Mother’s Day is right around the corner and it’s given me reason to pause and reflect on my mommihood journey.
Like really, how am I doing?
I guess the best person to ask is my son, Deucey, but he’s only 2 so, unfortunately, he’s not quite ready to write a blog and what my husband might say varies based on the day.
Ross and I binge-watched The Real Housewives of Atlanta a few days ago and as we watched Kandi Burress and Todd Tucker’s storyline unfold he couldn’t help but side-eye me a few times and I couldn’t help but cringe a few times knowing her struggle is mine too!
Kandi is a #BOSSMOMMI if I’ve ever seen one, and I’m her, minus the millions and the mansions… for now!
If you haven’t watched this season of The Bravo series or you don’t keep up with these housewives, well this reference won’t make sense, so let’s just get into my story.
A Mommi who desires to be financially successful and create opportunities for her family and others.
Now, this desire burns deeply…
Just like the workout fanatic that wakes up every morning at 5 am to get a workout in, NO MATTER WHAT.
Many of us can’t begin to wrap our minds around that kind of inclination but it’s intrinsic, wired so deeply in the person’s DNA that no matter what else is going on they must feed that yearning in order to operate at their best.
I competed in track and field. I wanted to be the best 400m runner in the world and I did it! For a decade I was the best 400m runner in the world but I never really stopped to understand how track and field served my need to be a BOSS. As athletes we are rarely looked at as the boss. We have coaches, who we pay, who tell us what to do. We have agents and managers who we pay, but they collect our money, then pay us… CRAZY, now that I think about it.
So, although we’re technically the boss and generating the income and paying everyone, there is this weird role reversal that works, to some extent. (After writing this and re-reading it, I’m realizing I may want to explore this dynamic further for a future blog) I digress…
After retiring from the track I knew I wanted to start a family with my hubby and college sweetheart!
We immediately started trying and got pregnant really quickly. I knew exactly what kind of mother I wanted to be, before having my son (I chuckle now when I think of how confident I was) but the truth is, I had no idea who I was without track and field, so there was no way to know what kind of mother I would be and how much motherhood would change me.
Like most mothers do. There is nothing like the blessing of becoming pregnant and creating life and then being fortunate enough to have a healthy baby and live to see him. (Black women are 4 times more likely to die during childbirth than white women in the US, so when I say it’s a blessing I MEAN IT)
I was in heaven, well most days, when he wasn’t staying up all night, screaming from colic or suffering from RSV, which breaks your heart as a Mommi to witness.
Then after a few months, I realized, I was not the Mommi that could stay home all day and truly be happy.
I needed to still be able to work. I needed to be able to create, to contribute, to connect.
Some days it sure feels like it!
I’ll never forget the words of Karen F, this incredible judge, mommi, and wife that I met in NY. When I asked her how she balances it all, she said, “I don’t, I’ve come to grips with the fact that on the days I’m the best judge, I’m not the best mom, and on the days I’m the best wife, I’m not the best judge and I’m ok with that. I prioritize what’s most important at that moment and give 100%.”
That has become my truth too.
I am acutely aware that it’s impossible to be the best mommi while actively working on a project but sometimes, like Kandi, I take on too many projects. Then I have little time to give to my hubby and my son in the vein of achieving this dream I have for myself and my family.
And to be fair, it’s not just them. I make little time for self-care, relaxation, and fun.
It’s impossible to give everything the appropriate time in every moment and meet everyone needs but I strive to get closer to this mythological goal every day.
I want to be sure that my hubby and son know that they are NUMBER ONE in my heart and that I truly work this hard because, well one I’m wired this way, but two, because I love them so much and I never want our family to struggle.
This pandemic has shown all of us how quickly things can change. How one minute the things we think are invincible, indestructible can mean little to nothing and yes… I KNOW MONEY ISN’T EVERYTHING, trust me I would do everything I’m doing now if I wasn’t getting paid or if society didn’t require us to have it to survive, but even in times like these when things are out of our control and people cannot earn a living WE STILL NEED MONEY!
Yes, I’m a bad mommi when I’m with my son and he calls my name ten times before I hear him because I’m composing an email, and I’m a terrible mommi when I don’t realize he needs a diaper change because he’s too far for me to smell it and I’m working but I also believe it’s irresponsible to not plan for his future and mine. I never want to be the Mommi that has to depend on my children so I want to put in the work now so that I can retire and be there for him when he gets older. I want him to see what hard work looks like early on, I want him to be proud of me!
I’m committed to having a finish lin though. To giving it my all in now to provide the kind of future I want for my son and then, no matter what, whether I reach that magical number I have in my mind, I will slow down and put my family first! I will go to all his recitals, all his games, do homework with him and cherish the moments that fly by so quickly.
There is no perfect way to be a Mommi, there is no manual, (although I’m working on a cool one for MommiNation) there are just incredible women all over the world doing the best they can with what they have.
So Kandi, I see you, and I understand the struggle and I’m happy to have a glimpse in the mirror. I’m motivated to keep on my journey to be a dope ass #BOSSMOMMI but I’m also going to double down on focusing on being present with my sonshine when I’m with him. I’m going to make more time to be an amazing wife and I’m going to take more time to take care of myself!
Shout out to all the other #BOSSMOMMIES out there! Keep setting the bar high… We’re right behind you.
Until next time