Have you ever heard of Loving Day? I didn’t until recently. It’s an annual celebration held on June 12, the anniversary of the 1967 Supreme Court decision of Loving v. Virginia, which struck down all laws forbidding marriage between people non-white and white.
For a multiracial family like mine, this day is super meaningful!
People often remark that when you love who you love, it doesn’t matter, and the world shouldn’t either. I believe that is the case, but being in an interracial marriage is very different than marriage with two people of the same race. It becomes even trickier when you add children to your multiracial family.
What’s different you ask? I’ll be happy to tell you.
1. You introduce your husband to people, and they look around for him when he’s standing right beside you. This happened to me, and it was super awkward. I was at my husband’s grandmother’s funeral and we ate with some of her church members after the service. Our (black) pastor came to support our family. He was sitting across from me at the table, and my husband was sitting beside me. My husband’s grandmother’s (white) pastor asked our (black) pastor to introduce him to his lovely wife (pointing to me). Our pastor said, I would but my wife isn’t here. The poor pastor turned a few shades of beet red and apologized profusely. I guess he won’t make assumptions about who “belongs together” anymore!
2. When you are out with your children, strangers ask you if your husband is light skinned or white. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked this by a cashier. As my children get older, I’ll have to explain to them why people have this fascination with their complexion and what their daddy looks like.
3. You’re out on date night, and you get asked if it will be one check or two. When I mention this to people, they often say it’s because my husband and I look like college students (we live in a college town). I will take this compliment as long as I can get it, but in most cases on date nights (without kids) we are both wearing our wedding rings, are sitting beside each other or gazing into each others eyes. Not the look of the two check couple.
4. People assume that your in-laws had issues with your marriage. I know this is the case for some people, but not for everyone. Some people just have issues getting along in families because of prior issues or simple personality conflicts. Having in-laws of a different race, doesn’t mean that there will automatically be issues.
5. People struggle to hide the shock when they see a family photo for the first time. I’ve been told that I didn’t look like the kind of person that would be with a white person. Huh? What does that kind of person look or act like? I’ve also been asked what it’s like to be with a white man. I’m always amazed at the kinds of questions people ask.
7. When you have a baby, you start researching biracial hair care tips. I never really thought about this until my daughter’s hair texture changed. One day her curls got tighter and shampoo formulated for baby hair didn’t cut it anymore.
8. You get frustrated looking for books/toys that represent multiracial children. I hated having to pick either white or black dolls, but I tried to get an even number of both. I usually pick the dolls that are Hispanic because they have the brown complexion that is closest to my girls.
9. People constantly ask your kids what they are mixed with.
10. You smile when you see other multiracial families out and about. Representation matters. It’s nice to see other people dealing with things similar to you. And love between families is a beautiful thing, no matter the race.
11. You shake your head when people ask where your child’s curls come from, even though you have a head full of curly hair and your husband’s is straight. This happens to me…over..and over again. I have naturally curly hair and my husband’s is straight as a board.
Are you looking for a community of moms to share our unique family challenges? Then you HAVE to join the Are Those Your Kids Multiracial Motherhood group!
Click here to join.