All posts filed under: Mama’s Writing

Akilah Richards | Mama’s Writing

Mama’s Writing is Raising Mothers’ monthly interview series, curated by Deesha Philyaw. Nurturing a healthy relationship with my children requires a lot of me. This is not a complaint, it is an observation, and I’m absolutely up for it, though I’m surely not always clear on what “it” means. I don’t get much clarity in my parenting walk, what I do get are clues and cues, which lead me to recognize, and sometimes change, my old patterns. One pattern I notice is that I sometimes find myself reacting to my own reaction far more than I’d like to admit. Let me explain. Inspired by true shit in my real life, told vaguely (so as not to put y’all all in my children’s business)… One of my daughters says something that offends me.  Part of me knows not to jump to conclusions, and to mind my power, because I know that as Mother, I can change the entire weather in the house with my feelings. The other part of me is blasting the words “No. She. Didn’t?!” …

Issa Mas | Mama’s Writing

Mama’s Writing is Raising Mothers’ monthly interview series, curated by Deesha Philyaw. What three words describe you as a mother?  Devoted, self-flagellating, evolving. What surprised you about motherhood?  I was surprised by how much work I needed to do on myself, because of my own childhood, in order to be the best mother I can possibly be for my son. How has parenting influenced your writing? My best parenting has come out of what I’m able to extract from within the nuance of any given situation, and I find that my best writing comes from doing the same. Knowing that your children will read your work at some point, how does that impact your candor when writing? I don’t ever write with my son in mind, so it rarely impacts the writing process. Interestingly enough, I’ve decided to hold a copy of my book for him to read for when he’s older than he is now (14), because I’m not sure if he’s ready to read it just yet. What fictional mother do you most admire?  …

Aliya King Neil | Mama’s Writing

Mama’s Writing is Raising Mothers’ monthly interview series, curated by Deesha Philyaw. What are three words your kids would use to describe you? I have three kids, who would all use different words. My oldest would say creative, the middle would say exasperating and the youngest, my brand new stepson, age 8, would say I’m interesting. Then again, he literally says everything is interesting. What’s the worst motherhood advice you’ve ever gotten? I don’t think I got specific terrible advice. But what I believed about motherhood in general was just hard to live up to. I still don’t know how my mom worked a full-time job, went to school part-time, raised three children and never missed any events, cooked, cleaned and was present for her spouse. I’ve been comparing myself to her all my adult life, and I’ll never live up to her. As I write this, I’m making boxed mac and cheese for my 14 year old. Quelle Horreur! Oh well.  Also, while I LOVE my mom, she kept reminding me that children should be …

Susan Ito | Mama’s Writing

Mama’s Writing is Raising Mothers’ monthly interview series, curated by Deesha Philyaw. What surprised you about motherhood? What a lifelong thing it is; ie. It doesn’t magically “end” when children turn 18/reach “adulthood” (hahah). In fact some of the most intensive years of parenting came during [my children’s] young adulthood! It made me understand my mother who worried and fretted about me well into the time I was in my 60s and she was in her 90s. It doesn’t end! I’ve also been surprised that on the spectrum of motherhood, I’ve been much more inclined to encourage my children’s independence from me. Both of them went to sleepaway camp at age 7 and traveled a lot without me. I’ve gone to 4-8-week writing residencies with the support of my spouse and mother. I’ve been shocked that [some] parents don’t spend any time away from their children until they go to college. Was there a noticeable shift in your writing before and after parenthood? If yes, how so? That’s an interesting question. I actually took one of …

Kelly Jo Ford | Mama’s Writing

Mama’s Writing is Raising Mothers’ monthly interview series, curated by Deesha Philyaw. Who are your writer-mama heroes? My grandmother JoJo is the first person who comes to mind. She raised four girls on her own. Much like Lula in Crooked Hallelujah, my grandmother clawed their way through terrible poverty, telling my mom and aunties to hold their heads high and be proud of who they were, that they could do anything. Through it all, she was writing. She probably has a couple of albums worth of gospel songs she’s written the music and lyrics to. Holiness churches all across the country sing her songs to this day. For many, many years, she wrote a column called Jodie’s Journal in the Sequoyah County Times, her local paper back home in the Cherokee Nation. She’s a very talented woman, one who always insisted on perfect enunciation and proper posture!  I don’t have to think hard about a literary hero of any sort before I’m talking about Louise Erdrich. In a Paris Review Interview in 2010, she says:  By …