Mother’s Day is a special time to reflect, celebrate and give flowers to all the Mamas past or present in our lives. In honor of this holiday, we sat down with our favorite mom and Founder, Marty McDonald, to get her take on motherhood. In this conversation we learn how she is boldly walking in this new season of her life with grace, a new sense of love and power to move mountains for her baby girl.
Happy Mother’s Day. Tell us, what does it mean for you to be a mother today?
Celebrating this Mother’s Day weekend means so much to me. I never thought that motherhood would happen to me. I deeply desired to be a mother but didn’t think it was possible.
Simply put: God’s plan is perfect. And after having gone through the grief associated with miscarriage, I’m excited today to be able to celebrate with my daughter; to show her what it means to love her and care for her and also to be there as an example of Black womanhood.
How has this last year changed you as a woman and mother?
Looking back on this last year of pregnancy, I can definitely say it was a cautionary tale. On top of managing the two pandemics (COVID and racial injustice), I was also navigating pregnancy. I worked harder than ever to maintain my emotional well-being and physical safety. The health of my baby was top of mind and it often felt like I was holding my breath because I just didn’t know what would happen tomorrow.
That’s a jolting feeling but it pushed me to be more present, more intentional and more open to experiencing the joy that’s within each day. I learned that I had to find a way to still feel alive, here and in the moment. It’s that way of thinking that helped me be still and got me through my pregnancy.
What advice would you give to women preparing for a new baby?
I’m a new mom to an almost four months old. My advice is through the lens of “new mom” because that’s what I am. I’m learning each day and growing right alongside my baby.
That said, I would encourage other mothers with two words of advice: 1) talk to a therapist. There will be moments when you are absolutely not yourself and you feel sad. That’s a part of the process. Finding someone to talk to that’s outside of your family base can help in so many ways. Bearing the weight of this change alone can rob you of the good emotions you were meant to feel. Prioritize therapy.
My second bit of advice would be to rest. According to the Sleep Foundation, lack of sleep can be a leading cause of postpartum depression. My therapist told me early on to prioritize sleep. Once the baby arrives, it’s easy to become a “momma bear” thinking you can do it all and do it better. As Boss Women, we know that’s true but that doesn’t mean it’s right. Most women can juggle all those things but end up lacking sleep, and in some cases falling into depression.
Resting can mean sleep but also just time to be present with you. As an introvert-extrovert, I recharge when I’m alone. That said, I am taking a few nights away in the coming weeks to give my phone a break as well as my mind, body and soul. It’s a privilege that I don’t take for granted and want to see other women of color be able to prioritize throughout their journeys – in motherhood or not.
Tell us about your little one. What’s been her latest milestone?
I’m not sure many people know this but we were in the NICU for 35 days with our little one. Due to COVID, my husband and I could not be together with our baby during hospital visits. It was during this time that we really learned how to lean heavy on our community. Every day, we were sent meals from our friends who were actively praying for our little one to come home.And when she finally did, life got that much sweeter for our family.
My baby girl is so energetic. At three months, I can tell you that she’s already filled with so much life and personality. Her new thing is to babble back! We spend the first few moments of the day in conversation just exchanging coo’s and cahs. She holds her head up and tries to take in all the moments of the day. Especially when I’m on the phone, she will rear her head and stare at me like she’s holding on to every word. It’s precious, simply precious.
If you can tell her anything about this season of your life together, as a new mom and daughter, what would it be?
I would tell her that “Mommy is going to do whatever is needed to make sure you are loved, cared for and able to enjoy a bright future.”
I recently told my husband that I’m going to move mountains for her. I’ve never known love in this sense. Its protection, it’s a responsibility and opportunity to be able to nurture and build. Knowing that she’s going to have all the skills to be the best version of herself. I’m fighting for her to have the opportunities that I didn’t have — to give her the resources that I didn’t have; in order for her to be able to make a difference in this world.
That’s my greatest job and one that I’m prepared to go to battle for.
Anything else you’d like to share with your Boss Women community?
Don’t doubt what can happen in your life. Trust the timing and know that despite the outcome, the current season you are in is meant for your good.