Demonizing Motherhood

attachment parenting, Social Justice, Women's Health

In the last few weeks/months we’ve seen a plethora of celebrity pregnancy announcements and pregnancy photo shoots. Women like Beyonce, Ciara, Blac Chyna, and Serena. All have been beautiful!!!! Yet I continue to find myself falling down the rabbit hole called “the comment section”. I can hear yall now…. “No…. don’t EVER read the comments!”. I already know this, but since I’ve done it, I may as well vent.

Never in my life have I seen so many folks hate on the miracle that is “giving life”. After noticing this in the comment sections, I began to see it in real life and realizing it applied even to my own life. Black people are quick to tell you not to have any more children no matter your circumstances, even villify you for having more than to, or go so far as to scare you away from the thought of child birth.

So here we are again, black folks policing one another for doing something as normal as being pregnant and giving birth.

Please explain to me, why are we like this?

I found myself guilty of hiding my pregnancy from those close to me and my community, at the risk of gossip and chatter. I didn’t announce that I was pregnant with Jojo until I literally had no choice. I was 30 weeks pregnant and back in my hometown where I knew someone would eventually see me. I tried to get pregnant and we planned this baby, yet I felt shame! We have programmed ourselves to be embarrassed about natural things.

If people like Ciara, Beyonce, Blac Chyna, and Serena are slandered at every turn for getting pregnant (all under various circumstances, not that it should matter anyway), what hope is there for average folks like us? Ciara was ripped to shreds by black men and women alike for her photo shoot with new husband and toddler, Beyonce accused of blasphemy and glorifying what pregnancy is/should be, Blac Chyna was called every name under the sun including a gold digging bitch, and Serena somehow hates herself and got pregnant out wedlock (all in the same sentence).

Someone explain to me why we hate ourselves so much, why do we hate the thought of our sisters bringing life into this world. Why is it so hard to believe that we might equate ourselves to goddesses for being able to sustain another life? We are doing things that are at the very root of who we are and what our bodies are made for and people hate us for it. It’s disgusting to say the very minimum. I can’t say that I’m very surprised either, I’ve expressed my disappointment in black men in previous post… They slander us at every turn and are silent when we need them. Yes, I still see you. Pretend revolutionaries, if you tear down your women… You are tearing down the base of your so-called revolution.

There is a literal criminalization of black mothers in the justice department, if something happens to our children we are directly at fault. Even if its at the hands of another, but God forbid we are pregnant and happy about it… we are heathens for that as well. Having immediate access to videos of our husbands, brothers, sisters, and children gunned down in the streets is a form of reproductive injustice. Black women are literally afraid to have children. Even with this reality, women are attempting to celebrate these moments and OTHER BLACK PEOPLE WANT TO RIP THIS MOMENT FROM THEM!

Stop it, stop contributing to the Jezebel, welfare queen, single mother rhetoric and start celebrating these women. Celebrate normal everyday women along with the celebrities. Stop judging women for doing things that are natural and normal. Don’t you dare comment on how many children a black woman has, don’t ask if they are done, don’t tell your horrific birth stories, don’t do any of it. We are already victims of sexism AND racism, don’t contribute to it. Misogynoir is real, and if you don’t know what it is, look it up.

It’s time to start celebrating our womanhood.

5 Year Goals

attachment parenting, Women's Health

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to my five year goals lately. Mainly because I’ve been feeling so inspired by women that “have it all”, and I mean women that have created their own definition of success and live/love it. We are no longer living in a society where you have to follow a strict mold to achieve success and feel successful. Stay At home moms are feeling liberated and creating opportunities to work from home, women are creating and running their own (successful and thriving) corporations, among many other things! 

This personal inspiration for me started during finals week, which just so happen to be the same week Lemonade was released. Yes, the two correlate 😉 I was feeling really torn about my major(pre-nursing) and really stressing about my successes as a college student. Then I heard lemonade, during a real time of emotional turmoil. This was Bey, having it all but admitting that it all came with sacrifice and required you to live your own truth whatever that may be. 

Then I changed my major to health promotion, and my whole business plan fell into place. I ultimately created an opportunity to do MORE than I was limiting myself to with nursing, in addition to creating a business I could conduct from home. This would give me time to really devote to the home front! Something I really stressed about, I constantly felt torn between a successful career and having a large family where I could be a true presence.

So I’ve compiled a timeline of my five year goals, just to put it out into the galaxy with all the good vibes you guys give. As well as to create accountability for myself, now other people know. There are expectations out there now. My goals include both career goals and family goals, because both are important to me.

So here they are, we’ll start with year 1:

Within a year

1. Expand my DogVacay clientele, by at least 10. (I want clear and easily tracked goals)

2. Build my resume through individual projects. Put together and lead at least two major projects or events.

3. Have baby Robinson number 2!

Within 1.5 years

1. Earn bachelors degree in health promotion concentration in education.

2. Obtain doula and lactation consultant certification.

3. Obtain personal training certification.

Within 2 years

1. Launch birthing business

2. Improve credit score (720)

3. Move to either New Orleans or Atlanta suburbs.

4. Obtain job as either studio/gym/practice manager

Within 3 years

1. Buy first house

2. Have baby Robinson #3

Within 4 years

1. Begin process of adopting baby Robinson #4(which could be very lengthy)

2. Have consistent clientele with birthing business, at least 4 clients per month, and leading regular group exercise classes.

Within 5 years

1. Birthing business successful enough to work full time.

2. Homeschooling all children at home

3. Start small online boutique related to birthing business. 

I realize this is all very ambitious, but I’m trying to break each goal down into smaller easy to accomplish steps. This increases my chances of success. And they all lead into another step further down the line. My big goal is to run my own birthing business from home, and being a presence at home so I can homeschool my children. This may be a small scale dream for some of you guys but for me these are things that are most important to me and ways I will feel most fulfilled.

Empowerment: Playing Your Part

Social Justice

Empowering and Impacting the Black Community:
         During the release of Beyonce’s unapologetically black visual album Lemonade, I noticed a truly detrimental epidemic. An onslaught of black people who couldn’t give credit in places it was obviously due because they couldn’t get over the “But what have you done for us” complex. Now don’t get me wrong I’m not blinded my beyhive goggles, I’m very obviously a fan but Beyonce’ has made some community contributions she just hasn’t bragged about them. People are so used to every act of charity broadcasted across social media that if it hasn’t been posted on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter then it hasn’t happened. This is not the case, in reality you should be wary of those that do things and make a show of it. You should always question the motives of those people. I could attach a list of charities The Carters contribute to regularly, but you could also do the research. Research is something our generation has also turned a blind eye to. Why are you being subdued by the media into believing she is exploiting black people and feminism? Well for one she has contributed an entire essay to feminism, more specifically gender equality. Then she put together a world tour of only female artist (from production to musicians). But once she narrows her scope to black women and their struggles you have a hard time believing the hype? That’s fine; I digress because my point is… WHO ARE YOU TO ASK WHAT SOMEONE ELSE HAS CONTRIBUTED TO THE BLACK COMMUNITY? What have you yourself contributed? I’m sure you have openly contributed to its exploitation: reposting gorilla memes comparing him to dead black youth, sharing fight videos, endorsing these shows that make us look like animals, asking your local black business owners for discounts? So I ask again, what have you contributed that places you above the acts of others?
         Before you try to deflect by asking me what I have personally done, I’ll start with this message I’m sharing with you. By blogging I’m making you increasingly aware of the injustices you ignore, and more aware of your own problematic behavior. By no means am I perfect, but I am contributing nonetheless. I have also joined the Black Student Union at my current institution; we are making ourselves a larger presence in the community and actively going out to make a difference. As an intern I am seeking out students of color who have fallen through the cracks and catching them, as well as creating opportunities for them to further their education. So again what are you actively doing that places you above others and their contributions?
         There are so many ways that you can contribute to the empowerment of our community, so many organizations you can join, and so many ways you can utilize your personal talents. So lets talk about some of the things you can do, I’ll start small.
1. Social Media- Use your voice! It seems trivial but every time you repost an injustice or draw awareness to a cause you are opening a few more minds. Create an online presence!
2. Join some organizations- find an organization that has values similar to your own, or simply start your own organization. Anyway to get involved.
3. Attend black institutions such as black churches and black colleges.
4. Seek out leadership positions in the community. May it be at work, school, or even within the government. We need representation and adequate leadership everywhere. Be a hand up instead of watching other people pass you up.
5. Go out and vote, encourage other people to vote! Not just in the presidential election but start small and start local. Those are the people that truly affect you and the amount of power our president has.
6. Do community service, this includes neighborhood beautification! It’s not about getting out the hood anymore but making it better. Gentrification is a real thing; it’s also a result of letting our neighborhoods fall apart. So get out there in the community and do your part! Take care of our people; even if you believe you have nothing, you still have enough to give.
7. Educate yourself outside the classroom. Read books, newspapers, and scientific journals! Knowledge is everywhere and it’s harder for you to be taken advantage of when you have the power of knowledge. Stop taking in that trashy television show and all that gossip. What you put in will soon produce fruit.
8. Do business with black owned businesses and stop asking for discounts. While you’re at it stop doing business with people that don’t appreciate your business. If you’re being exploited for them to make a dollar, its safe to say you should keep your money. On that note if these people wont hire you and you are obviously qualified, start your own business. Create a legacy for your children.
9. Stop sending your children where they are not wanted, joining groups where they are the only black children, sending them to schools with no diversity. You think you are helping them but you are further aiding in their brainwashing and making them numb to oppression. I’m not saying send them to bad schools or to pull them out of schools. But as the child of a teacher I know that there are options, and lots of them.
10. Finally, stop bashing other black people for the way in which they choose to empower other black people. You have your method and they have theirs. It’s as simple as that. Your criticism is further separating us during a time when we need to demonstrate unity. Criticism is one thing and accountability is another.
This isn’t me trying to tell you how to live your lives, but holding you accountable. You know how to get involved now, so take part in the revolution. There will always be those who actively take part and those who stand on the sidelines and critique. Even if you just stand idly by you are benefitting from the acts of others.