By LaTasha McGill
There is an unwritten rule with a stigma attached defining a black woman’s love for her children by how much of herself she devotes and how much of her resources she gives to them. It’s 2020 and I still see (via social media) that black women struggle with spending money on themselves instead of their children. If you don’t know me or if this is your first time reading anything I’ve written, I am a single mother of four daughters. My daughters are all young adults now but when they were little, I, too, thought every dime I had was meant for them and doing anything for myself was selfish and didn’t make me a good mother.
Many women (especially those of color) grew up witnessing their mothers work themselves profusely to make ends meet and create a life for their children that included loving, lasting memories. Meanwhile, our mothers were neglecting themselves to give us the world with home cooked meals, extracurricular activities and over-priced school field trips. Yes, most mothers will sacrifice it all for their children; even at the expense of their physical, mental and emotional well-being. But that’s not healthy. Who made these rules? I get it. It is a heartbreaking sight to see a woman well-dressed, clean and put together and the children looking as if they are thrown away orphans. However, that is not what we’re discussing here. We’re talking about mothers who work hard, love their children with every fiber of their being and desire nothing but the absolute best for them. Society has told us that good mothers never put themselves first, their happiness was forfeited when they had children and their children are now their lives. This illogical way of thinking is the reason why mothers have so much unexpressed anger and bitterness. Not at her children, but at herself. She is afraid to voice how she really feels out of fear of being excommunicated by her family and friends and labeled not a good mother.
When I started thinking for myself and realized that my worth as a mother wasn’t tied to how much of my resources were devoted to my children or how many photos of them I post on my social media page ( that last comment is a post for a different day), my paradigm shifted in a better direction. My children are not my identity. Although I enjoy being their mother and they bring my life great joy, a mother is not all that I am. I believe because I do not have a co-dependent relationship with them, it allows me to be a better mother with more clarity and focus. When mothers are free to love themselves wholly and completely it opens a whole new world for them. Mothers need to feel encouraged, loved and supported in this hood (motherhood). Women shouldn’t feel guilty for pursing their dreams and passions outside of their children. A happy mother is the best mom for any child.
Ladies, you should not feel guilty because you want to go to school, start a business or take a vacation without your children. You are just as important as they are. Children desire to see their mothers happy and healthy. Sometimes, we must say no to them and say yes to ourselves.
Latasha “Tasha Mac” McGill is a contributing writer for the Pedestal Project, LLC. Tasha Mac is a grammar geek who is obsessed with coffee, high heels, lipstick, 90s R&B and Comic book movies. She is also a vegetarian whose idea of “turning up” is being in bed by 9pm, working out, watching HGTV and reading a book.
Connect with her on Facebook @ Latasha McGill, on Instagram @ TashaMac523, on Twitter @ LadyT523