Sooooo, I'm just gonna put it right on out there from front street. This is not the kind of article that you skim real quick while you're supposed to be working or you take in during your lunch break if you're already not in the best of moods. The reason why I say that is because it's been both my personal experience and observation that whenever we, as adults, dig into our childhoods, it can touch on some spots that may still be wounded or cause us to respond or react in ways that we didn't expect. So, if just hearing that has already resonated with you, please wait until you're in a place and mental space where you can freely and safely take all of this in.
That said—whew—I think it's time that some of us dive into what it means to have real and significant mama issues. Because I'm pretty sure that it's not just me who can relate to the fact that oftentimes, when we're trying to heal from our past, it's the daddy issues that tends to come up a lot, both in the media and in conversation. Oh, but sis, if you had a broken, abusive or dysfunctional-on-some-level kind of mother, you might be surprised by how much that affected and infected you to some degree.
For instance, far too often, when I'm in a session with a couple, I realize that a lot of the drama and trauma is directly the result of a woman (and yes, sometimes a man but we're gonna deal with us today) who didn't have the best kind of mother when she needed one the most. That's the sad part. The silver lining is, once you recognize that as being a core issue, you can seek the help and healing that you need.
So, are you ready to (possibly) take some Band-Aids off today? Here are seven signs that you may have some mommy issues that are still haunting your world right at this very moment—and maybe didn't even realize it. Until now.
1.You Hate Men (Because Your Mama Did/Does)
I'm over it. I really am. It's like, whenever I do tiptoe out into social media, it seems like a good 40 percent of posts from Black women that I see are how "trash" men are. After a while, I start to wonder if that's all some women think about. And while, the first thing that comes to mind is, "What is your relationship with your dad like?", I've gotta say that the follow-up is usually, "How did your mom talk about men while you were growing up?" because just like a child isn't born, say, a racist, children also don't come out of the womb hating a gender either.
The reality is that none of us exist without an egg (woman) and sperm (man). Both make up who we are and both hold much validity. If even just hearing that makes your skin crawl, spend some time thinking about what your mother told/taught you about men because, while it happens sometimes, it's rare that I know an instance where a woman hates men and her parents don't have something directly to do with it.
Trust me, there is nothing beneficial or even attractive about making it your personal mission to tear men—especially Black men—down. If you've been hurt by one, therapy can help with that. But joining in the blood sport of publicly denouncing and belittling men—again, especially Black men—may be popular but it's still not a good look and it certainly does nothing for your romantic relationship or you as a parent if you happen to be raising a son. Or even a daughter, when you really stop to think about it.
2.You Control Others (Because Your Mama Controlled You)
I can raise my hand in this class right here because I grew up with a controlling mother. I think a big part of the reason it played out that way is because she was raised in an out-of-control household. When that happens, oftentimes it causes us to become so scared of losing control as adults that we basically try and rule over everything around us. It wasn't until I became an adult that I realized that as much as I loathed her controlling ways, that some of that indeed had rubbed off on me. Because I am a very direct and pretty black-and-white kind of person when it comes to how I approach life, that already is…a lot. Add control to that dynamic and it can make you a pretty challenging person to deal with.
Remember Angela from the Tyler Perry Why Did I Get Married? movies? I believe it was the sequel when she said something about her husband along the lines of, "I don't want to control him; I just want him to do what I say." That's my mother in a nutshell. In some ways, she still has controlling tendencies and I'm in my 40s. It has taken many years for me to break that cycle within myself and learn that folks can make their own choices, have the right to their own boundaries and don't always need my input about either point.
If you're not sure if you're a controlling person or not, ask some of the people closest to you. If they exhale and then nod their head up and down, try and avoid getting defensive. Instead, hear them out. If you hated being controlled as a child, imagine how the people around you feel about you trying to run them on some level when they are adults. Controlling is a form of abuse. Break free from it.
3.Your Mouth Is Super Slick (Because Your Mama Talked Crazy)
This one right here, boy. I'm a woman and even I must say that something that drives me totally up the wall is a woman who feels like she can say whatever to whomever and then, when she gets some of what she dished served back, here comes all of the tears and self-victimization; in a nutshell, manipulation. If you've got a slick mouth, you should be able to handle it when it's served back at you. And yet, what's the need for being like that in the first place? Real talk.
I think it's insane that this crazy world we live in has so many of us out here acting like femininity (cue Eric Benet's song "Femininity") is some sort of degrading word. Hmph. One day we'll talk about how white feminism plays a huge role in the breakdown of the Black community. For now, I'll just say that if you know you can be harsh, even when it isn't really warranted and your attitude about it has always been "That's just the way that I am", do some reflecting on that point. Are you sure?
Oftentimes, the energy that we give others is based on the energy that was displayed to us when we were young. If your mom was always loud and abrasive, borderline insulting or always had something slick and somewhat disrespectful to say (because children can be disrespected by adults too), even if you didn't like it, it's still all that you knew. And we often do what we see.
I always liked that the Bible said that women are supposed to have a "quiet and gentle spirit" (I Peter 3:4). Uh-huh. The fact that some of y'all don't even like that is weird because what's wrong with being peaceful and non-abrasive? Goodness. Me? I have a naturally loud tone to my voice. Yet once my spirit settled, my delivery became very different than it once was. It's one thing to be witty or quick with comebacks. It's another thing for folks to feel exhausted in your presence. If it's the latter, what was your mom's mouth like back in the day? You might be surprised by how much you picked up, without even really realizing it.
4.You’re Hard on Others (Because Your Mama Was Hard on You)
No patience? No grace? No understanding? Always having to talk over others? Constantly thinking that you are right? A gaslighter? A spiritual manipulator? Taking on a one-and-done mentality? If this is you, you're pretty hard on people. And if that is the case, where exactly did that come from? If some of us are real with ourselves, this was exactly how our mother was and so, since she is our first introduction to how a woman is supposed to be, a lot of us grew up thinking that her toxic actions defined womanhood. It takes quite a bit of looking-outside-of-yourself research to understand what is healthy and what is counterproductive when it comes to being a mature, thriving and balanced woman.
We live in a world where mercy and grace are almost on the endangered species list. If you don't seem to have much of it for other people, could it be that your mother didn't have much of it for you? It's a hard pill to swallow yet a total game-changer if you ponder this point long and hard.
5.You Hold Grudges and Can’t Forgive (Because Your Mama’s Like That)
Something that my mother would say to me while growing up is when you divorce someone who you had children with, you oftentimes feel like you're living with a ghost because the child can sometimes have so many of your ex's characteristics (umm, that is how DNA works). I know, straight up, that this was a direct point of contention with me and my mother because while I am like her in some ways, I'm also a lot like my late father. Oftentimes, I got punished, unjustifiably so, because of it. And even as an adult, I would still hear slick ish about my dad from her.
When a person can't fully forgive another individual, that typically leads to a grudge and a grudge leads to bitterness and all kinds of walls going up that folks think others should have to scale in order to "prove themselves". This is why forgiveness is so important because you can find yourself either in some pretty toxic dynamics or ultimately alone because no one wants to have to make up for stuff that wasn't their fault to begin with.
Forgiveness is a biblical principle (Matthew 6:14-15). There are also plenty of articles that speak to how beneficial it is, health-wise. If you're someone who has a hard time forgiving or you feel like folks have to basically kill themselves to get in your good graces (again), is that how your mother modeled forgiveness to you? Is that how you had to earn her forgiveness? Children tend to be extremely merciful beings. If as an adult, you aren't that way, something's up. What is it?
6.You’re Scared to Become a Mother (Because of How Your Mama Treated You)
My journey to healing as it relates to my own mother has been a roller coaster ride. Some things you don't "get over", you just find ways to deal with. Anyway, I've been open about the fact that I've had four abortions before. I remember my mother once calling me, out of the blue, to say that she apologized for the role that she played in them. I found that to be pretty humbling and insightful on her part because while it was ultimately my decision, because of so much that had transpired in my childhood, I must admit that a part of me was fearful to carry a child to term because I thought the generational curse of abuse would affect my own babies too.
Listen, I am in my mid-40s and while I still have a cycle and have been told that I could still conceive if I want to, I want to be married first. Plus, I personally don't want to be an older parent (more because of what some of my friends with older parents have to deal with in the here and now). I'm pretty sure my womb is closed. I am at peace.
However, if you're someone who does desire children deep down, yet you're making choices that are taking you further away from your want to be a mom (you're choosing the wrong men, you're not proactively preparing for motherhood, etc.), this is another sign that you could very well have mama issues. The way to figure it out is to reflect on what your mom did well as a parent and what she didn't. If the cons outweigh the pros, figure out how to work through that because, while your mother did indeed influence you, she is not you. You can heal and become a great mother. Don't let fear of what someone else did stand in the way. OK?
7.This Triggered TF Outta You. Because.
Lately, I've been listening to some men's podcasts on women. What's a trip to me is whenever female guests come on, a lot of them get super defensive when the guys talk about what they need in a relationship and what they don't like that some women do. While sometimes it can be hard to hear, I don't personalize it because there's nothing to get angry about. Where it applies to me, I appreciate their input (because I wanna grow); where it doesn't, why get triggered? It's not my issue.
Comparing that to this article, any of what I shared has caused you to get angry, put you on edge or really hit you in your gut, ask yourself why that is the case. Because, at the end of the day, this piece had little to do with us and more to do with our mamas. If you do see yourself anywhere in here, you've got time to make some changes. If you see your mother in here, pray on and meditate about if it's a conversation worth having with her. If none of this applies, girl, give thanks. A healthy childhood consists of healthy parents and when you have healthy parents, you've got a far greater chance at being a healthy adult who creates healthy kids too.
Daddies? They catch a lot of hell out here. Yet they didn't make us alone. Getting free from various mommy issues can make all of the difference in the world. Please make sure that you do, OK? For your sake and the sake of those who love you…now that you are your own person. An adult.
Join our xoTribe, an exclusive community dedicated to YOU and your stories and all things xoNecole. Be a part of a growing community of women from all over the world who come together to uplift, inspire, and inform each other on all things related to the glow up.
Featured image by Giphy
- 10 Men Told Me How They Like To Be (Emotionally) Pampered ... ›
- 10 Signs You're In A Toxic Relationship - xoNecole: Women's ... ›
- My Fixer Revelation - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
Imma tell y’all what — it seems like not one week goes by when I don’t see some sort of so-called term that has me like, “What in the world?” For instance, when I first stumbled upon “self-partnering,” honestly, I laughed. Then shared it with some other single people as well as married folks I know. And I kid you not, every individual was like, “What the heck does that mean?” When I told them that it was yet, one more way to seemingly define single living, basically everyone’s follow-up was, “Oh, brother.”
Why can’t (more) singles just be single and be okay with that? Good Lord. Why does there need to be some sort of relational play-on-words to make it sound like we’re with someone — even if we’re not?
Now masterdating? Even though it’s not even close to being a “real” word, it’s something that also brought a laugh outta me — although it was then followed by a genuine smile. The laugh because I almost immediately caught the play-on-words. The smile was due to the intention behind it all.
If you’re not familiar with what masterdating is and you’re curious about why you should even care, take a few moments to at least skim through what it’s about and why I think participating, as a single person, is a pretty cool (and effective) concept.
Masturdate: a date w oneself
What’s Masterdating All About?
Masterdating. Okay, so let the word marinate for just a moment. What does it sound like? Yeah…exactly. And since a huge part of masturbation centers around self-pleasure, it’s cool to explore how “self-dating” could produce similar (as far as pleasure is concerned in a broader sense) results. Because masterdating is all about spending quality time with yourself, pampering yourself, treating yourself— and yes, taking yourself out on dates.
Any of you who may think that masterdating is a consolation prize — and a pitiful one at that — for not being able to go out with another human being or get that dream $200 first date that social media was all in a tizzy about last year (bookmark that) — personally, I think that you’re the demographic who needs to try out masterdating first and the most. Why? Off top, I’ll share my three good reasons.
3 Reasons To Strongly Consider Masterdating
1. It’s an intimate way to get to know yourself better. I’ve been working with couples for a pretty long time at this point and if there’s a pattern that I see arise, OFTEN, it’s that two people are oftentimes so busy trying to “find their person” that they didn’t even know who they were. As a direct result, they found themselves in a relationship with someone who only complemented the “kiddie pool version” of who they were.
That’s why it can be so beneficial to spend time getting to know yourself on the “deep end” of things: what makes you tick, what your passions are, what you want most out of life, what are your interests beyond obvious things — and masterdating can help you to discover all of this. Whether it’s traveling alone or taking out a weekend to drink some wine and journal, the more you get to know yourself, the clearer you’ll be about who complements you on a romantic and friendship level.
2. It will definitely help to boost your confidence levels. I guess since I’m an ambivert, I don’t really get why people freak out at the mere thought of going to a restaurant or movie alone. Personally, I think it requires a helluva lot more energy and gumption to wait around and plan stuff with other people (#Elmoshrug). However, whether you’re an introvert, extrovert, or ambivert, there’s no way around the fact that the more comfortable you get with doing things alone, the more your confidence levels will increase — no, soar — because of it.
One article that I read on the topic said that doing things alone can make you more creative, improve your mental health, and help you to be totally okay with being alone (so that you’re not “needy” for other people’s attention). A psychotherapist from a New York Times article on the benefits of spending time alone said, “Getting better at identifying moments when we need solitude to recharge and reflect can help us better handle negative emotions and experiences, like stress and burnout.” And when you’re able to stare negativity in its face without flinching, how could that not make you bolder, more self-secure, and hopeful about your life?
3. It will teach you to value your time more effectively. In every facet of your world, you’re gonna operate from a healthier place if you’re operating from a “full cup” rather than an empty one. When it comes to this topic, think about it — if you’re constantly waiting on someone to call you to go out or wishing for a dream date with some guy, all you’re doing is wasting precious time that you could be spending taking a cooking class or hell, hiring a chef to make you dinner at your own home.
Indeed, waiting has two sides to it: when it’s in the form of patience, it is indeed a virtue, yet when it’s wrapped up in the notion that you’re not really living life unless you have an audience…it is totally working against you. Choose wisely.
10 Solo Date Ideas To Help You To “Master” Masterdating
So, what if you’re someone who has either never considered actually masterdating before or you don’t really know what to do beyond dinner and the movies? Here are a few ideas to consider:
1. Attend a workshop or masterclass that you’re interested in. If there’s something that you’ve always wanted to learn, sign up for a workshop or masterclass. The cool thing about this option is there are probably some in your city, as well as some that you can find online (like here) that are convenient and affordable.
2. Binge-read at a local coffee shop. Aside from their coziness and oftentimes inviting scents, I once read that a lot of us gravitate to coffee shops because we can be around people without having to actually socialize with them. So, if you want to “hang out” while still being able to enjoy a bit of solitude, take a book that you’ve been trying to finish to a local coffee shop, order your favorite latte, and sit in a big-ass comfy chair. Usually, you can sit there for hours, and the staff will be just fine with it (another bonus).
3. Have a spa day in the next town. You can never go wrong with a spa day. And while going with a friend can be fun, sometimes there’s too much talking transpiring to be able to fully chill out and relax. So, go off of the grid, get a change of scenery, and hit up a spa in the next city (or town). There are lots of studies out here supporting that day trips or “daycations” can actually be really good for your long-term health and well-being.
4. See a community play. Some of the best solo dates that I’ve ever been on consisted of taking in some of the local arts in my city. What’s really cool about this particular option is, oftentimes, they are extremely inexpensive, if not totally free of charge (in exchange for making a donation or putting money into a tip jar).
5. Plan a trip. Whenever people say something along the lines of, “If you don’t expect anything, you won’t be disappointed,” I know that they low-key have some (additional) healing to do from past disappointments. There’s simply too much intel out here to support that anticipation (of good stuff) makes us more motivated and optimistic, keeps our dopamine levels up, and makes life more exciting overall.
Since traveling alone is more cost-effective, gives you the freedom to do whatever you want (when you want), and increases the possibility of meeting new people and having new experiences on your journey — why not devote a day this weekend to planning a solo trip? All the way around, it’s good for you.
6. Try your hand at your own “$200 date.” Uh-huh. Roll your eyes if you want to, but it’s real easy to talk left about how a man should be able to just drop $200 like it’s nothing…until you actually try to do it. So yes, while taking yourself out on this type of date could serve as a bit of a reality check, it can also “scratch the itch” of waiting on some dude to do it for you. It’s also way less emotionally draining because, at least when you’re taking your own self out, it’s guaranteed that you’ll enjoy the company…right?
7. DIY some pampering. When you get a chance, check out “5 Reasons You Should Unapologetically Pamper Yourself,” “Want To Love On Yourself? Try These 10 Things At Home.,” “I’ve Got Some Ways For You To Start Pampering Your Soul,” and “When's The Last Time You Actually Pampered Your Vagina?” The bottom line here is pampering is all about, not mere self-maintenance; it’s all about treating yourself to levels of EXTREME SELF-INDULGENCE. So, if nothing else tickles your fancy on this list, at least consider doing that, chile.
8. Feed your creativity. Something that I used to be really good at is art. That said, one of my goddaughters is insanely talented, so she has reminded me to tap back into it. Also, a big part of what got me into the writing world is poetry; I actually used to be a house poet at a local spot. Sometimes, my best quality time moments with myself have been revisiting these creative sides of me — and this is definitely easier to do (and enjoy) alone.
9. Try some stargazing. When’s the last time you took a blanket into your backyard, laid down on it, and just stared at the stars for hours on end? While some say that stargazing can teach you to be mindful, others say that being in that form of nature reduces stress, while others believe that looking up at the universe at night can increase your attention span. All solid reasons to give it a shot, if you ask me.
10. DO. ABSOLUTELY. NOTHING. Let me tell you something that nobody will ever be able to make me feel bad about: doing absolutely nothing. I’ve got data to back me up. Good Housekeeping shares that doing nothing can help you decide how you want to respond or react to certain things. I like howThe Guardian says that taking this approach helps you to regain control of what you give your attention to.
TIME magazine says that it can ultimately make you more productive.BBC offers up that it can help you tap into your ingenuity.Henry Ford Health says that it can make you kinder and a better problem-solver. So, if you want to invest in yourself, do nothing sometimes.
Closing Thoughts from the Lovely Javicia Leslie
While some of y'all may know Javicia Leslie from being the former Batwoman, I discovered her back in the day from the indie series Chef Julian (and yes, "Julian" was right to say that "Mo" looks like Tatyana Ali...the real ones know). Sometimes I'll hop on her IG to see what she's got going on and this story popped up within a few hours of me penning this...so, I took it as hella confirmation.
TREAT YO SELF. WAIT FOR NO ONE.
WAIT FOR NO ONE. TREAT YO SELF.
RINSE AND REPEAT.
Sooo…what kind of masterdating plans do you have for this coming weekend? While going out with others has its perks, hanging out with yourself has a ton of ‘em too. Enjoy!
No…for real. ENJOY!
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Featured image by FOTOGRAFIA, INC./Getty Images