Last Thursday, Beyonce, superstar that she is, released a self-titled album completely out of the blue. How she was able to surprise hundreds of thousands of fans with 13 songs and 17 videos is a mystery to lots of folks, but not to me. I mean, she’s a Mom, right? And (in my Phaedra Parks from the Real Housewives of Atlanta voice) everybody knows that Moms can do anything! Love her or hate her, there are plenty of lessons that fellow mothers can learn from Beyoncé.
1. Collaborating with your partner is a beautiful thing.
Beyoncé and her husband Jay-Z worked together on many songs even before they got married. One of their first collaborations, “03 Bonnie and Clyde” is one of my biggest jams! When Terrence and I were engaged, we were encouraged to find something that we could be passionate about and work on together. Whether you’re collaborating on saving for a new house, or creating music like Beyoncé and her man, having a mate that you can partner with can help make a good thing an AMAZING thing.
2. You are a mother, but you are still a woman.
Oh, Mrs. Carter made no qualms about letting her fans know that even though she’s Blue Ivy’s Mama, don’t get it twisted. She is still Beyoncé, honey! In her new video for the song, “Drunk in Love”, she is whirling and twirling on the ground, and grinding all up on her man, her husband. You may not be as big on PDA as the Carters, but your husband is still your boo, right? And you’re grown, right? Put on some lingerie, get a babysitter, light some candles, and be your man’s wife for the evening.
3. Be multi-dimensional.
Singer, Mother, Actress, Songwriter, Wife, Producer, Sister, there are few hats in life that Beyoncé can’t say doesn’t wear. In that sense, though, she’s not unique. I don’t know too many mothers who don’t play multiple roles in a single day. I can go from being a preschool teacher, to a Marketing Director, to a Short Order Cook in the span of an hour. Embrace your ability to multi-task and be good at more than one thing. Own it.
4. Get help. No one can do it all alone.
There was a meme making its way across the internet last week that said, “Beyoncé has the same amount of hours in a day as you do.” While that’s very true, Beyoncé was also smart enough to put together a team of folks to help her do what she does. I’m sure she’s not up in Casa de Carter making dinner every night while she works on a mega album. She hires someone for that. Beyoncé has financial resources that most of us don’t have, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t get help on the level where we are. Trade babysitting with another Mom for an hour to work on that book that you want to write. Ask your husband to make dinner tonight so you can get your run in. Make use of your resources so you can have the time to be great.
5. You don’t need to ask permission to be great.
Judging by the way folks were completely losing their mind on the internet on Friday, Beyoncé didn’t ask folks if she could make this album. Sure her fans support her, but she didn’t have to run things by us before she got started. Beyoncé had an idea (an outrageously GENIUS idea) and she ran with it. Sometimes when you get too many folks involved in making a decision it can hold you back. At the very least, it’ll slow you down. Trust your instincts, believe in your ability to be great, and go for it. You are grown. You don’t have to ask folks if you can do stuff. Just do it.
6. Take time to work on passion projects.
As a working mom, it can be hard to carve out time to work on things that are just for me. I already feel guilty that I work 40+ hours/week. How could I possible take more time away from my family for something that will solely benefit me? Easily. Take the time. I don’t know if Beyoncé’s album is going to get any awards, or how many records that it’ll break, but I’m sure she’s going to bed every night feeling fulfilled. You may not be creating an opus record, but that doesn’t mean whatever you’re passionate about isn’t important. Take the time to be intentional and create for your own personal fulfillment. It’ll make you a better woman.
7. It’s okay for you to be the center of attention.
There’s a reason that Beyoncé named her record, Beyoncé. She wanted to make sure you knew that this album was about her. Yes, she is the mother of that adorable little Blue Ivy, but this album release ain’t about her. And that’s just fine! It’s okay for you to be the person that folks are looking at. There are times when you’ll need to support your children or your partner, but when it’s your time to be in the spotlight, own it. Own it, and be unapologetic about your shine.
8. Don’t apologize if people don’t like what you do.
There are people that are going to have something about everything you do. Folks told Beyoncé she can’t act. She didn’t apologize for taking roles. She did what she wanted to do all the way to the bank. If you aren’t being offensive or hateful, there’s no need to apologize because you are brave enough to step out and follow your dreams. Most of the time, the folks that want you to apologize are hatin’ anyway. And haters gon’ hate regardless. Whatever.
9. Vacations are important.
We’ve all seen the pictures of Beyoncé and her family vacationing and traveling around on a yacht. Ain’t nothing wrong with that! Listen, if you are going to be an amazing mom, and a fantastic wife, you need time to decompress. If you work outside of the home, don’t worry about your employer. They’ll be fine. If you run your own business, put your out of office message on and go get some some R&R. As a matter of fact, I’ll bet Beyoncé was sitting on somebody’s beach when she came up with the idea for this album. I mean, 17 visual tracks? Whaaaat???
10. Your story is important. Your voice is important. Share it.
Beyoncé isn’t the only woman with something to say. There are so many diverse women in the world with interesting experiences. When we share our stories, our truths, we can inspire or encourage others. I’m not superstar by any means, but this blog, and the insight that I give into my life, I know that it helps other women. It’s the same for you. We are just as important as Beyoncé. Share your story, let your voice be heard, and be great, Mama. You don’t have to have an audience of millions to make a difference in someone’s life.