Saturday, May 5, 2018

Respecting My Womanhood Allows Respect for My Motherhood

Celebrating mothers is always a grand occasion. When you think about it, you should celebrate your mother on a daily basis, not just one day out of the year. She is the person who carried you through a period of gestation (usually nine months), suffered through the pains of labor, and gave you life. And then there are those of you who did not physically carry your child(ren), but you have given them unconditional love, care, direction, and you provided them with all aspects of motherly care necessary  for their healthy and successful growth and development.
Yes, the celebration of mothers is not only a time to recognize your mother, for what she has done, what she is doing, or for what you hope she will or can do for you, but because she was instrumental in contributing to your lifeline! Further, it is also important for you and others to not only celebrate and elevate your mother, but to recognize, respect, and uplift the woman who became your mother. After all, she was a woman before she became your mother. And if you are a mother, as a woman, you deserve the same recognition and respect.
Too often, when women become mothers, they take on motherhood and abate their womanhood. And there are many of you mothers out there who help to perpetuate this unfortunate denial of womanhood after motherhood. Because you become a mother, it doesn’t mean that you are no longer a woman. As a matter of fact, unfortunate situations might not allow you to ever become a biological, surrogate, or adoptive mother, but no matter what your role and status, you will always be a woman. And at some point, it is imperative for you to stop allowing society, your loved ones, and others to define you and your role in life.
It behooves me to understand how a man, who is the product of a woman, meets a female who was a woman when he engaged with her sexually, and with whom he creates beautiful children, can somehow not only begin to disrespect her after she becomes the mother of his child(ren), but he denies her, defies her, and decries her, through disrespect and a stripping of her dignity. To engage in such behavior as a man, you not only denounce the woman who became the mother of your child(ren), you also denounce the woman who became your mother. What the hell is this?! He seems to have difficulty sharing the woman with the children with whom she is now known as mother!
For those of you, as men, who seem inclined to view motherhood as a weakness and opportunity to control, you are basically indicating that you not only disrespect the mother, you disrespect the woman who became the mother of your child(ren). Remember, she was a woman before becoming a mother. The same thing it took to get the woman you’re now with, should be the same thing it takes for you to hold onto the mother, who grew out of the woman. One of the greatest aspects of womanhood is the ability for the woman to grow and transcend to a level of motherhood. However, the process does not eliminate the woman who became the mother.
Women, you also bear a great responsibility for allowing society, your mate, your children, your family, your friends, and others to denounce your womanhood as you transcended into motherhood. As a matter of fact, you are complicit in this unfortunate deed. Somehow, when many of you became a mother, you negated yourself as a woman. Many of you seem to discount yourself, and as a woman, you no longer matter in the scheme of things. Everyone and everything else in your life, around and about you, has become paramount, important, a priority, essential, and important, at your expense. You neglect yourself emotionally, psychologically, spiritually, physically, socially, and otherwise. You count everyone in the equation as you discount yourself, counting you out of the equation.
As a woman, becoming a mother should never be a replacement, but an enhancement and a boldness that shows the power of womanhood developing into motherhood. It is time for those of you who have become mothers to recognize the strength and the power of the essence and the presence of your role as a woman. If you remember, man was not complete until God made a woman!
As a mother, if you can behold the woman in you, you will hopefully come to behold the woman in your mother and forgive her for all of the things you have held against her. Just as you, she was a woman before she became your mother. No, she is not perfect, and neither are you. She has made mistakes just as you have. But, for some reason, you have held your mother to higher standards. Why? Get over it! Just as you had no book to guide you and no magic formula for you to take on the role of mother, your mother was from a different time and space, with less preparation and direction. However, look at you; didn’t you turn out okay, and in some cases, you might believe that you turned out spectacular? It’s time for you to learn the woman in your mother, and for you to remember the woman in you. As she is not just the mother who emanated from the woman; you aren’t too much different from her. As a matter of fact, you emanated from her! 
Ways to Respect Womanhood After Motherhood:
1.       Respect the feminine aspects of your womanhood once you engage in motherhood, in the way you dress, and in the way you care for your body, your mind, and your spirit.
2.       Take time for yourself, by making ‘YOU’ a priority. It’s not all about your children, your mate, and everything external. Everything starts and ends with you.
3.       Don’t be afraid to spend quality time with yourself; read a book, take a trip, go to the movies, take a bubble bath, indulge yourself in gifts for you, etc.
4.       Demand and command respect for yourself and your time, by not allowing yourself go be slotted into the role of mother, by taking on ALL of the household duties and chores.
5.       Demand and command that you are treated with respect, and that you are also shown unconditional positive regard.
6.       Move away from a sense of desperation to be with somebody, allowing people to choose you for their benefit. You have a choice in the choosing, and in ensuring that you are also benefitting from the people you allow into your life.  
7.       Don’t be afraid to ask for and seek help when you need it. You don’t have to try to be, and you truly aren’t superwoman!
8.       Don't be afraid to ask for what you need and want. Stop accepting what everyone gives to you, when you know it’s not best for you, and it’s not what you need, or what you want!
9.       Don’t be afraid to negotiate in order for you to benefit. It’s okay for you to ask for a raise, negotiate your salary, demand parity with men, and not serve as the ‘coffee girl’ at work. 
10.   Take care of your spiritual needs. Engage in meditation, yoga, relaxation techniques, positive affirmations, etc. And if no one else in your house joins you on your day and at your place of worship, GO ALONE!
11.   Take care of your mental and psychological needs by seeing a psychotherapist, reading to keep your mind sharp, and just plain old relaxing.
12.   Take care of your physical needs by having your annual checkups and demanding that your physicians take the time to hear you and listen to you, as well as recognizing and respecting your needs and wishes.
13.   Refrain from, leave from, or do not enter into abusive situations with your mate, your children, boss, friends, or others. You are no one’s walking mat, punching bag, doorknob, or light switch!
14.   Celebrate your womanhood by thanking God for creating you as a woman. Speak positive statements over yourself and about yourself, and allow men to open the door for you, pull out chairs for you, and celebrate you…chivalry is not dead!
15.   Don’t be afraid to look into your mirror, each and everyday, and proudly exclaim: “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Who’s the Fairest of them ALL? It must be the person in the mirror; it must be ME!”

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