Brave Face Mamas: Not So Random Thoughts Before Bed

Photo on 4-14-16 at 10.57 PM

The month of May is connected to growth and spring. Today is May 1st and I can tell you right now for the last four months I have had the most growth and the longest spring that I have ever experienced in my life. My life’s been filled with highs and lows over the last couple of months. There have been times that I felt like the pressure would surely overtake me. Then there were times when the blessings just overflowed. However, the more I take time to reflect, the more certain I am that this is just the way of life. There are no shortcut to greatness. You have to walk through the wilderness and the garden at the same time.

So tonight, I want to briefly talk about brave face. Now you probably are wondering “what the hell is Vanita talking about?” Yes, it is true I do have my #ownbrandofcrazy. And yes, I know there is a fellow blogger, editor or writer somewhere cringing because I put an italicized-bolded hashtag in the middle of this blog. But guess what? My blog. My rules. Okay let me get back to the definition of brave face. If you are a woman who is remotely responsible for other people, places or things outside of yourself you know brave face well. Let me give you a few examples:

  • The face you make when people ask how many children you have. You say none. Then they ask why. Knowing in the back of your mind this issue is causing tension between you and your mate.
  • The face you make when your children ask what is wrong as you try to balance your bank account with the feelings of anxiety, frustration and worry in the pit of your stomach.
  • The face you make at work to your colleagues after you have been up all night working on the master plan to create a better life for your family.
  • The face you make at church when the pastor is driving down your lane in a sermon, but you don’t want others to know you are suffering in silence.

Yes, that face. The brave face. I am here declaring that as we grow up and spring forth in the month of May that we, especially us mamas stop with the brave face. That face holds pain, hurt, toxins and crows feet. We need to get real about asking for help. We are not weak. We are not needy. We need help. We do a disservice to ourselves and others when we try to fake it ’til we make it. If we keep putting on the brave face we may never make it to the promise land. Or at least be too damn tired and worn out to enjoy it.

This can be the Year of Yes  and the Year of No. We can choose to have a Daring Greatly mantra and a I  Am Scared As Hell moment. Who told us we had to choose? When did society, your narrative, or your family help you develop the brave face? Can you remember the first brave face you saw as a child?

After reading this I want you to follow these instructions. Close your eyes. Take in and let our three deep breaths. Say the phrase brave face. Whose face do you see? Release yourself and any other faces you see of this burden.

Your future self will thank you!

In honor of Mother’s Day please drop a message in the comment sections about how or why your mother, grandmother or signifcant woman in your life put on the brave face. 

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4 thoughts on “Brave Face Mamas: Not So Random Thoughts Before Bed

  1. I can so relate to this Vanita! I’ve had my own special “brave face” on for the past 6 months. Thanks for the exercise in releasing that and being okay with it. God bless you!
    Samantha

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      1. Hello Vanita! I’m up late in my target hours honey reading your excellence and I love it love it loveee it!!!

        In honor of your Mothers Day Brave Face shout I must say my honorable mention goes to my 1st born daughter…

        When you watch your daughter transform into adulthood in just the twinkle of an eye because she had a child before she had chance, it creates a resistance and empathy that almost no other force in life can compare to. So many concerns and desires and hopes unfold, yet still only one reality.

        Miss Vanita, my daughter is no stranger to independence. She’s stronger than the grip of any universe, and understands far too well the sequence of consequence. Yet and still, when she drifted into the intricate arms of parenting, I had unwelcome, relentless thoughts that I couldn’t suppress. Simply put, I envisioned my baby, as a baby, caring for a baby.

        The minute my Grandson announced his presence here with us, Vanita, my daughter had given birth to the most precious soul I’ve ever layed eyes on. And in that very second, she met the love of her life. This was a moment of peace and tranquility… The face of divinity. A wrinkle in time that can never be compromised. The love in the room that day was by all means perfect and purposeful and all my rival thoughts ceased in that instant.

        Subsequently, on the birthdate of our new exciting Grace, my precious daughter also introduced an entity entirely different and foreign from any parts of her I’d ever nurtured. It was a startling, yet quiet, portion of her own existence. The ordinary person would never have interpreted anything uncommon, though, as it’s so easily disguised as just one of many characteristics of my sweetest daughter. This was a familiar force that none other than her Mother could recognize. A drive similar to that of growth, a forceful roar found only in woman, yet an innocence resembling a smothered cry out.

        To this day my little girl still honors and cherishes this new level she’d created that day. The ingredients of strength and independence still dominate it, and yet, and while Ive always respected it, it was still very mysterious to me.

        I appreciate your post more than I can express, my friend, for you’ve given a new light (life) to my daughters’ changes within! For not only did she give birth at that time, but she also put on her protection… her projection… her BRAVE FACE!!!

        I thank you, Vanita, for sharing your insight with the world. I will be using this understanding/ revelation to explain to my baby how proud we are of her, to remind her of the excellent job she’s doing (she is a BRILLIANT MOM!), and to also insist that now and then it’s okay (necessary) to take off her Brave Face.

        Love you and your work Ms. Lady!

        ~ Alethea

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