As we come upon Mother’s Day this weekend, I had a different topic in mind. It was going to be something about mothers being superheroes to their kids or whatever. It was going to be a kumbaya type of ode to my fellow mother. But something happened to me and I thought some of you could relate.
Black women, in general, often feel unseen. And black mothers have to roll that feeling like a pair of dice into other insecurities. We have to be The Perfect Mom on level 1000, because if our child slips up even once, as children so often do, the whole world will condemn our mothering. Black mothers aren’t really allowed to have emotions, or be vulnerable humans. I digress.
This week was not a good week money wise. An unexpected expense blew my entire budget up. As a single mother, I had to figure that out. And I somehow managed to make things work. I had an Amex gift card from Administrative Professionals Day that I decided to use to pay for parking. Since I didn’t cook the night before, I didn’t bring a lunch. As I got out of the car I said, “I trust God is going to work it out.” I inserted the gift card to pay – error message. Inserted again – same message. Switched cards – declined like I knew it would be. I tried to get the gift card to work for 5 minutes. Once I realized I couldn’t use the gift card I went back to my car.
I had decided to ask my brother to lend me some money and was about to text him. In the time I was coming to this decision, a car had parked next to me. The driver paid for her parking and was getting her stuff. As she was leaving, she looked at me and asked if I was okay. Instead of doing the usual denial because she’s a complete stranger, I answered I wasn’t. She offered to pay for my parking. A minute later, I had a parking ticket and she went on her way, wishing me a good day because, “Gotta take care of these babies!” By the time I walked to the passenger side of my car to get my things I was crying with gratitude. She had virtually disappeared.
I cried the entire 7-minute walk to my office building. I was amazed at how seen I felt. More often than not, I keep things to myself – good or bad. Sometimes it’s due to timing, mostly it’s due to not wanting to disturb others. This sista that I never met – never even noticed her car before today – saw me in my distress. This knowledge that not only God hears me, but that I met someone who didn’t judge my moment of weakness buoyed me for the entire day. Like, I made an out loud declaration and God immediately worked it out. This was mind boggling to me.
I don’t really have any advice for you. This is the week leading up to the celebration of mothers across America. And as you celebrate those mother figures in your lives, keep an eye out for those signs she may be off. Maybe her smile is a little forced or humor doesn’t quite reach her eyes. Ask if she is okay. Maybe she doesn’t need help. She wants to be really seen, if just for a moment.
That’ll do it for this week my dears. Happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms, grandmas, stepmoms, and mother figures out there. I see you, even if it feels like no one does. When you feel alone, I’m cheering you on from the stands. Because motherhood is hard. Be sure to comment and share, and if you want to jumpstart your growth, get a copy of the Goal Road Map here. Until next week, love, light and GROW on purpose!