Raising multiracial children ain’t that different from raising children who are, well, not multiracial. We have ups and downs like any other parent would – from spit ups and pull-ups to meltdowns and touchdown moments, there are tantrums, poopy diapers, milk spills, juice spills, potty training, Paw Patrol marathons, and Elmo sing-alongs. So why write about multiracial parenthood and not just parenthood? Aside from needing a tag line for this blog, writing about my parenthood journey from the perspective of race and culture enables me to define for myself how I want to impart my own principles and beliefs into raising my children. I know that I want race and culture to be important parts of their identities, but it’s not something I have “figured out” yet as a parent, nor something that is strictly done one way or another. After all, parenting is an on-the-job-training type of field. Putting down my thoughts in writing is not only cathartic, but also a reflective process from which I have been learning about how my own multicultural upbringing influences my children’s multiracial and multicultural experiences and shapes their own identity formation.
I like to write about multiracial parenthood as a branch under the bigger parenthood tree, not to be divisive or exclusive, but because unfortunately we still live in a world that is binary, especially when it comes to race. We like to categorize people as either or, as if you can only be White or Black, Latino or Asian. Any deviation from the normal is either exotic or a watered down version of any one race (think of comments like, “you definitely act more Asian even though you’re half White”). Writing about topics that relate to raising multiracial children is my way of giving my own kids a place in this binary world that says it’s ok to not fit in either box, because you can be a box of your own or choose no box at all. Writing about multiracial parenthood it’s reaffirming that my children’s multiracial identities are rich and full of beautiful intricacies worth describing. It’s documenting my thoughts and reflections, and capturing those legacy-building moments in the hopes that one day it will help my kids answer questions about who they are and what their place is in this world. It’s about bringing consciousness and awareness to myself, to my children, and to other multiracial parents out there who are trying to answer similar questions.
Multiracial vs. biracial
I use both terms interchangeably and take creative license to break away from any political correctness when it comes to using these two terms. For me, the word multiracial encompasses the bigger, broader category under which my children fall. But the term biracial is a more specific description of their ethnic make up, as they are both Latino and Asian.
At the end of the day, multiracial parenthood is not exclusive of other parenting topics, and you will see plenty of posts about potty training struggles and surviving toddlerhood in here as well. But I like to think of writing about multiracial parenthood as hanging out on one branch of a really big and cool tree (to keep the tree metaphor going). To my boys, this is my ode to you. To my multiracial parenthood community, I hope this post resonates with you and encourages you to write, reflect, and share with others your beautiful journey of raising multiracial children.