The year 2020 will be my second Mother’s Day and I can’t help but feel delighted that there is a day that recognizes me for my sacrifices, tears, frustrations, late nights and early mornings. Mother’s Day is also another reminder for me that it is okay to put myself first from time to time, and for me that often means leaning on my village.
Being a sensible, single mother is nearly impossible without a village. Even though I’m not with my almost 2-year-old son’s father, he does play his role to the best of his ability.
Sometimes it is a little overwhelming when I have to do everything on my own when it comes to bedtime, getting ready in the morning, taking my son to and from childcare, entertaining him, reading with him, cooking, cleaning and any other related task that comes with mothering. I try to do my best not to complain because I’m aware that being able to birth your own child is a true blessing, but that doesn’t mean I’m completely naïve to real frustrations that I have when it comes to having the majority of the responsibility.
When I feel overwhelmed is when I call on my village. I’m very close with my mother, aunts, brother, his wife and their family. Any and every time I call any of them, they welcome my son with open arms for me to be able to rejuvenate my mind, body and soul so that I can continue to be the best mother I can be to my sweet and loving boy.
I think people forget that when they become parents that is completely okay to have some “me” time in order to not lose yourself. Becoming a parent does require growth and some things do change, but that does not mean you should completely neglect yourself in the process. The child is only as good as their parent.
Mothering, just like life, is about balance. I’ve had to learn during the process of becoming a mother that it is okay to ask for help. It is so easy to think we can do it all and still be of sound mind at the end of the day when that is just not reality. When I am speaking with other new mothers, I always try to educate them on the importance of establishing and leaning on their village. Without my village, I can assure you I would have been burned out a long time ago. I couldn’t do this mothering thing without them!
Jillian Whitaker is an advocate for mamas and their well being, prenatal and postpartum. Jillian is also a news reporter for Better Black News, a media outlet highlighting positive African American news and bringing awareness about issues within the African American community. Most importantly, Jillian is a mama to a 2-year-old little boy, Janori. You can follow Jillian and her news team on all social media platforms @betterblacknews or visit their website www.bbmg.tv.