When The Time Comes: An Ode To The Kind of Mother I Want To Be
With Mother's Day being right around the corner, it has me considering my future. Will I have children? And if I do, what kind of mother will I be?
I guess I can only look at the ones I am surrounded and inspired by and pull their most favorable traits into my future self and pour them into my future children.
It wouldn't be right to pen an article on motherhood without starting with the woman who brought me into this world; the one who has so selfishly dedicated 21 years to loving me, caring for me, and ensuring my safety and freedom is kept in tact.
My mother, Rhonda Galloway, is the essence of who I am who I hope to be. She puts her self third in order to put her God, and family + friends, in first and second place. So many people can say that when they reached the age of 18, their parents abandoned them and left to face this world on their own. But I am one of few who are fortunate to say that my mother still leads and guides me, helps me when needed, and still puts my needs before her own. For that, I am eternally grateful.
Growing up, I longed for nothing. I remember my mother working two jobs and my grandmother + other family members stepping in to help her. It still amazes me how she balanced both jobs, playing a role in our church, and still managed to be at every important moment and making sure that my sister and I met every deadline for school projects.
It is because of her that the future mother in me will work hard to ensure that my children have all of their needs met.
Since 2020, Vanessa's strength has amazed me. To be 100% candid, I didn't pay too. much attention to her before then. Vanessa reminds me so much of my mother in the sense that she is a protector and will do anything to ensure that her children are loved and cared for.
The most notable thing about the way Vanessa parents, at least to me, is her friendship with her daughters, especially Natalia. So many parents, specifically in the Black community, have a notion that you shouldn't befriend your children; but I have vowed to do the exact opposite. There is an important value in knowing your children, honoring them, and respecting them. In return, they will do the same.
Over the past three years, Vanessa has shown us the overpowering love that comes with motherhood; it overpowers fear, depression, anxiety, and a mountain of other things. It is Vanessa's love, strength, and friendship that truly will play a role in the type of mother I aim to be.
In a 2022 interview with Vogue, Natalia quoted: “People may not remember what you did or may not remember what you said, but they will remember how you made them feel,” Natalia says, telling her mother about one of the many pieces of advice she’s taken to heart over the years. “And so that’s the lesson that I’ve carried throughout my life daily. You always make sure to treat people with kindness and go out of your way to really just make genuine connections with people.”
I discovered Jayla in mid-2022 and I have been taking notes ever since. Jayla is not only the type of mother I want to be, but she is the type of woman, sister, wife, and friend I hope to be. Her vulnerability in sharing life moments and being unapologetic in who she is truly inspires me to strive towards sharing more of me.
Jayla's patience and tenderness with her children, Braylon and Nyla, is something I long to give my future children; it brings about a certain level of comfort in knowing that your mother is a safe haven that you can run to during your most difficult, and at the same time most inspiring, moments.
Overtime, Jayla has shared beautiful moments with her family including the most emotional ones. I've seen so many Black mothers afraid to share their emotions, especially in front of their children. But anyone who knows [of] Jayla, knows that she is bound to cry at any given moment. This is the most beautiful part of Jayla's parenting style to me: her openness and willingness to show her children herself. knowing that it will give them the safety to do the same.
Privacy is something that is super important to me and these next two mamas have it down to a T. Rihanna just shared her baby's name with the world yesterday, after months of begging.
What this showed me? Move at your own pace. This applies to so many things, especially motherhood. Wait
until YOU'RE ready: to share your babies name, show their face, announce your pregnancy, to accept visitors, whatever the case may be.
Motherhood is hard. The toll it takes on your physical and mental being is enough to cause anyone to break. Taking the time to love on your little ones and build your own routine without outside voices is so important.
Yes, I am fully aware that Rih is a celebrity and that brings about an entirely new set of challenges for her, but the way in which she protects and shields her children and family as well as sets her own standards is definitely something I will be applying when it comes down to my season of motherhood.
Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a Beyonce STAN! But when it comes to motherhood, one of my key takeaways from the Queen is: learning from the first time around.
When Blue Ivy was born, it took Beyonce forever to announce her name and show her face, Even then, our access to Beyonce's now manager (if you know, you know) was limited. Upon sharing Blue with the world, Beyonce and her family faced a lot of backlash when it came to Blue's hair, clothes, and even facial features.
The superstar is now a mother of 3 after welcoming twins Rumi and Sir. This time, photos of the twins are even more limited than those of Blue Ivy. As I mentioned earlier: learn from the first time around.
Of course this notion can be applied to so many things: sleep schedules, family and friends, work patterns, anything! But I love the way in which Bey has opted to protect her sanity as well as her children from scrutiny and judgement.
Each of these women have inspired me in more ways than one; but their lessons in motherhood can be transformed to fit any sectors of our lives.