Alliancepartner is my ride-or-die. I am his. It was in our wedding vows, in those words. The roles we play in our relationship facilitate and support our individual and joint goals. Even the work we do flows well with our chosen roles. He’s an executive and I operate my Sangoma practice from home. Thanks to Swifty Sankara and Tiny Oga, I’m now slaying the stay-at-home-mum game, no Stepford.
Making the choice to become a stay-at-home mum was both easy and difficult. It was easy to decide to start a family. It was easy-ish for me to pause my ambitions, and to pack away my bones and put my grancestors on vibrate, so I could focus on pregnancy and being at home with our children*.
The difficult part was planning for all scenarios of nyiwment, while living for the nice things. A great amount of trust was required too. How could I guarantee that my beloved alliancepartner would not reveal himself to be a bloody agent of The Patriarchy, once he was bringing in more money than I was?! It’s all fun and games until income disparity skews the balance of power in our marriage and somebody starts acting like a boss and expecting me to greet him at the door in nothing but cling wrap, when I welcome him home from work. Weh.
We are constantly having to define for ourselves, how we perform our chosen roles while being mindful to not perpetuate gender role stereotypes because our children are learning from us. We are discovering that our roles are not discrete, even though they seem so, at face value. We both have to provide for, and nurture ourselves, each other and our children with every action and decision. Our contributions are different, but they are equal.
The truth is that, even though we’ve made our choices and are doing our thing, we cannot do it by ourselves. The Mkhize-Hollywood Pride is supported by:
1. paid domestic labour, which gives us a better quality of life by allowing us to enjoy more free time, peace of mind, and relief from certain household work.
2. A deep community network that affirms and supports us in resources and presence.
We are privileged to enjoy a fair amount of social security, which allows us to live freely, and make bold decisions for our marriage and family. From the outside, we look like a nuclear family. But we are not. The village stays having our backs.
* The fact that I am able to a) make an informed choice as to if, when and how to have my children b) decide if I want to work, and how I want to work, is testament to the privilege I have. Most black womyn do not have these options, and cannot make these choices.