The Doulas Creating A Better Pregnancy Journey For Black Families

Tayo: Easy, my mom. I am watching myself turn into her. I think there are so many beautiful things she planted in me. Now that I’m going through motherhood myself, there’s a lot of symbolic water that’s falling on me, and these plants are blossoming. It was my mom who taught me how to plan, how to strategize, and how not to just dream, but really meticulously manifest what you need and what you want. It was my mom who taught me not to be ashamed in any way for wanting everything.

All of those things I’m learning from her supports my own motherhood journey. As an adult woman, I’m constantly looking right back at my mom like, wow, I get this. I get it. I’m also seeing her live many of the things that I’m trying to master. And it’s really encouraging for me to know that she taught me these things, but it wasn’t because she mastered them herself. She is actively working at them every day. So I see that I might not get this right now, but I will still be OK. And I can keep working at it for the rest of my life. And it’ll work out for me.

Tone: If I could only choose one woman, it would have to be my grandma. I lost my mom when I was in my early 20s, and my grandma has been the person who has helped me understand the things that I that my mom deposited in me. No matter what’s going on with my grandma, or how often I talk to her, she always makes time for me. She always made space for me to grow. And even in my growth, she’s still planting things — or watering things, or pruning things. I feel really grateful and blessed that she attended all my births — it made me feel safe and secure.

I love how she springs into action at a moment’s notice. I love how she barely sleeps. She can just be ready to go for anything that I need. You know, she helped me over a lot of obstacles in my parenting by just being supportive of whatever I was doing at the time.

I appreciate the strength of the women that are in my family, and that all comes from my grandma. Because if she was a crumbly cookie, we would be crumbly cookies, but she’s not. I appreciate the fact that I come from all of the good line of strong, compassionate, resourceful, brave, loving, smart women.

This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.

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