I’m a fan of hip-hop, so I suppose it’s not a surprise that I like Cardi B’s music, but I have to say, I also adore Cardi B for her personality. I’ve watched many of her interviews, and there is something about her that I find so endearing – she is hard and fierce, but also sweet, gracious, unfiltered, and even vulnerable, and I can’t help but admire a human who unapologetically owns every aspect of herself.
In an interview with VladTV, she talked about her childhood and reminisced that teachers told her she had “something” about her, that they believed she could be whatever she wanted. She said this encouragement from her teachers gave her the confidence she needed to push hard to achieve her dreams. I love that she remembers her teachers this way. I also love that she’s not ashamed of the time she spent as an exotic dancer. She says stripping provided the funds she needed to lift herself out of an abusive relationship, so she refuses to accept when people try to shame her about it. I love that she admits that though she’s been advised to quit worrying about what people say and to “get a thicker skin,” she questions if she ever will. She freely admits that criticism bothers her, that it hurts, and that she might never stop being hurt by the ugly things people say about her.
I appreciate and respect that realness.
And now Cardi B is a mama. I watched her on SNL as she revealed her pregnancy, and I remained glued to her Instagram feed in the months leading up to the birth of her daughter Kulture, Cardi’s face glowing with excitement as she unwrapped strollers and adorable baby outfits from devoted fans. And I also watched, with a frenzied I-feel-you-so-hard-right-now nod of my head, when she cancelled her tour with Bruno Mars, stating bluntly, “I think I underestimated this whole mommy thing.”
DIDN’T. WE. ALL.
I thought I would be doing yoga and running marathons during my pregnancies (HAHAHAHA) and was sure I’d hop right back into high heels and twill pants and head to the office a mere 6 weeks after giving birth to my second kid. Um, no. It was fucking impossible to make the time and money work since we had two kids needing childcare at that point, besides the fact that it still hurt like hell when I sneezed thanks to my C-section scar, and my boobs would begin lactating at even the suggestion of a baby crying.
So I ended up working from home in my PJs with greasy hair, a 4-year-old running amuck, and a baby attached to my boob while I entered data into spreadsheets wherever I could find a spare minute. (Thank goodness I was fortunate enough for this even to be an option.)
It doesn’t matter what or who you were before you became a mother. Once you step over the threshold and into that all-consuming world, it changes you.
We change, whether we want to or not. We have to in order to survive. Motherhood strips us of our pride and smashes our expectations, humbling us and laying our hearts bare in a way no other experience can.
Pinterest-perfect moms and staged, filtered Instagram photos can make a new mom feel like she’s doing everything wrong or at least that she is ill-equipped to handle motherhood. And Cardi B could easily put up a front and act like motherhood comes naturally to her.
With all her money, she could make just about anything look easy. But just as she did before, Cardi B lays it all out there, sharing the beautiful and the not-so-beautiful, the midnight feedings and impossible exhaustion that comes with mixed up days and nights, and we are HERE FOR HER HONESTY.
It is so refreshing and validating. It makes us love her more.
My kids are 12 and 8 now, but I would have given anything to have had a real-as-shit feed like Cardi’s to follow back when I was ripping my hair out over my first baby, utterly convinced I was failing as a mother.
I loved Cardi B before I ever even knew she was pregnant, for her music and for her personality, but I appreciate the hell out of this badass woman for keeping it real about motherhood. And I know there are a lot of other new mamas who feel the same way.