Welcome to our weekly column, Reset. Written by Karen Taylor Bass, this column, published each Tuesday, is about life lessons learned and mastered mentally, spiritually, and physically and how they contribute to a successful life and career.
How many of you dislike fake folk who talk up experiences in ways that seem unrealistic? What about the celebrities you admire talking how motherhood is amazing and perfect? Then you realize they are eating baby food to stay slim and have an around-the-clock nanny because they can’t deal.
I love Jill Scott because she is absolutely raw and naked — unafraid to talk life challenges, regardless of the forum and outcome. Motherhood is not about comparing yourself to the next mother. It’s about realizing that life happens so you deal with it the best way you know how by pressing reset every once in a while.
I had the pleasure of chatting with Jill Scott for my book The Brand New Mommy: From Babies To Branding To Bliss about her take on motherhood and why it’s necessary that women portray the real deal, raw, and unfiltered as it relates to birthing ‘dem babies from branding to bliss.
Here’s an excerpt of our conversation from the below:
How was your experience when you were pregnant with Jett?
Jill Scott: When I was pregnant, I heard only beautiful stories about being a mother; the tender moments, little sweet fingers, softness. I so wanted a child and this little person inside me, was my very own miracle. I was excited, happily fat and full of dreams. I imagined nursing my baby while wind chimes clinked outside. I would glow and feel beautiful. My mother would help me. My grandmother would school me, friends would be on deck to support me and my child’s father/my husband would bring me tea and love us both. This would not be my reality.
Why do you think motherhood was initially challenging for you?
JS: In actuality, my mother was across the country caring for my sweet grandma Blue. My friends were busy with full, demanding lives and my son’s father, well… we could hardly bare breathing in the same room. After 36 hours of labor and a vaginal birth, I was sore, exhausted, hormonally unbalanced, emotionally taxed and deeply afraid to be alone. I never felt more alone in my life.
What do you think is one of the biggest misconceptions about motherhood?
JS: Breastfeeding and how easy it is. Ha! I tried to breastfeed. A lactation consultant came. I tried. Every 15 minutes he screamed. I was going crazy; my poor little person. I had no choice but to supplement. I felt like sh*t. Nothing was like I thought. Absolutely nothing.
When did you realize you had to press RESET?
JS: I allowed life and everything to get to me. My mom was far, my grandmother (and best friend) was dying, and the friendship with my son’s dad had disintegrated and I wasn’t prepared for the sad me. I’ve always been moderately positive and always counted the good/bad and prayed for the good things to come. Who was this insanely emotional replica? What had motherhood done to me? I tried to rationalize and knew that I had a lot to be thankful for and I needed help.
How did you press RESET?
JS: I looked at my poor little baby and thought, “I’m already failing you.” My ego and my spirit were puddles under the floor. I just wanted to be a great mother but I wasn’t doing too well. I wasn’t feeling too good either AND I was wallowing in it. It felt like I was dying. I know it sounds extreme but that is truly how I felt.
I had to choose my child. I got up, put that baby in the little lamb singing chair thingy and asked myself what was really really wrong. OK so he didn’t breast feed, I thought, but he’s alive ain’t he? And maybe his father and I didn’t make it to forever, but we made a beautiful, healthy boy and he’s alive ain’t he? Shoooot maybe my friends couldn’t drop their lives. Who the hell was I to ask them to anyway? I was being a punk. I took a long look in the mirror at the new mother I saw and quietly screamed, “Stop bitching and focus.”
While my baby slept, I cried one more “good” cry. I felt better. I needed rest. I asked friends who loved us to come anytime they could, for an hour, so I could sleep. They did. I felt better. I hired a loving, mature, woman with three adult children, a southern background and the skin the color of rich fertile soil to be OUR nanny. She gave me breaks and a chance to heal. The crying nights became easier. My patience blossomed. I discovered my Jett was lactose intolerant. OH 🙁 I changed his formula. We felt better. I befriended a trainer (Scott P). I kick boxed through massive depression and aggression. My ex-fiancé and I communicated (kinda). I went back into the studio. It was cathartic. I could see myself finding a rhythm. I was nurturing to my child, patient with us both. Life got better.
Jill Scott’s RESET (in her words):
I’ve learned that
Motherhood is the most demanding job created.
Motherhood is not a dream or a fable etched in the mind.
Nothing is simple when you love someone this much. Nothing is neat when you’re this needed
Life doesn’t stop because you’ve given birth.
A new life begins and you own it and make it yours.
Karen Taylor Bass loves to share interesting and motivational stories about women pressing reset on their terms. Follow Karen @thebrandnewmom