This week in our Motherhood Unfiltered series, we’re thrilled to have had the chance to sit down and get real and raw about motherhood with Tanya Hayles. Tanya is an award-winning creative authentically telling stories, creating change, building movements through the online global village of almost 30,000 Black Moms Connection, and making DEI work real and relatable through her firm Color In White Spaces and a thought leader on Black motherhood, recently doing a TedxToronto talk on the very subject. From editorial and social media copywriting to racial representation to public speaking—Tanya brings her fresh brand of authenticity everywhere she goes using the power of storytelling to change the world. Let’s dive in!
What have you felt has been the best part of motherhood thus far?
Seeing a lesson you taught actually being applied. You never know if they are listening to you, so it's an amazing feeling when they show that they are. That and the hugs.
Do you ever feel shame when discussing your experiences of being a mom?
Absolutely. Being a single mom from onset means I cannot give him the ONE thing he wants most in the world - a dad. The guilt I carry is hard to shake and can be harder to acknowledge. I occasionally share my story, not only to help me but others that might be going through the same thing.
Is there anything you wished that moms talked about more openly?
The differences in motherhood. We don't all come at motherhood in the same way, so why do we expect that we go through it similarly? Black, Muslim, LGBTQ+, HOH (Hard of hearing) moms all have specific experiences that add additional layers to how they parent. It's ok and important to acknowledge that.
When you first became a mom, did anything stand out for you as being surprising or unexpected?
Postpartum poops. And how breastfeeding can be painful.
What do you think is a common misconception about motherhood?
Love doesn't come easy. Movies made it seem as though as soon as they arrive you are overcome with a wave of emotion that is everlasting. But as they get older and communicate differently, you can always love them, but you may not like them as people at that moment. And that is ok. As long as it's just a brief moment and keep the communication honest and fair to you both.
If you could go back in time and tell yourself something before you had kids, what would it be?
You've been trained to do this your whole life. No matter what it looks like, you'll be ok. You will learn AND unlearn a lot.
What would you say is the best piece of advice you could offer to a new mom-to-be?
Growth includes change. Which happens daily. This means they might love bananas one day, and hate them the next. That as soon as you get the hang of one stage, you enter a new one. That as they grow, so are you as their mom. Parenting is a journey of winning one day at a time. Celebrate the small ones.
Thanks so much for sharing your motherhood journey, Tanya! For more information about Black Moms Connection, head to https://www.blackmomsconnection.com/.