Reflections from Nikki Flippins during Women’s History Month…
On May 17, 2005, I became a mom. It wasn’t in the traditional way, because I adopted my 5-year-old daughter; nonetheless, I became a mom, just the same. I would extend that title again in 2005 when I adopted my son, and years later, in 2014, when I adopted my second oldest daughter. Between those years, in 2009, I gave birth to my younger daughter.
As the mother of four children, who I loving refer to as “The Fantastic Four!”, I have worked diligently to ensure that they have a loving, stable, and secure home, while also working through many systems to ensure their lives outside of the home would be stable and their futures bright. It’s hard, as a mom, to watch your children struggle with academics, social skills, and behavioral challenges, but my drive and determination to assist them with working through those challenges were consistent. In many ways, I felt it had to be that way, especially in the public’s eye.
Being a woman and a mom is a tough job. One that women are often told has no breaks and no option for mistakes. Through the years, there have been good days and bad days; sad, mad, and glad days. I have applauded myself and criticized myself, loved myself and disliked myself, and even laughed until I cried, and cried until I laughed.
I’ve learned that being a woman and mom can not be what others tell you it should or could be, but what you, as the mom of your children who you know better than anyone else, determines to be in the best interest of your child and family. I had to learn that my views are valid, my feelings are real, and I am worthy. Knowing my worth allows me to be confident and okay when I need to step away from my job and my children, to love myself.
It took me a while, but I have realized that I have to take the time I need to address my health, mental health, passions, and dreams, even if my assertiveness in doing so makes others uncomfortable. I work daily to remain the best Mom I can and a strong woman who has become like many other women, some who have torn me down and others who have lifted me up, to be the strong woman that I am and, as a result, has facilitated my ability to raise my girls to be strong women as well.
Let’s celebrate each of us and all of us, EVERY DAY!