Family Members and Their Issues with Us - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 06-29-2008, 10:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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At the end of the Are Those Your Children? thread, I had a mini vent about how my sister has issues with my interracial marriage and my biracial children. Does anyone have problems or disagreements with family members solely b/c of your partner and/or your multicultural family unit?

My sister is the opposite. I think she wishes that my children were darker, like me, but not in a good way. She'll say that my children are cute but it's only b/c of my DH's white genes. Their hair wouldn't be as "nice" and that their skin wouldn't be as light, etc.

She has always had issues w/me marrying my DH but my relationship with her took a turn for the worst after we had children. It's almost like she's jealous of our children. It's very strange. She's never been comfortable in her own skin and although we are the same complexion (both dark skinned), I have.

She has always compared herself to black people w/lighter skin and comments about how lucky they are to have lighter skin and longer hair, but then turned around and hated them b/c of it. "She thinks she's cute b/c she's light skinned." So when my children were born, it's almost as if she took it as a slap in the face.

She also treated my children differently than our nieces and nephews. She felt that my children have the advantage b/c of their heritage and would go out of her way to do extra things for their cousins b/c of it. The reason I said treated is b/c we no longer have her in our lives. She's way too toxic to have around our children who were becoming old enough to understand some of the ignorance she was sharing.

Baking,, Chuck Taylor Wearing, , SAHMom of 2.
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#2 of 4 Old 06-29-2008, 11:26 PM
 
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Hi Olliepop,

I hope that you and your sister will one day reconcile. I understand why you had to distance yourself from her and if I were you I'd do the same. I haven't encountered what you are dealing with personally but I have seen the color scheme play out in my best friend's family and, like your sister, I have had conflicting feelings about color and race.

For my best friend, she and her siblings are biracial (although they didn't know their dad). My bf could pass for latina or white at times but she's a proud black woman. She has a sister that isn't biracial and is fully black and by black I mean dark. They look like one another except a positive and negative photo. Because she is dark my friend's mother (who is black) favored her. She felt she would have a harder time in life because her skin is so dark. Because of the favoritism there is a strained relationship between the two sisters, but not because of my friend but the sister. Once I ran into the sister and said hi, she asked me how I knew her and I told her I was a friend of her sisters. She told me she had no sister. My friend still loves her older sister and says she understands why her mother played favorites (she died years ago) but still feels a bit hurt by it.

I also have conflicting feelings about race. I have a monoracial dd and a biracial dss. They are both in their teens and get along well. I think if dss was a girl and/or they were pre-teens or younger things there would be a different dynamic between them but as it stands now my dd is fiercely protective of dss although they don't interact a lot because of the age four year age difference (my daughter think dss is a baby; dss thinks dd is a nerdy girl). My conflicting feelings about race come in as I think about having children; can I see myself holding a lighter baby? How will I feel if the child doesn't look like me --or worse yet if the child does? Will I be secretly happy that my genes won out over my husbands or saddened that I don't have a kid that looks like him? And for someone who is dark skinned like myself, it has been a hard fought road to own my own beauty, especially since society is eurocentric. And I have to admit I am glad that there will be a big age difference between my dd and any prospective kids that dh and myself will have because I don't want the world coming in between the sibs & I think it will be easier for my dd to have what ppl (esp those in the black community) will deem as a cute baby as a little sister or brother when she won't be in direct competition for attention.

Hopefully this is not TMI. But back to your sister....

The worst thing your sister can do is treat the darker ones differently because they will soon pick up on why she's doing it and feel second rate instead of equal to your kids. She thinks she's going against the grain but instead she's playing directly into the notion of lighter is better by treating the kids differently. Hopefully you and your sister will get a chance to have a long and in depth talk to hash these things out sometime in the future. She sounds hurt and insecure and doesn't seem to have reached the conclusion that you have: that black is beautiful no matter what shade it comes in.
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#3 of 4 Old 06-30-2008, 11:56 AM
 
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DH was treated negatively by some of his family b/c he is dark. He is latino And although his family ranges from pasty white to dark as night-they all favor light. I have heard his own Father say people can't beleive he hasa "black" son. His mother called DD godmother so ugly b/c she is so black-his Mom isn't much lighter. DD is a light olive tone and paternal Grandmother has called her her white grandchild. People were shocked when DS was born brown :eyeroll

DH sister and her DH are the same color except his has a red tone to him. He is awful. Has her convinced she is so dark (she isn't) as too "black". DS sees him about 2x a year and this guy convicned DS he is "white". Ick.

We distance ourselves from them BIGTIME!
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#4 of 4 Old 06-30-2008, 01:01 PM
 
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I don't have much contact with my mother's side of the family. I grew up being called "too white" by my aunts, cousins and grandmother (Black Puerto Ricans).

On the other hand, my brother who is darker is a favorite. I guess it's because he doesn't look like he has a "white" father. Not that Dad is really white, he's part Metis, dark Scot and Penn Dutch.

Whatever.

My family of 3 (plus pup) Indigo (Aimee), Rob (dp), Ryne (ds) & Phebe (dog), plus my BIL's family of 3.

 
"The best way to predict the future is to invent it." - Alan Kay

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