I always knew I would be a mom but quite honestly it scared the shit out of me. I was raised by a hard-working, strong, bitter, removed, responsible, broken, resilient, stressed, courageous, single mother who really had a hard time connecting with my brother and I. I think it was a combination of her personality coupled with the fact that she was carrying such a heavy load. She gave up so much of herself and her happiness to raise two bad ass kids in LA. Yeah, we weren’t just a challenge…we were bad. Of course she was bitter and angry. My father left the family when I was 5 and never looked back.
So fast forward…I parent my children from that vantage point. Can you blame me!?!? I’m sort of a Helicopter Parent to a certain degree because I want to be the type of parent that I didn’t have. Emotionally connected. zI love up on my kids, immensely, and I give a lot of what I didn’t get and some of what I did. My mom was an amazing mother, in her own right, as she parented with the tools she was given being raised by 2 strict grandmothers in New Orleans. She raised me with morals and strong values and principles and respect. For that, I am grateful and so very thankful because I am the woman I am because of it. Me, on the other hand, I parent from the tools I learned along the way, from doing the work on myself, seeking, searching for answers on how to be a great mom. I observed and reflected and was honest about myself and my past and I set out to be a positive force in my children’s lives. I’m still learning and I continue to make a lot of mistakes. But the beautiful thing is I learned from those mistakes. I was never afraid to admit my mistakes or seek help, or turn to my sisterfriends for help or encouragement and support.
But I also knew the seriousness and enormous responsibility of raising black boys in our Country. I place a lot of attention on how my footprint on their souls, my comfort to their hearts and my unconditional love can really shape them and make a difference in the type of men they become. So I helicoptered a bit. But not too much. Or at least I don’t think so. Raising boys to ultimately become compassionate, loving, responsible, expressive, strong men took a lot of compromising on my part and it didn’t come naturally for me. I was fighting my own childhood issues while at the same time wanting so desperately to raise their spirits. And it didn’t help that I had these instinctive Virgo tendencies to want to tell them to GET THE F*&% OVER IT at times! So I soften myself and stepped out of what I thought was a comfort zone. I coddled them, I protected them, I supported them, I uplifted them, I saved them on many occasions, I hovered over them, I reminded them constantly…yes I did. I convinced myself that boys need that especially from their mom. Looking back I know I could’ve and should’ve stepped back on occasion. But once they started to make that transition to manhood, I again supported them but with more of a firmness, I honored their role as a man and mine as a woman, I insisted that they NOW be the protectors, I encouraged them to figure things out, I pushed them, I made them take responsibility for their actions. And I let them know that although I will always be their biggest supporter, this is THEIR life…not mine. People are counting on them to be great and it’s up to them to take responsibility for their choices, and be accountable. Mama can’t save them. They have to save themselves. I still answer the phone at 3am when they need me, and I’m thankful and grateful that they know that will never ever change. My Lions. I’m protective, yes I am. So yeah, I guess I’m ok with helicoptering until wifey comes into the picture! Then I’ll go sit my ass down! LOL.
in love + light,
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