I was the perfect parent before mark iii arrived.
I knew exactly what schedules my son would be on and how they would change every three months. I knew which milestones he would hit and he would guarantee to hit them early because, after all, I am his mother. He would be a well-behaved baby; not like every ‘other baby’. My son would be different. He would be a baby but act like an adult. Always using his inside voice, sleeping when I asked him to without a fuss, and never making a mess.
On February 27, 2017 at 2:03pm that all changed and my perfect perception of parenting quickly went out of the window! Mark Emmett Hatch, III arrived into this world over the course of three days after two failed inductions, running out of epidural, feces in the birth canal, AND a forceps delivery. From that moment on, my husband and I have been trying to figure out this parenting thing. We soon realized that all the self-help books, Pinterest boards, and advice from other parents are helpful context, but we would have to customize our plan for our son. He came to us the first few months hungry, fussy, and wide awake. Though the many long days & nights are hard and still continuing, they have also helped us bond as a little family that loves to eat and appreciates lack of sleep with very little fussiness. In this short span of a year, Mark III has shifted from a baby to toddler and we couldn’t be prouder.
Over the last 365 days, I personally have grown as a woman and while I love my son, the title of MOM comes with a lot of responsibility. I find myself mothering twenty-four, seven; because even when you are sleeping, you aren’t really sleeping. It is physically, emotionally, and mentally demanding. As a wife, I thought I was selfless, but I think I still had some selfishness in me because after I became a mom, any selfishness remaining in me went out the door. I totally understand what a selfless love is and I pray that it’s turning me into a better wife (that’s another blog post!)
Over Thanksgiving, I decided to write Black Boy Joy, an expressive story depicting the bond of a mother and son through the eyes of the mother. I wanted to capture the purity that exists in the way that a mother loves her child. I hope that through my expression of love that you will be able to remember the bond that you had with your mother and/or with your own children. I wrote this story so that when you see children that are not your own, you remember that their mother loves them in this same pure way. I proudly announce that in addition to a mom of a toddler, I am now adding published author and founder to my resume!
As an author, I will use my stories as a tool to show people of color in everyday narratives. I am committed to using my passion for bringing people together, making reading fun for kids, and writing to make a difference in the way that black boys are perceived in our community. The Me3 Project will help all moms create a diverse and inclusive environment in their homes in order for those values to be replicated into our schools and communities.
- Reflect on your favorite children’s book from your childhood or even now. What did you like about those stories? Did you find that the characters were like or different from you and your family?
- Encourage someone to join this conversation. It’s going to take a village!