Dia is the quintessential foot soldier for motherhood. In addition to being one of the greatest minds I ever met, she has a knack for developing these very interesting, yet common sense style, ways of teaching her kids life strategies. I’ve known Dia since I was 15, and I looked up to her then and continue to see her as someone who I can learn from and admire now. One conversation with either of Dia’s daughters and you know she’s a good mother. They are intelligent, thoughtful and happy kids. Here’s her motherhood journey, listen up you might learn a thing or two!
1. When did you become a mother and how did you feel?
I became a mom as a relatively young adult. It was a crazy time, because I was responsible for a new life when I was so new to life myself, but we made it. I remember feeling a sense of euphoria and bewilderment all at the same time.
2. How do your feelings about motherhood differ from when you first gave birth?
I don’t feel pressure to be perfect, or have it all figured out. The truth is we are trying to set our kids on the path they should go, while we’re still trying to find our own path. Back then, I thought I had to have all the answers, and do everything just right. I began to realize there is no such thing as perfect parenting, and it’s ok not to know what to do sometimes. There are times I’ve gotten it right, and there times I’ve gotten wrong. Each instance has been an experience to learn and grow from. As long as you’re learning, you’re growing. Growth is good.
3. What makes you a #GoodMama?
I think I’m a good mama, because I understand that there is a magical quality to motherhood. We have to harness that power to give our kids a sense of wonder and imagination during their young years, and then we have to do it again when they start moving into young adulthood to prepare them for how the world, by giving them loving doses of reality. Although we share DNA and a lot of commonalities, I try not to treat my children as little mini- replicas of myself. I treat them like whole, separate human beings who will have to chart their own course in the world and I’m just here to support and guide them along the way. I’m a good mama because I put both my best intention and action out there for children. I don’t believe it will come back to me void.
4. What are some common misconceptions that moms-of-color deal with?
I think a big misconception is that we’re angry and bitter about life. That we view our children as burdens and they aren’t our number one priority, and that our men aren’t there to support us, or our children. While we have our share of struggles, these misconceptions should not color the way people perceive us.
Motherhood is complex regardless of complexion.
I think we’d all be better served not to generalize or categorize each other based on what’s shown in the media. We have to reclaim the mantra and show that good mothering doesn’t look, talk or act any one way. As long as you’re doing what’s best for your kids and it will be a benefit to society, forget the naysayers and keep pushing.
5. Tell us one of your funniest mommy moments.
When my daughter was about 8-years-old, I took her to Take Your Daughter to Work Day. She was so excited to go. She was very well-behaved and helped me do my job by filing and sorting the mail, etc.. At the end of the day, two of my co-workers presented her with an award they made on the computer. She smiled politely and thanked them, but I noticed she had this puzzled look on her face, so I asked her what’s wrong? She replied, You told me when you come here, they pay you.” She held up the award and said, this doesn’t look like money to me.”
6. What advice would you give a new mom?
The advice I’d give a new Mom is not to compare herself to anyone else. There is no one more ideal for her children than she is. If she can own and embraces that, things will be better than fine.