Our featured Mom on a Mission this week is Muffy (Cindy) Mendoza. Muffy has helped unite women in the Pittsburgh area through her organization and blog Brown Mamas. Brown Mamas provides friendship, support and education for a diversity of moms. Muffy has built an inspiring community, empowering and uplifting fellow moms. As a positive mentor to African-American moms, Muffy teaches moms to use their unique talents to better their community.
In her own words:
I am a native Pittsburgher and very proud of it. Although I hate the snow and cold weather, I wouldn’t chose anywhere else to raise my family. I’m a mama-veteran of 13 years and currently care for, yell at, and wake up every glorious morning to 3 very active, crazy boys. My extremely patient husband and I are bumping up on our 7th year of marriage. Overall, I’m very happy with my male-centric household and life.
My most defining characteristic is likely my boldness. Since I was a kid, there has never been very much I’m afraid of (except the dark and scary dreams…lol). I love reading and engaging in real, deep conversations with other women. When I was growing up, on Saturday mornings my mom would always have conversations at the kitchen table with me and my two sisters. She taught me that the more conversations that we engage in as a society the closer we will get to curing the ills of the world. That’s likely the reason I decided to start Pittsburgh Brown Mamas and publish BrownMamas.com. I wanted to engage in more conversations, specifically, with other Black moms. Our community is so riddled with problems and I know that my brown mamas are the key toward starting the ignition that will get our communities rolling again. Long story, short, I believe in all moms, but there’s a special place in my heart for my sistahs.
I am on a mission to show that Black moms are great moms and that WE are the key to fixing our communities. My motto is: By making moms better moms, we make dads better dads, children better adults and, ultimately, communities better communities. I don’t buy the idea that socio-economic status, race or class-level has the ability to determine parenting skills. As long as you have the desire, an open mind, and hopefully a nearby library, you can commit to being a good mother. More importantly, I feel that everyone can be a good mother. I think you start that journey by offering women support. Pittsburgh Brown Mamas is an organization that seeks to help black moms in Pittsburgh find their tribe. We do everything from clothing swaps to girl talk, and are in the beginning stages of starting a community garden. The crazy thing is it all started with just a few women and a private Facebook group. We now have over 100 physical members and a Facebook group of over 300. But the numbers mean nothing, the women are actually engaging. They are meeting friends and developing the courage to ask others moms for help. Through BrownMamas.com I attempt to help the women be proud of their families by highlighting moms through our #GoodMama campaign. The campaign ask moms to share their motherhood journeys on the site holding a sign that says “I Am What a #GoodMama Looks Like.” For so long black moms have been portrayed as bad mothers. I think it’s time that someone showcased how the vast majority of black women take such good care of their children.
Other women inspire me. I literally get chills talking to other women. I don’t think women give themselves enough credit. My dad always says that women were created first because our bodies are almost exact replicas of the Earth. So I never take for granted the wisdom of another woman’s words. From my mother to Michelle Obama, I pay close attention to how other women behave, speak and react. I gain so much from just listening and observing other women. That’s why Pittsburgh Brown Mamas is so important for me. Even thought it may be perceived that I’m helping other women, they are helping me. I learn from them and I grow with them, but only because they’ve allowed me to take up residence in their space. I’m super appreciative of that.
Raising my three sons, I’ve learned that everyone is entitled to be who they are. Asking a person to change who they are diminishes their God-given personality. I truly believe that each person lives in peace with the universe and with God when they are allowed to be who they are deep down on the inside when all layers are removed. When each one of my sons was born they graciously shared themselves with me unaltered. Most adults spend their entire lives trying to get back to who they were as children, I won’t do that to my kids. I want them to be who they are and as they grow through adulthood, I want them to make a conscious choice about the behaviors and characteristics they decide to add on and enhance their personalities with. In short, let your kids be themselves.
If you would like to contact Muffy Mendoza or learn more about Pittsburgh Brown Mamas, you may find her at the following links::