â€œI was the poster child for waiting to have a baby,â€ says Crystal Black-Davis, author and owner of Savvy, a gourmet food marketing company. â€œ[For] putting your success and your career first.â€ The 37-year-old isnâ€™t just exaggerating — she wrote a widely-read piece on Essence.com titled â€œIâ€™m Not Ready To Have Kids.â€
Even with all the â€œhave a baby nowâ€ 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.
â€œThat article came out in October, and I found out I was pregnant a month later,â€ Black-Davis says, laughing. â€œI got a three-pack [pregnancy test] and I took all three. They were all positive.
â€œI think I knew at that point that God saw it fit for this to happen. I never would have done it on my own,â€ she continues. â€œ[My son] Elijah has been the biggest blessing to me.â€
Black-Davis talks about why she was positive she didnâ€™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. Youâ€™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 thereâ€™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 didnâ€™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 Iâ€™m able to engage in anymore. Every moment and every minute has to have a purpose. Because Iâ€™m a mom, I want to focus on him, so thereâ€™s not a lot of idle time. I still make time for me, but I want to make sure that Iâ€™m balancing my time, and [that Iâ€™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 Iâ€™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 grandmotherâ€™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 momâ€™s a college graduate. Heâ€™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 heâ€™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 heâ€™s going to be a shining example of what we know is a good black man. Weâ€™re setting him up for success. Anthony and I always say if he fails, itâ€™s going to be of his own choice, not because of circumstance.
(photo credit J Quazi King)