Toni Morrison’s beautiful thoughts on parenting are words that must be known by both current and future parents. Her insights bring a unique perspective on a parent’s journey, and it can have a great impact on how parents see themselves. She was an influential person during her time on Earth, and her art will continue to inspire people around the world.
The author passed on August 5th of this year at the age of 88. She was an influential Nobel laureate who used her work to explore black identity in America. She was the first African-American woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993, and she went on to write 11 more novels, children’s books, and essay collections. Not only did she write beautiful books, but she was also able to reach a wide audience. Her books were consistently on the New York Times best-seller list, and her books were a commercial success around the world.
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In a collection of interviews in the book “Toni Morrison and Motherhood,” the author shared her thoughts on parenting with fellow writer, Andrea O’Reilly. The main idea is that parenting isn’t restrictive; it’s, in fact, liberating. The things a child requires are not those that one usually thinks about. They’re not interested in what other people demand from you, and that’s a huge weight off the shoulders.
Instead of focusing on things like outward appearances or success at work, your kids value the time you spend with them and the wisdom you can pass onto them. Usually, a kid demands things that you weren’t prepared to give yet, and this forces you to re-evaluate your position in life. The best version of yourself (kind, caring, and loving) is what the kids want, and you’re motivated to keep this version of you for your kids.
Morrison’s passing deeply affected many people around the world, but her words continue to live on and inspire us. As stressful as parenting can be, it’s a job that liberates us from vanity and insecurity. Once all that matters is the life of your child, all the petty or small things you once worried about now don’t impact you as much.