December 1, 2022

Burden by Motherhood

I have read too many stories lately of single back mothers killing herself and her baby jumping on front of a train because she didn’t feel like she any other options. She was trying to do the right thing, but what pushed her over the edge where she felt like death was her only option? What resources could have she gotten to prevent this tragedy? There has been some type of nonprofits or for profits out there to assist single mothers if not maybe we should start one ASAP.  

27 year old Leighane Melsadie Redmond and her 3 year old daughter

Today I read a bout a Bronx single mother living in a shelter and stabbed her young sons to death after some questionable changes in her behavior think her babies where possessed. She was sick mentally but now her mental health is really going to be worse. Pray for them please.

The pressure was too heavy and she must’ve snapped according to her boyfriend she was a great mother just fighting mental demons and I am sure living in a shelter didn’t make things any easier. 

Although we will never know the state of mind one maybe in during those brief moments, in one thing we can all agree about is they didn’t deserve that. As a single mother myself I understand having the weight of the world riding you every time you turn around there’s another problem and sometimes the weight gets into our minds and we can fight the demons the voices the darkness. 

It’s easy to say she should’ve said something we would’ve helped her, but we didn’t get pregnant by ourselves and yes we did chose those males to procreate with but we had no idea that it would end up in heartbreak disappointment and even sometimes tragedy. 


Being a mother is stressful and hard enough but being pushed into doing it alone makes it harder. We dont get breaks when we have to play mother and father nurse doctor teacher breadwinner our whole lives revolve around our kids living little or no time for ourselves. No black woman think “Oh I’ll get pregnant and risk my life to raise a baby alone. The fact that we are 3 to 5 times more likely to die due to childbirth is reason enough to consider your opinions.

However as hurt misguided little girls we sometimes think having a baby will finally give us someone to love unconditionally. At 15, 16, 18, even at 20 our brains don’t or won’t think logically about everything that comes along with that plan. We are just searching for love and most of the time it’s missing parental love we never fully received or what Alicia Keys would call “A teenage love affair” and wound up pregnant determined to do right by our babies. And sometimes we foolishly believe that this baby will keep the love of our lives, them baby’s daddy that told us he wanted us “to have his baby” and that never happens they run the minute shit starts to get hard but where can we run to. Mama’s babies dad maybes, I can’t understand what men think when they know they have babies out here that they don’t take care of, it’s giving coward, punk, bitch made. 

This number shouldn’t be even counted at all

This was something we wanted. We were adamant about raising these children and giving her/him the best life we never had especially the love most of were seeking. Nobody told us the truth about motherhood how our bodies will change and we won’t even recognize ourselves, our mental changes they used to call them baby blues but we know know this as postpartum depression which comes in many forms and has levels to it that we had no idea even existed, because we didn’t talk about them. Not to mention the fact it takes 12 more months for our bodies to figure we aren’t pregnant anymore and adjust back to our pregnancy bodies. These feelings mixed with outside emotions can create a whirlwind of a downward spiral. I speak from experience I had postpartum depression with all 3 babies I birth. I cried a lot. I questioned if I was doing the right things I worried if I could this small person alive, how can I protect them from the outside world. 

Honestly, I was no more at equipped at age 32 then I was at 19 emotionally nor mentally and I wasn’t alone physically I had the attentive baby daddy, although, what I needed was reassurance and mental beaks and more rest. I was breast feeding and working I was mentally exhausted. I needed more me time, which is something I fight for to have today even more now than ever.

In June of 2001 the year I gave birth the very first time the biggest story was Andrea Yates whom, drowned all 5 of her kids due to postpartum psychosis and schizophrenia. 

As I was months away from giving birth myself I was petrified thinking I could possible fall victim to something that my community wouldn’t even admit to be a thing in 2001. I had a white male obstetrician that never mentioned the mental illness associated with my pregnancy or any pregnancy as a matter of fact. He was all about business delivering as many babies as possible to make his money and as far as he was concerned once the baby was delivered and I was stitched up his work was completed. He was gone before I even held my baby.

I cried every day while in hospital and even days afterwards, nobody knew it, and I stayed with my parents, although her father tried he couldn’t understand. I just knew one thing for sure I would forever have to make it happen for her by any means necessary and still do even though she’s an adult.

I say all this to say if we aren’t dying during childbirth at an alarming rate which in most cases is preventable and that was almost my fate in 2014, which is why I became an advocate for maternal mortality but where’s that village that helps the mothers after delivery.  

Who can we turn to if mama and big mama doesn’t understand our emotions are all over the place for the next year, and when that sperm donor decides he isn’t ready and walks away? Do we just continue to suffering’s silence? In some cultures they have a tribe that comes into the new mother’s home and help by cooking, cleaning and caring for the mother’s need while she cares for the baby. What happened to this in our black communities because we are the ones that desperately I mean life or death need this tribe?

Nothing is worse than feeling like a failure as a mother and I mean small things like unable to feed your kids or unable to keep them safe or giving them a roof over their heads. We internalize these things and we take them personally we self blame. In those low moments some mothers think its all their fault and the only means to the end is tragic. Taking the lives of  their own babies. Some mothers suffering from mental illness think that if their babies weren’t here anymore they can’t be hurt or harmed and it is not them having murderous intent. 

They aren’t themselves and nobody even notices so they think nobody cares. That’s not the case but undiagnosed mental illness can’t be helped because we don’t want to be looked at as “crazy.” I am not making excuses for the mothers that thought death or murder was the only way out, I am asking you to look within and see what more can we do to stop this shit from happening again and again. If we don’t step up and save our babies nobody else will.

 I do not know the solution here is but I’m willing to hear any ideas from anyone so that we don’t have to keep burying our babies and sending black mothers to prison for a mental illness that they didn’t even know they had it and they felt like they couldn’t reach out without fear of being judged or called crazy. In most these cases we often give a plea for help but because we do not know the signs we ignore dismiss or say just pray about it. How is that working so far? I never told anybody I had postpartum depression until after I had my last baby, because I thought if I prayed it away God would protect us and thank Heavens, God saved me and my babies. I was ashamed to admit it was too much,

If you dont ever feel like yourself please I beg of you please reach out. Tell someone and then tell someone else. There is help out here.