Last year, I ran a series entitled ‘Mixed Heritage Family Life’. The series featured parents across the globe. I learnt, we all have similar joys and concerns. At the height of the Black Lives Matter protests, many of us had to revisit old wounds. Additionally, let us not forget the hate that Asians have received, bearing the brunt of anger and fear due to global pandemic, Coronavirus. We parents have had to have conversations with our children on big topics over the past year and RACISM was one. Some months ago, a photo of popped up on my time line. I did a double take. I thought it was my son Angelo! A closer look revealed it wasn’t my son. However, I found a new family to become acquainted with in cyberspace. As part of the series, Bianca talks her motherhood journey, Covid and raising her Blasian boy in London.
Tell us a bit about yourself and how you met you partner.
I’m 31 years old, a first time mum; I’m from East London and still living there! I met my partner through work, we were both performers on the UK Tour of Disney’s The Lion King musical. After a couple of years on tour, my partner moved to London to be with me as I was starting a new musical here. He is French and was previously living in Paris.
What have you learnt about yourself, since becoming a parent?
I have A LOT more patience than I imagined! One of the things me and my husband agreed on 100% was that he would have much more patience than me, but I have surprised us both! I’m a giving person by nature but I’ve really seen how selfless I am as a parent. I see this as a good thing, however, the importance of carving out time for myself has become very apparent.
I like to keep myself very busy and I’ve learnt that I need to slow some things down and take time out, otherwise busy becomes overwhelmed. I haven’t mastered this yet (and not sure if I will) but just being conscious about it already makes a huge difference.
How has Covid-19 impacted your family life?
Firstly, I had my husband home for 3months as Luca was born the week before the first national lockdown. This really helped us bond and find our rhythm as a family and parenting team, with less outside distractions. We were able to really take our time to communicate and carve out quality time amidst the whirlwind of a new-born.
The downside was of course not having the same family support, particularly from my husband’s family as they live in France. Technology has been a life saver and we have connected with them more than ever before and we’ve been reminded just how important family is.
We’ve become a lot stricter with locking down video calls and catch-ups in the diary. We make time to connect with family, as much as we can for Luca to become as familiar as he can with all the people who love him.
What is the racial mix of your child?
Luca is Caribbean (Dominican and St. Lucian) from my side and South Korean from my husband’s.
Mixed Heritage Family Life
How do you ‘celebrate’ your family’s heritage in your daily life?
In lockdown, my husband thought he’d become the next MasterChef! This resulted in a lot more Asian cuisine being cooked at home and for the first time making Korean food. We are foodies!
Although my husband is Korean he was adopted at the age of 6 into a white French family, in the South of France. For his own personal reasons there are some connections and disconnections with his heritage.
Luca has however fallen in love with Korean K-Pop music so that is now a daily fixture in our house. Our love of food and my husband being a musician these are certainly ways we express and celebrate both our backgrounds, including his French culture.
What has been your experience of raising your mixed race child in England, so far?
Since before being pregnant we were always told “you’re going to have beautiful babies” there is an undeniable interest in mixed heritage children and people. With social restrictions our current experience is limited but often I will catch people staring trying to work out if my child is mine!
Older generations Asian and Black people also pay close attention to me and my husband with Luca, seemingly surprised by our union. I’ve rarely felt such racial curiosity until now. I’m still to processing it.
Are any of your fears for your child as they grow older related to his ethnicity? If so, what are they and how do you deal that fear?
Certainly. When I found out I was having a boy I was fearful of bringing a black male up in London. Then when he was only a few months old Black Lives Matter was prominently in the news. It heightened all of my fears for him. I was emotionally drained and couldn’t help but feel pain that the heritage I gave him could lead to him being put at the risk of harm. The fear has not gone but all I can do is keep my faith in a better future and to be sure that I find ways to educate him at all the relevant stages.
My hope is that we can fill him with the love he deserves and that he will share that with others and understand his value and the levels of respect we should all be treated with. My part is to educate and raise him this way and hope that others do the same so we can start to see a change in generations to come.
What is your biggest wish for your child?
Happiness, self-love and peace, within himself and his worthiness in this world. There is so much that can overwhelm us and milestones and character traits set out by others that can make us feel like we have failed, or we are abnormal.
I hope that his own sense of self-love is enough to outweigh any of the hardships that life may throw at him.
I hope you enjoyed Bianca’s interview as much as I did. I can certainly relate to the experiences from her motherhood journey. You can follow Bianca on Instagram.
If you missed the previous interviews, CLICK HERE.
Did you have a baby during lockdown? How are you coping? Comment below I would love to hear from you.