One of the main reasons I created this blog was because I wanted to provide a platform for mothers from all different walks of life, to share their journeys. Today I am honored to feature Ms. Tamira Dunn, a woman who has conquered so much, by choosing to take the road less traveled. One of the ways that she and I connected was through us both having experienced infant loss, before being blessed with our rainbow babies. I admire Tamira for being so transparent and I hope that her story inspires you to live your best life and do whatever makes you happy, despite what others may think. #MomsLikeHer
We’ve all watched a show and had a moment when we were like “Omg, this is my life!” That’s how I felt the first time I saw Being Mary Jane. For those who aren’t familiar; the plot centers around a young and successful black woman, who is unable to find a man that loves and respects her for who she is. However; there’s more to her character than just not being able to find a man. She’s also constantly competing in the workplace to stay ahead of the game. Sometimes, the tactics that she uses to get ahead; hurt other people in the process.
I’ve also witnessed Mary Jane struggle because she couldn’t do the one thing that she felt women were put on this earth to do; bare a child. I know from experience how hard it is to feel like a complete failure, after your body has failed you. Statistics show that successful black women with a college degree, are more likely to suffer from pregnancy or infant loss than white women who have no high school diploma. Research has proven that white women don’t have to work as hard as black women to get and stay ahead. Black women are often more stressed because of the amount of pressure that is put on us both physically as well as mentally. We’re constantly trying to figure out how we can be better than what we already are. Our wheels are always turning! I remember wondering; why am I more likely to have a loss than my white counterpart, who has no education? It’s not fair, and it’s crazy that racism even plays apart in infant mortality.
Watching the season finale of Being Mary Jane prompted me to want to write this blog. Long story short, Mary Jane’s love life wasn’t going the way she had hoped. She made the decision to use a sperm donor and go through IVF treatments so that she could become pregnant. Of course, as the show was going off her boyfriend proposed to her! I’m not sure how the story ended, if the procedure worked or if she accepted the proposal. But I felt a sense of relief watching that. Why you ask? Because I am Mary Jane.
After suffering from a miscarriage in 2014, my heart broke. I felt like I would never have the chance to be a mom. Sure, I wanted to be in a relationship or even married; but I desired to have a baby above all else. I made the decision to choose single motherhood. I’m sure some won’t agree, but it was my decision to make. I went with my heart and decided to embark on this journey on my own.
I know some may wonder, being black and a single mom… why would someone ever choose that? I feared sharing my story out loud, because of other people’s opinions on the situation. I didn’t want myself or my child to be labeled. Someone once said to me, “oh you’re one of those women who don’t need a man huh?” I responded “No, I’m not that woman. I want a man, but I want the right man. I want the man that’s going to love me for me. Who’s going to protect me and support me no matter what. That’s the man I want. Not the man that’s going to judge or make assumptions on my life because of one choice I made.”
I want my child to be proud and confident in who she is. For that to happen, I must set an example. Having my daughter was the best decision I could’ve ever made. I don’t regret it and her life will not be shorted because of it. I pray this story helps someone else who is waiting and waiting. Go after your dreams, do what you want and forget what people say. It’s your life, so live every moment like it’s your last. I am the real-life Mary Jane.
This post was submitted by Tamira Dunn, founder of non-profit organization, Elijah’s Hope Foundation, Inc. If you are interested in sharing your story, please send all submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Entry must be 1000 words or less. Thank you.