My Man, Not Mama

Good mothers are wonderful, loving, selfless human beings. But that doesn’t mean they’re flawless.

Kandi Burruss’ mom, affectionately known as Mama Joyce, is a prime example. It’s obvious that Mama Joyce loves and has supported her daughter through a lot. They  shared the loss of a son/brother. They’ve co-parented Kandi’s daughter Riley. They also operate collectively financially. That said, they are not a couple. Parents, particularly single mothers, have to stay in their lane.

I understand that mothers are very protective of their daughters — especially those who are financially successful. Additionally, parents instinctually want to protect their kids from hurt. But it’s important for parents to take the time to reflect on the motives to their behavior, especially when others notice red flags. Your concern may be more than love…

1. Fear of Being Alone  – After years of operating like a team financially and emotionally, it’s hard to be “replaced”. Additionally, it’s even more challenging to accept that the void your child left is meant to be filled by a life partner, who may be hard to find.

2. Projecting Past Hurts – It’s so easy to tell daughters (or sons) about the trifling things that have been done to you or your friends by exes. What is often left out of that story is what you contributed to the unhealthy dynamic of that relationship.

3. Jealousy – Regardless of how much you love someone, it’s painful to see them have something you innately crave but don’t have yourself.

All men aren’t selfish bastards who are incapable of realizing when they’ve met a good woman… and doing the work to keep her. All relationships don’t end badly — even if they do end. Last, and most important, some things are worth the risk. Taking a calculated leap of faith with a potential partner is way more rewarding than being paralyzed by fear and remaining single because you assume every person is out to hurt you.

In the end, Kandi and Mama Joyce must come to the realization that honoring your parents, even exceptionally self-sacrificing ones, doesn’t equate to a lifetime sentence of servitude. True loves is selfless. It’s also forgiving.Both women must embrace that a new relationship will change the one they had, and that’s part of life. Adding a spouse doesn’t just mean losing a child. It means gaining others to love… should you chose to do so. Last, it’s okay to put your life partner first — as long as you don’t neglect healthy interaction in your other relationships. Your mama (daughter/son), was never meant to be your man.