my kids are even MORE of a minority... - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-31-2008, 03:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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As I was posting in the race thread, I realized we're another issue entirely LOL

not only are my kids bi-racial, but unlike probably oh 90% of the other children of their particular racial mix around here....their dad grew up in Africa and most of his side of the family still lives there. My kids will eventually (I wish they already did!) speak another language.
We're Muslim. and the kids eat more African and Indian food (DH lived there 11 years before the US) than American. I don't think they know what Spaghetti-Os are LOL.

and we're one of a very few (that I'm aware of) families here with one American parent and one from well, ANYWHERE overseas. (now I'm talking Muslim community, people we're in contact with regularly.)

could be interesting.........they're even MORE of a minority than I ever thought of before

and then you add in that we are just well, weird, with homebirthing and breastfeeding.........hmmm can we just say that I have a hard time identifying with too many other moms to begin with?? (all of the friends we play with are LLL moms and kids...)

lovin DH since 1/04, best mom for my 3 boys 10/04, 11/08, 11/10 one girlie (1/07), one 13 wk (10/13) and 5/15 just your average multigenerational living family!!
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Old 10-31-2008, 03:39 PM
 
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We are non-religious (unless you count husband's Rastafarian which I believe touts itself as not a religion) and I am the only Momma I know breastfeeding. I'm sure I'll be one of the first from our generation breastfeeding to age 2 (that's our goal!). And if we are blessed with another pregnancy I intend to UCAC

Add that I eat a vegan diet, DH eats vegan plus fish (no eggs or dairy) and that we will be raising our child with a vegan diet+fish and using Gentle Discipline........ oh yeah and the babywearing..... no one else here does that.

I hope that the other kids Jahmari plays with will love our veggie food and our lifestyle and will be more open-minded than the adults around here

I am going to have to start my own LLL down here because we don't even have that!!!

It's tough but makes it feel like i am a pioneer and I don't mind that blazing the trail hehe

PS- HAPPY DUE DATE!!!
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Old 10-31-2008, 05:24 PM
 
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Oh man, I totally hear ya!

DH was born and raised in Taiwan, and only moved here at the age of 24. (he is now 29) None of his family speaks english, and all still live in Taiwan.

We are non-religious. I was raised LDS and DH . . . not really sure how that went. Dad is Taoist, buddhist community, but they didnt really share it with him . . . he doesnt really think about the afterlife much . . .

Anyways, fact of the matter is that YOUR NOT THE ONLY ONE!!! It is tiring hearing racial crap, stereotypes about his or other cultures, to feel like you have to constantly defend yourselves to society or family. And sometimes I wish everyone was like this! I hate passports and country boundries and long plane rides . . .

But I wouldnt trade it for anything!! ;-) because my husband is AMAZING!! And his family is great, and I'm gonna have a beautiful baby!

Hugs to you! Dont get too frustrated!
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Old 11-04-2008, 02:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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so far though they don't know it.

what I wonder is how life will be for them when they do.....

like, here's an example....there is a community of people here from DH's country. I'm 99.99% positive my children are the only non-bilingual children of this group. In fact, I would not be surprised if many of those kids who aren't school-aged and don't have school aged siblings do not hear English at home.

they ARE the only children with an American mom of this group.

it's kind of cute, I've had some of the older kids (and we're not talking that old, like mid-elementary age) ask me questions like if I'm their mom. And am I Muslim? Followed by but you're American....
it's just kind of fun to watch the wheels turn.

there is a tiny part of me that would like to move to a bigger city someday just to have a little more diversity in that department...I'd LOVE to NOT be the only American Muslim mama with little kids that I know.....

lovin DH since 1/04, best mom for my 3 boys 10/04, 11/08, 11/10 one girlie (1/07), one 13 wk (10/13) and 5/15 just your average multigenerational living family!!
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Old 11-04-2008, 10:32 AM
 
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I hear you.

Our kids are definately not typical American bi-racial kids (although, is there such a thing as typical, with such variety). They're not typical American kids, period.

My dh too was born and raised in Africa (Ethiopia). All his family is still there. Although we are Christian, we do not fit in with American Christians at all. In 6 years here, we have only recently begun to find friends who we can really relate to in faith and lifestyle. And of course, there is the breastfeeding, co sleeping, natural birthing, whole foods eating (trying to, anyway), frugal living, and "big" family stuff that sets us apart. Sadly, I'm no good at Ethiopian cuisine, and the nearest restaurant is too expensive for us. But we eat a huge international variety of foods, as well.

Honestly, though it's a little lonely, I don't mind too much. I don't really want my children's identity to be based or founded in race or culture. I want them to be able to live past that, while appreciating their cultural backgrounds.
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Old 11-06-2008, 12:59 AM
 
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I agree with Cappicinnosmom with a lot....and hear you, OP, except for the Muslim part.
DH was born and raised in Kenya, and we are Christian. We try hard to raise the kids knowing that they are Kenyan and American. DS pretty much knows, "I'm half Kenyan and half....here" to quote him from yesterday. Since we haven't been back since before the kids were born, he doesn't quite get it, except what he sees in books and videos.
Ok, but here's the kicker, something that frustrates me to no end. When other people see our kids, they don't see what we see. They see a Black child. That's why we, white mamas, get the surprised glances and double takes from strangers. Don't get me wrong--there's nothing wrong with that---but I want to be acknowledged. My kids are a bit different, our home culture is not stereotypical, and just like how everyone keeps calling Obama simply Black, I have to call him Biracial.
Sorry this turned into a rant, but what we see and do, is very different than what strangers see and think. So maybe he's a very small minority is your eyes, but just typical to the person walking past him.
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Old 11-06-2008, 07:37 AM
 
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aaaaaaah i can sooo relate - kinda in a different way. i am from india.

and here are somethings that i gain from being an 'alien'

- my nose ring is ok when it isnt for someone from here. it is a seen as a cultural thing that i am allowed to keep where many are asked to take it off

- my dd tried the spaghetti-O's and spat it out

- she just started eating a sandwich due to her friends at school. she is 6 - on the flip side she doesnt want to take some of the foods we eat at home coz the kids make fun of her lunch.

- my dd understands my language but wont speak it. she instead wants to learn spanish and japanese.

there are many indian parents i come across. but not many mixed parents esp. one born and raised most of their life in india. let alone an indian single parent who hasnt packed and gone back. and to top that i was raised christian. even with expatriats i find v. little in common.

my parenting is seen as weird here as well as in inida. sooooo....

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Old 11-06-2008, 04:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I started this thinking more from my children's perspective (well eventual perspective LOL) rather than other people's.

I know what they are seeing is a black kid. I am thinking though that my kids may run across assumptions made about them in that light when it is SO FAR FROM THE TRUTH.

I just kind of wonder what that will be like for them as they are old enough to realize what is going on.

lovin DH since 1/04, best mom for my 3 boys 10/04, 11/08, 11/10 one girlie (1/07), one 13 wk (10/13) and 5/15 just your average multigenerational living family!!
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Old 11-06-2008, 04:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I get it.......my friend's DD started to learn French at about toddler-age and then stopped speaking it and started Spanish because of a daycare she had her in, she would 'correct' her mom LOL at like 2 years old....

my babies don't have the fortune of knowing their dad's language even though I HOPE what DD did today will convince him! (she said the Arabic word for 'kiss' and kissed her bear then said it again. SHE UNDERSTANDS!!!!! just speak it to her!!! my greatest frustration)

lovin DH since 1/04, best mom for my 3 boys 10/04, 11/08, 11/10 one girlie (1/07), one 13 wk (10/13) and 5/15 just your average multigenerational living family!!
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Old 11-06-2008, 08:08 PM
 
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We're one of those families. We have two religions, too- I'm Christian and DH is Muslim. We eat a wide variety of foods, but boxed pasta meals are not one of them. Heh. My DH has also been very lazy in speaking with DD in her language. I could just hit him over the head with something. How will they speak with their grandmother???

It's not that the stay-at-home-parent gets to stay home with the kids. The kids get to stay home with a parent. Lucky Mom to DD1 (4 y) and DD2 (18 mo), Wife to Mercenary Dad
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Old 11-12-2008, 01:15 AM
 
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Just chiming in here, I am a white american buddist mama-I have one son who is, white like me (former relationship) blonde and blue, then we have my youngest two with my fiancee who is indian like india, but born in guyana south america, where they speak broken english mixed up with hindi.... when i try to explain this to people they look at me like i have ten heads lol.... my little girl who is 5 will say THATS my big brother,to a teacher at school and they will be looking past my son for some other child they imagine to be her brother.. we are totally the weird people around here
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Old 11-22-2008, 05:01 PM
 
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Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
We're one of those families. We have two religions, too- I'm Christian and DH is Muslim. We eat a wide variety of foods, but boxed pasta meals are not one of them. Heh. My DH has also been very lazy in speaking with DD in her language. I could just hit him over the head with something. How will they speak with their grandmother???
:

That pretty much describes us and our boys. It is interesting to watch as they get older. We've been in my husband's home town for the past six months and the oldest hates it and is now dead set against learning Arabic and anything to do with the culture while the youngest is repeating everything he hears and eating anything that comes across his (or anyone else's) plate. The ironic thing is the oldest was born here and the youngest was born in the U.S.
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Old 11-22-2008, 06:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by peaceful_mama View Post
I started this thinking more from my children's perspective (well eventual perspective LOL) rather than other people's.

I know what they are seeing is a black kid. I am thinking though that my kids may run across assumptions made about them in that light when it is SO FAR FROM THE TRUTH.

I just kind of wonder what that will be like for them as they are old enough to realize what is going on.
Not trying to make a political statement or anything, but Obama talks about that exact issue in one of his books (the one about his father I think?), and also Malcolm Gladwell in his new book, "Outliers" talks about it too (his mother is Jamaican and his father is white American).
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Old 11-23-2008, 03:48 AM
 
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Originally Posted by moocowma View Post
:

That pretty much describes us and our boys. It is interesting to watch as they get older. We've been in my husband's home town for the past six months and the oldest hates it and is now dead set against learning Arabic and anything to do with the culture while the youngest is repeating everything he hears and eating anything that comes across his (or anyone else's) plate. The ironic thing is the oldest was born here and the youngest was born in the U.S.
Oh, how sad. Of course Arabic is much harder than my DH's native language, but still. My grandparents speak another language, but they are also native English speakers as well. I've always been sad that I can't speak to them in their heart language.

It's not that the stay-at-home-parent gets to stay home with the kids. The kids get to stay home with a parent. Lucky Mom to DD1 (4 y) and DD2 (18 mo), Wife to Mercenary Dad
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Old 11-25-2008, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by MamaEli View Post
......Ok, but here's the kicker, something that frustrates me to no end. When other people see our kids, they don't see what we see. They see a Black child.....
...and that's why so many people who are bi-racial with African heritage call themselves "Black" instead of Bi-racial.

As a teen I used to babysit for a biracial family. The father (caucasion) used to drill it into his sons that they were to consider themselves black and not brown or use any other term, because that is how they will be seen in the outside world. Another person I know viewed himself as black with a white mother. I didn't understand that as a teen, but as an adult, I understand that a lot of who you are is not only based on the facts of who/what you are. They are based on the PERCEPTION of who you are, as others see you.

When you enter a room, who will come up and welcome you? Who will shun you for absolutely no reason? Will you be able to catch a cab today? Will a stranger hold their pocket book more closely when you are around? Who will you date? Who will want to date you? A bi-racial person shouldn't have to walk around all day saying "Hi, my name is Jane and by the way-- my mother is white." A person who feels compelled to do that day in and day out will go insane. At the end of the day we each want to simply be able to walk into a room and be ourselves, without having to define ourselves every time.

In some ways, I think it is easier for children who more clearly appear to be one ethnicity or the other. People will make assumptions, and you don't have to go into the race speech unless you want them to know you more personally. But for those who look more ambiguous, it can actually be more of a problem-- you have to explain that you don't speak Spanish, or Hindi, or whatever. And people are constantly asking "What are you???" When all you'd like to be able to say is "human." At the end of the day, depending on where you live and what you see your children going through, you may find it easier to view yourself as the caucasion mother of black children, also. Or you may forever say "call them bi-racial," instead. But personally? I often say if Tiger Woods wasn't famous, he could never have gotten away with the whole "Cablinasian" thing. Nope. If he worked at my old job, in the cubicle next to me, everyone would simply be asking about the new black guy. In real life, the facts rarely matter if you don't know the person inside.

xoe
who wants to add that this is simply one point of view. You, as your children's mom, may feel very differently. And obviously I've met some biracial people who don't want to be thought of as just one race, as well. I'm multiracial, but not bi-racial. I rarely discuss my entire heritage with people, so that may color my perception as well.
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