Woke Mama: Afrika

Want to know WTF a Woke Mama is? Each week, we’re introducing awesome women who are making the world a kinder place, one happy baby at a time.

Name & age: Afrika 28

Kid: Soleil Phoenix, 4 and a half

How did you end up doing gentle parenting?

Honestly, I’m not exactly sure how I ended up gentle parenting. The role just fit me from the get go. I knew I didn’t want to raise my child in a harsh environment and I knew that I wanted my daughter to make decisions for herself. I felt like the only way to make that happen was to raise her in a way that would allow her to have her own voice. What better way than to be gentle in the way that I speak and react to her. I wanted her to feel safe with me no matter what.

What does being a woke mama mean to you?

Being a woke mama means understanding the reality that my daughter is her own person while also connecting with and nurturing all of the parts of her that make her who she is. Soleil is raised knowing that she is a brown girl, she is strong, brave, beautiful and most of all intelligent. I make sure to raise my daughter with awareness, love and respect for everyone that she encounters and to me, that is the true foundation of being woke.

Most awesome moment so far?

There have been many awesome moments and with Soleil it’s hard to narrow it down to one. I can say that listening to her articulate her thoughts at age 4 is beyond amazing. She is so well spoken and matter of fact, it blows my mind how beautiful her mind is.

Biggest struggle so far? How do you cope with stressful moments?

As I’m sure many parents with 4 year olds know, as beautiful as their minds can be it can be a challenge getting them to do the things we need them to do especially when raised to be their own person. So I’d have to say the most stressful moments are getting my daughter to adapt to the needs of the environment around her (listening when directions are given). I’m a mama who believes that centering myself is the best way to handle stressful moments, I explain to my daughter that I need a moment and I take that moment internally… then I resume our task. I’ve learned how to tune out lol.

If going back to/at work, how will/do you juggle with gentle parenting?

The best way for me to juggle working and gentle parenting is to decompress on the ride to her school and to make sure that her school environment reflects my goals as a gentle parent (I.e no yelling, no hitting, no time out etc). I started working again when Soleil was 2 1/2 and whoa was it stressful, we went through a few daycares before finding the right fit because if mama bear felt anything even remotely off it was time to go. I needed to know that Soleil was just as safe in school as she was at home.

Any advice you would give to new mums?

My advice to new mamas is STAND YOUR GROUND and listen to your instincts!!! Be the parent you want to be, not the parent that your aunts, uncles, parents etc want you to be. Believe me, everyone has an opinion, but yours is the most significant. Let your heart guide you! You’ve got this!

What’s on your soundtrack to your first year of being a Woke Mama?

Lol if we’re speaking in a literal sense my soundtrack to my first year was a mix of trap music, RnB and lullaby’s lol. Hey what can I say being multifaceted kept me sane while exclusively breastfeeding, baby wearing, gentle parenting and shooing off the opinions of others lol


Like what ya see? We’ll be introducing more awesome Woke Mamas. But we want to hear from YOU. Share your stories on social media using #WokeMamas or write your answers here.

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