As the title suggests, today is my 37th birthday. To say the least I have mixed emotions about this day. While I am grateful to be alive, have my health, two healthy kids and a sweet husband, I’m not exactly thrilled about where I am in life versus where I thought I’d be. I’m a SAHM to two kids, living in suburbia, married for 12 plus years and I’m in therapy. While much of my life is what I thought it would be, much more of it is not. But that’s not on anyone but me, so I won’t harp on it. Instead I’ll share what I’ve learned or accepted about myself with regards to parenting, marriage, friendships and most importantly me as a person. Let’s take a look shall we?
Being a mother is not my jam. I love my kiddos. Lord knows I do. But I hate the job. It’s tiring (duh), emotionally draining and will often have you questioning your own abilities of taking care of yourself let alone another human. I constantly feel like a f*** up when it comes to my son. I still struggle to connect with him, often losing my ish for even the smallest action because those actions are constant. But you know what? God blessed me with a child who has shown me an unbelievable amount of undeserved grace. That little boy loves me in spite of my flaws. For that, I can’t let him down. I have to keep striving to be better for him and the she babe who he calls little sister. That’s a promise.
Now this subject is two fold for me. Since moving to Austin nearly 4 years ago, developing new friendships has not come so easy. I’ve often felt out of place when meeting new people mostly due to age or marital status. But honestly race plays a huge factor as well.
While I've always had non black friends to some degree, I've never had them be the majority. This is new territory for me and it’s slightly uncomfortable. Although I have managed to befriend people who are on the side of equality and realize their privilege in this country, they still will never fully understand what it means to be me. That as a black mom I dread the day my children are seen as less than as compared to their white counterparts. That every time I go to the park, if a physical interaction occurs during a game or over a toy, be it accidental or intentional that the other parent will react in a way that is racially charged. Or when my husband goes for a night time drive around the city that I have real fear that he won’t come home because of a racist asshole who also happens to be a cop. Or when I’m out shopping, I go out of my way to not give a salesclerk the slightest reason that would make them think I was stealing anything even though they’ve probably assumed I was anyway to some degree simply because of who I am.
The potential to be hurt in a way that dismisses my blackness because of ignorance or their own inability to see beyond their white experience will always be there. But so is the potential to develop a great friendship. There is no growth staying inside the lines.
Listen, I've been in the marriage game for 12.5 years as of today. Some days it's all sunshine and rainbows. Other times, I want to cuss my husband out 87 ways from Sunday. But I respect him too much to do so. While sometimes we are on opposite sides of a great divide, I know it's not up solely up to him to make us great. To do better by us I must do better by me. Hence, therapy has been amazing. Loving me more is loving us better.
Our home is filled with more laughter and the hubs is getting more “stress relief”. Win, win for everyone.
As a damn near 40 year, self acceptance is still a work in progress. But I've come a long way.
I finally truly accept that I'm sensitive AF yet I still loathe the act of crying.
My approach to motherhood is okay. I don't have to be the crunchiest or follow everything that is deemed developmentally right according to some book or therapist. My children are thriving and they are so loved. I will continue do what's in the best interest of my children AND my mental and emotional health.
I've been an angry person for far too long living in a state of ungratefulness, resentment and downright unhappiness. While it would be easier to blame my husband, my parents, my kids, or anyone else for that matter, I am responsible for my narrative. I'm choosing to own it, then change it.
Listen, I have some of the best girlfriends, period. I've always known that but I'm still have to acknowledge the role they have played in my life over the past year. With friendships spanning 12, 18 and 20 something odd years we've shared some of the best and occasionally some of the worst life has to offer. But through it all we’re still standing.
Carla, Lori and Tamara, I love you three dearly. Thank you for being the women you are and always being willing to fill my cup when it was empty. Thank you.
Plus, we may live for Jesus but our petty game is on one hundred. Try us if you want to!!
A New Day
As this day draws to a close, my heart is full. Mommy sent me an early morning birthday text. My boy had a great day at school. The she babe’s 9 months checkup went well. The MIL treated me to lunch and the hubs gifted me with a spa day not only because it's my birthday but because he appreciates all that I do for our family. And I received some goodies delivered to my door.
I am truly blessed to walk in my shoes no matter how often I think the shoes don't fit. I live a damn good life. This is 37.