Motherhood as an Act of Social Justice

5 thoughts on “Motherhood as an Act of Social Justice”

  1. T,

    I am pleased to be able to respond to this article as you were present when my son was just a child. Granted, the backgrounds that encompass our pregnancies are vastly different we both have embarked upon the same journey. Having raised a child from birth to age 20, I can tell you this, motherhood is absolutely an act of social justice because you are and always will be your child’s greatest advocate. Raising Omari was a pure joy until he turned 13 years old. At that point, everything went wrong. Although his father was not around, he had my finance in his life, I had consistently been there, and kept him active in sports, music and reading. He had sleepovers, pool parties and all kinds of gaming console fun with his friends all financed by yours truly. I felt I was truly blessed.

    What I did not realize is that despite my background, his comfortable living and his upbringing, society and peer pressure proposed some dilemmas for him that I never imagined he would encounter in the school system and county we were in. The City of Duluth is relatively quiet and quaint. City Hall and the Duluth Police Department literally just moved into modern buildings two years ago. Prior to that they were still in the tiny home style buildings located near the train tracks in the the center of downtown. It’s the type of town where neighbors know one another and care about one another’s well being. If you recall the incident with my infamous neighbor “The Runaway Bride”, you might recall that she lived in my town, less than a quarter of a mile from my house. Even I contemplated joining the search party. Considering the environment I’d nestled my “baby” into, I never would have imagined in a million years that his high school had nearly 8 gangs present, recruiting and committing criminal activity on school property during school hours. In all of eternity, I never would have foreseen my son joining one of these gangs!

    I brought this story up to illustrate how very possible it is for a well educated and well mannered child with good upbringing and supportive parents to fall under the weight of pressure from their peers. This was my introduction to my personal need to bring social justice not only into Omari’s world….but into the world of his friends. I would never suggest that you completely throw away your goals and desires to raise your child because even now as an “empty nester”, my goals and desires are what keep me going.

    I would submit to you that while you embark on your journey, keep the lines of communication open always. Be flexible no matter what because I promise you that it WILL BE required. The world has so much disregard for our children these days and they are treated like adults at younger and younger ages. No one seems to care that they are just children anymore. Prepare yourself to do both, but maybe work part time rather than the full time grind. It’s not my intention to scare you but my career was in such high gear and my ex-husband was so mentally absent that I was not in a position to work less and focus more on Omari through those trials. Somehow, I felt that he would need me less as he got older and to my dismay, I discovered I was absolutely wrong. As he got older, he needed me in more ways significant to his immediate future perspective. It is when your child becomes a teenager that you understand just how important their literal tomorrow is. With teenagers, the next few hours can make the difference between vast amounts of joy and earth shattering pain.

    Keep your ears to the ground, keep your child’s trust, never think that your plan cannot change for it will, and it will do so several times before you arrive at a place of stability for you all. Most of all, try to stay away from responsibilities that will make it nearly impossible for you to break away if you need to.

    I didn’t know about your pregnancy so I’d like to congratulate you! I am wishing you all the joy that your heart can stand. Cherish every single moment. Take pictures, videos, keep all the silly drawings, and remember to laugh and be silly with your baby. I’m so excited for you and I’ll be looking forward to seeing pictures!

  2. Tee,

    When it comes to mothering you’re going to be a natural. Trust me. The decision to leave the work force, work flexible hours or stay in the game and do the family balancing act is truly a personal choice for you and your family and your needs will change at each stage in your life. You’ll read all about the so called “Mommy Wars” but don’t pay it too much mind because every woman has to do her and your true friends and supporters will still be by your side no matter what.

    Motherhood as a social action is multi-faceted and goes through a variety of stages. Motherhood as a social action applies to all mothers from the boardrooms to the parks because we all have that same responsibility.

    Soon to be mothers practice social action when exercising, getting rest and eating healthy foods to stay fit and to grow and birth strong babies. They practice social action when reading aloud, listening to music and loving on their unborn child.

    New mothers of infants and toddlers practice the social action and early childhood development of their young children by introducing them to the new world around them – teaching proper etiquette, mannerisms and social skills in small group settings (the start of “play dates” (smile).

    Mothers of elementary and middle school children and tweens practice social action by making sure their voice is heard in the schools and across the district at PTA board meetings, as active participants in guiding the education of their child/children in and out of school – We can’t just expect the teachers and school board to snap their fingers and make everything right with the school world.

    Mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts, uncles and all types of designated care provides must do their part to help their child/children become successful students and future leaders. We have to help with homework, ask questions when we’re uncertain, resolve issues when need be and show up in our children’s lives and experiences to offer verbal and sometimes non-verbal support.

    Mothers of social action assist with personal struggles and celebrate achievements. Mothers of social action research the resources available. Mothers of social action are lifelong role models implanting family values, memories, traditions, spirituality into the next generation to hopefully pass on.

    Mothers practice social action when helping middle school tweens and high school teens learn to make wise choices and layout the future on their on accord. Mothers of social action will help their child to find his or her voice – be their own unique individual. Mothers of social action make it their personal project to find and pull out the hidden gifts and talents that their child has yet to realize deep within and share with the world.

    Mothers of social action take comfort, pride and lean on the voices of the past who have shaped them into the mothers that they have become for the better. They lean on husbands, partners, family, friends and fellow mothers going through the same things.

    Most importantly mothers of social action seek first the kingdom of God and pray for constant knowledge and understanding – I need to do this much more. This may all seem overwhelming but never worry my fellow “Soon to be Mother” of a curious new and cherished soul in your world and ours, because you my dear sis are truly blessed! And loved… Peace and joy to the three of you.

    Love always,

    p.s. I hope this helps a bit.

    1. Tonya, you always have been a friend that reaches beyond the break. And thanks for sharing your contemplation of motherhood as social ACTION. Food for thought.


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