Why New York City’s First Lady Chirlane McCray Is Inspiring

Chirlane McCray, wife of New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio, attends a press conference where her husband announced the city will not appeal a judge's ruling that the police tactic 'Stop-and-Frisk' is unconstitutional, which the judge had ruled over last summer, on January 30, 2014 in in the Brownsville neighborhood of the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
Chirlane McCray, wife of New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio, attends a press conference where her husband announced the city will not appeal a judge’s ruling that the police tactic ‘Stop-and-Frisk’ is unconstitutional, which the judge had ruled over last summer, on January 30, 2014 in in the Brownsville neighborhood of the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Two popular publications in New York recently ran cover stories blasting New York City’s First Lady Chirlane McCray.

The cover of Monday’s edition of the New York Post shows an enlarged image of McCray with the headline, “I was a bad mother.” Meanwhile, the New York Daily News ran a similar photo on their front page with the caption “didn’t want to be a mom.” The twisted, out of context quotes came from a detailed profile on NYC’s first lady in New York Magazine published Sunday.

In the NY Mag piece, which touched on numerous aspects of McCray’s life and personality, McCray reflected on what it was like being an older first-time mom having up until that point enjoyed the independent life of a single, working woman.  Her first child was born months after she married New York’s current mayor Bill deBlasio.

“I was 40 years old. I had a life. Especially with Chiara—will we feel guilt forever more? Of course, yes. But the truth is, I could not spend every day with her. I didn’t want to do that. I looked for all kinds of reason not to do it. I love her,” McCray told NY Mag’s Lisa Miller.

“I have thousands of photos of her — every 1-month birthday, 2-month birthday. But I’ve been working since I was 14, and that part of me is me. It took a long time for me to get into ‘I’m taking care of kids,’ and what that means.”

McCray went on to talk more in-depth about motherhood and what it is like raising children with a husband whose political career often kept him away from home. She became part of a network of mothers in her Brooklyn neighborhood, and they came to rely on one another for friendship and bonding. Her life, in a sense, was like a lot of other mothers who — despite the support of their spouses — are still the primary caregivers for their children.

The New York Post and the New York Daily News published headlines that suggest mothers are only allowed to feel joy and excitement when it comes to child rearing.  Anything else is apparently unacceptable and shameful. Parenting is a challenging assignment that no one seems to be fully prepared for, no matter how many times it’s experienced.

McCray expressed an honest and nuanced part of her journey to motherhood, and she should not be chastised for it. Her husband has already called for both tabloids to apologize for the tasteless and misleading headlines.

Click here to read more

Source: The Grio | Demetria Irwin

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