Jaycina Almond Gets Tender
From mommy and me yoga classes to vegan bake sales, keeping mother stress free and healthy is the ultimate goal. Keep scrolling to learn about Tender’s message, and all the ways we can support mama’s near and far. Feel free to give a share a little of your heart (or your wallet, wink wink) to support their cause.
What is Tender? What pushed you into creating it?
Tender is a non-profit empowering mamas by making essentials accessible. Tender provides emergency bill-pay assistance, food, and necessities like diapers and wipes. We are committed to being a safe haven for the mamas in our city.
How has your role as a mother shaped your perspective on life?
I think becoming a mom has made me more grounded––I understand what matters and what doesn’t. Motherhood has also been super freeing. I don’t worry about what other people think about me anymore, and I trust my instincts.
You’ve been very open about the struggles that came with being raised by a single mother. How would a foundation like Tender have helped you, if it existed back then?
My mom was a young mom, and she had 2 or 3 jobs for a while during my childhood. And she eventually put herself through nursing school. She just graduated, recently actually, with her RN degree––I think something like Tender would have alleviated so much stress she has dealt with. It would have allowed her to be around more and spend more time with us and she would have been able to complete her schooling sooner––the list goes on and on.
What have been some of the best responses to this foundation?
Hearing from our mamas, in their words, and what it means to them is always the best feedback.
How can non-Georgia residents help out and support this foundation?
Somebody sharing and advocating within their network is always the easiest way to support! It’s free and community is important to us. Folks can host a fundraiser on Facebook––another free and easy way to support! We also will be setting up a Patreon, so supporters can pledge an affordable amount, like $1, monthly!
What do you feel most judged on as a mother? What are the most difficult aspects of being a mother and an advocate in a time where social is so prevalent?
I think people tend to judge mothers super harshly when it comes to sexuality and modesty, and it never makes sense to me because we know where babies come from! That’s something I’ve definitely struggled with and felt judged on. Dealing with social media as a mom and an advocate can sometimes be suffocating. Everything is expected to be perfect and be aesthetically pleasing; it leaves no room for duality.
What do you want your legacy to be?
I just want to be great––in everything I do.
You’ve spoken on how you were fortunate enough to breastfeed your daughter for 21 months. Can you explain the importance and privilege that goes hand in hand with breastfeeding?
It’s widely accepted in the maternal community that breastfeeding is the most optimal option, so aside from all the health reasons that makes it important, breastfeeding for black women is a form of resistance. For so long, black women weren’t allowed to nurse their own children; they nursed somebody else’s child. So I think breastfeeding for black women is so important just based on that alone. But what people don’t realize is just how all encompassing breastfeeding is. Many working mothers in low-wage jobs go back to work sooner than their counterparts and are in jobs that make pumping and storing difficult, and some mamas may not even be aware of the benefits of breastfeeding. Low-income mamas, especially, do not have access to any lactation consultants or outside support for their breastfeeding journey. There are a lot of barriers to breastfeeding from socioeconomic status, education status, societal norms, etc. which is why I would never mention how long we nursed without mentioning the privilege that allowed it to happen. Ultimately, fed is best though––formula or breastfeeding.
You’re a full-time model. You’re a full-time poet. And you’re a full-time mother. How do you deal with the complexities of being a multidimensional person?
I don’t really think of it as “dealing” sometimes I get stressed out and I’m like “just pick one thing and stick with it”, but it’s important that I honor all parts of me. Realizing I can do and be whatever I want to be.
What is the most important thing your daughter has taught you thus far?
Don’t pass judgement. It will be your kid screaming the next day. Or Syx’s favorite––running around the playground barefoot as I cringe at all the possible germs. And don’t sweat the small stuff! Life goes on and quickly.
Learn more about the Tender Foundation here.