My Mother’s Daughter

 In honor of Mother’s Day, contributing writer and PL choreographer Nikiya Dunmore reflects on her own journey with her mother has influenced her thoughts on motherhood.

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Ain’t no woman alive that can take my mama’s place.

I’ve been replaying that part from “Dear Mama” by Tupac Shakur in my head over and over again. Because as much as the relationship between my mother and me has hit so many bumps, potholes, and have even come to screeching halts at times, the journey that we’ve taken to get where we are now… I would not change it for the world.

However, the thought of me taking part in motherhood scares the living you-know-what out of me. I think what scares me the most is bringing a daughter into the world and wondering if we will take a similar path that my mother and I have taken to finally have that close mother/daughter relationship that we have now.

Maybe I fear that my daughter will find out that I actually AM as human as she initially thought. She will know that I am not always right and that I wear my flaws out loud by trying to mute them with a broken ego.

I wonder if my fears are even valid sometimes because I am sure generations before me only wanted to live long enough and survive long enough to see (or just imagine) the potential in what their future children’s children’s children can achieve. I, too, have the same hope that my ancestors had: to pass on to generations after me the love, strength, and the tools to survive this ever-changing crazy world.

I guess I fear that my child will not realize that I would have done my best in general.

I wonder if my daughter will forgive me for having such high expectations of her. That all she is in my eyes… is perfect. I wonder if she will resent me for trying push some of my learned experiences and values onto her while she tries to figure her own life out.

Will I be okay with her wanting to be different from everybody else? Will she be better than me? Does this little girl think she is better than me?! *sigh* Dear, God… I hope that she is better than me.

A huge part of me wonders if these are the same fears that my mother had as she was raising me and my younger sister. Growing up, I did not give my mother enough credit for being one of the strongest human beings on this planet. As much as I loved superheroes in comic books, it took me years to finally realize that my mother also possessed her own superpowers while raising me. She taught my sister and me how to adapt; how to be mentally strong; how to smell the bullshit from afar; how to keep our monster in hiding until a person or situation calls on it to reveal herself; and how to be resilient and press on.

All in all, I do realize that I am not perfect, nor will I be a perfect parent. I just want my future children to be happy, healthy, and aware. I hope that, someday, that will make my mother happy.

*enter “Dear Mama” keyboard intro*

““… You are appreciated.”

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