A chat with Black Moms Connection founder Tanya Hayles

IMG_1462 (1)
Tanya Hayles, Founder, Black Moms Connection

When the boy child was 5 years old, he called me ‘Blackie’ and proudly told me that his friend from school told him that ‘Blackie’ was another word for Black people.  To say I was shocked, upset, angry was an understatement.

That moment, that time the boy child called my a racial slur, was my awakening.   Aside from the racial slur, this was the period when the boy child decided he didn’t want to be black, that he wanted blond straight hair. It was the time he would cry anytime I came near his head with a comb.  It was also the summer I had to explain to a crying six year old that no, he couldn’t have the toy gun that someone had bought him for his birthday, because a little boy named Tamir Rice had just been killed, playing with a toy gun in a park.  And, it was the summer that I was kicked out of a mainstream moms group because I was looking for support and asked if any other Black moms wanted to connect. Despite all this…it was the summer I found my village…Black Moms Connection.

In the season 2 finale of the Woke Mommy Chatter podcast, I chat with the founder of the Black Moms Connection group, Tanya Hayles about all things Black Motherhood….and Black Panther…just because.

Subscribe to the Woke Mommy Chatter podcast anywhere you get your podcasts.

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/…/po…/wokemommychatter/id1293971353

Libsyn: http://wokemommy.libsyn.com

SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/wokem

 

Why Santa is ruining my Christmas

The boy child is 7 years old now. We’ve always enabled the belief in Santa and the magic of Christmas. But this year is different. The boy child wobbled. He wasn’t sure about Santa. He had questions. But they weren’t straightforward black and white questions like, is Santa real? He was too scared to ask that, I could tell. Instead he’d say things like, ‘I don’t believe in magic, just Santa.’ Then he’d wait for my reaction. Then he’d move on to, ‘elves aren’t real right?How does Santa get all the toys?’ Faces with my wide eyed little boy’s wavering belief in a Christmas- I panicked and did what my mother never would have done. I lied. I reinforced the charade. I made up stories about busy elves and Santa watching us and reindeer. And he believed me. Every word.

It wouldn’t be so bad if it was just Santa. But now there are these bloody elves on the shelves…Both kids are convinced that our elf at home is fake, because it NEVER moves- as in mommy can’t be bothered. The boy child is even asking for a real elf from Santa this year.

It’s sweet really that he believes so whole heartedly. He even wrote a letter to Santa asking for a house for his Auntie. Because you know…big city real-estate and all that.

School is the biggest perpetrator of this Santa BS though. There elf moves daily and writes notes to the kids. And letters come home listing al the toys each child would like for Christmas. So even though we didn’t visit Santa at the mall this year, I still have no excuse. I must partake in the Santa scheme. In fact I’ll admit to downloading an app that will ‘call’ Santa when your kids are naughty.

Through all this though, I’ve decided that if the boy child still believes next year when he’s 8, we will be breaking the ‘there is no- Santa news to him’. 8 years is a good run to believe in Santa I think. Right? And I want some credit for trudging through the snow searching for sold out toys.

Next year, I think we are going to trade in Christmas for Kwanzaa.