White Moms Aren’t the Only Ones New to Biracial Motherhood

biracial motherhood, multiracial parenting, grooming, mixed race, families

Do you know how to groom your biracial or multiracial child?

Grooming is an important part of growing up. Parents are the first to teach their children how to keep themselves clean and generally well groomed. So the question is, do you know how to groom your biracial child?

I know.  It sounds nuts.

Just put soap and water together and let it hit the child in all the dirty places, right?

Well, not exactly.

I was clueless on how deep this could get until I started to encounter some strange situations and heard others comment on things of this nature as well. Usually the situation we are most familiar with is the white mother who has children with afro textured hair. She is ridiculed and criticized for her styling efforts and lack of knowledge, but what about the other way around?

For example, did you know that afro textured hair cannot carry lice?

I talked to quite a few of my friends with straight hair and they had no idea. So just imagine how awkward it would be for a mother with afro textured hair, who has no idea about catching lice, yet her biracial child could possibly pick something like this up at school.

My children are African American and Japanese.

My first born is 4 years old and going to kindergarten. I discovered that he needs to wash his hair a lot more often than I wash mine and that it would be best to cut his hair low to avoid all the lint that collects in his curly hair that is not quite an afro.

Multiracial parenting, for any parent, can get complicated.  I think this is an awesome conversation that needs to be started between parents of multiracial children.

So many moms still struggle with how to do their daughter’s hair. As a child I remember my biracial cousin would often have a sizable nest on her head because her mom had little idea how to manage her mane. The myth of the all knowing black mother as a hair stylist is just that…a myth. My aunt had no idea how to manage the bushy not quite afro hair, and it is a wonder she did not end up with a buzz cut by the fifth grade.

Hair is a common problem, but what about other body parts.

Another  issue that could lead to health problems is the proper cleaning of an uncircumcised child. Not properly cleaning could lead to infection and discomfort. Based on your faith or country, chances are you have no experience with this. I know I didn’t. Thank goodness for my mother in law.

Sometimes it is extra important to keep company with a multicultural community if you are not close to family members. They can give you excellent advice and encouragement for situations that would otherwise never come to mind or come up in discussion.

Another difference which many people have just recently become aware of is earwax! Yes…we all have different types of ear wax. Shocker. Asian people tend to have white flaky ear wax. In Japan they even sell black Q-tips. Totally off the radar right?  I know.

I am a big advocate of embracing all people.

The one thing I wish we would stop doing though is pretending that we are all the same. Actually we’re not.  Different ethnic backgrounds are prone to different diseases, have different nutritional needs, and adapt differently in various climates.

I don’t think I have ever seen my Japanese husband slather on as many lotions, jams and jellies as me in the winter. His skin gets dry, but nowhere near as thirsty as mine. I also noticed that my husband owned one comb that he used sparingly. He let his hair grow out to shoulder length and I noticed one weekend that he had not combed his hair…at all. I could not imagine. If I sleep on my shoulder length afro textured hair, I have locks in 24 hours!

Lots of interesting things you learn when your family is diverse.

Comments

  1. Wei says

    hi, do you have any tips for grooming baby girl’s hair that’s like your oldest son’s? I’ve been researching but just haven’t found all that much helpful info. Thanks!!

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