Awhile ago I was on Instagram and someone I follow had liked a text post that went something like “Sorry ladies but a ring is supposed to come before a baby – and that woman who didn’t do it in this order were living wrongly”. It was haughty – it had an air of woman who are married first before children are better. The person who posted this justified this idea by of course quoting the bible. Things like this (as a single mother with no ring) don’t bother me. But there are a few things wrong with this outlook which is why I decided to write a post about it.
The post is only directed towards women! Of course one would blame the woman in an idea as archaic as this one because a woman can have sex with herself and conceive all on her own (loll) It also reduces a union between two people to simply…. a ring.
In the comments a lot of women were agreeing with this and its always the women who feel like they are better than “baby mommas” that will agree with a male centered idea such as this one. It is one thing to want marriage and then kids for your own life – it is another thing to try and say someone else’s path is wrong. I wish women could uplift each other more I wish women would realize that their truths are not every other woman’s.
The term “baby momma” used to really bother me. Lets be honest the phrase is usually used in a negative way but lately I’ve been thinking the phrase can be taken back like so many other degrading words and phrases are beginning to be. I cannot be shamed because I’ve had a child without being married first and neither should anyone else be. Let’s change that narrative its degrading and demeaning towards women.
Does the bible say for you to be married before you have children? Yeah. It also says a whole lot of things like do not lie or steal or disobey your parents … I’m sure there is something the bible tells us not to do that we have all done. And to be honest the whole idea that marriage needs to come before kids is a old patriarchal view meant to literally keep and control women because we are the ones who can produce life. Women do not need a ring to have children if that is what she wants then that is her truth and if she doesn’t get a ring before kids that’s okay too.
These are difficult times. Weird times. Hateful times. Lets all work on not putting each other down and spreading only love.
For all of our differences we are really all the same.
This post isn’t meant to bash married women or women who want to be married before children. Its just meant to give some lovin to single mothers.
Recently, I have been caught up in wanting. Wanting to be able to do more with my friends and hang out more – to simply throw responsibility as a mother to the side and just be. I know that this want isn’t aligned with my purpose simply because it is a want derived from seeing my friends and other women my age be able to carelessly enjoy life. In away I wanted to feel that freedom not realizing that being a mother is a whole different type of freedom. It is creation.
Its taken me awhile to truly be able to appreciate my life the way it is. To be. To flow. In a society that values reason it can be hard to tap into the feminine – the flow of life. Surrendering – giving up control and allowing myself to be is the biggest lesson I am learning this year as a mom and as an artist. There is no handbook to follow some days I wake up and I want to start 3 new paintings, cook a full meal and be a active energized mother. Other days I want to lay on the couch all day with Sage watch LMN movies and reruns of chopped and snack all day. Neither is better than the other. How productive I am doesn’t make up the value of who I am as a person. In the beginning of motherhood I struggled a lot with balance with my needs – sages needs – my partners needs. It took a lot out of me. I never knew what would bother me or what kind of day I would have.
Aligning with yourself, with your body, your goals – dreams ( the actual dreamworld dreams) all of these things set you up to be fully okay with life – with where you are even if its not where you may want to be at the moment. To live and breathe in the present time is probably one of the hardest things to do in this age. To forgive yourself- to heal. To be open to all and any (including none) possibilities. This is freedom. And motherhood at first to me was a loss of this but freedom is a concept that has been so mistreated and taught by the ones who want to control freedom and box it in to mean one thing. Freedom is motherhood and it is also deciding not to have kids and it is anything that resonates with the higher you and makes you feel good. Sometimes when I have bummy days I have to give myself pep talks – its always go after your goals – chase this – chase that – I have to tell myself you’re not crazy – you’re aligned and if today my soul says do nothing I wont – simple and if the next day my soul says create 5 paintings ill do that. Trust. It isn’t hard. But its been made to seem hard. I have learned to trust the flow.
Motherhood like everything else in life has highs and lows. However, sadly there is a standard a grading system of what “good” parenting looks like. I’ve struggled with this idea myself (and still do) I’m not sure what the rules are for good parenting. Am I graded by my performance day by day? Do I get a gold star some days and just okay days on others? Do I get extra points if I read all the characters in the books at story-time with different voices? I don’t know what exactly “good” parenting is but I know what it looks like.
These days with social media and more and more people becoming aware of the magic that is in creating life- birthing and everything that comes with it. Things like baby wearing, and breastfeeding and all the ethnic things that are essentially African in culture that are somehow becoming whitewashed by social media it’s daunting tryin to fit in as a young black mother.
I promise you my life is not an Instagram feed. There are days were I feel like supermom and days were I feel like the most shittiest parent on earth. I’ve had to learn that, that is okay.
Because come on now. Even when people put on Instagram how they feel at their lowest lows there is always a little truth we are hiding when it comes to parenting.
You’re never “ready” to have kids. Not a million parenting classes will prepare you for what parenting actually is.
It is a practice. A constant day by day. Minute by minute process.
I don’t even know what I’m trying to say but. Motherhood is hard. And I might sound like a whining baby. But I can’t promise I’ll be like the mothers on Instagram that I spend hours scrolling through their feeds. I can’t promise I won’t fail my child at times.
I can’t promise anything. I’m not doing “good” parenting. Good parenting is fake. I’m taking this all in.