Five months ago we added a new member to our family: my niece. This precious angel has brought joy to our family. But, like most new and exciting things, sometimes we "neglect" the other parties involved, which are the parents. With my sister's permission I've asked simple but in-depth questions on motherhood. Women in the 21st century have more responsibility then ever: having a career, being a loyal and supportive wife or spouse, and being a mother.
Teisha: Have you always wanted to be a mom? Why?
Yes, seeing how my mom was with my siblings, I’ve always wanted that for myself. Growing up I've always been close with my family. Having a family of my own has always been a priority for me.
What have your miscarriages taught you?
My miscarriage taught me that things don’t happen when you think they should. It’s God's timing and I felt like everything happens for a reason. At the time I don’t think my fiancé and I were ready for a baby because my father and fiancé weren't seeing eye to eye at the time, so I felt like God wanted them to get on better terms before we brought a baby into this world.
What lessons would you like to teach your daughter?
I want to teach my daughter to always have self-love. That’s so important in today's image-driven society because of how social media and the media displays what your body is “supposed to look like,” or gives off this false narrative on a standard of beauty. Young girls hate how they look because they want to look like an Instagram model or mimic a celebrity. So, I think if my daughter loves herself enough, she would avoid the negative self talk.
What has she (your daughter) taught you?
My daughter taught me PATIENCE! I've always been an impatient person. To think before I speak. I was at one point a hot head. I would react on impulse. Somebody could look, or say something I found disrespectful, my first reaction would be to confront them. Now, when I look into her beautiful eyes, I realise that it isn't worth it. That being a mom is so much more important than feeling "disrespected."
How do you balance being a new motherhood and self identity?
At the beginning, it was very hard trying to balance being myself and being a mother, but over time you find balance. I made a conscious decision to not forget about my needs and what makes me happy outside of being a mom. Your baby feeds off of your energy, so if you're not happy I feel like your baby will sense that and he/she will be unhappy.
How important is it having a strong support system?
It’s very important to have a strong support system. I couldn’t imagine not having my fiancé, mom, and sisters helping me. I’m so blessed to have them. They helped me out a lot the first few months after the birth of my daughter. My mother would come over and watch my daughter while I catch up on my sleep and my sisters will help me with laundry when they came over to visit. Yes, those little things made a big difference. My family's support is like having steak and lobster on your plate with a glass of red wine.
What lessons has your own mother taught you that you wish to pass down to your daughter?
My mom taught me so many things, but what stood out the most is to have self respect for yourself. Young girls would do whatever it takes to get noticed by a guy or get that promotion at work. With that being said, I want to teach my daughter to always have self respect. If you have to do anything outside of your character, then it’s not for you.
Some people believe that being a mom equates to being a woman. Do you think that's true?
I don’t feel like it makes you less of a woman if you don’t want to have kids. Being a mom comes with a lot of sacrifices. If you feel like you're not ready or will never be ready, then that's OK. It wouldn’t be fair to the child if you just have a baby to make your spouse happy because you're not happy and that child is not going to get the love and care that they deserve. Woman are strong with or without children.