Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Black Unicorn

I am going to start calling myself a black unicorn because I am the only black stay at home mother I know. I am the only stay at home mother I know.

Instead of launching into a description of my most recent day from hell (because how interesting and typical would that be), I thought that I would acknowledge the fact that these especially hellish days give me some interesting anecdotes to share. It's as if I have a personal muse who thinks that an insane Charlie Foxtrot kind of day is great material instead of the bane of my freaking existence.

My day began to spiral downhill as I sat across the room from the judgmental corps of ballet moms who never seem to be able to speak to me even though they see me every blessed week. And today would have been another typical day of them treating me like an eyesore, but then something interesting happened...two of the new mothers (with brown children) came over to speak. As if they implicitly understood how I feel by the end of every class.

Telling the Hub about their micro-aggressive behavior is pointless. His suggestion is to let him take the kid to class so that the mean moms can ignore him instead of me...

Being a black unicorn means that people regard you with skepticism because your kid doesn't go to day care. And you feel useless because you once had your own name that didn't end in the word Mom. Or you feel inadequate because not working looks like the real problem might be your inability to multitask since everybody else seems to manage a job. But of course you know that isn't true because your plate includes caregiving. And being that friend who always shows up. Or that sister who takes up the slack so that everyone else can live their lives without feeling any additional pressure.

Being a black unicorn is to know that no one is paying to see you attempt to jump through fiery hoops and end up with your tail singed. If you are going out in a blaze of glory, it had better be because you exploded in a hailstorm of gold glitter, diamonds, and bitcoins.

Being a black unicorn means that you expect to draw attention to yourself, or stated differently, you don't expect that you can just fade into the wallpaper. You stand out all of the time, so you've learned to work with it. Yet, you are an introvert so it takes a lot of energy to show up. And you're always late.

Being a black unicorn is taking a chance on yourself, even if you have to do so by yourself. It is recognizing that the constant doubt, anxiety, and lack of confidence are just accessories. You can take off anything that makes you too self-conscious. You can blend in the makeup so that it looks more natural. With practice, your performance will be better than you thought it would be. And then again, maybe it won't come together so you will just try something else the next time. You always try; you are persistent.

Being a black unicorn means that you are an eternal optimist, in spite of everything. Your daughter will grow out of those annoying collapsing tantrums or she will learn that you will leave her splayed out in the middle of the floor. You are strong enough to haul tons of emotional and physical loads that others have deemed unwieldy. You are that friend, that sister, that chick who can, so that's why you don't work for someone else--you are too busy building your empire. You and your black unicorn filly intimidate those ballet moms, those playground moms, those library moms, and those moms who wear yoga clothes all day.

So tonight you're sharpening your horn because tomorrow is another day.

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