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Single mum bringing up a mixed race boy (Afrocaribbean/white
I am a single mum and have a son who is nearly 11 months. His father is mixed African/Caribbean and I am white. For reasons that I won't go into, my son has had sporadic contact with his father and his father's family but no recent contact. I am moving soon to be near my family and my expectation is that my son will have very little contact with his father's family in the future - I may be wrong but I think this is likely.
It is obviously very early days for my son who is far too young to notice or be interested in racial differences but I am thinking ahead about how I can educate myself and approach this as he grows older. I would like to be able to encourage my DS to understand about all aspects of his family history and origins but find myself nervous about parenting him with no personal understanding of being black/mixed race, and with no other parent around to help with this aspect.
Please can people suggest useful resources/books/approaches which have helped with their children in a similar situation?
Hey, I just came across your post. Interestingly, I had the reverse experience, Jamaican mum and white British father who I had no contact with.
What I know is that Afro-Caribbean culture is fairly strong, from food, familial relationships to understanding heritage and colonial background. I think it would be good to expose your child to Caribbean experiences, which depending on where you live may not be easy.
To build connections, the one thing that springs to my mind would be to get involved with a gospel church - I don’t go to church myself, but have many family members that do and find the community aspect (not the religious) uplifting. Such churches are very loving and welcoming, so hopefully you wouldn’t find it intimidating to attend. You would want a Jamaican/afro-Caribbean one though rather than one with a predominantly African congregation as the culture is quite different.
I hope that helps, I’m aware it seems like a random and bizarre suggestion! But I’m sure through that you will eventually build connections, meet elders who would love to share their recipes with you, and offer some insight to the colourful culture! Good luck
Hi Glassier, sorry I only just saw your reply to this post!
It's a very interesting suggestion. I'm moving to an area with a fairly mixed population so hopefully there would be the type of church you describe there, and as I'm a Christian anyway it's not as if I would have to pretend! Hopefully they would be welcoming of my son and I, and it might be an easier way to integrate my son into the local Afro-Caribbean community.
Hi, no worries! I hope you find a church that works for you. Many of them regularly have concerts with wonderful music, that are lovely to attend. I often get invited by my aunts, and always leave feeling positive.
On another note, I did remember another avenue for you to try - I came across an interview online with a retired Jamaican nurse who now spends her time storytelling in libraries, schools etc. She tells of Jamaican folk stories such as Anansi the spider. Which must be lovely for little children to hear.
Good luck with your house move, I hope it all goes well for you
I just wanted to say you sound like a wonderful mum OP.
I think what a PP suggested about a gospel church would be a great way to start and cooking too.
Music and art would be great to look into too!
I'm sorry I'm not much help!
Thank you both!
I do love cooking so I'm sure I could try and whip up a few Caribbean dishes when he's a bit older!