• Bria Manning

The Black Stay At Home Wife/Mom:

Well here I am, putting my life onto social media as if it’s my public diary. I must be crazy as all get up! After sitting at home for nearly three years, I’m just now allowing my mind to be free. This all happened on accident by the way. It took for me to consistently tell myself that I would NEVER, and I do mean never, get married or have children. Little did I know, I would be eating those words later on. Now, I am continuing my journey as a stay-at-home mom (SAHM), and wife (SAHW).

You’d think I’d caught on to this new life but sadly, it seems like it gets harder everyday. I started working at 13. I lied about my age to work at McDonald's of all places and it worked, until we got a new manager and she verified everything. At 14, I had my first official job after moving to Plano. I never stopped working after that. I attempted to juggle basketball, school, work and aiding in taking care of my kid sister. Eventually, basketball got cut and my grades barely hung on. I even managed two jobs and a side gig while in college at one point. Even when there wasn’t a pay stub, there was a hustle. Truth is I don’t think I’ll ever get used to not working a job that’s contributes to my family like I’ve done in the past. What I do know is, for the first time in my life I’ve learned what I don’t want in a career and I’m going to master my dream job; whatever that may be.

November 2015, I met him; this smooth chocolate, educated and God-fearing brother. Needless to say we met, got married, expected our first child together, and moved to another state within a years time. I became a black housewife. That term is an oddity among black women unless they’re in an interracial marriage. I’ve only heard of stay at home moms back in my grandmother’s time.

Black women are workers, our image has always been that of hard workers. If we don’t work, the alternate image of us is we’re supposed to be on welfare. That’s an acceptable image, that image makes many people feel grossly comfortable. The media portrays us as unlovable, combative, and overall the most undesirable. Truthfully, I believe the black woman is what holds this world together. Although it seems so ugly and damaged at this day in time, it’s only showing how tired we are of carrying all the emotional loads and baggage of our families, men and lack of of love and support.

I think it would be okay for folks if I was going back to school but I have a bachelor’s degree. I think for some people what makes this unacceptable and even uncomfortable for them is that I’ve gone to school and I should be working but for my family’s sake we’ve made a conscious choice for me not to. I have a husband that it is perfectly acceptable to him for me not to work. He is able to take care of us and we have a pretty good life. He takes care of me and I take care of him. I don’t want for anything but I think because I’m black and sitting at home or out and about taking care of business or at lunch, it just rubs folks the wrong way.

Truth is, even within the prestigious circles our family is constantly surrounded by, I’ve never cared what people thought of me. I was secure in knowing that I had the natural ability to care for my children and help my husband in this season of our lives. My true struggle was and still is figuring out my next step as a woman. I’m unlearning to relearn that dreaming is essential to developing a healthy future.

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