Tonae Reid's TTAM

Instagram: muva2makhs

What is a mother?

A Mother is your best friend, your first love, your comforter,your secret teller, your guide, your night nurse, your doctor, your teacher and everything in between. Your mother teaches you to love as a real man or to accept real love as a woman. We carry you first in our bellies & then in our hearts. Wherever you go we go too through spirit. When you cry we cry. When you laugh we laugh. When you fall we fall too. All in all, we are the only person to know you, more than you know yourself. We let our bodies become your playground, and during the time of pregnancy physically become alien from head to toe. But the moment we lay eyes on you, the journey doesn't matter, you're here, and you are perfect.

Motherhood. This is where the real journey begins. This is where our skills, our maternal instincts and true love is put to the test. Whether you are in a relationship or single mother or whatever in between that, you are the consistent pillar or trust, loyalty & respect.

As a young black mother, I have the job of teaching my young king his worth in a world that denies it. I have the job of teaching to love a black woman, the most misunderstood woman on the planet. I also have the job of making sure he respects his dad, his dad also has the job of giving him something to respect. We have the job of raising a young man that will be met with stereotype & mixed opinions. But it is our job to make him into a man that can positively dissolve these challenges ahead.

I honestly can say I've been blessed beyond measure as I have the happiest & most content baby boy which makes my job as a mother easy. He sleeps through the night, eats anything given to him & loves bath time! He coos, giggles & laughs throughout the day which just lights up the room!

Being a mother to my son is my greatest achievement to date! I realise & appreciate that we are all in different situations & becoming a mother isn't the same for everyone! Having a long term relationship break down while being pregnant was one of the hardest things I've done in my life. I guess that was the true test of my mental capacity and going through it, even after giving birth, I realised how easy it was for post natal depression to set in. Dealing with normal hormones & then the added stresses of life, it doesn't take a lot to feel alone, fed up & overwhelmed. I had plenty of family & friends around, only a phone call or visit away, however, 75% of the time I felt completely alone. I would look at my biggest blessing & cry & not because I was particularly sad but simply because the reality hits you. The magnitude of the task of being a mother hits you. The questions you continually ask, "Am I really a mum?", "Did I really give birth?" & "How is he so perfect?". I wouldn't say I suffered from depression but I definitely had a few emotional nights here and there. There were moments where I was angry out of the frustration of things being how they were. I was at a place of mental tiredness for the first 3 months of my sons life I disliked life on a whole. I am someone who likes to be prepared but with the circumstances, I had no way of planning for the future. The future was unpredictable. That made me uneasy & to be honest I felt a lil sick sometimes. The reality of the responsibilities I now faced were daunting & at times I felt suffocated. I almost lost myself completely. My personal life was hard, it was difficult for me to let go of the people hell bent on tearing me down. I had lies told on me & I felt like I had to constantly felt like I had defend myself but eventually I got to the point where I just woke up like "these people offer your son NOTHING, etf do you care?" After that most of it I just heard & giggled with the few I could trust about it.

You can become so entangled & wrapped up in the mother title but by other people's definitions & standards. You camouflage into mummy as it's required but within a few weeks it becomes easy to forget about yourself. Who were you before you were a mother? Who would you like to be now you are one? Don't forget to work on yourself... work? Studying? Travelling? New relationships? Don't forget about them and your goals & dreams. It will give you focus & a chance to remember you're still you. Remember you need to be happy for bubba to be happy.

At the end of the day, there is no manual on how to be the perfect mother. All you can do is your best, enjoy the journey & remember you are NOT alone. You'd be surprised how many people look like they have it together but are a mess behind closed doors. Some mummy's can get up, do their hair and make up & wear heels & others will live in leggings & t-shirts for 6 month, it doesn't matter which end of the scale you're on, but just know you are blessed and your reality is what YOU make it.

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© 2020 The Motherhood Group, Coordinators of Black Maternal Mental Health Week UK