Gross wants people to drop the shame and normalize parenting
When you meet people for the first time what do you tell them about yourself? Typical answers include where you are from, where you work, what you do for a living, and sometimes where you live.
How often is your title of mother included in that description?
Too often our society makes us choose. Are we an employee or a mother? Are we an entrepreneur or a mother? Are we an activist or a mother?
A few years ago, after struggling on both sides, I decided I would no longer choose. I was no longer “this or that.” I am this, that, and I am a mother.
It’s how I introduce myself. I let go of the shame and no longer fed into the stereotypes of being a mother, a Black mother, and a single Black mother. Too many times I’ve heard stories in Facebook groups from mothers struggling with what they view as their obligations as employees, girlfriends, wives, friends, community leaders, and mothers. Often they felt they had to choose between their work commitments, community commitments, and those to their children. Many of them did not feel welcomed at events because their children weren’t welcomed. Some even noticed “friends” were no longer inviting them because they “figured you didn’t have a babysitter.”
I’m calling bullshit on it all!
We are not mothers after work or on weekends!
This Mother’s Day and beyond I encourage everyone who is a mother figure to step into their role fully and unapologetically.
I encourage us all to normalize parenting. Normalize mothering!
What does that look like?
Get comfortable introducing yourself as a mother. My bio explicitly says FEARLESS Mom. That is intentional.
Whenever possible for you, show up in spaces with your little ones in tow. Don’t worry about others being uncomfortable. Children are people and should be around other people.
As much as financially feasible, tell (not ask) your employer you are unable to come in on your day off or stay late due to your commitments to your children. Honestly, if we all did this more employers would have to take notice and do better. If companies can allow dogs they can damn sure allow children.
Support other mothers. Seriously, we need each other. We are struggling in these streets. Invite them into your homes and everyone just take a nap. Naps are the best.
Lastly, be gentle with yourself. We are our hardest critics but we are all doing the best we can with the tools we have. If you need help, reach out, ask, build and nurture a community of supporters.
Let’s all do our part to not raise asshole children because other folks who were once children forgot they were once children and act like assholes to those with children.
I say again, NORMALIZE PARENTING.
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!
Melody is a full-time director of marketing and communications at a local nonprofit, communications strategist side hustler, domestic violence advocate and survivor, podcast co-host, supporter of the arts and community, singer of Bohemian Rhapsody, and FEARLESS mom to the awesome KGB. She can be found on all platforms at @iammelodyco.