It’s hard being a woman!
No matter how much you do, it never feels like enough.
The important thing is, you have to learn to quiet the noise and center the things that are most important to you!
What makes you happy, fulfilled, and whole? Then build a life around that…
FIVE YEARS LATER
I never thought it would be FIVE YEARS before I would finally think it’s the right time for baby number 2, but here I am and I’m finally ready!
So, how did I get here?
Well, there was never any doubt that I wanted to be a Mommi.
I’ve been very blessed to have an amazing and loving extended family, I’ve seen strong long-lasting marriages, and healthy family relationships and knew that I wanted that for myself.
My parents created a near-perfect family experience for my sister and I. Our family has always been together and my sister and I are only 15 months apart and I absolutely LOVE that. It’s like having a forever best friend and I couldn’t imagine my life without her. I loved my reality but never really put a lot of thought into what that must have looked like in the early days for my mom. Having two toddlers must have been a serious challenge. I just knew it would be me, especially after waiting for my track career to end, and not starting a family until I was in my 30s.
I now have even more respect for my mom and all the mommies out there that do back-to-back babies, my sister being one of them but chileeeee, it wasn’t for me.
MOTHERHOOD is the best hood but there is, without question, but there is so much that happens when you become a mommi that few people tell you about and I WASN’T READY FOR!!!
It’s the main reason I created MommiNation, and the reason I started blogging.
MommiNation has since blossomed into so much more, a virtual community,a clothing line, a non-profit, but I never want to get too far away from blogging and sharing my experiences because I know how much reading the stories of other incredible mommies sharing their struggles and their truths have helped me deal with mine.
So, I’m right back where I started, and where I want to be, sharing a very important moment on my mommihood journey.
It all happened on RHOA
I was inspired to write this blog based on this season of the Real Housewives of Atlanta. (I’m also in the midst of writing about my RHOA experience in its entirety, why I did it, what it was like, and some of the experiences I had that you the viewer didn’t get to see. I plan to share after the final Reunion Shows so definitely stay tuned for that!)
I digress, sharing this very difficult conversation that Ross and I had been having for years was equal parts scary and cathartic. Would people think I was crazy or selfish for not wanting another child or would they see my perspective and encourage me on my journey?
I got a little bit of both. Some of the toughest criticism came from one of my own cast mates, which I will address further down in this blog, but I was determined to go through the process authentically with the only other person that mattered, my hubby.
We were over the moon to have our first child
Before we get to the meat of the matter, I have to first give you a little insight into my relationship and our journey to parenthood.
Ross and I are college sweethearts. We’ve been together since 2003 and our relationship has been much like a fairytale. We had very few misunderstandings, disagreements, or difficult times. I know it sounds a little unbelievable, and I’m certainly not saying we were perfect but I think our relationship really flourished because of a combination of things.
- We loved each other instantly and deeply.
- We were fortunate to both be doing what we loved.
- Our sports forced us to be a part so when we were together we always made the best of it.
- We supported each other in every way and most importantly we COMMUNICATED very, very well.
When I became pregnant in 2016, Ross and I were over the moon!!!
We had wanted to become parents more than anything and the 9 (really 10) months of pregnancy were amazing. We were closer than ever and the anticipation of our firstborn was more than we could handle.
Then, DEUCEY ARRIVED, and the fairytale we had envisioned in our minds completely changed.
We had been two for 14 years and didn’t realize how much becoming three would change the dynamics of our relationship.
We were both so used to being free, jumping up and making moves whenever we wanted, having a full workload while being able to pull back and just be with each other whenever we wanted.
I originally didn’t think this would be too problematic because growing up in Jamaica, I was used to families having helpers or nannies to support new and growing families.
I never thought it would be an issue for us to have a live-in nanny to help us adjust but Ross was hell-bent on us doing the first 6 months on our own.
He called it “the trenches” and he wanted us to be in it together!
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Neither one of us had any idea what this trench would be like and it started off great, but after a while, I felt like he fell asleep in the trench.
He will say I ran him off, complaining about wanting things done “my way”, or I never pumped so he couldn’t help me with feedings but the hardest part for me wasn’t juggling motherhood and doing a lot of the difficult things myself it was that he didn’t realize how much I needed him. He was and still is an amazing Dad to Deucey, the best actually, he shows up for him in every way, but during that time, I didn’t feel like he was showing up for me.
We weren’t able to communicate the way we always did and that scared me. My husband is truly my best friend and I felt like I lost that in the early part of our parenting journey.
BUT IT WASN’T ALL ON ROSS…
I certainly played a big part in this too!
Deucey was very tough for me. He was the kid that most mommmies have second or third, and say that’s it! LOL
I know a lot of my struggles with Deuecey, I brought on myself, I certainly wasn’t the mother I thought I was gonna be in many ways and those choices made for a very difficult first couple of years. I nursed on-demand for over 2 years, I had a very difficult time disciplining him as I prioritized his happiness over everything and it made for a very demanding mommi-son relationship. I wish I had done better for sure.
THAT IS WHY I NEEDED TIME!
I love being a mom! I love my family and I often fantasized about having more children but I feared another crack in the foundation of my beautiful marriage. I wanted to guard my family of 3 as opposed to having a second child and losing my husband.
It has taken time… FIVE YEARS to be exact!
But, I finally feel heard and I also feel like Deucey is mature enough to be a big brother. Largely in part to Ross’ investment in his discipline and structure, our entire family is ready and that was MOST IMPORTANT TO ME!
I know I’m not the only one that struggled with this very difficult decision and sharing this issue publicly brought up a lot of discussions around womanhood and motherhood that were frankly quite disheartening.
I don’t read or watch a lot, I pride myself on quieting the noise around me so that I stay centered on what’s real for me. But I did catch my castmate Drew Sidora on WWHL, and when asked by Andy about my situation, I thought her comments were extremely damaging.
WATCH FOR YOURSELF:
Yes, Drew I agree, women are designed to carry children, but we should always have a voice on when we do. Shaming a woman into feeling that one child isn’t enough to call themself a mother and create a community for mothers or that she owes her partner more children without careful consideration only invalidates all the women who struggle with growing their family daily.
Becoming a mom is a huge responsibility and as a mother yourself, I would think you would be the first person to understand that. But I’ve seen with Drew, that it’s not always about speaking the truth, but more about being sensational and creating headlines. In this case, I hope it is the latter and she truly understands the struggles that so many of us go through.
So, to all the mommies out there that have struggled with the decision to grow your family, I see you. I know it’s not an easy experience and I know it’s not always easy to articulate how you feel, most of the time I don’t feel like I have the words, but I knew I wasn’t ready. And although the world kept telling me to just have another one, I’ve taken my time and it’s been worth it. I also thank my hubby for being patient with me and letting me go through my process.
There is no perfect time to have a child, we can make up 100 reasons not to, YOU are the only one that knows when the time is right and I pray that if you’re still struggling you continue to go through your process and I pray that God gives you discernment and blesses you with a beautiful little one at the right time… AND PRAY FOR ME TOO! My IUD is officially out, so it could be any day now!