In an interview with Colorlines‘ Julianne Hing, artist Janine Macbeth discusses sharing gender roles. The artist talks about how mothers are actually detached from the parenting process because of how demanding their role is. She explains that to protect herself and her family, she and her husband have had to share the responsibilities of mother and father.
Is there a memory that sticks out in your mind as an example of how your husband was able to be there for you and for your family in a way that society doesn‘t expect fathers to be?
With our first son I had some complications around nursing. And I was literally not getting more than an hour and a half of sleep a day, for many days. And so when the baby would cry or need something it got to the point where it was like, okay, if [my husband] Lome gets the baby I might get a little more rest and my health might improve. It was survival mode. We’d talk about it and I’d say, I need you to take the baby half the night. And that helped me even have brain power and be able to be present. And that evolved into him always doing dishes, cleaning, doing the laundry, which literally freed up my energy and space to be able to start working on art projects …
What‘s the interplay between race and ideas about fatherhood and manhood and parenthood? And I wonder if there’s a connection between race and parenting for you, and how it looks for you as a multiracial family? How did that inform this project?
As I started working on the book and working through all that negative self-talk that shuts you down, you know, nobody is going to care, nobody wants to see this, I realized that the fact that Lome is a person of color made it that much more important to do the book, because he’s expressed frustration about the lack of positive images of men of color and dads of color in the world …
Read Julianne Hing’s entire interview with Janine Macbeth at Colorlines.
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