Chelsea is my sister from another mother. If you have been following my journey over the years you will have seen her name pop up from time to time. She’s cut my hair. She’s taken pregnancy photos of me. We’ve baby sat for each other and cried of SATC movies in cinema together. As expat mothers with mixed raced children, we have had similar experiences and discussions with our children. However, her daughters are older than my two children. She’s a font of knowledge. So, I asked two be a part of my Mixed Heritage Family Life series. I was curious about life with teenage children. How do they articulate their feelings of being mixed race. Below is Chelsea’s interview which includes responses from her daughters, in their own words.
TTT: Tell us a bit about yourself?
CSP: Hello there, my name is Chelsea St.Pierre and I recently turned 46. I live a quiet and creative life close to the sea with my husband and two daughters- Armelle 14 and Erin 11. I am a visual artist and currently work in primary education. I have been married for 14 years to my beloved whom I met on the bus one night in Brixton London- I was intrigued by his German accent. It was only after forming a great friendship/courtship with him that I felt myself yearning to be a parent.
TTT: How has your motherhood journey been so far?
CSP: Well, I can only describe my journey with motherhood as an emotional roller-coaster. Never have I ever thought I would experience such feelings of love and adoration for another human simply based on their existence. I love being the mother of my daughters, it has opened up my world in countless ways – when I became a parent it felt I was an official member of a worldwide private club. My natural instincts to protect and preserve my children lives is unshakeable, which has led to countless moments of fears and fearlessness.
The journey continues…my girls are older now and the need to protect them is as ever strong alongside the need to prepare with skills to deal with living in the world. The sleepless nights are there from time to time along with crippling feeling of love I have them.
Fusion of Cultures
TTT: What is the racial mix of your children?
CSP: My Daughters are German and Trinidadian.
TTT: Do your children talk about being mixed? If so what does it mean to them?
CSP: Armelle-“I feel quite unique, as I get to experience more of life-I blend in well with both of my parents’ culture. I have experienced that people sometimes find it difficult to place me into a category as I am very fair skinned with straight hair (which I am often told by others is most unusual). I certainly do feel very privileged because I can relate to a wider group of people due to my enriched cultural background. “
Erin-“For me it means I can look at the world from two different angles. When I am out with either of my parents, people stare at me more- I believe these strangers question whether they are my real parents. On another note, I often feel misplaced in certain social situations as I live in a predominately white area. Equally, I do feel privileged to have access to both of my parents’ culture. There are moments when I get frustrated of feeling in-between, at times wish I were either one or the other.
TTT: Do you ‘celebrate’ all your family’s heritage in your daily life? If so how?
CSP: I would not say we celebrate as such rather we incorporate our cultures in our daily lives through:
Food- Trinidadian cuisine and German food.
Music- Calypso and Soca music.
Language- German and Trinidadian Patois
TTT: Are any of your concerns for their future related to their ethnicity?
CSP: I have no present concerns for their future in relation to their ethnicity.
TTT: What is your biggest wish for your children?
CSP: For my children I desire that they are comfortable in their own skin, to be kind to others and share their gifts and talents with the world.
You can find Chelsea on Instagram. She’s and artist and avid art journaler. On her feed you will find art inspiration, tips on mindfulness and wellbeing.
If you have missed the previous interviews, visit the family page and you will find them all there.
I hope you enjoyed this interview. Please comment below, I would love to hear from you.