“I was the poster child for waiting to have a baby,” says Crystal Black-Davis, author and owner of Savvy, a gourmet food marketing company. “[For] putting your success and your career first.” The 37-year-old isn’t just exaggerating — she wrote a widely-read piece on Essence.com titled “I’m Not Ready To Have Kids.”
Even with all the “have a baby now” milestones present — Loving marriage? Check. Successful career? Check. Getting older? Check. — Black-Davis was decidedly in the never-going-to-happen camp when it came to having a baby.
But as the saying goes, if you want to make God laugh, just tell him your plans.
“That article came out in October, and I found out I was pregnant a month later,” Black-Davis says, laughing. “I got a three-pack [pregnancy test] and I took all three. They were all positive.
“I think I knew at that point that God saw it fit for this to happen. I never would have done it on my own,” she continues. “[My son] Elijah has been the biggest blessing to me.”
Black-Davis talks about why she was positive she didn’t want to have children, and how her unexpected blessing changed her life.
Why were you the poster child for not having children?
Because I was afraid. Fear was the biggest thing. I was afraid of the loss of independence. I was afraid of having to be responsible. This is a responsibility that most people cannot wrap their minds around. You’re responsible for rearing up a productive member of society. This is big stuff!
After my mom passed [away from breast cancer], I was like there’s no point now. She would always say she would come out here and take a leave of absence, that she would be out here for the first three months with me and help show me the ropes. I didn’t have that. I felt like there was a void.
How has being a mom changed your life?
I feel like now frivolity is not necessarily what I’m able to engage in anymore. Every moment and every minute has to have a purpose. Because I’m a mom, I want to focus on him, so there’s not a lot of idle time. I still make time for me, but I want to make sure that I’m balancing my time, and [that I’m] being a good mom to him and being able to devote the time that I have to my business.
I always think the biggest change is just making sure that I’m managing my time and making sure that every minute has purpose, even if the purpose is to rest, and to be able to indulge in a little me time. But it has to have a purpose.
How do you feel about raising a black son in America, especially considering the way the country is right now?
I feel like he is a shining example of what the country should see. He comes from a good family. Here is a little African-American boy where his grandmother’s getting her PhD and she actually marched in Selma; his grandfather has a degree in math and he was a part of the sit-ins; his dad has his MBA; and his mom’s a college graduate. He’s got a lineage [where] this is expected. This is not anything that he would even have to consider. This is his heritage.
My hope is that he’ll never live up to stereotypes. As a parent you do whatever you can to ensure that they go the way that you steer them, but I feel like he’s going to be a shining example of what we know is a good black man. We’re setting him up for success. Anthony and I always say if he fails, it’s going to be of his own choice, not because of circumstance.
(photo credit J Quazi King)