This week I’m embarking on my first solo business venture and it made me think about all of the roles I play on this planet. If you asked me a few years ago what my life titles were, I would have said, “Mother, wife, *insert job title*, and *whatever sounded cool at the time*.” This list was sad and short-sighted. When I started having children and being a wife, I was still in a very important, transitional time in young adulthood. I had no clear idea of what I loved outside of the things I would have considered a hobby, and I was heavily influenced and guided by being responsible and following the traditional logic of going to college, getting a good job, getting married, having children, and retiring from that good job. I did all of that (minus the retiring). Although I could eventually see my way clear of the pressures of most of all those titles, the one that held a hard hold on me was mommy.
I have a mother who put everything on hold for her two daughters and a grandmother who had been a stay at home mom to her four children, and the expectation for me to be the same kind of mother was always looming. I bought into it and I almost died because of it. Both literally and figuratively. I had a pretty serious miscarriage experience between my 2nd and 3rd sons that almost took my life, and as much as I know that things like just happen, my gut told me that my behavior beforehand played a role. I had gone about the work of being a master mommy. I stayed on top of everything that came up with my children and there wasn’t day that went by that I didn’t go to bed thoroughly exhausted and worried about the things I needed to do the next day. A near death experience will absolutely put things in perspective and that incident put me in a head space of defiance because I had made so many decisions based on my role as mother that I wasn’t sure who I was anymore. I began to wonder if I ever knew who I was.
My first act of rebellion was to have a home birth despite what anyone else, including my husband, said. This was the post miscarriage pregnancy and I was taking back control of my perception of myself as a woman. After giving birth to a healthy baby boy after a labor that included me walking around my house, chilling with two good girlfriends, lying in the bed, and whatever else I wanted to do, I was addicted to defining my femininity and womanhood. Ironically, the act of becoming a mother for the third time made me feel powerful enough to say that I didn’t want to be solely identified as any one thing, including mama.
That mentality’s not readily accepted and women are downright vilified for being aware of all parts of themselves. I was called, outright, selfish by people close to me when I said in a matter of fact tone, “I’m not just the boys mother. Call me Simone.” My encounters with people who immediately labeled my vocal decision to acknowledge and identify all of the titles I like about myself as something bad, have pushed me to be an even bigger champion of women embracing all of the parts that create their sum total.
I guess people confuse the conscious choice to reject mother as the only title of importance with neglect of motherly responsibility. Hell no, that’s not the case at all. Grant it, there are women who do abandon their post as mother, but that’s a separate issue altogether. What I’m speaking on is getting stuck in any one role will eventually extinguish any fire or passion that once existed in it. I’m saying that it’s completely possible, and necessary, to balance, serve, and maintain everything we want to be as women. One of the many beautiful things about being a woman is our innate ability to multitask under any circumstances.
- An earth bound spirit
- Mama Moon to the dopest three Suns called Malcolm, Maasai, and Namala
- Fresh ass co-parent to Courtney
- Writer of the truth
- A griot
- A personal empowerment advocate
- Anything else I want to be known as whenever I feel like it
- A carefree black girl disguised as all of the titles I bestow upon myself.
The mother shaming shit needs a rest. Point blank. If we did that, it’d make it easier for women to become whole and ultimately be even better mothers. I might catch some flack for this, but it’ll make it easier for the mothers who don’t want to super involved to admit that motherhood might not be a fit and then make healthy arrangements for their offspring. Maybe “mom sabbaticals” would exist without the guilt or fear of being called a bad mother. Little girls would have examples of full, grown, developed feminine energies that respect and revere their complete selves. It would free a lot of women up to be confident in openly participating in co-parenting situations with former partners (if the the father is healthy of course). The balance is needed now. The attacks on women who know exactly how they feel (either way) about motherhood is ridiculous.
So I’ll close with the sentiment that I’m cool with the thought of my boys growing up and being their own people because they watched their mother be her own person while still loving them and protecting them. They’re my suns, not my boyfriends and Simone is Simone is Simone.
Comment below. Share any thoughts you have 🙂