Let’s talk about black moms real quick.
So, last night, star of Basketball Wives and LA socialite Draya Michele posted a very transparent and possibly too honest caption to social media about not wanting to sign off on her son’s homework:
In reaction, Black Twitter did what Black Twitter does — they dragged her within an inch of her reality life. Her mom credentials were called into question left and right by people who I can only imagine are not parenting experts or parents. Some people thought she was neglecting her basic duties as a mother, that her carelessness was a reflection of her ability to properly raise her kids and that she was selfish to even bring it up.
OK, sure. Let’s go ahead and state the obvious. Sign the paper, Draya. In the time it took to post that long Instagram post, you could have signed his paper a few dozen times and been done with it. A few commenters on Twitter even asked a kind of obvious question about Kniko’s forging abilities. Because raise your hand if you ever signed off on your own homework? (But kudos to him for being honest!)
Slight scolding aside for the pettiness, the real problem is how people reacted to it. This is mom life. It’s not always gonna look like Beyoncé’s rooftop photoshoot baby reveal or those adorable pictures of Serena and baby Alexis. Sometimes it looks like a hot mess and it feels even messier. From the outside looking in, all we see are the highlights. But what’s so wrong with a mom putting her foot down about an obviously irritating homework assignment? As mothers, we don’t always swoon every time our children open their mouths. Sometimes we do just want them out of our faces. So. What?
Aside from the fact that this is just a day in the life of the average mom, how about we show some support instead? After all, Black mothers get dragged enough as it is. Hell, black women get dragged enough — for every little thing. If our actions don’t fit the societal norm of what’s appropriate and acceptable, we’re taken to judgment and our entire worth is decided by a biased jury. She didn’t beat the child or kick him out into the streets. She refused to sign something she felt was repetitive and irritating. That’s not a crime and it’s not even that far-fetched. As a mother, I can’t tell you how many times I opted out of something that would otherwise drain me of the few remaining scruples I had that day — even if that one thing would have benefited my child. It happens. I would bet that every mother in the world could say the same.
In fact, let’s be honest — we were all raised by Black mothers who at least on one occasion told us to get TF out of their face. If my mother told me to leave her alone, I found a way to push through without her for a minute. If she forgot to sign my homework assignment, I bribed my classmate with the good cursive to sign it for me. If my mom was too tired after working her second job to cook, I made something for myself. I wasn’t scared by any of these incidents and if anything — they made me that much more self-reliant. Besides, we’ve seen what happens to children when they grow up having every whim and need coddled by their parents — and it ain’t always pretty.
So, Black Twitter might be disappointed that motherhood doesn’t come with an everlasting supply of patience and grace like they thought. Draya Michele may have received a much needed lesson in oversharing on social media about her mom woes. And hopefully, Kniko has figured out that sometimes it’s better just to do it yourself.
Looks like we all learned something.
(Photo: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)