Tika Sumpter on Miscarriage and Motherhood

In addition to seeing her personal therapist, Sumpter and James go to {couples} remedy each week as effectively. “I have the best fiancé, and not just on Mother’s Day or my birthday,” she says. “He just keeps loving me, even if I push him away or I’m upset. I really feel like that’s a gift when somebody can love you no matter what—even when you judge yourself.”

As one half of SugaBerry, an audio-based media firm for and by Black girls, Sumpter realizes how essential it’s for ladies to personal their narrative, confront tough feelings, and embrace vulnerability. “At SugaBerry, we always say, ‘We don’t sip tea, we share suga,’ so in order for other people to be vulnerable with me on The Suga (SugaBerry’s parenting podcast), I started uncovering so many things about myself,” she says. “We’re in the age of vulnerability where people want to know more about who you are. I always feel like the more I share, the more people will feel validated in their own lives; that they’re not the only ones going through something.”

For Sumpter, this implies getting sincere about her struggles and evolution as a mom to five-year-old Ella-Loren, for one. “As mothers, we’re often so tough on ourselves in every single way—on top of having to wade through the water in our jobs and being judged all the time,” she says. “Motherhood is another backpack. We love it, and we’re happy to have it, but a lot of the time Black women especially will carry everybody on their back, plus extra bricks, and not complain.”

“I’ve accepted that it’s okay if you’re not at every moment of your child’s life; you’re not going to be at every game,” Sumpter continues. “We want to be there all the time, but I focus on the times I have been there as a mom. And I’ve also been at work, which means a lot to me too. So does being with my friends.”

That delicate dance between motherhood and ambition is a subject Sumpter and her enterprise companion, Thai Randolph, talk about often on The Suga. The podcast was additionally the inspiration for Sumpter to share candidly about her miscarriage.

“Sometimes you need to keep stuff for yourself until you’re ready, and now I’m ready,” she says. “Ready to say, ‘I see you, and this is a piece of me that I’m giving to you so you know you’re not the only one. You’re validated in your feelings, and I’m a sister who loves you.’”

And it’s that sharing with others—versus struggling in silence—that may be so elementary to therapeutic, it doesn’t matter what you’re scuffling with, says Nelson. “Reach out to your support systems—find a trusted friend you can confide in, talk with a therapist, or find a community of support. Don’t hesitate to ask for what you need,” she suggests. “And you may also want to ask yourself, ‘How do I feel my pain and use it to be in service to others?’” Uplifting different people who find themselves coping with comparable circumstances can provide you a way of function and be mutually useful for well-being, Nelson says. Sumpter agrees: “Even if telling my story just helps one person, it’s worth it—you don’t know what someone else is going through.”

For anybody else who has skilled being pregnant loss, Sumpter gives a reminder that you simply’re not alone: “There are so many women who have gone through this silently. I have some type of privilege in this world, and I still didn’t tell anybody,” she shares. “Take a moment of silence for yourself. It’s a grieving process. Take a moment to breathe.”


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