I have always had goals. My entire life has been based upon having goals and accomplishing those goals. My parents, especially my mother, pretty much taught my siblings and I to create goals and then learn the steps of accomplishing those goals and invest our time into those steps. The drive to make sure that I had a list and completed the list pretty much became an obsession just before high school. I wanted to attend a good high school...check! I wanted to get accepted into and attend an HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities)...check! Transfer to a college closer to home and cheaper even though it absolutely broke my heart...check! Graduate from college...check! Get married to my best friend EVER...check! Become a writer...check! Start a magazine...check!. Raise children…..uuuummmm….HELP ME!!!
One of the most challenging roles that I have today is not being an entrepreneur or being a leader at my church. It isn’t even being an employee on my job or being a wife. My most challenging role is being a mother.
My role as a mother is the most challenging for me because I don’t get unbiased feedback that is beneficial, at least from the people who matter the most. Think about it. I can talk to my supervisor at work and get feedback about my job performance. I can communicate with my pastor and get feedback on my role as a leader at my church. I can even have conversation after conversation with my husband about our marriage and what I can work on more or less to do my part for us to have a progressive and flourishing relationship. However, when my two year old gets upset because I will not turn to Bubble Guppies at 11:30 pm I am not exactly moved to change my actions to improve her experience as my daughter.
I mean, you all I think that I have done all the right things. I have breastfed. I have fed them fairly healthy food, most of the time. I don’t allow an excessive amount of junk food. I have even allowed happy meals when they are requested and God knows my mother used to tell me she could make it better than McDonald’s and take us home, proceed to fry potatoes cut into french fries and cook ground beef that she hand patted into burgers. But I digress! My point is while I have rules about what my children can watch, where they go or what they do; I try to ensure that they have a fairly enjoyable childhood. But then they have these tantrums that make me wish for one moment they were my size and I could be on WWF in a wrestling ring with them so I can body slam them. That thought is just for a millisecond. I’m not over here abusing my children. I do discipline them but that’s another blog subject. However, if I had to say what my goals are as a mother, for my best results, it’s to rock out motherhood like some of the greatest women from my favorite sitcoms.
My mom was and still is an awesome mother and role model. Just know that in my childhood brain I was wondering why she couldn’t be more like Jill from Home Improvement giving the occasional lecture while still giving me what I wanted versus Clair from The Cosby Show who had no problem threatening your life all while cooking a healthy and soulful dinner that you better eat before you go to bed. As an adult with my own children I see a difference and have made a few edits to my mom goals for myself versus the ones I had for my mother when she was raising me.
I mean just think about the mothers you have seen portrayed on television over the years. There is a big difference from Carol Brady (The Brady Bunch) and Florida Evans (Good Times) or even from Elyse Keaton (Family Ties) and Clair Huxtable (The Cosby Show). Don’t get me wrong...I love people of all cultural backgrounds and races. I also can watch just as much Everybody Loves Raymond and Friends as I can Martin or My Wife and Kids. But my goals as a mother are pretty much reflected in African American characters on television.
There is a pool of matriarch characters which were developed for black sitcoms within the last few decades. If I had to name my top five t.v. moms they would be Florida (Good Times), Clair (The Cosby Show), the original Vivian (Fresh Prince of Bel-Air), Rochelle (Everybody Hates Chris) and Cookie (Empire). I know what you’re thinking. There are a dozen or more women I can add to this list, but this is MY list so...make your own and leave it in the comments.
I love how real all these characters seem in their t.v. world. They are not weak by any means. They are capable of sitting in the most classiest or most hood settings and handle themselves well in both. They take care of their family and are willing to snatch up their children to give a reality check whenever it’s needed. These women have sacrificed and have no problem letting their children know that the amenities they have in life are nothing to take for granted and they should find themselves fortunate. They make decisions that aren’t popular with their children and make no apologies for them. They are the ones who love their children more than anyone else and remind them of it when they are accused of being cold or hard. Somehow, television magic has allowed these women to remain a lady and true to themselves in the process of everything they tackle within a single episode. Before you can fully be emotional about whatever situation has been shown in the show the mother and child have reconciled and moved forward with the child having an understanding of why their mother has made the choices she made. Even though it’s t.v. magic, these ladies are my #MomGoals.
My reality is that when I turn down a request of my children or enforce rules with discipline and they express with all the energy of a child that they are unhappy I tend to sink a little in my heart because I wonder what they will think when they are adults. I tend to question my own success as a mother because I can’t see in a thirty to sixty minute window of time that everything will work out perfectly like it does for my #MomGoals list of ladies. That doesn’t mean that I will stop doing what I am doing or change my rules because I want my children to LIKE me. It does mean that I will take a personal evaluation as they age and mature as individuals as well as pray that everything that I have done, am doing and will do prepares them for their journeys ahead.
If you’re like me and wonder if you are being too hard or not hard enough...think of raising your child/children as an investment. It’s an investment into their present and their future. Create your list of goals and then think about the steps to accomplish those goals. When you’re making this list ask yourself, “What is the return you desire to see from your investment for years to come?” Let’s work to crush those #MomGoals!
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