Ain’t No Hood Like Motherhood

By Robin Chappell

Published 1 June 2021

Photo by Michelle Leman on Pexels.com

After nine enlightening, yet exhausting months of pregnancy for the second time, I have successfully returned to my platforms of social media. I am thankful to have made it through and I birthed an extremely beautiful son by scheduled c-section that I’ve fallen in love with at first sight. We gave him his father’s name of Corey Alan Thompson Jr. and continue to be proud and mesmerized at his arrival and his perfect health. He’s a great baby that rarely cries, isn’t unnecessarily fussy, and gazes into my eyes constantly with his beautiful dark browns. To make this short…I am sickeningly happy and the blessings of having a new addition to our family is joyfully overwhelming. I reflect on being ridiculously nervous, and it wasn’t because I’d be going through the dreaded pregnancy process (which I don’t enjoy); nor was it because I’d be birthing a son into a world where Black boys are looked at as a threat. Those thoughts were merely the tips of my icebergs. I remember asking my mother the question how did she really share her love between my brother and I. We’re almost four years apart and she often describes me as “the most beautiful thing she’d ever seen”. She also said she had the same thoughts after discovering she was pregnant again, but that it just all…happened. It’s been Harmony Grace and me for what seems like the longest four years. Everything has been about her finally making me a mother and an overall more responsible individual following years of “going with the flow”. I have reached into the depths of my love for her, dedicating and naming my nonprofit after her and even having a children’s book about her in the making. She has received every ounce of my attention and my affection and I considered her my world for so long that I seriously had thoughts in the back of my head.

How in the world could I love another child as much as I love HER??

My mother me gave the response many mothers would provide and described it as something naturally maternal, but the thing is that I’ve never considered myself maternal at all. When I discovered Harmony was coming at the age of twenty-nine, there was the anxiety of wondering exactly what type of mother I would be to her. Would I be any good at it? What if I hate it? I really don’t even like children to be honest. They were all true questions and statements, and I was known as that single person at gatherings who held babies out at arms length whenever I was handed one. They felt my vibe so much (or lack thereof) that they instantly started wailing on me. I never got along with a baby or child. So imagine my amazement years later, the fact that I would be a mother of not just one…but TWO beautiful children. It seemed like I was just getting used to having just one and finally getting into the groove of motherhood. Now I’m getting into the swing of having a tiny two week old baby boy that needs constant attention juggled with the demands, attitude, and bratty independence of a four year old girl heading to preschool this August. It all brings me to tears with the realization that I’m not even that same selfish and careless twenty-something year old any longer. I really sat here contemplating how to equally distribute my love between two children from my womb, not to mention mentally preparing for “the baby blues” or postpartum depression. What if I don’t automatically take to him at first sight? What if I’m so stuck on Harmony I don’t seem to want to hold him or interact with him as much? My worst mistake was reading about other pregnant mom’s woes and situations on an app called What to Expect, which effectively tracks your baby’s growth and allows you to interact with expecting moms due around the same time. Several moms that went into labor a week or two before I did expressed being “unemotional” toward their babies and “not feeling anything” for them during first week or so. It was a frightening experience reading about them not even wanting to hold their baby or barely look at them because they had no exciting feelings about it. This is a typical situation for numerous moms, but I could never imagine not welcoming my son into the world because he didn’t give me any emotion after carrying him for nine months. I could never imagine him becoming more attached to his father because I want nothing to do with feeding him, giving him baths, or even playing with him. Yet, those same moms and their posts provided me with an awareness causing me to pray about it…A LOT.

It’s like I felt as if I might birth a complete stranger…

Strangers make me uncomfortable, but what happened was exactly what I was told would occur…it became so natural for me and I’m not only comfortable with being a second time mom, I’m much better for it. My heart literally overflows when I look at them both and I couldn’t imagine life without either of them. Seeing them interact together is something that I could sit and watch all day. The length of their time with me on this earth isn’t a factor, neither is their gender, or how they were conceived/birthed, nor by whom. I love them both to death and would do anything and everything for them. This makes me realize the true meaning of motherhood and raising children only the best way that I can. Fear and nervousness for them has been the most obvious sign of giving a shit for someone like me. I’d rather have some type of emotion than to have none at all. I may not be considered the greatest or even a traditional mom, but what can we truly consider “traditional”? What defines a “good mom”? I may be the tattooed, dark liquor drinking, party loving, piercings everywhere, marijuana supporting mom that most would look down upon when it comes to raising children. We as moms make mistake DAILY, and a good mom to me is one whose children consistently have smiles plastered on their faces. A good mom puts her children above all of her selfish desires first while still being happy enough to make time for herself, because she knows self care is also necessary for their happiness. This journey has been a wild ride and one of self wisdom, because I now know who I am and the type of mom I strive to be, one that loves both of her kids with all of her heart and soul.

“Roses” by Robin Chappell

Photo by Kristina Paukshtite on Pexels.com

Clutching a beautiful red rose with thorns

I bleed into the Earth all that is lost on one side

Abundantly gained in joyous moments on the other

Two faces of passion and pain…

“Hearth” By Robin Chappell

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Do not ignite my fire only to let it burn out

Singe my heart with your truth

Enlighten me again on what your flame is about

I’ve extinguished every doubt and I’ve taken all the heat

You gently warm my heart with your beautiful smile

Comfort me with every fervent word you choose to speak

The sparks we created long ago burst into the brightness of a bonfire

Keeping a glow upon my face I never want to retire

So do not ignite my flame only to let it burn out

Engulf me until I feel it from the inside

Until you make my entire body shout

My passion will need to remain kindled

Tending to the embers in the hearth of our love

Fuel them before they begin to dwindle

Watching it die out like the stars burning from above

Do not ignite my flame only to let it burn out

Let the flicker remain the same reason that you came

Let it sting the world like fireballs from your mouth

Raining new light into the darkness of their brains