REAL LIFE MEMOIRS
Growing up I believed 'happy motherhood' was only destined for women who looked nothing like me and my black mother. The front cover's on magazines and adverts didn't suggest otherwise. The 'happy' kitchen cooking shoots, with two beaming parents, dream houses, and picket fences sent signals to my brain that people like us - were not destined for happy motherhood.
Solidified by scenes on the news of Africa being depicted in a disparaging manner, the media also seemed to nonchalantly welcome the ideation that black motherhood was one of struggle and despair. It's proven that 'your mind creates your reality' - so the images brought before me, accompanied by the beliefs I had grown up with, embedded a representation of 'happy motherhood' in the grooves of my brain that are now significantly hard to shake.
As I've aged, so have my opinions and beliefs, however, the past images that shaped me, I have struggled to burn. And after bearing my children, as a black woman, I wondered whether I would be accepted into 'happy motherhood'. My memories battled me and left me feeling I was less than. How would I depict my take on motherhood without the scrutiny of single-parent families, class stigmatism and racism? I could not breathe within this realm.
I remind myself everyday that nothing in this world is shown to the masses in the correct interpretation. Images are altered, positive images not shown, favouritism and 'what sells' is a thing. The only way I will make it through, is by depicting my own terms of 'happy motherhood' and what is real to me. Showcasing my beautiful family and proving to the world that motherhood has many beautiful, diverse and happy faces.