My Truth About Motherhood

I wish that I could declare that I’m a great mother.

I wish that I could boldly affirm that every sacrifice was unselfish, that every decision was solely in the best interest of my son, that strategic planning was always implemented, and that I took advantage of every grand opportunity. I really wish that I could.  But I can’t.

To be clear, I am not a bad mother.  As a matter of fact, my son and I are very close.

At fifteen, I became his mother.  Even with tremendous support, my foundation for motherhood was molded by fear:  fear of disappointing people who believed in me; fear of confirming stereotypes; fear of raising an African-American male in the inner city. So every “A” earned, every achieved accomplishment, and all three relocations, were steeped in dispelling any of those fears at any given time.

He’s twenty-seven now, and from birth I’ve loved him deeply and unconditionally.  However, for far too long, my fear for him felt greater than my love. I still fear some, but I no longer dwell or move or plan in that space because neither his greatness nor mine can thrive in such an irrational environment. He gets that, so much so that during his roughest times – especially during his roughest times — he has vehemently refused to allow me to deflect my fears onto him.

“Come home, just to rebound,” I have pleaded in my moments of panic.

“Okay, Mom,” he’s responded .

Yet, he’s never shown up.

Maybe one day he will, maybe not. I’m learning that he’ll be fine either way.  For that, I am grateful.

For over two decades, I have allowed senseless fears to deprive me from appreciating the fullness of motherhood. Yes, my pregnancy was a disappointment to those who cared about me, and yes, I increased the teenage pregnancy rate by one that year. Years later I would learn  that raising an African-American male anywhere in America – that raising a  child period – is challenging.  But none of that truly mattered anyway.  The disappointments were short lived, and  my hard work from then until now has paid off greatly.

My son is building his life brick by brick.  He has fumbled, even  fallen, but pure grit – the same grit possessed by countless of seldom acknowledged and productive African-American men throughout many inner cities of America – has kept him from showing up on my familiar doorstep and walking through my open door.  And, although so many years ago he opted for warmer climates, he proudly answers to a nickname that’s inked in his heart and represented on his arm – Philly.

There’s really nothing to fear. I get it now. 

I know better, so I’m obligated to do better.  And I will.  Hopefully, some years from now during the rewrite, I will have earned the right to audaciously declare, “I am a great mother!”

Until then, love hard and fear less.

Truly yours,

Mo~

P.S. – “LIKE” me @ http://www.facebook.com/ms.clarkcontemplates! Follow me on Twitter @ TrulyYours_Mo!  Thanks a million!

12 thoughts on “My Truth About Motherhood

  1. Wonderful Blog Mo!!! In so many ways you have spoken to the question that I have been asking myself lately. I often wonder “Did I do too much?” “Did I do too little?” “Did I properly prepare her to be TRULY independent and self sustaining?” . Sometimes I scare myself with the answers.
    Thank you for the beautifully written, thought provoking peek into your world.
    Many blessings to you always.

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    • Thanks for your continual support, Tonya! I so admire the mothers who are confident in the process of motherhood. Unfortunately (or not), I’m not one of them. So, I’m constantly reflecting so that I can get better at it. My legacy is going to be one of the most magnificent grandmother. LOL! My son already checks me for breaking the rules that I’m imposed upon him. He thinks that I’ve gotten soft. In actuality, in hindsight, I realize that the option with him wasn’t necessarily the best one, so I’m going for something different. LOL!

      Continue to reflect, but know that since you’ve worked hard, it will all work out. She’ll be just fine.

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  2. Mo. Beautifully said. I feel like you were speaking for me. It definitely is a different world when you let fear go.

    Thanks for this affirmation. Love it.

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    • Thanks, Nik! It definitely is. Letting that fear go definitely made it more and more easy to let him be. It’s not a smooth flight, but he’s really learning how to land. And, thank you, thank you, thank you for your unwavering support!

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  3. Enlightening! As I have said to you since he was 16, Brent will find a way to make it happen, a trait he learned from his mother…

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  4. EXCELLENT!!!!! And for the record Your a GREAT MOTHER!!! Bringing a child into this crazy world is very fearful. Being a young parent you do go through the shame of letting everyone down who had faith in you; but as an adult with a respectable adult child I thank God I had the opportunity to grow with my child. We learned so much together and we was able to catch our own mistakes and go through them together. Parenting does not comes with instructions and people always have their own opinions of what you should have been doing other than getting pregnant at such a young age… But look at the continued result…. Everything he has gained he has gained it from his mother (Strength, responsibility & faith) You have defied societies odds by single handedly raising a respectable young man. He could have been a lot of things (a thug/ a menace to society) but he is a good kid… he’s your kid. That is how your grand parenting is measured.

    So be fearless my sister and stay faithful. YOU’VE DONE A HELL OF A JOB!!!! (APPLAUSE, APPLAUSE)

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    • THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU so much for your support and for your encouraging words! You are absolutely correct! I definitely wouldn’t trade him for the world (at least not today…LOL), and believe me, he wouldn’t let me. LOL! As you said, a huge part of parenting is also about learning about yourself, and growing. Courtney is an amazing young lady, and I’m proud of you both!

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