Mommy interview: Krissy

So, tell Black Mom Life a little about yourself. Please provide any social media or links you’d like to be shared. 

Hey Black Mom Life family! My name is Kristen "Krissy" Coggins. I am the mother of 3 amazing little girls, including one on the way July 2019. I am also a Certified Positive Discipline Educator. That basically means that I help parents reimagine, recreate and rebuild their family structure for deeper connection and mutual respect. You can find me talking parenting tips @SecureParent on Instagram and @KrissysCouch on Facebook. My website is www.KrissysCouch.com

How would you describe black motherhood from your own personal experience?

Black motherhood has changed so much from my personal experience. Looking back on my childhood, a lot of mothers were surviving. They were in full on survival mode and did not have a way to put that experience into context. They didn't understand and perhaps didn't have space to invest in concepts about developmental trauma. They didn't understand why their mother's raised them the way that they did or that it could be questioned. There were no internet communities where moms could come together from across the world and educate, affirm, and support each other. My experience is that I have been given the unique opportunity and privilege to parent from a more aware space. I have so much information at my finger tips and there is so much conversation going on around me that encourages me to dig in as a person and as a parent. While there is still so much push back against non-violence and humanity towards children there is a huge ground swelling in the mindful parenting community that lets me know that the shift is inevitable. Along with that comes parents that are investing in their own mental health. We are rebuilding. I am thankful.

How long have you been a mother?

I have been a mother for almost 6 years.

What does an average day with your children look like? 

Well, right now I am living the pregnant mom life, third-trimester. So an average day for us depends on my energy level that day. On a day where I am feeling good and not too tired we get up and get out right after breakfast. We may go to the museum, the library, a park, an indoor play space, etc. I try to be home by 2 pm so that I can have some time to rest before I start making dinner around 4 pm. By 5 pm we are eating dinner, 5:30 pm bath time, 6:15 pm story-time and 7p lights out and snuggles. On a day that I am feeling very third-trimester pregnant, we eat breakfast and relax around the house, me mostly on the couch. Lunch and Dinner typically consist of something frozen that can quickly be heated up. Depending on how I am feeling after dinner we will either snuggle up on the couch and watch a movie until we pass out or we will do our typical bed-time routine.

What’s one thing you feel black mothers need to know?

I think black mothers need to know that we can write and rewrite ou story as many times as needed. We need to know that we are valued, heard and seen. Black moms need to know that we are currently, absolutely reviving what it means to parent the whole-child. We don't need to listen to anything or anyone that suggests that our children need oppressive tactics and structures to survive. We are shifting legacies and healing our families and it's absolutely beautiful to watch us recreate what it means to mother as a black woman.

What do you think black children need to thrive in a world that tells them they aren’t enough or valued? 

I think that Black children need their magic protected. They need to be seen and honored as whole people. They need parents that will foster their self-worth and encourage them so that they feel capable and confident to show up as their whole selves. So many times children are talked out of or shamed out of being who they are, typically out of fear. In a world where whiteness is the default we need more Black children standing in their beauty, in their magic and in their power. Black children are enough, full stop.

What do you enjoy most about being a mom? 

This feels like a selfish answer, but my kids teach me so much about myself. They help me return to my own magic. We have dance parties and play board games. They get so excited about the "little" things. The love rainbows and the moon and comparing grass heights. I get to take all of that in. They have helped me see the world through new eyes, shown me the importance of boundaries and brought me more compassion. I am grateful.

What do you think black mothers need to thrive while raising the future? 

Black moms need each other. Black women feel like home to me. When I am sitting and talking with black women I always know that I am going to get an honest conversation. The Black women in my family have gathered around tables and kitchens ever since I can remember to talk about life. I heard so much "grown folks conversation" and I was never sent away. I soaked it all up, I loved the moments. I know now that "grown folks conversation" is human connection. It's how we learn to see and value the whole person. We learn about their highs and lows and first loves and first times. All of those stories have informed how I see us. I can look at any Black women and see the women in my family. I can easily identify our stories. We are so beautiful. We also need partnership. We need partners that are in-tune and looking to recreate with us, alongside us. We need partners that are seeking healing and self-awareness. We need financially stable partners that don't participate in or perpetuate oppressive ideology. We need partners that are on-board with and invested in treating children with dignity and respect. We need partners that are socially conscious.

Any other thoughts you’d like to share? 

I would like to thank the Black Mom Life family for allowing me to share my experiences with them. Love, Krissy!