Let’s Celebrate the Beauty and Joy of Black Motherhood

I’m a Black mom. It’s not always easy, for lots of reasons, systemic racism and unconscious bias against our children being two biggies. But I’m not here to focus on that today. 

Pamela and her kids, Photo credit Tammy Ljungblad/The Kansas City Star

It’s Black History Month, and I am here to celebrate the beauty that is Black motherhood. 

In the words of my friend and fellow Kansas City Mom Collective contributor Victoria, “Today, I am choosing to celebrate Black joy, Black creativity and Black Lives— existing out loud and unapologetically.”

We are beautiful, complex human beings, just like you. We are moms, just like you. And we love and want the best for our babies, just like you.

I love being a mom. And the part of motherhood that brings me the most joy is seeing my kids laugh, have fun together, and be kids. They fight a lot for sure, but they love each other deep, and whenever my daughter reaches for her brother’s hand, it gives me all the feels. Snuggling them when they let me also ranks high up there.

I talked to a few other local moms about why and how motherhood brings them joy.

Dierdra Z. and her son
Dierdra Z. of Raymore is an inspiring mom friend who often shares great tips about raising Black men.

The part of motherhood that brings me the most joy is being able to see the amazing, crazy, beautiful evolution of this human being from a heartbeat on a fuzzy ultrasound screen to a tall, lanky, handsome, jokester/philosopher, boy/man who is able to make me both laugh until I cry and cry until I laugh, and give me my most compelling reason to get up in the morning every day and face it with joy, hope, and a fierce commitment to make the world a better place for him and the generations after him.”

Denise J. of Kansas City, loves being a mom of two little people with big ideas. 

My favorite part of being a mom is watching my kids’ own personalities, observations, and opinions form for themselves,” she said.

My fellow KCMC blogger Victoria also said that seeing her girls do their thing is amazing.
Victoria with her girls

“The part of motherhood that brings me joy is teaching my daughters to love bodies and speak boldly when it matters most. Being an introverted mom, I struggle with needing alone time, but I’m learning to teach my daughters that it is OK to ask for what you need and take what you need without guilt. Seeing them each come into their own fills me with pride.”

Another fellow Kansas City Mom Collective contributor Sherita says her favorite part of being a mom is watching her babies apply what she’s taught them.

“I have always shown them lessons that will help them along the way and also help others. Motherhood has taught me that I give from a place of emptiness sometimes — and that’s OK because I want them to see that a love like that is true and deserves to be shared.”

Ericka D. and her daughter
Ericka D. of Overland Park called being a mom “extraordinary.”

“My favorite part about being a mom is feeling a level of love I’ve never experienced before. A mother-daughter bond is special,” she said.

Monic H., a mom of two in the Northland, said watching her kids grow made the top of her motherhood list, too.

“I love to see them learn new things, explore, and gain understanding. I get joy from seeing them accomplish things, learn from their mistakes, and keep trying when things get hard. And I get joy (and laughter) from hearing how their minds work and them telling me jokes. I even enjoyed the sleepless nights, the endless crying, and the constant dependence.”

She said there was a time in her life when she didn’t want children. She’d hear people talk about the pains of childbirth, the worry, the sleepless nights. 

“But those same parents would say, ‘It’s such a joy!’ I’d be thinking, ‘You never talk about the joys, though.’ It turned me off. “

Monic H. with her children

It wasn’t until she got out of a bad marriage that she wanted to start a family. 

“Honestly, it wasn’t until I had my own kids that I could pinpoint the joy,” she said. “Having older parents myself, I’ve come to see firsthand how kids grow up and, as parents, you wish you could rock them to sleep again, or comfort their tears, or even know where they are at night. So I have come to be able to find joy in it all. Count it all joy.”

Black motherhood. Unapologetic joy. Happy Black History Month.

Pamela Spencer de la Fuente
Pamela de la Fuente is a proud native of Flint, Michigan. She moved to Kansas City in 2003 to work at The Kansas City Star. Since then, she’s bought two houses, gotten married, worked at some other KC companies, and had a couple of kids. She is a La Leche League leader (Ask her about breastfeeding!), a mom of two, and a professional writer and editor. Pamela loves big and small adventures with her family, sampling craft beer with her husband, David, and eating ice cream all year round.