Moms We Love: Aja Dantzler

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  • With her husband, Fatin, one half of the musical duo Kindred The Family Soul, celebrating the 10th anniversary of their debut “Surrender to Love.” Their concert CD, “Live in London,” is available now.  

    Mother to Aquil, 13, Diya 10, Nina 8, twins Lanaa and Ain, 5, and Deen, 3.

    My biggest revelation about motherhood is that certainly I am a much more extraordinary person than I ever imagined I would be, because motherhood has pulled all the best qualities out of me. I’ve learned a lot about myself and I’ve moved past whatever potential I thought I had, into a person I just really didn’t see coming. Not to toot my own horn, but every level of strength that I thought I had, I’ve been twice as strong as that, every bit of patience I thought I had I’ve had, I’ve been three times as much patient as that, however creative I thought I could be, I’ve been two or three times more creative than that. The condition of motherhood has brought those things forth.

    A hundred years ago if your kid made a mistake you could accept it. If the weren’t quite all that you had anticipated they would be, it wasn’t shameful. People expected their kids to be human beings, to make mistakes and to go astray because I think people took Biblical stories and Koranic stories to heart when people talked about the prodigal son or Cain and Abel.

    They didn’t look at people to have to iive up to this crazy standard. When their kid failed or didn’t live up to expectation, it didn’t crush them or the kid. They didn’t give up on them. Nowadays expectations of our kids are so high because they have so many opportunities to do different things. We look at our children and expect them to not be human beings.

    Then the pressure is put back on the mother that if you don’t raise this perfect human being, you’ve somehow failed as a mother. With me as a young mother, I just kind of figured out how to go with the flow. What I’ve learned about mothering in this competitive environment is probably not really giving a hot crap damn about what somebody else says about your mothering style. It’s about tailor making the environment to what works for you and your family and kinda screw everybody else.

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