For the past year or so as I have gotten really into reading blogs, I have noticed this strange phenomenon, average every day women who happen to be mothers who have taken the art of mothering into something blog-worthy yet they also make a few extra bucks via these ventures. Now what I am about to say here is not new since a few months ago a sista did an amazing article for Bitch magazine talking about this exact thing, but this is my spin on it.
Yep, there are all sorts of Mommy bloggers out there as well as Mommy zines, even books about average every day mothering, which is cool since I love seeing what other Mamas are doing to stay sane and keep their wee ones engaged. However I have noticed a small, ok maybe a large problem. Where are the women of color bloggers? Zine? Books? I mean seriously, for every one black woman waxing poetically about the joys of motherhood, knitting, cooking and just living life (like my girl Chi-Chi)there are probably 25 white women doing this. The thing is some of these blogger Mamas is getting paid, but what about the sistas?
Is no one interested in our daily lives? I admit when I first started blogging I wanted to be a cross between this and this which maybe I am some days but most days, I am just me and I follow no rhyme or rhythym with my blogging, so gone are my dreams of being known as a Mama blogger…instead I am just a sista in Maine which is already pretty strange.
But no, on a serious tip why is it that now that living simply is all the rage we see less representation among people of color, shit in my humble ass opinion many of us perfected the art of living simply, we just didn’t use flowery language to make it sound good. Look, my Mom was a stay at home Mama in the 70’s and 80’s and we were pretty much always broke, shopping at the thrift store and garage sales was a normal part of our lives. Saturday mornings in the summer, my Mama was up early with her trusty shopping cart for us to prowl the neighborhood in search of bargains, back then the shit wasn’t cool and I used to pray none of my friends would see us.
Cooking from scratch? Again, that was the norm in my house. Macaroni and cheese never came out the box, it took hours and was made from scratch with a mix of cheeses. In grammar school one of my favorite things was when I could invite friends over and Mom would make pizza (no Boboli crust for us, all homemade, made by hand) with a side of butter cookies. Good times, man. Yet no one ever gave my Momma a book deal and until recently I never thought much of these things, it was just the way Mama rolled. Shit, my Mom was sewing clothes and re-fashioning her thrifty bargains long before anyone thought it was hip.
No, it hasn’t been until I started reading Mama blogs and seeing how folks elevate this simple living that it hit me that I couldn’t be the only sista who grew up this way and even has a few of these handy talents, yet where is my book deal? If you are a handy sista reading me, where is your book deal?
Look, don’t get me wrong I am not mad that some Mamas are getting their hustle on while raising the kids, times is tough and folks gotta earn a few shekels anyway possible. I just want to know why the powers to be aren’t being more inclusive, really? I would be all over a book written by a woman of color who is a homemaker, and I suspect I am not alone.
I do know from engaging in the Black blogosphere there are sistas who are not only homemakers but even Mamas who are homeschooling like this sista, yet despite the few sistas I read on the regular who are engaging in these things, I still think we are greatly underrepresented.
Anyway maybe I should break out my trusty camera and start snapping photos about our lazy days and convince some publisher that there is a market on Black motherhood. What say you?
17 thoughts on “Mamahood is the new hustle but where are the sistas?”
Hi, I’m a little late seeing that all the comments were made in 2009. But I’m 20 years old and I’m struggling between being a career woman and being a homemaker. I’ve already done some college and I found out that I don’t enjoy it at all. School is very stressful and it has caused my hair to fall out a little, so I took a break. In my heart I want to one day be a wife and mother where I take care of the home…problem is, my family is all about education. Sometimes I feel bad about thinking of being a homemaker when I’m the only one.
Um, wow. I think there are many things going on and I don’t believe it’s all about reinventing the wheel, in most cases, but preserving the art of homemaking before it’s lost forever in our culture of consumerism and immediacy. I also think there’s some backlash happening. I think the latch-key kids grew up and realized they didn’t want to have their kids raised alone or by someone else if they could help it, so they made choices about forgoing paid careers and invested in their families instead. And yes, they document their lives, simply because they recognize the intense value of the Homemaker that was tossed out with the baby and the bathwater twenty years ago. I also think that women, unless earning money, are easily relegated to nonexistent status, so many of us embraced our lives as homemakers and mothers and artisan/craftspeople and said to the world, “this is worthy, too”.
Personally, after my mother died and I reflected on her amazing skills and contributions that basically went undocumented and will forever be lost, really, outside of my memory and that of my sisters, and I thought, “gee, I want better for my kids, and what I do is important”. So I started my blog almost a year ago in a desire to document my life with my home and family and show that yes, I was here, I mattered, I had value and worth, skills and art in me and I passed it on to my children.
@Julia, you said “Funny how women busted their butts to get into the workplace and now the new ideal is to be home cooking dinner”
Black women have been working outside of the house forever. Traditionally and today in Africa, women are the ones who generally run the market. (But traditionally, our children came along with or were cared for by close family/neighbors.) So Black women haven’t been trying to get into the workforce. We’ve been a part of it (often forced) for a long time. I think the point most Black women are trying to reach right now is having the *choice* to do what they want to do: go to work or be a homemaker. Without being guilted or derided for their decision. Without being told if they work outside the home they’re neglecting their kids but if they work in the home they are wasting their time, minds, energy, degrees, etc. Trying to reach a place where our choice, whatever it is, is respected and is really our choice.
Shay – I’m not a mommy, so I can’t comment on the other stuff. I DO think you have a book in you! At least one…
Everyone has provided a lot of good food for thought. Sweet, you mentioned that we as POC are not prone to documenting but instead doing and I think you may be on to something. I do a lot with the little one, yet thinking about it, I exist in the moment and rarely think about documenting what we are doing.
Who knows, maybe I should write a book and see where it goes.
Besides all of the other valid points you and your commenters make, I think another piece here is that traditionally, Black folk tend to LIVE life rather than write about the manner, quality and details involved in living said life the way a blog kind of requires one to. YKWIM? Of course, there is no one Black experience, but generally speaking in my experience, Black women who are crafty and or “homemaker” types do so in the context of groups of other women and don’t spend a lot of energy documenting their process. Now for those of us who are crafty homemaker types who ALSO work outside of the home and juggle tons of responsibilities…my silence on these details are because I prefer to sleep whenever I get a free moment.
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