Not only are we black moms recognized for our beautiful black skin, but we’re also recognized through our actions. The phrases we utter, the way we walk, talk and outshine even the best and brightest, are all qualities of good black mothering. It doesn’t matter if our child is 20 months or 20 years old—we share similarities, which makes us smile when we hear or see another black mom upholding the same truths we hold to be self-evident.
Naturally, just as women, we strive to be different and better than our parents, but many black moms now have more of an opportunity to raise our sons and daughters in the suburbs, whereas many of us grew up in the hood. Our biggest concern is, are we really raising our children the best way we can? If you question whether or not you’re truly a black mom, sit back and get ready to laugh because these 10 indicators should put all your doubts to rest.
1. You start a conversation with your kids about what they better NOT do.
Many parents of a different hue may start a heart-to-heart with their kids by saying what they are allowed to do. For example, upon going into the grocery store, my white friend tells her daughter, “You’re allowed to pick out two boxes of cereal for the week and no more, sweet pea.” We, on the other hand, tell our children, “Don’t even think about looking at or putting your hands on any cereal or anything else, for that matter, when we get in this grocery store! I only have enough for Cream of Wheat!”
2. You have that one medicine that can cure all illnesses.
“You need to take some castor oil and lay down.” No matter what sickness her child may have, a black mom will suggest a laxative to remedy it all. Lupus, multiple sclerosis and even a broken arm all need a dose of “working medicine” to heal it. The final explanation goes like this: “That’s all they are going to give you at the emergency room anyway.”
3. You respond with a surround sound “No” when your children ask to sleep over at a friend’s house.
“I don’t know who sleepwalks in their house or who their mother has creeping over there, so you’re not staying the night.” That statement is usually followed up with a demand that your kids not dare repeat what you said to their friend’s mom.
4. You have guilt and anxiety that requires professional therapy for putting a relaxer in your daughter’s hair.
This issue requires much thought. It also sets off a firestorm with grandmothers everywhere who will demand that their daughter put a straightening comb or some kind of relaxer in their granddaughter’s hair before she even hits puberty. We all know a relaxer is terrible for the body, but trying to put your teenage daughter’s hair in two Afro puffs is beyond critical.
5. You’ve mentally adopted Malia and Sasha Obama as your own daughters.
When Sasha Obama got her first job at a fast-food joint, black moms everywhere were posting her picture as if she were their child. When Malia Obama was going through the college-selection process, we were all on edge waiting for her to figure out which one would fit her best. Let’s face it, the POTUS and FLOTUS’ girls are our girls.
6. You have a white friend with bad kids who is publicly against spanking.
Many of us spank or have spanked. OK, there, I’ve said it. We don’t “beat,” but many black parents will spank a kid or two when absolutely necessary. However, we all have one or two or five nonblack “mom friends” who post anti-spanking articles on social media with passion. Those are the same friends whose kids run amok and talk to their moms with disrespect.
7. You secretly question why white people want to adopt black children.
We can’t say this aloud, but don’t think it hasn’t crossed our minds. Don’t get me wrong—black children need loving homes. But when we’ve been through the mall, the grocery store, the hair salon and the Chick-fil-A drive-thru with our children all on a Saturday morning and then pick up a magazine with Angelina Jolie or Sandra Bullock on it with their little black babies, we wonder, “Why didn’t they ask me if they can have mine?”
8. You call your child from another room to come hand you the remote control that is just beyond your reach.
Since we black moms are queens, we shouldn’t have to move an inch on a Saturday or Sunday. Therefore, when we’re binge-watching Scandal, we don’t need to roll over and grab a remote control that is just outside of our natural reach when we carried a child for nine months and then gave birth. The least that child can do is walk all the way from another room and hand us that remote. While our child is at it, he or she can get us a cold drink, too.
9. You talk with your teeth clenched when you’re in public and mad at your children.
All kids know, when you spin around in the middle of the mall and clench your teeth, talk through them and tell them what you’re thinking, it’s on and cracking. This is the ultimate way to identify another black mom. When you see this, just give the brother-man head nod to that mom. She needs to know that you feel her pain and you’re keeping her uplifted in prayer.
10. You’re triggered by your children slamming doors in your house.
I’m a witness. I’ve seen children in other homes slam their room doors and lock them. If you’re black and a mom, this will immediately send you into convulsions. Any child raised by a mom with a dark hue will tell you, slamming a door will get you sent back to No. 1 on this list.