4 Things I Think About as a Mom of a Black Son That Maybe You Don’t
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4 Things I Think About as a Mom of a Black Son That Maybe You Don’t

Any mom can identify with the fact that there are a lot of things that no one told us about motherhood or if they told us, there was no way to fully be prepared. As a mom to a Black son, though, there are things distinct to this experience that I had no idea about and I think many moms of non-black children, especially white moms have no idea either.

Here are a few things that no one prepared me for when I was pregnant with my Black baby.

Inez Bayardo speaks out about what a mom of a black son thinks about that maybe you don't. Read on to be the change and gain perspective.

Avoiding a “Thug Baby” or Clothing that Perpetuates Stereotypes

Dressing up my little man was one thing I was so excited about when I was pregnant. It never crossed my mind that I would actually worry about my baby or toddler looking like a thug.

Seriously.

That’s something I’ve had to think about even at a young age – hoodies, beanies, solid red, etc. Someone actually told me that my son looked like a thug when he was a young toddler.

Also, I never realized how many baby clothes have monkeys on them until I had a Black baby. I had someone gift me a towel with a monkey on it. I kept it at first, so as not to offend, until one day it just “disappeared”.

I’ve also heard moms of daughters say that they’ve had to avoid watermelon clothing, we never came across that. Not many boys’ clothes have watermelons.

This may seem silly to you but it is a legitimate concern that I’ve heard many mothers of Black children say they’ve had as well, we have to be mindful of clothing that perpetuate racial stereotypes pretty much from birth.

mother buttoning up her child's shirt
Photo by August de Richelieu from Pexels

Fearing the day my Black son becomes a “threat”.

I’ve heard it explained like this: when our Black sons are young they’re like cute little puppies. Everyone loves them and thinks they’re so adorable but then, one day, they suddenly become bulldogs. Something to be feared.

The hardest part about this is that I do not know when it will happen but I do know that it will happen. At this point in society, it is inevitable.

The “scary Black man” stereotype and fear of Black men is very real. I know that my son will have to learn how to interact with others so as not to intimidate them. He will have to be one step ahead, in order to let them know that they have nothing to fear.

This is something I was not prepared to teach him and still am not, if I’m being honest.

little boy
Photo by nappy from Pexels

 

Holding Back Tears because of a Racist Remarks

No mom wants her child to be teased or left out by other children and I really wasn’t prepared for how deeply I would feel his rejection like when he wailed because the neighbor told him he’s not funny.

That hurt my heart.

But it pales in comparison to the day we were at our HOA pool and a little girl was teasing her brother for playing with “the little Black boy”. This was the first time something like that happened and my son was only about 2 or 3 years old.

I actually had to hold back tears.

No one prepared me for that but here’s the thing, I know that the day will come when he will face these things on his own… another thing no one prepared me for: how to teach my child to respond to racism.

 

Making Decisions for My Son’s Education

We all want the best for our kids, including education. Decisions about education are something that every parent will face and many of us will fret over.

However, when you have a Black child, it’s a different ball game.

In addition to class size and a positive learning environment, as the mom of a Black son I also have to consider that research shows that there are great disparities in education for Black children, including that Black kids are more likely to be disciplined than white kids for the same behavior.

Black students are three times more likely to be suspended than white kids. Again, for the same behaviors.

Also, white teachers have lower expectations for the Black students and the majority of teachers are white.

This information can be overwhelming and stressful for moms,  like you, who only want the best for our kids.

mother of black son
Photo by Nicholas Githiri from Pexels

Overall

Being a mom is hard, for all of us. But, unfortunately, due to racism in this country for moms of Black children, there are some added stressors that you may have never considered. I hope by sharing a few of mine, you will be inspired to show some support to a mom of a Black son that you might know. Follow up with teaching your own children how to be antiracist with these amazing books.

 

 

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Inez Bayardo

Inez is a mom, Children’s Pastor and Anti-racism Advocate. She is the content creator at For the Love of Mom, a website dedicated to helping moms pursue better. Inez is also the founder & host of the Mocha Mamas podcast where she leads candid conversations about race, culture, justice & social change. Inez is passionate about motherhood and raising better humans! You can reach out to Inez on Instagram or Facebook!

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4 Comments

  1. My sister and I have different fathers and we do not look alike. Since she is a WOC the racist things as a family we have faced have been heartbreaking. I’m sorry that you and your sweet son has to deal with racism. I am happy that you published this post to educate other mothers. Thank you.

    1. Thank you for sharing your story too. It is important that everyone can see from another’s eyes.

  2. I cannot imagine the added fear and anxiety motherhood has just due to race. It’s always fearful and anxiety ridden anyway. It’s a shame there’s added fear due to race. I pray we’re making positive steps in the right direction.

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