How To Begin Reparenting Your Inner Child
The technical definition of reparenting yourself is giving yourself what you didn't have as a child. While I agree, the journey to successfully giving your inner child what you didn't receive is not that cut and dry - you can think you've as Auntie Iyanla says "done the work," and then you're triggered out of nowhere and have to go back to square one. Wellness is a journey, and to successfully explore reparenting; you have to be prepared for those curveballs your inner child with throw at you.
Last summer, I went to visit my dad, stepmom, and my little brother. When I arrived, he told me my younger sister was coming too. I was excited because I hadn't seen her in years (there's six of us, I'm the second oldest.) My siblings and I aren't close, but I'm always optimistic, so I was excited to see her; but I'll admit, I just wanted to hang with my dad. We have a great relationship, but like any parent/child dynamic, it's had its struggles, especially when you consider that I'm his oldest daughter.
Overall, my takeaway from most older siblings I encounter is that there's often underlying jealously of their younger siblings, and resentment for their parents. Most of us are seeing them engage, show up, and overall navigate life differently with our siblings in ways that they never did with us. Not to mention the painful moments that our siblings either never experienced or are too young to remember that being older, we recount vividly. These aren't easy emotions to navigate, especially with people that you love deeply.
Moments like those, and what happened next can be triggering AF - but it showed me that I wasn't as past my childhood trauma as I thought, and it gave me the crash course in inner child healing that I needed.
The night my sister arrived, my dad told me that he was getting her a car because she was starting college. When I left for college, my father was in prison, and my mother was unemployed - it was rough, so it stung, but I was happy for her. Still, I knew I had to set boundaries and not physically be there when they went to the dealership. We spent every other day together working out, having family dinners, swimming in his development, etc. but that day, I made sure (without causing a scene, you can set boundaries and not be selfish) that I would be MIA. Before they left for the dealership, my dad dropped me off at Starbucks to work, I told him I missed writing, and that this was my Saturday routine at home (which is true) so he wouldn't suspect anything.
He never said anything, but my guess is he didn't buy it because he called several times to ask if I was OK, and I said yes every time. I had the best day to myself, the hours flew by, and once they finished, he showed up to get me. Minutes into the car ride, I realized they weren't finished; we were going back to the dealership - the same dealership I told him I didn't want to go to. They had to sign some additional papers, and when they got out the car and walked towards the convertible he was all set to purchase, I felt myself losing it.
I got out of the car, and I walked far enough so that no one could see me, and I called my mother crying hysterically. It didn't matter that I had a car that I loved, in that moment, I was 17, and even though my dad was in eyes reach of me, I instantly felt abandoned. The emotions that followed shocked me even more because out of nowhere, I started to get flashbacks about my ex. It was as if my unresolved trauma was like, "Wait you forgot something," and I cried even harder, thinking of all the ways my ex showed up for other women that he never did for me.
I was a mess, a complete mess.
As I dried my tears, my mom calmed me down, and reminded me of where we are now and that I was safe. She told me that had my dad been home, he would have been there and that his absence didn't mean he didn't care about my needs, it meant he was in prison - a place where he was suffering too. Once we got home, I went for a swim by myself and guess who showed up? My dad.
He told me that he was sorry if seeing him do things for my sister that he couldn't do for me was painful, and that if I wanted, he would trade in my car too. The 15-year-old in me who would've killed for a punch buggy convertible wanted to respond, "Hell yeah!" But the 26-year-old adult whose car is almost paid off knew that wouldn't fix anything. The car wasn't the issue, the feelings of inadequacy were.
Inner child healing is admitting what the issues are, even when you don't want to face what's underneath the surface. If you've ever had a moment like mine, remember these things as you embark on your reparenting journey:
Your parents were not born to be your parents.
Jada Pinkett Smith's episode of Red Table Talk on forgiving her father gave me the reality check I needed. Along with her brother actor Caleeb Pinkett, the talk show host delved into how she forgave her father - and the moment where she realized that she'd been emotionally dependent on him based on his title:
"I had the most startling realization that Rob's life wasn't about him being my father. It was about him being on his journey, and along the way, he just happened to give life to me."
Freeing yourself from this narrative in your mind allows you to not only forgive your parents, but anyone else who you arrogantly assume has to behave a certain way because of the position they hold in your life.
Remind yourself where you are now.
Trauma can't be all you set your thoughts on; you need to tell yourself good things too. Lately, I remind myself of the small things that are different when I find myself getting sad; I say things like, "I have a growing relationship with God. I'm loved. I'm maturing daily. I'm meeting my own needs. I live in a beautiful home. I'm kind to others."
Affirm the truths that reflect where you are now, not the hurt of your past. Also, enjoy the good parts of your childhood too. My parents passed down much more than trauma - they gave me an understanding of God, creativity, sass and whit, money to travel the world, intelligence, and the freedom to explore any career path that I wanted.
Give everything you ever needed to yourself.
Reparenting can bring up a range of emotions for people who were abandoned, adopted, had inconsistent parents, etc. but here's something that we can all universally apply - your parents don't owe you shit but life. In my mind, I thought my dad should have been as gentle as Woody Carmichael from Spike Lee's Crooklyn, or as hands-on as Flex Washington from the UPN show, One on One,but all of that was rooted in my childlike ignorance of how life worked.
Asking my dad to be anything other than who he was, a young father with minimal references of what a man needed to be for his children was unrealistic AF. Beyond that, wrapping my head around this freed me from looking to anyone to fill voids within me. No one can be everything for you, and embracing this, allowed me to tap into a level of emotional self-sufficiency (and accountability to myself) that I never knew I could.
Have a real conversation with your parents about your childhood trauma (if possible).
A turning point for my dad and me after not speaking for a while was sitting down and talking about everything we left unsaid over the years. He told me things from his childhood that hurt him and admitted that without even knowing he'd been parenting me through the lens of what he didn't have, completely ignoring what I needed and I told him how his behavior affected how I interacted with men.
For the first time, I saw that much of my sensitivity comes from him and that he held onto things just like I did. That conversation made it clear that we both needed to reparent ourselves, and for the first time, I saw my dad for who he was, as a person, and quite frankly, as a child. Additionally, that discussion showed me how important it was that I continue to heal, so my children won't need to have a similar talk with me years from now.
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Dubbed one of the "21 Black Women Wellness Influencers You Should Follow" by Black + Well, Yasmine Jameelah continues to leave her digital footprint across platforms ranging from Forever 21 Plus, Vaseline, and R29 Unbothered discussing all things healing and body positivity. As a journalist, her writing can be found on sites such as Blavity, Blacklove.com, and xoNecole. Jameelah is also known for her work shattering unconventional stigmas surrounding wellness through her various mediums, including her company Transparent Black Girl. Find Yasmine @YasmineJameelah across all platforms.
Chief Mom Officer: 23 Quotes From Working Moms Finding Their Balance
The truth is, Black moms create magic every single day. Whether we're juggling motherhood with a busy 9-5, a thriving business, or staying at home to run a household, no day is short of amazing when you're managing life as a mommy. This Mother's Day, xoNecole is giving flowers to CMOs (Chief Mom Officers) in business who exemplify the strength it takes to balance work with motherhood.
We've commissioned these ladies, who are pillars in their respective industries, for tidbits of advice to get you through the best and worst days of mothering. Here, they share their "secret sauce" and advice for other moms trying to find their rhythm.
Emmelie De La Cruz, Chief Strategist at One Day CMO
"My mom friends and I all laugh and agree: Motherhood is the ghettoest thing you will ever do. It's beautiful and hard all at the same time, but one day you will wake up and feel like 'I got this' and you will get the hang of it. After 4 months, I finally felt like I found my footing to keep my kid and myself alive, but it took vulnerability to take off the cape and be honest about the areas that I didn't have it all together. The healing (physically and emotionally) truly does happen in community - whatever and whoever that looks like for you."
Alizè V. Garcia, Director Of Social & Community Impact at Nike
"I would tell a new mom or a prospective mother that they must give themselves grace, understand and remember there is no right way to do this thing and have fun! When I had my daughter three and a half years ago, I was petrified! I truly had no clue about what to do and how I was going to do it. But with time, my confidence grew and I realized quickly that I have all the tools I need to be the mother I want to be."
Nikki Osei-Barrett, Publicist + Co-Founder of The Momference
"There's no balance. I'm dropping sh*t everywhere! However, my secret sauce is pursuing interests and hobbies outside of what's required of me and finding time to workout. Stronger body equals = stronger mind."
Lauren Grove, Chief Experience Architect, The Grant Access, LLC
"I try to give myself grace. That’s my mantra for this phase of motherhood…grace. I won’t be able to get everything done. To have a spotless house. To not lose my cool after an exhausting day. Those things can’t happen all of the time. But I can take a deep breath and know tomorrow is another day and my blessings are more plentiful than my pitfalls."
Rachel Nicks, Founder & CEO of Birth Queen
"You have the answers within you. Don’t compare yourself to others. Curate your life to work for you. Ask for help."
Tanisha Colon-Bibb, Founder + CEO Rebelle Agency + Rebelle Management
"I know love doesn't pay bills but when I am overwhelmed with work or client demands I take a moment to play with my baby and be reminded of the love, energy, science, and Godliness that went into his birth. I am brightened by his smile and laugh. I remember I am someone's parent and not just a work horse. That at the end of the day everything will work out for the good of my sanity and the love within my life."
Christina Brown, Founder of LoveBrownSugar & BabyBrownSugar
"Learning your rhythm as a mom takes time and can be uncomfortable when you’re in a season of overwhelm. Constantly check in with yourself and assess what’s working and what’s not. Get the help you need without feeling guilty or ashamed of needing it."
Mecca Tartt, Executive Director of Startup Runway Foundation
"I want to be the best for myself, my husband, children and company. However, the reality is you can have it all but not at the same time. My secret sauce is outsourcing and realizing that it’s okay to have help in order for me to perform at the highest level."
Jen Hayes Lee, Head Of Marketing at The Bump (The Knot Worldwide)
"My secret sauce is being direct and honest with everyone around me about what I need to be successful in all of my various "jobs". Setting boundaries is one thing, but if you're the only one who knows they exist, your partners at home and on the job can't help you maintain them. I also talk to my kids like adults and let them know why mommy needs to go to this conference or get this massage...they need to build an appreciation for my needs too!"
Whitney Gayle-Benta, Chief Music Officer JKBX
"What helps me push through each day is the motivation to continue by thinking about my son. All my efforts, though exhausting, are to create a wonderful life for him."
Ezinne Okoro, Global Chief Inclusion, Equity, & Diversity Officer at Wunderman Thompson,
"The advice I received that I’ll pass on is, you will continue to figure it out and find your rhythm as your child grows into new stages. Trust your nurturing intuition, parent on your terms, and listen to your child."
Jovian Zayne, CEO of The OnPurpose Movement
"I live by the personal mantra: 'You can’t be your best self by yourself.' My life feels more balanced when I offer the help I can give and ask for the help I need. This might mean outsourcing housecleaning for my home, or hiring additional project management support for my business."
Simona Noce Wright, Co-Founder of District Motherhued and The Momference
"Each season of motherhood (depending on age, grade, workload) requires a different rhythm. With that said, be open to learning, to change, and understand that what worked for one season may not work the other...and that's okay."
Janaye Ingram, Director of Community Partner Programs and Engagement at Airbnb
"My daughter's smile and sweet spirit help me to feel gratitude when I'm overwhelmed. I want her to see a woman who doesn't quit when things get hard."
Codie Elaine Oliver, CEO & Founder of Black Love
"I try to listen to my body and simply take a break. With 3 kids and a business with 10+ team members, I often feel overwhelmed. I remind myself that I deserve grace for everything I'm juggling, I take a walk or have a snack or even head home to see my kids, and then I get back to whatever I need to get done."
Jewel Burks Solomon, Managing Partner at Collab Capital
"Get comfortable with the word ‘no’. Be very clear about your non-negotiables and communicate them to those around you."
Bridget Bogee, Marketing Lead At Meta
"Ask for help and always prioritize making time for you."
Julee Wilson, Executive Director at BeautyUnited and Beauty Editor-at-Large at Cosmopolitan
"Understand you can’t do it alone — and that’s ok. Relinquish the need to control everything. Create a village and lean on them."
Salwa Benyaich, Director Of Pricing and Planning at Premion
"Most days I really try to shut my computer off by 6 pm; there are always exceptions of course when it comes to big deals or larger projects but having this as a baseline allows me to be much more present with my kids. I love the fact that I can either help with homework or be the designated driver to at least one afterschool activity. Work can be draining but there is nothing more emotionally draining than when you feel as though you are missing out on moments with your kids."
Brooke Ellis, Head of Global Marketing & Product Launches at Amazon Music
My calendar, prayer, pilates class at Forma, a good playlist, and oatmilk lattes all help get me through any day.
Courtney Beauzile, Global Director of Client and Business Development at Shearman & Sterling
My husband is a partner who steps in when I just can’t. My mom and my MIL come through whenever and however I need. My kids have many uncles and aunts and they will lend an ear, go over homework, teach life lessons, be a presence or a prayer warrior depending on the day.
Robin Snipes, Chief of Staff at Meta
"Enjoy the time you have to yourself because once kids come those times will be few and far between."
Monique Bivens, CEO & Founder at Brazilian Babes LLC.
"For new moms, it is very important that you get back into a habit or routine of something you use to do before you were pregnant. Consider the actives and things that give you the most joy and make the time to do them."
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Featured image by Westend61/Getty Images
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What That 'Body Do': Chlöe Bailey Shows Us How She Achieves Her Signature Curves
If you’ve ever wondered what Chlöe Bailey does to achieve her signature curves, you’re in luck because the 24-year-old artist recently gave fans a peek into what’s keeping her fit ahead of hot girl summer.
In a short clip shared to her Instagram stories, the "Treat Me" singer is seen getting her cardio in on the elliptical machine while showing off her toned abs in a gray, leopard print two-piece set and dazzling cross necklace as a light gym flex.
With her medicine ball secured in hand, she knocked out a few reps of standing Russian twists with the support of her trainer nearby. This, we must say, is an impressive take on the traditional ab workout, as it is typically performed while sitting on the floor or gym mat.
Last week, the Atlanta native provided fans with another look into her gym routine with a TikTok video of her performing a sturdy set of glute kickbacks on a cable machine, fittingly to her new song, "Body Do." This exercise is the perfect finishing move for the glutes if you’re looking for growth, gains, and a toned shape. Maintain steady control to experience this exercise's complete burn and benefits.
putting in that work 💪🏾
putting in that work 💪🏾
One thing’s for certain, Chlöe puts in the work to achieve her body, but the journey to embrace her body hasn’t come without trial. In 2021, on Taraji P. Henson’s Facebook Watch show Peace of Mind with Taraji, she shared the impact that social media body shaming has had on her self-image. "I've been like, really insecure for a long time, and I'm finally at that place where I have self-confidence," Bailey said.
"And at first, I was really getting sad about it," she continued. "But then I thought — why would I let that control my thoughts and feelings when I know it's a lie? So I kind of had to give it not so much power. I'm not doing anything crazy; I'm just loving and appreciating my body, and I don't think there's anything wrong with that."
The Praise This star is fresh off the release of her highly anticipated debut solo album and multi-city tour, and judging from her recent videos, we don’t see her slowing down anytime soon. We’re taking notes, Ms. Bailey.
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Featured image by Corey Nickols/Getty Images for IMDb