The birth of children influences the dynamics of all relationships and a Mixed Race marriage is no exception. There is always a mix in marriage. First of all, in a traditional marriage there is the mixture of man and woman, next there is the mixture based on geography. There are some unique traits shared by individuals in some neighborhoods in the U.S. that differ significantly from their peers in other parts of the country, and I'm sure that this happens all over the world.
There is the mixture of cultures. Although you may be from the same culture, you could be born to older parents who were influenced by norms that are a generation apart. You could also be the offspring of first generation immigrants, being raised by parents brought up in a totally different culture and be heavily influenced by their norms.
Mixed Race marriages also comprise of mixed cultures and ethnicity. Each partner could bring to the marriage, influences and points of reference that are sometimes completely different from each other.
A number of years ago I read a book entitled, I'm OK--You're OK by Thomas Harris
. The concept of this book is that each person has an Adult, Parent and Child in their psyche.
The Parent is influenced by the examples received from your parents as you are growing up, the child is identified with the your childhood, and the adult is a combination of varying influences. Before marriage, no one told me of how children change the dynamics in a marriage and force you to examine your own childhood and re-evaluate what was considered norms in your upbringing.
I'm OK, you're OK also discusses the difficulty in cross communication. For example, an Adult-Adult, Child-Child, Parent-Parent conversation is usually compatible, however, there may be conflict when someone communicates in the 'Child-Parent' and receives a response in the 'Adult-Parent'.
These parents that brought us up, actually travel with us in our psyche and for as many times as children may state they won't be like their parent, a lot of times they end up mirroring them.
This combination of varying ethnicity, culture, geography and personalities is often times found in mixed race marriages and need to be carefully navigated when raising children. It is a great opportunity for the children to sometimes have diversity of opinions, as it helps to enhance their critical thinking abilities.