Posted by: C J | May 13, 2012

When Big Moma ain’t happy…

Heart – to – Heart

          ain’t nobody happy!

Having a baby changes everything and everything changes with the baby. Being a mother whether by choice, design, or accident, is one of the toughest and most rewarding adventures ever. It’s like being Wonder Woman and Indiana Jones rolled into one and it is never-ending.  Sometimes as mothers we forget how power-filled our words are to our children. You know how children seldom forget anything you promise them, especially if you were unable to keep that promise? Well, your exact words may be forgotten but they never forget how those words made them feel. As we celebrate this well deserved Mother’s Day holiday, let’s take a minute to explore when mothers take missteps and the impact those missteps have on a child.

Heart-to-heart: What’s spoken from the heart speaks to the heart – Dr. CJ

When I worked with domestic violence victims and their families, I saw  how the mother’s perception and energy around a relationship was taken on as a truth for her children. If she loved her abuser the children would try to find a way to love him too or at least keep quiet to keep Moma happy. That is why it is so important for mothers to be mindful of how we talk with and to our children, how we carry ourselves in their presence, and who we allow into our inner-circle when they are growing up.

 As I was growing up in a small town, where everybody knows everybody’s business –  the adage, “when mama ain’t happy ain’t nobody happy” fits this discussion and was played out time and time again.  I also noticed how hard it was for the kids to love a man who Moma despised. Or to despise a man who Moma loved. This was especially true for little boys that look just like their father and whose father was  not in their daily life (missing in action-MIA). I often heard moms tell their sons, “You ain’t gonna be nothing just like your no-good-daddy.” I now know what that does to a young boy’s spirit, self-esteem, self-confidence, and sense of self-worth.

When my husband was growing up in the same small town as I did, he was constantly told, “Boy you look just like your daddy.” He told me, “I didn’t know what that meant because I didn’t know him. When I was about eight years old this man walked through my grandmother’s front room where I was playing, he didn’t speak to me, he didn’t look at me, nor did he touch me. But I remember asking Grandma— who is that guy?” and her response was, “Boy, that’s your daddy.” My thought was, “Ooh so that’s who I look like!” He told me, “I struggled as a child with who I was because I looked like a man who didn’t own me as his and I didn’t know. I was a shy child.” — Which you wouldn’t believe if you know him now. (LOL)

We cannot give what we do not have and often as mothers, we are growing up at the same time we are raising our children and therefore lack the deeper meaning of what we say or do and the effect/affect  our actions and words will have on our children for a lifetime.  I disagree with the conventional notion that raising kids doesn’t come with an instruction booklet. I believe the instruction booklet is how we were raised and we chose whether to follow those instructions, make adjustments to them, or make up our own.

Remember wounded people wound others and sometimes the people we love the most hurt us the most. At any rate we all make mistakes and it is never too late to apologize or make amends to our children, whether they are still growing, grown, or on the other side. It is not too late to say thank you for loving me anyway, it’s not too late to peel off a label we attached, and it’s not too late to admit we didn’t know it all and still don’t.

We do not have to be perfect to be loveable. On this Mother’s Day let’s celebrate life. Let’s celebrate being the best mother possible, even if it means starting now. From this day forward we are committed to being mindful of our relationship with our children because what comes out of our mouth touches their heart. I am blessed in that my mother (the  Reverend Geraldine Jenkins) was and is an Earth Angel who gave us (three siblings and me) a safe, loving, and rich environment in which to grow.

To give our best we have to be at our best Dr. CJ

 I apologize to every son and daughter who heard, “you ain’t gone be nothing just like your daddy.”  It is an honor and a privilege to stand in the gap on behalf of mothers who could not give what they did not have, to stand for all mothers who were unable to separate her child from his/her father, who could not give love to her child nor receive her child’s love. I stand in that space offering you the pure love you were denied because of an adult relationship. I hold your face, look into your eyes, and touch your soul with pure love by saying –  I love you, I value you, and I cherish you.  I give you that magical eye-love.

I am not here to place shhhame or blame but here to explain that it is hard for a child to love a manMom hates and hard to hate a manMom loves. What if what those emotions you feel are not even yours? What if it was/is not even about you?

Here is my point: The best gift we can give our children is a healthy – happy mother and whether our children are youngsters or adults they are the reason we celebrate Mother’s Day!

“We cannot live for ourselves alone. Our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads, and along these sympathetic fibers, our actions run as causes and return to us as results.”
– Herman Melville

  • How will you celebrate this Mother’s Day?
  • Will you thank your children and your mother?
  • Do your children have evidence of a happy healthy mother?

I discuss the impact of being a healthy mother in detail in my book Wombology: healing the primordial memories and wounds your grandmother’s daughter gave to you

Come back soon for another cup of comfort!


  1. I agree that we do have instructions for life. For instance if your parents had a rocky relationship, chances are you will not know how to function in a positive and healthy relationship.

  2. I can identify with this because I am the eight year old boy she is talking about in this post. It was 10 years after that encounter before I had a real conversation with my father. Thank God for mothers who care and are careful with their words.

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