Proud Families: Dinah and Malila's Family
We're celebrating Pride Month, and the release of the Pride & Joy collection, alongside LGBTQ+ families that feel pride for the journey and struggles of becoming parents, raising their children, and forming communities. We gathered families to feature in our photos for the collection and we chatted with them to share their stories.
Today, we chatted with Dinah Becton-Consuegra and her wife, Malila Becton-Consuegra. Dinah loves to garden and Malila is a great cook! We're sure that makes for delicious, fresh meals at home from time to time. Dinah and Malila have two kids, Yaxche and Ayo, who are both serious “choo choo train” enthusiasts. Read on to learn more about their journey in parenting.
PLANNING A FAMILY
(From Dinah) We’ve both known we wanted to be parents since we were kids. When I was younger, I used to tell people that I wanted enough children to have our own basketball team. As I've gotten older that number has gone down. My wife also imagined wanting lots of kids. So when we were first married we thought we might try to have a larger 3+ family but since actually having two very active children with big personalities, we are happy as a family of 4.
(From Malila) We both wanted to experience pregnancy and Dinah went first because she’s older. We felt it was important for us to have a donor that matched our Black and Latinx culture and though the process of finding someone was incredibly difficult, we got really really lucky to find an incredible match.
We experienced a miscarriage during our first pregnancy which was painful. We ended up learning that many people in our lives had also had miscarriages and that although it’s rarely spoken about it is very common. We were lucky to have a tribe of loving and wise friends by our side throughout the process.
In the end, all the sacrifices were worth it for these two loves. Our most memorable milestone so far is seeing how much our kids love each other. We wanted them to have an unbreakable bond and seeing the beginning stages of their relationship is really beautiful to witness.
THEIR UNIQUE JOURNEY
One part of raising two Black Latinx boys is to make sure we love on them and give them childhoods they don’t have to recover from. Making sure we have honest conversations about racism in this country and what it means to navigate the world when others are taught to fear you.
We feel it’s important to raise them as gender-neutral as possible and are very mindful of having conversations to celebrate different family structures. We try to be mindful of our messaging around gender as well as the messaging they are getting from society. We hold space for their feelings, nurture their individuality, and encourage tenderness and compassion.
LESSONS FROM PARENTING
(From Dinah) Covid-19 has taught us all to slow down in the best of ways and to get creative with how we spend our time together. We’ve done more picnics in the yard, science experiments, gardening and hikes over the last few months. Our kids are also in a cuddly phase. Being on "shelter in place" isn’t so bad when you have adorable little people at home who love to cuddle up with a book.
(From Dinah) The biggest lesson of parenting has been to be completely present in those moments with them because time flies. Parenting has given me more patience.
(From Malila) Parenting changed the way I see everything. From using time much more efficiently to thinking twice about the safety of things I wouldn't have noticed before. Being a parent makes me hyper-aware of the importance of each moment I get to spend with my family.
A MESSAGE TO OTHER QUEER FAMILIES
Never give up and expand your notions of what the journey looks like so that you don’t get crushed when the outcome may not look exactly as you planned. The journey to starting a family can be long, emotional, and expensive but our advice is to be flexible with your strategy. Do not give up on your goal. There are many ways to make a family, be creative. Remember love makes a family.
Thank you to the Becton-Consuegra family for sharing their story with us!!