If you don’t already know this famous mom, let me give you a bit of a fresher. Gabrielle Union is an actress known for her roles in Bring It On, Bad Boys II, recently released Breaking In, and hit television show Being Mary Jane. She’s an activist for survivors of sexual assault, the black American experience, women’s rights and empowerment, and breast cancer.
Also, Union is an author to the hit memoir, We’re Going to Need More Wine, which covers marriage, race, her fertility woes, and much more. And last but not least, she’s wife to three-time NBA Champion Dwyane Wade, stepmom to his three sons, and welcomed her daughter via surrogate last year.
Let’s talk about how she’s killing the motherhood game.
- She makes being a stepmom look easy. Which sounds pretty impossible, but if you check out her social media, you wouldn’t think she had stress in the world while raising three boys and a daughter. But with a 17-year-old son, 12-year-old son, 5-year-old son, and several-month-old daughter, it’s evident that things are bound to be overwhelming at times in the household. Union was able to tackle that load for years before Wade finally retired from his basketball career a few months ago. Through this time, she was able to foster relationships with all of his children, which shows motherhood is a daily, learned habit. Socially, step-parents too often get a bad rap for not being a child’s “real” parents. But having that many kids to raise and look after shows that parenting is “real” no matter the circumstances.
- Regardless of her daughter being born through surrogacy, her and Kaavia are closer than ever. It can be a hard choice to go through surrogacy. A lot of women want to know the joy of being pregnant and giving birth. There’s also a fear of disconnect between mother and child since a surrogate carried. Unfortunately, Union’s fertility issues wouldn’t allow her the joy of carrying her own child. But from the moment Kaavia was born, Union was in the hospital room and given skin to skin contact with her daughter. By staying true to form, Instagram users came at Union for the picture. Already questioning why she was doing it since that is an intimate moment between the birther and child. Commenters were harsh, quickly attacking her connection with her daughter from the moment of her birth. But now, Kaavia James is all over Union’s Instagram, and it’s obvious how in love they are with each other. It’s a reminder to the haters that a mother and child’s connection isn’t only built inside the womb, but mainly outside of it.
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- By being her authentic self on the ‘gram. That may not seem like a particular feat, but in this era of being the perfect, public brand, she does it well. We all know how society tells women to cover up. Especially if these women happen to be mothers. But, this mom of four continues to show off her bod to Instagram on vacation, soaking up the sun, or showing off her hard work in the gym. That not only shows motherhood in a different light, but it empowers other moms to be themselves apart from their status as a mom. Union also allows women to show every stage of motherhood, relationships with other women, and her husband. Moms everywhere are always lambasted for oversharing their kids, their marriage, and photos of themselves. But Union doesn’t back down and posts every happy, beautiful moment of herself, family, and other women that deserve recognition. And, she isn’t afraid of getting political in the photo caption. By relating back to her life as a black woman raising three black men in America, or by addressing other women’s issues. She showcases that motherhood and sisterhood go hand in hand.
Not to mention, she’s changing the face of motherhood.
Gabrielle Union isn’t out there setting the record for the best mom ever, but she’s doing something that a lot of moms hate doing. And that’s being vulnerable and open. It’s not easy for a lot of women to be transparent about their struggles, especially if they’re in the public eye with children that can read about them online. Union doesn’t shy away from any topic dealing with race, sexuality, fertility, motherhood, and her sexual assault as a teenage girl.
More likely than not, Union reflects a lot of mothers out there under-represented. She’s one of the many stepmoms out there that continue to love their children no matter blood relation. And she’s one of the many women out there that have to fight for motherhood. She dealt with IVF treatments, time, and time again. Only to have those treatments end in over 10 miscarriages. There’s a pressure on women getting pregnant as a real sign of motherhood and womanhood. But, Union’s maternity after surrogacy shows that your connection with your baby and children can only grow no matter the circumstances.
Cheers to Gabrielle Union being the Most Valuable Mom!