In light of recent events, I’ve decided to not post my original blog and write this one instead. This may come off as a rant or maybe it will sound too naive but I feel the need to get this off of my chest. I hope this resonates with you and if it does, please comment below.
Here in Canada, it seems like we have it together. You won’t see much in the news regarding racism. In fact, if anything the racist stuff usually comes from the United States. Often, by the time we see it there is this underlying understanding that no matter how bad racism is here it’s not as bad as it is in the USA. Unfortunately, this false narrative has allowed for many ethnic groups to be denied the ability to speak on issues that not only affect our livelihood but our lives.
I am a mother to two girls and am currently pregnant with another. Pregnancy is not a joke. What’s worse is being dismissed by health care professionals when you bring up a symptoms or concerns. I don’t have all the answers so when I put my trust in the hands of the labour and delivery team, I expect them to followed through with professionalism and due diligence. I don’t expect to be gaslit, dismissed or forgotten. Having a child should be a joyous occasion not a reason for fear.
It’s bad enough that as a Black woman there’s always this thought in the back of my head that all it takes is for my family to be at the wrong place at the wrong for my world to fall apart. My husband goes to work each day and I know that God forbid, he meets someone who’s having “a bad day” not only could his life be endanger but more than likely, as Black people we may never see justice prevail.
It’s hard to be hopeful in a world where injustice seems to be the outcome in every situation where white supremacy has a chance to rule. Lady justice is supposed to be unbiased and colourblind in a world where all men are created equal. Yet, nothing has changed to restore faith in those we’ve elected as officials to render true and effective justice. Something as simple as holding murderers accountable once proven guilty is as laughable as a comedic skit. It’s gut wrenching watching another murdered Black man calling his mother just so she could hear his final breath.
How do I explain to my children that we are living in a world that will never see them as equals no matter how nice, how tough, how qualified, how assertive, how feminine or gracious they are? How do I tell them that this is what we as their parents settled for on their behalf? How do I tell my children that the melanin in their skin is a perpetual target on their backs? How do I tell my daughters that they will be sexualized and demonized because they are Black women? That they must maintain their “niceness” and “kindness” when the micro agressions come if they want to keep their jobs? If I give birth to a son, what then? The fact that he’s Black automatically makes him looks like any other “alleged suspect” if law say so.
Yet, through my faith I have learned to be hopeful when it’s darkest. I won’t lie it sure feels dark. We’re in the middle of pandemic. Ontario is in the midst of its third lockdown. I don’t know what my delivery plan will look like when I give birth. I’m afraid. I’m afraid for my kids and my unborn child. I know that my kids will be safe but I won’t be with them. This will be the first time since I’ve had them that they won’t be with either my husband and myself, and I’m scared.
These are the moments that nobody warned me about. Nobody told me how scary motherhood could be. Nobody told me how terrifying being a Black mother could be. I’m afraid for their present and their future. I know how the system works and that’s why I get up every day and work my butt off.
I want them to know the privilege of living. I want to know that they are safe. I want them to believe that they can be anything they want to be. There’s no limit, no matter how hard the media tries to sell this fear, they need to know that it’s not true.
Hi there. Thank you so much for checking out my blog today. I know that this past year has a roller coaster that none of us were prepared for. One minute, we were planning our weekend getaways and the next we were discussing zoom parties. Some of us became social media activists while simultaneously becoming banana bread experts and Netflix connoisseur. However, your year I am sure that at some point you got to the point where you were feeling overwhelmed by it all. Maybe you’re feeling this way right now. If so, welcome. Take a seat and let me help you take your mind off things.
Are You Overwhelmed?
In short, the answer most likely is a big, fat yes. You may not be out of the house as much but that doesn’t mean you’re any less busy. As a stay at home mom, I know for a fact that I’ve had to find new creative ways to get my work done while simultaneously keeping two little ones, fed, entertained and clean. The more we stay at home, the more our living spaces get dirty. The more inspired I get to “spruce” up our home decor. Sometimes, I want to try a new recipe. We go through more waste and we order out more in order to help our local restauranteur and for the most due to our lack of desire to cook.
I find myself constantly looking online to see what new inspiration I can draw from in order to create better content, while finding myself either entertaining the latest gossip or keeping up with the last current events. Also, you may find yourself engaging with some really toxic individuals with nothing better to do than to spew hate online. That can take a toll on your mood and your mental health if you’re not careful.
So yes, with everything you personally have going on, just because you’re staying home doesn’t you’re immune from everything else that’s going on out there. So many people have taken breaks from social media as a result just so that they could recharge. I’ve personally pulled back from so many social media commitments because I found myself not being able to keep up with the trends.
Are You Doing Too Much?
In my case, I was doing too much. Last year, I had received so many opportunities and in January the Walmart commercial that my family and I were featured in had just been released, I thought how can I recreate this and go bigger. So I did more. Then I got pregnant and when that first trimester morning sickness hits, watch out!
I found myself unable to keep up with this new standard of work that I had given myself. I was exhausted all the time, which made me a miserable person to be around. I was doing too much. My priorities were all shifted because I wanted to recreate a moment in my life where things felt normal again. I wasn’t having fun anymore and I was tired all the time. I needed to take a step back and figure out what was important to me.
Maybe you need to cut some things off. It could be something as simple as decreasing the amount of time you spend online, or maybe spending less time with that toxic individual and focusing more on yourself and the things that make you happy. Maybe you just need a reset and get back to what makes you feel the most at peace.
It’s normal to feel overwhelmed. It lets us know that something is wrong and it needs to change. The good news is we can change it for the most part. We change need to scale back and shift our priorities around.
I hope this helped you put things in perspective. Let me know in the comments how you handle things when you feel overwhelmed?
What does parenting during a pandemic look like? To be honest it’s different for every single parent. Some have found their strides and are managing it quite well. For the rest of us that is not the case. I speak from a personal point of view, so it’s assume that I don’t speak for the majority of moms.
This time last year, I was on maternity leave for my second born. So my paycheck was guaranteed for the next few months. Mind you it wasn’t much but it gave me enough time to build my social media brand and to really come to terms with what I wanted to do. Did I want to be a full time stay at home mom? Did I really want to be a social media content creator? Could I thrive at both? But most importantly would I be good at it?
My husband I knew that if we both worked full time, the money we made would go towards everything except the life we wanted for our family, so staying home wasn’t that much of an issue. What worried me was whether or not I’d become a burden to my husband. Most mothers give up their careers to care for their children, not because we’re not independent, intelligent individuals but ultimately because it’s what’s best for our families. I knew that if we could do this together our family would thrive but most importantly our children would have the advantage of having one of us available without either of us worrying about out babies.
My husband was able to retain his job during the pandemic and all the uncertainties it brought with it. He worked and I stayed home. At first it wasn’t so bad. I had a schedule for me and the girls. Of course I was exhausted. All the places that we’d normally bring our girls to exert their energies were closed except for the park. So we got creative. We go on car rides and do car activities. My husband is very good at finding outdoor activities, like going to the zoo, outdoor picnics and going to the beach all while maintaining a safe distance.
Home life wasn’t so bad at first either. I started teaching my three year old to read and write as a way to prepare us for a possible homeschool life. We started baking banana bread like every family. We made a digital tv cooking show and even shot a Wal-Mart commercial. Things were going to be ok, after this wasn’t going to last long and soon life would be back to normal. Or so I thought…
It seems like month after month, the news got grimmer and grimmer. More and more my social media feed was filled with conspiracy theories, hate crimes and just another death inspired by racism. I was triggered by how normal it became to see another name becoming a hashtag. Trauma became part of the new normal and I hated it. I had seen enough trauma growing up and I don’t know why it seemed to be a continuous sight for me to see. But worse, is now I’m a mother and how am I supposed to raise well adjust Black girls in a world that is constantly telling they are not for us and our well-being?
A year later, I’m at home writing this post. I am four pregnant. I hate the cold so naturally I hibernate within my house like I do every winter. I still am teaching my girl to read, write and do arithmetic. She continues to impress me. I wish I could take them to an indoor trampoline park so my second born to jump around with her sister. I wish we could go to the McDonald’s Playplace where my girls would make a temporary friend while my husband and I would enjoy our cheap dates but alas now our time together looks different.
It usually takes place after the babies have gone to bed. We order something off of UberEats and catch up on the adult television shows on Netflix. During the day, I try to keep the schedule the same, keeping in mind that I need to schedule some time for myself, which I’ve been neglecting more and more lately. Some days I get my list done and I feel confident, other days I just want to crawl in bed and be taken cared of.
It’s not always pretty but we’re getting by one day at a time. Hanging on to the knowledge that this too shall pass.
Today I’m releasing a new(old) youtube vlog and since the holidays are upon us I thought it would be a good idea to highlight some of my favourite brands. Hi there! Thank you so much for checking out my youtube video. This week I decided to highlight some of my favourite Black owned Businesses and Brands. Ever since June of this year I’ve decided to go and support as many Black owned businesses as I could. I wanted to make a difference in my community and for me this is the easiest way I could do so. I was inspired by @HabluTV and their “Support Black Business Challenge” to do this video. I believe that this time of year is the perfect to find the perfect gift for yourself and your loved without breaking the bank and knowing that you are making a difference locally. Most of these brands are Canadian Black owned I love them all so very much. So please go and support.
Which brands do you recommend I try next? Let me know in the comment sections
Hi there! Thank you so much for checking out my blog. Your support is greatly appreciated and believe me I do not take it for granted. This post does contain product that I’ve received for free but it does not change how I feel about them. All opinions expressed are simply and honestly my own.
I was once asked to write about what it’s like being a Black mom. At first, I wasn’t ready to dismiss this as a topic because I just didn’t want to face these issues, in all honesty. I thought no one would care about what I had to say on the matter.
But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that my experience as a Black mother actually differs quite drastically, especially when compared to my Caucasian counterparts. As a Black mom, a first generation Haitian, living in a Eurocentric based society built off of systemic racism, there are just certain things that Black moms have to do differently or approach differently for the well-being of their children.
Disclaimer: This is not an anti-white blog posts, I am just listing my experiences as a Black. I would like to add that I am very proud of being a woman, being Black and being a mother. I wouldn’t change any of this for anything in the world.
For starters, here a list of things I heard growing up. Usually, these would be a series of conversation starters that would be followed by a lecture or a series of instruction.
“You have to work twice as hard to make it in the world…”
“If the police approach you…”
“Some people won’t like you because of the colour of your skin…”
“Your body is perfect just the way it is…”
“Driving While Black”
“You are not allowed to be angry”
“No matter how successful, you will be seen as a threat…”
“Black fathers do exists…”
“Be careful if you speak out, you will be seen as aggressive…”
“Not all of your Caucasian friends are anti-racist…”
These are moments that I have experienced that I know I will have to prepare my children for. There will always be a reason for people to be evil. I do believe in a better tomorrow. I am hopeful but I am also very cautious. After all, I am a Black mom.
Most mothers that I know, are naturally protective of their young. It’s instinct. It’s primal. It’s biological. Often times, as moms, we do everything we can to ensure that our children are well cared for and have all the tools necessary to thrive in this world. Unfortunately, for us BIPOC it involves having the race talk way younger than we would. It means having to explain to them that no matter how nice, polite or pleasant they are they will be seen as a threat. Especially, if they are males.
I don’t want to be that helicopter parent that is constantly hovering her children. But based on the media coverage of the brutalization and blatant murder of our own, I am becoming more and more skeptical. Things are starting to make sense and I am becoming aware that as adults we have a choice to make. At times, speaking up in the workplace as a BIPOC is seen as being hostile and creating a toxic work environment.
I can remember the countless times that my body was sexualized before I even knew what that meant. If I was picked on I had to just deal with it, because being called a racial slur was “kids being kids”. My hair had to be “presentable”. The police isn’t our “friend” and it’s better just to avoid them all together. Being gaslighted is a normality that I didn’t realize was abnormal until recently.
This is NOT the world I want my kids to grow up in.
They deserve better. So much better. That is why I’ve decided to become a stay at home mom. I wanted to teach them my way. I wanted my daughters to have the space to be exactly who they are meant to be. They can be fearless leaders and speak their minds with respect and understanding. They are safe at home to be themselves and not just another minority.
They can learn their history as it was and not the white washed or nitpicked version of whatever the world says it is. Furthermore if we don’t know where we’ve been, we won’t know where we’re going.
I truly believe that if I want to see the change, then change must start at home. In short, being a Black mom is like being a mom. A mom who is a Black woman who has faced prejudice at school and in the workplace. A mom who has experienced hate before she could even introduce herself. A mom who’s had to bite her tongue to preserve her child’s innocence. A mom who’s tired of seeing another hashtag pop up on her timeline, knowing that one day in the near future I will have to explain what those names mean. A mom, who’s had to accept disrespect from others to avoid creating a “toxic” work environment or to keep her job. A mom who’s been told to go back where she came from, got slapped in the face and that day was ready to lose her job. I know I will have those conversations with my girls. What will I tell them? I don’t know.
I remember a lot of the comments that were made about my physical appearance when I was young. Not many of them were good. In fact, I don’t remember much at all that were good.
I was told I was smart. That I was well spoken. That I was mature for my age. That I looked older than I was. I was told that I was bright and insightful. Talkative and inquisitive. I had potential to be a doctor or a lawyer. That I read beyond my grade level.
I was never called cute or beautiful. I was tall, lanky and awkward. Most of my clothes were baggy on me because naturally children’s clothes aren’t customizable. The sleeves were often too short and the pant leg too short. I had no sense of style and no matter how hard I tried I never could replicate what I saw on tv.
Between my sister and I, I was the “darker” one, so she was cuter than me by default. Colourism is a cancer that silently kills the confidence of black girls worldwide. Even in the home. No matter how hard my mom tried to shield me from it, every time my sister and I stepped into a room where we were introduced we both knew from the looks what was coming. Children aren’t stupid. Even as children, we were silent but not stupid. We knew what they thought and some made it very clear they had a preference.
I never fit in. I was too eloquent and well spoken to be black. That reality was very real when I lived in Florida. In fact, I was warned that I would make myself a target if I didn’t change my way of speech. It sucks. Imagine learning a language so well and still be told it’s not good enough because it’s too perfect.
If it’s not my weight, it’s my height. If it’s not my speech, it’s my thought. Then fast forward a few decades and I’m projecting my own insecurities on my children. I’m denying myself the ability to heal by putting on a mask.
I have a fear of being slim. I’m afraid that those words of my childhood will return to haunt like the ghost of Christmas past. I’m afraid that if I go below a certain weight class I will no longer be seen as a woman but as a less than deserving citizen.
I have a fear of not being black enough. I’m afraid that if people see the me that my family sees, I will be seen as an “Oreo”. I’m afraid of being addressed as an outsider and treated like I don’t belong.
I have perfected my accent, I have become cool enough, loud enough and “black” enough to be seen as a black woman. What will happen if the world finds out that I really don’t like Rap the way they thought I did? What if they know that I’d rather listen to Mozart over T-Pain? What if I’m labeled an imposter?
The nightmare is what if I begin to project my own insecurities on my girls. The things I fear, they too, begin to fear? Will silently contemplate and weigh every word of flattery they hear? Can I be trusted to teach them they are worth far more than the treasures of this world while I secretly and silently battle my own past?
I was a child in need of affirmation. I needed to believe I was beautiful. Though the past is over, I have a duty to heal from that trauma. That chapter must close. If I could go back in time, I would tell my younger self how beautiful she was. She’s beauty and brains which make her a rare treasure. I would tell her that her weight and height were perfect. She doesn’t need to over eat to gain weight. She doesn’t to be lighter or darker. She’s perfect just the way she is.
FYI: I’ve got a vlog so if you want to check that out click here