Fly Mamas: A Look At Modern Black Motherhood

Welcome BuzzFeed Folks! Thanks so much for coming to see more beautiful images of Black motherhood! Learn more about me on my About Me page. I’m a former single mother, kind of newlywed, pushy Bay Area girl. Get to know a sista!

Motherhood sure does look different than when I was a kid. Back then, the moms I knew all seemed so old! I could never imagine being their age and doing all of the grown up things that they did like drinking coffee, paying bills, and (since it was the eighties and all) smoking cigarettes. I still don’t smoke, but I’ve got the coffee and bill paying down, so I guess I’m a real mom, huh? It’s funny to think that there were no mom blogs or websites to show women how to be mothers. Most of the parenting books were focused on the physical care of children, while now there’s a definite shift to nurturing the soul.

Black mothers have long been the default head of so many families, and much of how kids turn out becomes a reflection on how she handles that responsibility. It’s a big job. Add in the pressure of raising children in a world filled with prejudice and injustice, the deeply challenging history of Blacks in America, and kids being kids and it’s hard not to recognize the strength of our mothers. So much of the foundation of my parenting values were shaped by the women who raised me. They were hardworking and did the best they could to love and provide for my cousins, siblings and me. It had to be difficult, especially in the tumultuous eighties and nineties, but they did it, and we all made it through.

It’s different for Black moms these days. We are a lot more privileged in many ways. More of us are educated and have great jobs. Our children go to private schools, and we have an overal better quality of life. Our forefathers, uh, mothers, paved the way for that. What does Black motherhood look like these days? It’s more carefree, for sure. There’s more intentional quality time being spent because there are more distractions. We’re forced to schedule time together or it won’t happen. We’re more lenient with our children, allowing for questions and providing opportunities for discovery and self-realization. Basically we’re letting our kids get away with loose lips more frequently! We’re trying more things like yoga (!), smoothies (!), and only buying organic food. We done got bougie, y’all. 😉

Regardless of the differences, we have to pay homage to the women that came before us. If it wasn’t for the Black mothers making sacrifices for us to go to college, try out new things, and pushing us through barriers, there wouldn’t be nearly as many fly mamas. So, what does modern Black motherhood look like?      

We encourage our children to be true to themselves.

A photo posted by Amiyrah (@amiyrahm) on

 

We aren’t making dinner every night. Sometimes Mama needs a break, so we head to the drive through. We aren’t ashamed, either.

 

Time off? We don’t need time off. We just strap a baby to our chest (and sometimes one on our back, too) and keep it moving. Modern Black mothers know how to hustle.

A photo posted by addye_b (@addye_b) on

 

We’re removing the pressure to excel and giving our children the space to enjoy learning.

 

We aren’t worried about spoiling our children. They will be loved on at all times. Period.

 

Instead of sending them away when they come around, we draw them closer to us, even during “me time”.

The real reason we take so many selfies is to sneak in snuggles.

A photo posted by Michelle (@divawithapurpose) on

 

We’re passionate about taking our children new places and introducing them to new experiences.

A photo posted by Makeba Giles (@melisasource) on

We understand that we are modeling everything for our children. From fashion to faith and everything in between, we don’t take our task lightly.

 

We engage enthusiastically with the things our kids love. We want to encourage them!

We understand the value of a vacation and are taking our kids on more of them. Our little ones are jetsetters!

 

Creating special memories is important. We get that, and never miss a moment to create a memory.

We know the challenges our children have to face in society, and we choose to be their bright spot and allies.

 

We aren’t worried about getting our hair wet or getting dirty. If it’s fun, we’re doing it.

A photo posted by Roshini Cope (@glamazini) on

We embrace technology and appreciate it for the way it helps us to connect with our kids.

A photo posted by LaShawn (@lashawnwiltz) on

 

We show affection, and lots of it, because we see how much it fills our children up.

A photo posted by Laila (@lailamccloud) on

 

We’re okay with being friends with our children. Yeah, we’re mom first, but we are definitely friends.

 

We know our children are watching us, so we make sure we smile. A lot.

 

We take our children places when they’re young. We want them to be used to having adventures!

  A photo posted by Nae Staggs (@ichoosethesun) on

 

We don’t mind getting goofy with our kids. It’s important that we have fun together.

A photo posted by thedudemom (@thedudemom) on

 

We show confidence in front of our children. We can’t teach them to love who they are if they don’t witness our acceptance of our own selves.

  A photo posted by Jasmine Banks (@djazzo) on

We are naturally beautiful, and know that outward beauty is influenced by the soul. 

A photo posted by Sheena Tatum (@sheenatatum) on

 

We are active and move! We don’t let being a mom stop us from being fit and staying fly.

  A photo posted by Deanna Underwood (@mommy_gaga) on

We never stay put. We’re always going somewhere with our little roadies next to us!

  We encourage our kids to have BIG dreams.

A photo posted by alejandra (@msalexandrav) on

 

Sometimes, though, we don’t encourage. We just take the time to BE with our kids.

  A photo posted by Tara Jefferson (@tarajefferson) on

No matter what we do or where we go, the fact remains the same—everything we do is for them.

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