person.
Our children come to us equipped. It is our job to guide and lead them toward whats already destined for them. Parenting, in my opinion, should be less about control and should exist as a conversation. Value their voices and listen to them. A relationship built on respect and trust will go much further than on built out of fear.
Example: My daughter is a very outspoken little person. She is confident and unapologetic in her approach to life. She knows what hurts her feelings, when she's scared and that is what I love most about her. I had to learn how to do those things as a young adult. She came to me once, very matter of fact, and said that I yell too much. My yelling ( which was usually because I failed to prepare ahead of time and blamed my kids) was hurting her feelings and made her feel sad. I had to respect that request and apologize. Kids will humble you, quick, if you listen.
3.Every mother ( and their style) could serve as inspirations... if you're open to it.
Panelists were asked what woman or mother served as our greatest inspiration. Originally I answered hands down my mama and Big Ma. After all those women were my first role models. But coming into the role of mother has been journey built on seeking advice and learning from the experiences of all the mamas around me. I know some pretty dope mamas, all of whom have different ways of doing the same thing... raising dope people. Look around and take notes at all the people you love and see. The mama I thought I was gonna be as a young girl is not who I am. My notes and ideals were off.
Example: I can run an exhaustive list of mamas who have inspired my parenting "style" so to speak. The kids God mama refuses to call any kid "bad"... just "busy". Language has power. My sorors stay recycling clothing for the next baby coming up in the sorority/community. Why reinvent the wheel kids grow, sometimes too fast, why spend more than you have to. My homegirl includes her kids in her business, raising young entrepreneurs, I felt that. So, my kids join me and sometimes accomplish more sales than I could.
All in all I am grateful for spaces that are created that allow women to heal, talk, cry and laugh together. If you are not already following the ladies of P3, you are truly missing out. Thank you ladies for "putting MelanatedMama" on but for always inspiring me.
As always, if this was meaningful to you, like comment and share!
Peace and Love
The Melanated Mama
Im the mama of Marli Amor and Kingston Ase.