I had a happy hour meeting with Erika (my WOCC co-conspirator) after a particularly hectic work day for her. She paused out meeting to take a call from a white male ally of hers. When she returned we quipped about how having these allies helps get shit done. I mentioned another friend of mine who has a white male ally. Both of these men share the surname "Williams." "Guess you need a good Williams in your life!" My maiden name is Williams. "Aaaw... I was the Williams I need." Then the convo took a turn.
Becoming a mother has been a little rough on me. Since my body started changing, I've been idealizing who I "used to be." I've been obsessed with the idea that I need to "be myself again." I baked all the time. Spent hours on my nails. Took bubble baths. Spent entire weekends not speaking and watching TV in my undies. Went to all the brunches. Founded a nonprofit. Nicole Williams was pretty dope.
Thing is... so is Nicole Kemp.
I'm older, wiser, stronger. More supported. More loved. I'm probably my dopest me right now.
To be clear, this is not about a name. When my husband was just my long-distance boyfriend I knew we would be married. I knew Nicole Kemp was coming. Being a wife feels natural. I got to ease into it. We talked about it for years. We set a date. And we did it in the way that worked best for us.
Having a baby changes your life the way jumping into a pool gets you wet. It's immediate. Sure, I chose to jump, but I was not prepared. One day I wasn't pregnant, and the next I was puking and couldn't eat apples. One day I was sick of being pregnant, and the next I couldn't eat, pee, or shower without my little person attached to me or at the front of my mind. Even with a husband who does so much, being a mother requires more than I ever knew I had.
It's a huge adjustment, but I'm working on it. Perhaps I changed a lot slower before. Maybe I had more control over my energy. But I'm not missing any part of myself, so I need to stop trying to find things that aren't lost.
I'm not "the Williams I need" because she was a mess, too. I'm not "the Williams I need" because I'm the person I'm supposed to be right now.
Which means... I am in the market for a good white male ally...