Becoming an adoptive parent has always been an experience I’ve aspired to have.  So meeting, Ms. Denene who’s already talked the talk and is now walking the walk was a great delight.  Through our three-hour lunch she and I discussed everything from her super active two children, our agreement on teaching Black history to our children early to how she began and finalized the adoption process with her twin kindergartners.  Denene said she always knew she wanted to be a mother, even telling future employers during the interview process that her job must be able to accommodate the family she was praying and planning for.  I so admire that about her.  Even though she hasn’t yet found her knight in shining armor, she has put on the red cloak and is saving the day for her two adoptive children.  It’s not always easy for Denene, but she asked for the gift of motherhood, and has been blessed in return.  Here’s here motherhood journey.

1.  Why are you a #goodmama?

I am a #goodmama because being a good mom is really selfless work.  When you are doing it genuinely, really for the betterment of your children it really is a job your doing without thinking of your needs and self.  Not to say moms shouldn’t take time for themselves to recharge, but when I’m running for my kids, I’m really doing selfless work.

2. What advice would you give a new mom?

I would tell a new mom:

You have not because you ask not.

Ask for help.  We have to take responsibility as moms not asking for help.  You’re sister doesn’t offer you help because she doesn’t know you need help. You never ask.  So, if you really need help, let somebody know.  Ask for it.

3. What is the difference between how you felt when you first became a mom versus how you feel about motherhood now?

When I began thinking about motherhood years ago, I romanticized the idea of parenting.  I didn’t understand that it is WORK.  It’s the best type of job you can imagine, but it takes time and work to get good at it.  It’s nothing you do haphazardly.  Motherhood is something you put a lot of thought and sweat into.

4. Why do you think black moms get a bad reputation in society/media?

We get a lot of flack because many of us do ask for help.  We get a bad rep if we are career woman and hire a nanny. Or, even if we ask for financial help.  Sometimes we even get it from our own community and are told we are less African-American for asking for help.  I think the way to change this reputation is for us to begin channeling the support of a village to raise our kids because it really does take a village and we need each other’s help at this.

5. What is your proudest mommy moment?

My proudest mommy moment would be the first time my children met their birth mother.  They were not very nice to me and I was frustrated.  When the birth mother asked my son, “Who is your mommy,” and my son pointed to me and said “that is my mommy.”  He just returned the favor and let me know that I am doing a lot right.

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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