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A Girl in the Hood: From Projects to Motherhood, Sisterhood is My Strength

Updated: May 12

Dear Sisterhood,

This week, you floored me with your questions, especially the one about my journey as a mother. Well, as a sister, let me share something deeply personal, but oh-so-powerful.

For years, Mother's Day was a tough reminder of my past struggles. As a girl from the hood, born in the East New York projects, I faced many challenges. From being a teen mom to feeling like I would fail at motherhood because of my bipolar disorder diagnosis, to having to leave my breastfeeding infant for a tour—each moment felt like a judgment on my capabilities.

Minista Jazz and her 2 children. 11 and 9 years old
"Motherhood is hard enough without judgement from others who don't know the whole story".

But sisters, here's the liberating truth that changed everything:

Validation came not from societal expectations, but from the very souls I nurtured—my children. They taught me that the essence of being a good mom isn't about following a script; it's about loving fiercely, living truthfully, and showing up, no matter the distance.

And guess what? My children are proud. They saw me win a reality TV show, tour the world, and live out some of my biggest dreams because I brought them along for the ride. They learned resilience, joy, and the beauty of a life unscripted. They shower me with love, gifts, and words that heal all past wounds, every single day.

Minista Jazz and her two children in tshirt from Roma and Paris.
"There's no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one".

Sisterhood, this is the heart of our movement. Our paths don't need to be traditional because our bond—our sisterhood—is about embracing every unique, weird, and wonderful journey. Just like motherhood, sisterhood isn't a one-size-fits-all; it's a mosaic of experiences that enrich us all.

The most important "hoods" in my life were sisterhood at 4 and motherhood at 17. Being from "the hood" means community and shared understanding. It's not negative at all; it's a bond that ties us together, a strength that lifts us up. We welcome stories from all hoods: sisterhood, motherhood, or neighborhood, so we can grow and get to know one another better. Let's glow up together!

Minista Jazz and her two oldest children.
We glow up together.
"A mother is not a person to lean on, but a person to make leaning unnecessary".

In every challenge, I had sisters—by blood and by bond—who stood by me. They were my strength, my solace, and my sanity. This taught me a crucial lesson: going it alone holds no glory. We thrive in connection, not competition; in unity, not division. Our love is our protest, and our stories are our power.

Next Thursday, I'm calling all sisters to a special gathering—our Sisterhood Sync-Up Call. Let's decide the future of Sisterhood Sit-In together. Let's design a space where every sister feels seen, heard, and cherished.

We are not just celebrating motherhood this weekend; we are celebrating the power of sisterhood to transform motherhood.

Together, we'll continue to break molds, heal hearts, and build bridges. No judgment, just joy.

Mother breastfeeding her child in check out line. in grocery store.
"You don't take a class; you're thrown into motherhood and learn from experience".

So, keep those replies coming! Every email, every story adds another layer to our collective strength.

Have a beautiful Mother's Day weekend, filled with the love and recognition you deserve,

Xoxo 💖

Big Sister, MJ

P.S. Your story is powerful. Write it with us, boldly and beautifully. Let's create a world where every mother and every sister knows they belong. 💌

Here are some mothers who you might not have thought about:

1. Birth Mother: The biological mother who gives birth to a child.

2. Adoptive Mother: A mother who has legally adopted a child.

3. Foster Mother: A woman who cares for a child in the foster care system temporarily.

4. Stepmother: A woman married to one's parent after the divorce or death of the other parent.

5. Godmother: A woman chosen to sponsor a child’s baptism and take a role in their spiritual education.

6. Grandmother: The mother of one's parent, involved in the nurturing of grandchildren.

7. Great-Grandmother: The grandmother of one's parent.

8. Surrogate Mother: A woman who carries and delivers a child on behalf of another person or couple.

9. House Mother: Often in a sorority, boarding school, or group home, she manages the household and looks after those living there.

10. Spiritual Mother: A woman who provides spiritual guidance and nurturing.

11. Mentor Mother: A woman who provides guidance, support, and wisdom in a mentorship capacity.

12. Co-Mother: A term used in various contexts, such as a same-sex partner who helps raise a child.

13. Mother-in-Law: The mother of one's spouse.

14. Earth Mother: A cultural symbol in various societies, representing nurturing, fertility, and naturalness.

15. Pet Mother: A person who cares for and raises pets as if they were their own children.

16. Single Mother: A woman who raises her children without a partner.

17. Biomom: Biological mother in contexts where the distinction is needed (such as in blended families or with adoptive situations).

18. Bonus Mom: A term preferred by some over "stepmother," emphasizing a positive relationship.

19. Community Mother: A woman who extends her motherly care beyond her immediate family to the larger community.

20. Military Mother: Women in the military who balance service and motherhood, or mothers of individuals serving in the military.

Give them a hand 👏 so them you care!

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