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What Raising Kids In SoCal Really Looks Like

Nakeisha Robinson

Participatory Parent Photo Project: Nikeisha
(Nakeisha Robinson for LAist)
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Nakeisha Robinson

Anaheim • Age 40 • Birth equity consultant and community health advocate

Lives with Carlvin, Jr. (husband), Carlvin III (8), Nalani (5) and Carlvin, Sr. (father-in-law); Blended family also includes Chantel (26) and Jaylen (21)

Participatory Parent Photo Project: Nikeisha
(Nakeisha Robinson for LAist)
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“This picture here is a picture of our family bed...And I wanted to just kind of mark this moment because sometimes when I am kicked and my husband and I are on the edge of the bed because the kids come in, I try to remind myself that this won't last forever. But that you know, I'm fortunate that we have a bed and that we have the space and we can be together.”
About Parenting, Unfiltered
  • We gave point-and-shoot film cameras to 12 Southern California parents of young children and invited them to document their lives in the Fall of 2019.

  • Join this group of families, from South Los Angeles to the San Fernando Valley and San Bernardino, as they show us what parenting really looks like, through their eyes.

Participatory Parent Photo Project: Nikeisha
(Nakeisha Robinson for LAist)

Lupus is one of those medical conditions that often people don't necessarily know... There was a time when my network and friends just had to learn.
— Nakeisha
"It's like, ‘Why didn't you come to this?’ and there's like... ‘I was coming, and I woke up this morning – I was coming – and then two hours later hit and I'm in literal pain. I'm like writhing on the ground in pain...’ Despite what I do, the smile that I put on, the optimism that I carry, the reality is I need these to just function.”
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[At] any given time, we can have some of the older kids come by and visit, which is like one of the beautiful things of being a blended family.
— Nakeisha
“My children, I think, are relatively aware around social injustices. So they understand that the work that I specifically do is around moms and babies.

“We have had conversations around race, around police, around experiences that they may have with their friends … What to do if they have something that makes them feel uncomfortable, and it is specifically like race-based and what those microaggressions could look like. So like for my daughter, it would be like if somebody wants to touch your hair or they’re making fun of your hair.”
Participatory Parent Photo Project: Nikeisha
(Nakeisha Robinson for LAist)

“They're doing a battle – dance battle. My son loves breakdancing. He just loves dancing, period, but he's a great breakdancer ... some music came on, he started dancing, my husband was like, ‘Well what's up?’ and they just started battling and my daughter and I are there just laughing and cheering them on.”
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Participatory Parent Photo Project: Nikeisha
(Nakeisha Robinson for LAist)

“This could actually be an impromptu thing anytime because my husband loves it. He gets crawfish shipped from Louisiana live. He has local places. So at any given time, he can throw a boil together.”
Participatory Parent Photo Project: Nikeisha
(Nakeisha Robinson for LAist)

“I grew up in the Valley. And so the Valley’s very diverse, so I've always, I'm used to being around different races, different cultural groups, all all the time. So I'm used to kind of making friends and networking and kind of finding that space."
Nakeisha's husband works in his garden.
(Nakeisha Robinson for LAist)
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My husband is the master gardener... This garden is so successful because I sit in my chair and just hang out. I don't touch it. But the kids helped him start this.
— Nakeisha
“Being able to have more healthy food options that are available to us, and it has never become more worth it than during this pandemic... [My husband]... He's probably helped start around five, of our close friends, helped them get their garden started."
Participatory Parent Photo Project: Nikeisha
(Nakeisha Robinson for LAist)
Participatory Parent Photo Project: Nikeisha
(Nakeisha Robinson for LAist)

“Both my children are in karate, and they are fiercely competitive in a very healthy way, but they are competitive. My daughter's like trying to catch up to my son, even though he started years before her.

“These are the vests for the kids at my daughter's preschool, our tot lot... I am on the board this year. I’m the board president, and it's a volunteer parent co-op, so we all have responsibilities…

“This was really important to me around starting to work out of the home more, is that I have time to do the things that are meaningful to me, to the kids ... It's not easy to work part time and live off one-and-a-half incomes, especially in L.A. County. So there's things that we do, that we have to sacrifice, but it's worth it.”

Participatory Parent Photo Project: Nikeisha
(Nakeisha Robinson for LAist)

“I live in Orange County … You hear people speak about, like, ‘Oh, it's not really the greatest place, most safest place for you know, people of color.’ And you can't necessarily say exactly what it is, but it's just this aura around it. But, you know, this time has really kind of like solidified it for me.”

For example, the mask-shaming.

Then that impacts our children because then I'm like, well, I don't want them to be out because there's people not respecting that space.
— Nakeisha
Participatory Parent Photo Project: Nikeisha
(Nakeisha Robinson for LAist)

“She was just like, you know what, ‘I want some of this driveway space,’ because usually, we would be off to the side. And that day, she's like, ‘I'm taking the space here.’”
Nakeisha's two kids lay on the driveway where they've drawn pictures.
(Nakeisha Robinson for LAist)

“Every few weeks we go and just do another you know another drawing ... It's really nice because people are getting to see our artistic side.”
Participatory Parent Photo Project: Nikeisha
(Nakeisha Robinson for LAist)

The virtual graduation was pretty amazing. We wanted to finish strong because there was so much uncertainty. We don't know what the future holds.

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