Through a Mother’s Eyes: Mothering Biracial Babies in 2020 by Noel

“To be a mother is the most transformative aspect of my life. I am a better woman and human being because of the mere fact that I’m a mom. I mean that. 100%.

My joy tenfolds when I reflect upon the fact that I married my true love and we together have created two biracial babies. It is a PRIVILEGE to say the least. It’s an unspoken blessing that fills me with pride each and every day. My children are a mixture of my spouse and I but they are also the symbol of a new future that blurs the lines of “other-ism”. They are not just one or the other. They don’t have to choose. They are centered in themselves, in their skin, in their talents and in their bi-cultural richness passed down from their white mom & their African American dad. My babies are my daily symbol of GOOD.

Some people ask me, “what’s it like?” And to be completely transparent, I have always found this question to be a little —weird.

The truth is that children are children. My babies laugh and play and throw tantrums like all other children do. They throw food on the ground and yell when the other takes their favorite toy or when they have to stop playing and take their nightly bath. They are children. Innocent. Pure. And not yet thrown into the chaos of systemic racism of the outside world. For now- I hold them tight in my arms and keep them safe. With that said, we make it a practice in our home to recognize race and ethnicity, for that’s the only way to then celebrate it. My husband obviously fears for their future — the struggles and their possible inability to “fit in” to their all black or white communities. He personally knows the hardships ahead more than I. I of course exercised white privilege my entire life simply due to my skin color and have had to work to educate myself on how to best be an ally to P.O.C. [ People of Color] and an influencer for positive social change. But for now, we protect our babies and love them with all that we are. That’s all we can do as parents.

The complexities of having biracial babies truly begins when you understand that it is the outside social world that puts pressures on my precious babies. Without the colonial ideologies of the corporate world in our cities and complex social networks — my children would be free to live life not ever feeling a “need” to compare their skin complexions against others or even against their mother & or their father. Childhood for my biracial kids becomes complicated and complex the moment I’m correcting white counterparts [even family & friends] on how to speak in non micro-aggressive ways. Or when I’m telling others not to do this or that to my daughters hair. It’s when I have to correct people when they express their astonishment that Ezekiel is equally as black as Esther is. They are mixed. It’s that simple. There is no magic formula for what a mixed baby is going to always look like. My daughter has commented that she’s darker than mommy but “not the same brown” as daddy. My five year old daughter sees her brothers hazel eyes, lighter brown hair and whiter complexion. She sees it, but she feels the “difference” & the “otherness” from the expressions of concern & curiosity on her different family members tons of voice. In the way they say that she looks like daddy and her brother looks like mommy. I can tell that’s the moment that something sinks in there is a “different” aspect between her and her brother. Her and her mommy. Even her and her daddy.

It’s not fair that so much pressure is put onto my babies. They are mixed. They are created out of love. They are a symbol of love, equality and respect between two people. I look at their sweet faces and I know that I am blessed. My job as a parent feels more important than ever when I’m telling my daughter to repeat after me: “I am black and I am white. I am a mixed. I am beautiful and I’m smart. I am talented and strong.”

I am a mother.
I am white.
My husband is black.
Our daughter is mixed.
Our son is mixed.
They are children.
They are innocent.
They just want to play.
They want to run & laugh.
They just want to be loved.
That’s my job.
That’s all it should be.

This is a small piece of what it’s like to be a mother of biracial babies in the USA 2020.”

                                                                                   - Noel Edmondson

Instagram @edmondsonliving

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