To the Mothers of America:

by Dr. Megan Babb 17 days ago in children

Do You Remember When?

To the Mothers of America:

Remember when you discovered you were going to be a parent? The moment you learned that inside you, was another life? Remember the incredible fear and excitement you felt all at the same time? All you worried about was whether or not you would be a good mother. Do you remember when?

If yes, keep reading.

Remember the day this child was born; the day your water broke? Remember when you thought you weren’t strong enough to make it through the contractions? When you doubted your ability to bring this human life into the world. Remember the hurt was so great it took your breath away? But despite all the pain, doubt, and fear you did it and for the first time heard your baby cry. On this day, you became a mother. All you worried about were your responsibilities to this other human being. Do you remember when?

If yes, keep reading.

Remember how alone you felt just weeks after the baby was born? All the times when you thought you were failing in your new role. It had been a week since your last shower, it was three in the afternoon and you were still in your pajamas. You smelled like spit-up and all you wanted to do was cry. How about the time you felt guilty for wanting a free minute to yourself? But with each passing day, you kept going. You endured. All you worried about were all the things you were doing wrong as a mother. Do you remember when?

If yes, keep reading.

Remember how quickly the time passed? Remember your child’s first day of school? Remember how adorable they looked with their over-sized backpack which had nothing inside except a snack and a handwritten note from you that they were unable to read by themselves? Remember the knot in your throat? Remember seeing all the other moms dropping off their child for the first time too and wondering why they didn’t seem scared? Remember the tears you had to fight back as the classroom door shut and the bell rang? Remember that tight hug in the afternoon when the bell rang once again, the door opened? It seemed as though in just half a day, they had grown older. Remember the sense of relief knowing you both made it through the day? All you worried about was whether or not your child was making new friends. Do you remember when?

If yes, keep reading.

Remember the day you blinked and this baby had turned into a teenager? Remember all the times you remembered when… Thinking about all the cuddles, the hugs, the kisses, the days when they wanted nothing more than to be your shadow? Remember the time when you reached out for a hug and received a shrug instead? Remember when their free time was no longer spent at home? Remember the first time you handed over your car keys to them? All you worried about was whether or not a night out with friends would end with them home, tucked safely in their bed. Do you remember when?

If yes, keep reading.

Remember the day this child graduated college? Do you remember how proud you felt as you watched them cross the stage to receive their diploma? Do you remember how overwhelming it was to see this life you created transition into an adult right before your eyes? All you worried about was whether or not they would get a job and succeed in life. Do you remember when?

If yes, keep reading.

Remember when they were in their mid-twenties and found the love of their life? When you watched your child marry and start this new life with another. Remember when they asked for your advice on whether to buy a home or rent? They started hugging you again. All you worried about was whether or not they would visit you often. Do you remember when?

If yes, keep reading.

Reflecting on all that has happened in this short time since their birth, do you look back and remember all the times when you feared for their future because of the color of their skin? Remember the day when they sat in your lap and you had to explain why all the people in the stories you read looked different than them because for the first time, they noticed this difference? Do you remember how shaken up you were when you learned they were pulled over by a police officer? All you worried about was whether or not they would be shot and killed for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. For driving in the wrong part of town. For running down their street. For just. Being. Black. Do you remember when?

If no, keep reading.

Do you remember the last time you used their name in the present tense because you had not learned of their death? Do you remember how your heart sank to the ground and shattered into a million pieces when you learned that this life you brought into the world was taken by another because of ignorance, hatred, and racism? All you worried about was whether or not the individuals who shot and killed your child would be brought to justice. Do you remember when?

If no, keep reading.

In place of memories tightly intertwined with daily fears of racism, there is silence. This place is void of the sounds of worry that come from raising a child of color. You do not hear a sound bellowing from within the depths of your soul over the loss of your child to hatred, the sound of a mother’s pain on losing a child simply because this child was Black.

If you hear silence, you have never experienced racism.

If you hear silence, you, like me, are white, with a privilege bestowed to you at birth.

If you hear silence, this space must be filled with sounds of justice.

I am a mother and I hear silence. This is why I choose to run with Ahmaud Arbery.

For Wanda. My heart is with you and every mother who has lost a child to senseless, irreparable acts of racism.

And for Dr. Roberts, I march beside you. Always.

You can find other pieces written by Dr. Megan Babb's by clicking the links below. And be sure to follow her on Twitter and Instagram by clicking the hyperlinks: (@MeganBabb1522) and (mbabb1522).

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A very special thank you to Dr Saira Malik Rahman for her illustration above. Be sure to follow her on Instagram by clicking the hyperlink: (@SairaMalikRahman).

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children
Dr. Megan Babb
Dr. Megan Babb
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Dr. Megan Babb

I am a mother to four, a wife to one, and a physician to many. I like to reach others through words of advocation to give a voice to those in need. Welcome to my village where all are welcome.

Twitter: @meganbabb1522

Instagram: mbabb1522

See all posts by Dr. Megan Babb