Cousin Belle has been a staple in my life since birth.  She is one of the many women who has nurtured me into womanhood and eventually motherhood.  When I was with child at 19, and anticipating the birth of my first beautiful baby boy, Belle rubbed my belly as often as she could and gave me great words of encouragement and love.  I remember as a little girl myself, Belle’s house was one of those places that just made you feel good.  She always had the oldies playing in the background and the familiar smell of press and curl scented the air.  Plus, she was always cooking something good and it just felt warm at her house.  Now, Belle continues to be a  powerhouse mama to her son, whose older than me, and a grandmother to three beautiful little girls.  Join me. Let’s take a trip to Cousin Belle’s house.


Belle, her son Maurice and his fiance Danielle

1. What makes you a #goodmama?

I’m a God Fearing, loving, caring, and compassionate and very hard-working woman!!  I raised my child successfully while becoming a successful woman in the Corporate America!!  I taught my son that through hard work and determination, you can achieve what God has in store for you. I taught him to be a respectable, loving, responsible and God Fearing man that he is today.

2. So, Cousin Belle, how did you feel about motherhood when you first became a mom?

I was 17 yrs old (turning 18 the next month).   I was scared of what people would think of me, with finishing my senior year and all.   After the support from family and friends, I didn’t feel bad about myself.  I graduated with High Honors and my baby boy walk down the aisle with me!!!


Belle (Gigi) and Reese, granddaughter 4 months

3. How do your feelings about motherhood differ now?

When I first gave birth, I didn’t think about long term, such as “raising” a child compared to giving birth to a beautiful baby boy. (Now I do.)  You have to be stern, yet loving with your child. My family was always there with me all along for support when I needed it! I’m so grateful and thankful for all they have done for me!

4.  What are some common misconceptions that Black mothers are dealing with?

Misconceptions that we deal with are that we are irresponsible, lazy, mean and insensitive and uncaring.

5. What advice would you give to a new mom?

Be confident in who you are. Strive to be the best you can be. Have Faith and Trust in God. Be Encouraged

6. Tell us one of your funniest mommy moments.

Going to my son’s group CD release party with fake eyelashes on and dashing away from the “smoke mist” so they wouldn’t come off and look like Lucille Ball on the movie “Yours, Mine and Ours” (old movie).. thought she was looking good until she looked in the mirror and saw he eyelashes hanging on the bottom of her eyes!! I needed to represent and was so paranoid that I kept dashing from one side of the floor to the other… Didn’t want embarrass myself nor my son…. FUNNY! You had to be there to see me in action!!  All in a mother’s work to represent her child!!!

Cynthia Mendoza

Hello. Welcome to a blog for Black moms looking to thrive while raising kids in this hectic world and the headquarters for Pittsburgh Brown Mamas, a Pittsburgh support group for Black moms. Here I write about raising my three boys, living in and loving Pittsburgh, dating my husband, gardening and all kinds of other stuff. Thanks for visiting. Stay long & come often!

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