Representation matters. I have been reminded of this fact time and time again! I currently live in what one of my friends have called, “the middle of white America”. You see I’m from a small town that doesn’t have a Walmart and approximately 90% of the population is defined as African American. But, I moved. Now I’m here looking around, and the only people of color that I see throughout the week are my husband and my son.

We moved here while I was 32 weeks pregnant and during my pregnancy I would read blogs and watch videos to prepare for motherhood. Rarely, if ever, did I see any mothers that looked like me or had the same concerns that I knew I would face, such as what do you put on a brown baby’s scalp? I yearned to see those who looked like me and understood cultural concerns and issues. 

Now, with my 10 -month-old son, I often hear from my mom friends how traumatizing it is when they have the “Stranger Danger” talk with their kids, but none of them know my mixed feelings of having to raise a black male in today’s society. Some of the things on the news and major life changes has led me to therapy. 

But, it is comforting when I do see a mother of color, like a hot cup of cocoa or tea. It’s especially a pleasing encounter to see one who understands the importance as well as the benefits of breastfeeding. That one aspect, that seemed so simple prior to the birth of my son, has been hard. But, seeing so many of my friends from home being able to give their babies the best, is uplifting. Witnessing others who have been misinformed, and often times pressured to give their little one’s formula by their elders and even doctors, push forward, consistently providing their child with breast milk, gives me strength.

A friend recently asked me why I have been so vocal about my parenting methods: breastfeeding, baby wearing, and cloth diapering. My answer is and will continue to be: because we matter! There are mothers educating and advocating, but there are still some mothers feeling left out of the picture due to societal norms. So, I’m here to tell you, do what is best for you, do what is best for your child, do what is best for your family! You may not see many women of color if you Google “breastfeeding mom” or “natural mom” but I’m  here! For support, for advice, to vent, laugh, and cry. And I’ll continue to be here.    

Photography credit: Amani Nichae of

Snapshot 11 Photography

 

 

When you become a mom often times our bodies pay for the beautiful life we just brought into the world. Our once beautiful skin is covered in acne. Our once toned and sexy stomachs are now loose and covered with stretch marks. The list goes on and on and for some more than others, it takes a toll on us mentally. How do you begin to feel comfortable in these new bodies our baby’s gave us? Embrace it and having good friends and amazing significant others can definitely play a roll in your road to feeling like yourself again. You are still beautiful and a little tiger stripes just added some design. This was something I really struggled with after having my daughter. I am so grateful to have great friends and a loving husband who constantly reminded me what good came from my new body and that I am still beautiful and fierce. 

I would really beat myself up and stare in the mirror and hate what I saw. The constant comments from my husband were such a help. I wanted to sit in the house and hide but he kept encouraging me to get cute and go out. So after finally taking his advice and dolling myself up just to go out for food or to the mall, I was beginning to embrace my new body and role in life. Sitting in the house will only cause you more pain. Go to the gym, go on a walk, go have drinks with the girls, go out with some makeup on and get your hair done, go put that sexy dress on and go out with your significant other. Your self esteem does not have to  be compromised because you are a new mom with a new body. You are fierce, beautiful, strong, and fearfully and wonderfully made.