In thinking about the issue of angry Black women, another related issue came up for me and that is the issue of motherhood, specifically Black motherhood versus white motherhood. So this post may be the first in a series of posts examining the cultural differences and on some level tapping into the anger that I and some of my fellow Black sistern live with.
The first time I became a mother I was 19, and to say that I was woefully unprepared for the task at hand was an understatement, though now as I look at my son who is almost an adult, I sometimes think maybe ignorance was bliss. I did the best job of parenting him that I could, at the time of his birth, there was no internet and looking back I am very thankful. Instead I relied on the parenting advice of my elders (aka, Moms and Granny) that advice meant getting him on a schedule ASAP, use of formula even the dreaded CIO (crying it out) in other words sometimes baby cry and there is not jackshit you can do but live with it. Looking back I did not fret over every decision as I do now in my mid 30’s with child #2, the girl.
No, when the boy was born, I was concerned with keeping food on the table and a roof over my head, at that time I was a high school dropout trying to survive. In many ways my circumstances and youth did not afford me the luxury of over thinking every detail as I am now prone to with the girl, shit I drive myself crazy overthinking the small details. I feed the girl fast food now and I mentally beat myself up whereas with the boy, I was thankful to be able to feed him.
Looking back I think over the years as I have attempted to better myself and that meant going to college and grad school at break neck speed and jumping headfirst into my career, I find that on some level despite being a Black woman, I have bought into the cult of white Motherhood and at times that feels dangerous for a Black woman.
Statiscally more sistas are left raising babies alone than white women, and in many ways our ways of being are adapted to that situation. I have yet to meet too many sistas fretting over wishing they were stay at home Moms, if they can its cool, if not you tend to be happy you have a job especially if brings in enough cheddar to pay the bills. Yet amongst my white girlfriends and being a sista in Maine most of my face to face girlfriends are indeed white, there is true angst about working especially if the children are young. Seems that even if their man aka ole man or partner doesn’t earn enough money white women will hold to the idealized view that they alone must care for their kids.
I will admit that after the girl was born a couple years ago, I was sucked into the cult of white Mamahood until I realized that even though my spousal unit is white, this man is not a master of the universe and unless I want to be living poor, I have to work, that is my reality.
Join me tomorrow for the next installment on motherhood, must get to work for the paying clients.