Social media algorithms prioritize angry and hateful content over all other types of messages. It drives up engagement we’re told. For this reason, it’s possible to scroll through your feed for hours and hours without coming across any positive messages. Not anymore. For a few minutes, should you keep reading, you’ll have the opportunity to engage with some positive messages. Recently in response to a prompt, women shared messages about how their mothers succeeded as parents. Here’s to celebrating mothers and learning from their wins. (If you’re a crier, get yourself some tissue. You’ve been warned.)
Momma Defense Forces (MDF)
Nobody defends you like your mum can. These mums stand up to teachers and employers and bullies in defence of their children. These mothers took on racism, sexism, and so much more.
Love, affirmation and celebration central
In a society that values men and boys, girls can often end up not feeling love. These black mothers made sure their children knew without a shadow of a doubt that they are loved, and valued. Everything from telling them they’re beautiful which isn’t something society tells black women and girls to always showing up and affirming them.
Fighting patriarchy in all its iterations
If there’s one thing mums know, it’s what it means to live in a society that values and prioritizes men while demeaning girls and women. These mums said, “Not on my watch.” These mothers protected their children not just from patriarchal views but also protected these black girls from potential predators. They stood with them, holding them when they were abused, rejecting sexist victim-blaming views.
Most people first learn about heterosexual relationships from the interactions between their parents. One of the most transformative things black mothers did for their children is model leaving abusive relationships and relationships that no longer serve them. That reminder not to tolerate abuse and BS from men and to prioritize your needs and interests is also a critical one.
As it turns out, children and the adults they become value the sacrifices their parents made for them. Sacrifices big and small from giving up their children so they could be better cared for to helping care for their grandchildren and offering much-needed financial support.
I’m here… I’ll always be here
There’s nothing like knowing you can always go home, that there’s someone who’ll always be there for you. These mothers were there for their kids no matter what it cost, good and bad days in every situation from poverty to depression and more. They’re saying, “I got you. I always got you.”
Freedom to be you and support to do it
Society often tries to force women into these boxes of what it means to be a woman, these mothers said no. They actively supported their daughters’ interests, encouraging them to speak up and be themselves. They gave them room to just be children without the pressure to be perfect girls and remained their biggest cheerleaders.
Parents apologizing to children is not common, it’s even less common for black parents… not these mothers. These mums were humble enough to admit they were wrong and apologize. They modelled great parent-child relationships.