What to Expect When You’re Expecting Multiracial Babies
Oh my goodness, raising multiracial babies has been the most rewarding experience of my life! In addition to just all the wonderful, universal aspects of motherhood, my mixed race babies have helped me mature into a woman I’m proud of and create a family legacy that is founded on values important to us.
But there are a few things I wasn’t expecting when starting a multicultural family. Here are 5 things to expect when expecting your multiracial babies…
1. Multiracial babies build a NEW family legacy… and you’ll love it! I grew up with strong Latino culture and values that was very different from my peers. I’m first generation Cuban American and my upbringing reflects that. So when I married my husband and we chose to have a multicultural family, we decided to build a NEW family legacy that reflects both his African American culture and my own Latino heritage.
I just didn’t expected to love it so much! When I was expecting my multiracial babies, I hoped to raise children with a strong foundation of self. Now that they’re getting older, I love to see them embrace all of their passions! From Noche Buena and Christmas morning to attending a dual immersion school and learning to speak Spanish, all these things facilitate a family legacy that we’re so proud of.
2. I gave birth to racial awareness when I gave birth to my multiracial babies. Becoming a mother is a metamorphic experience in its own right, but giving birth to mixed race babies is another experience entirely. When my baby girl was born, I began to form opinions in ways that, even in marrying my husband, challenged my worldviews. Issues that sat low on my priorities before, have since become benchmarks in my parenting today. Motherhood is crazy like that!
If you’re lighter skinned, you might be assessing how your own privilege impacts your parenting (like in this story). You might be inclined to advocate for equality or attempt to connect bridges of understanding within your family. If you’re darker, you might feel the urgency to provoke self love and acceptance when mainstream media doesn’t always reflect it, knowing that your son or daughter will look to you to model those virtues. Perhaps, where once your focus was on assimilation and fitting-in, your native culture or language becomes the bedrock of the family values you wish to pass down to your child. Maybe your priorities will be something else entirely!
The point is that, when expecting multiracial babies, we can also expect to birth a heightened awareness of our racial realities and societal structures. And that’s a good thing! How you choose to parent through that awareness is unique to your family.
3. Remarks on your multiracial babies can be exhausting as a brand new mom. My baby girl (pictured above at 6 days old) was called an “adorable monkey”, a Native American, a “Mexican baby” (she’s neither); her hair texture was examined, her undertones were dissected. None of these comments were directed with malice (I think) and some, as a new mom, I even laughed along (with regret)….. but it was exhausting, nonetheless.
4. Multiracial babies can totally look different within a year or more. Speaking of what your multiracial baby looks like, some of our babies do some serious changes in their first few years of life! My handsome boy was born brown and stayed brown throughout his first year of life, but my daughter….. well, let’s just say my mom had some questions for me!!
Multiracial babies can get much, much darker after they’re born. Their hair texture can completely change, too. Genes are super cool like that. My MIL filled me on the changes my baby would have over her first few months and years of life. She shared pictures of her once babies (now grown men) and how they were born with light/white skin. It blew my (very ignorant, unaware) mind! She told me that within 6 months or so, my girl would “get her color” and her hair texture would get more coarse over the years. She was right, of course, and I was grateful to have someone to fill me in.
5. Multiracial babies are bridge makers and family unifers! If you had previous issues with extended family and friends during an interracial relationship, your new baby might be an opportunity to unify those relationships (this happened to us). Babies have that kind of super power over older generations!! It’s not something I expected, but giving birth to my babies has strengthened my family and helped to create and solidify the kind of community I’m excited to raise my babies in.
Overall, becoming a mom has completely changed me – for the better – but becoming the mother of multiracial children has been a unique experience that I celebrate, too!
Raising our multiracial babies to feel whole in their mixed identities, with ownership and pride in their heritage, helps create a footing for their future worldviews. What did you expect when having your babies? How are you building a legacy for your multiracial children?
Today I’m linking up with some other beautiful mamas raising multicultural families….
Raising Multiracial Babies: Expectations Vs Realities / Jennifer at Baby Making Machine
Will My Child Look Like Me? Thoughts from a Multicultural Mom /Raising Whasians
How to Prepare for a Multicultural Family / Almost Indian Wife
Books for the Multicultural Family / Are Those Your Kids