The Problem with Going Out of Town for Natural Mothers

by Ernessa T. Carter from

I’m attending a few out of town events this summer for the paperback release of 32 CANDLES (in stores now, so please jump on it). However, I also have a two-year-old daughter. A lot of moms worry about missing important milestones when they’re out of town. How about if she says her first three-syllable word or reveals a prodigious talent for the violin when I’m not looking? But not me. I don’t worry about milestones, I don’t worry about my daughter missing me for the days I’m away — I just worry about her hair.
More specifically will her hair look a hot mess while I’m gone?
I don’t see very many posts on this subject, but I think many black mothers (especially the ones in interracial relationships like myself) might have this same worry. Though I’ve attempted to walk my husband through our daughter’s hair routine on a few occasions, he just doesn’t seem to have an innate sense of how much product to put in her hair or how to part her hair — even if she’s squirming or full-on fighting him. Our daughter isn’t tender-headed. She’s just ornery and doesn’t like people up in her hair. She only recently stopped fighting me on the subject. My husband, however, just doesn’t have the steely hair resolve of a black mother. He feels bad when our daughter declares her upset at getting her hair done. He often either half-does it or doesn’t do it at all rather than stand up to his two-year-old daughter on this particular subject.
I’ve received so many pictures of my daughter looking less than put together while she was out and about with my husband, that I’ve given him the instruction not to take any pictures outside of the house unless her hair is in a neat puff. I’m already having dreadful visions of fellow black women shaking their heads at him on the street, assuming that our daughter has been adopted by culturally insensitive people who just don’t care about how her hair looks. No, I want to say to these hypothetical women, he’s just too nice to get the job done properly. Please don’t judge us.
I wonder how other natural mothers handle this situation. Do any of you worry about your children’s hair when you go out of town?

Let me know in the comments.