2:06 AM / Sunday January 29, 2023

21 Aug 2020

Divine Muva Diva: White mom needs help with her Black baby’s hair

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August 21, 2020 Category: Commentary Posted by:

Good morning dear Muva,

I have a white friend that has a Black daughter. Her daughter is under five-years-old and the mother has not learned how to do her hair yet, nor has she asked any of her Black friends for suggestions. Is it appropriate to initiate the topic? If so, how? I’m concerned, because her daughter’s hair is left untouched and extremely dry. It just grows and breaks off. 

Signed, concerned but caring

Dear Concerned but Caring:

Divine Muva Diva

As a Black mother, it can be frustrating dealing with a child’s hair on any given day, and you also know what can happen when our hair is not treated with the utmost care and treated with the correct products. Given all of what I said above, imagine being a white mother, who has no idea what to do with this different kind of hair, but may also be unsure about how to ask and who to ask, for fear that she may be snubbed. Or worse, met with the derision for not knowing what to do with her baby’s hair.

 You want to help, but you’re not quite sure how to broach the subject for fear of insulting the mom and so, you are both in a weird spot. The common denominator, though, is a beautiful child who truly needs to have her hair done properly.

You can gently broach the subject one day over lunch or even simply after saying hello, by telling mom that you noticed the baby’s hair  looks a little brittle to your eyes and would she mind if you suggested some hair products to help make her life easier? If you do it gently and in a calm way by explaining what you have always done with your own children to help you on your journey, she may be grateful and fully accepting of it. 

The other thing you could do, though, is put together a basket of great little samples that she could try as a gift to the child and her with a note that those products worked well for your children and maybe she would like to try them too with her baby. Once you develop a great relationship with her, you could also offer to either comb the baby’s hair and show her how to do it, or get her the right products like the proper brushes and combs to use for a simple hairstyle each day. When all else fails, a good hairdresser would work wonders! I think this mom would be more appreciative than you may believe. Gentle and kind always works when done with the best of intentions. 

Good luck.

Dear Muva,

I have been in a full-fledged relationship with this man now for over 17 years and in the beginning, I knew he was married and so I had no expectations of him one way or the other. However, three years after we became a couple, his divorce was final and so I decided to buy a house for the two of us. So he could be closer to work, I bought him a brand new truck. I keep my body looking great, and all these years later every time we talk about getting married as soon as we get closer to the date, he changes his mind. My friends laugh and say that I am wasting my time because he could probably still be married (since I’ve never seen the divorce papers) or he just has no interest in getting married again and why would he “buy the cow when [he] can get my milk for free? “

What do you think, Muva? Should I give him another ultimatum, or should I just leave him alone?

Signed, my milk is worth more.

Dear My Milk Is Worth More:

I am not quite sure how you got in this predicament, beyond being able to say you are there right now — after 17 years of being in a relationship with no end in sight with a man that you’ve always wanted to marry by your own admission. I am not sure how you thought buying a house and a brand new truck for him would make him see you as invaluable and worth being married to. You see, men always look for that intangible “thing” in a woman beyond anything that you could possibly buy for them and in fact they will tell you, that they prefer to be the hunter and the one doing the kinds of things that you’re doing.

Since it seems there is no long-term respect in your relationship and I can’t say what is going on there beyond what you have sent in your letter, he will be very content to just take what you have to offer him with nothing else beyond that. If you have asked him to marry you several times and he has changed his mind each time you have gotten close to the date, you have a situation!

Now is the time to either walk fully away if that is how you feel now, or, ask him to show you proof that he is divorced and why is he truly not ready to get married. Because if you are not the one, he needs to let you know that,too, instead of stringing you along.

Could it be that you already know that he has no serious plans for you beyond living in the house and taking whatever you have to offer him, and you are afraid to face what is in front of you? The time has come to take a hard look at your choices and make some decisions that are beneficial to you, because otherwise you will always get what you have always gotten — which is nothing. Only you can decide where you go from here. 

Good luck.

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