Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Confession Tuesday

Forgive me reader, it's been one week since my last confession. I must confess I'm not really in the mood to confess. I'm worried, reader. I'm anxious. I'm the cat on the fence waiting to see if the dog below me leaves or it bites and bites hard.

Let's begin--

1) When my daughter was younger, she told me that my skin color was "french fry," while daddy's was "baked potato." Sometimes when I watch TV, I wish there were more french fry/baked potato families represented on sitcoms and TV shows.

2) I get annoyed when I hear a woman say she won't follow her own dreams/goals/passions because she feels her family needs her too much. In a certain way, I think it disrespects women who do work or follow their dreams/goals/passions along with having a family; it's as if they are suggesting by having something outside the homelife that the family is somehow lacking.

If there's one good reason why I think a woman should have other things outside their life besides her children, it's so her own daughter won't grow up with this sense of guilt that she must sacrifice her life's desires because she's had children.

I believe in balance. I believe you can do both. You will make sacrifices for both at times. Sometimes you will lean in favor of one over the other, but I don't believe just because you become a mother means you have to lose important parts of yourself.

I also think this annoys me in other women because I worry about it in myself. Guilt sleeps in the corner of my closet and can be easily awakened by poetry books dropping to the floor.

3) I am superstitious about words and what I write. Because of this, I know there are some stories or poems I will never write because of my superstition that words have power and can create things into being. It limits me as a writer, but on certain days I just can't get past it.

4) My mother-in-law came to America from from the Phillipines in the 1950's with her husband. In 1958, she had a baby and within two years of that, her husband died. She didn't speak English and was now raising a two-year-old boy by herself. What did she do? She learned to read and write English, found a job as a seamstress where she worked until the 1990's when she retired. She raised a son (my husband) completely on her own who went on to graduate from the UW and became a firefighter.

And while raising my husband by herself, she saved enough money to buy a home for them, which she still lives in it today. One by one, she helped her sisters and brother move to the US where they live today. She never remarried. She sends boxes of clothes and supplies home regularly to her family in the Phillipines. She walks to church every Sunday.

To me, she represents what is right and good in America. My husband always says that his mom represents "the American dream." She left her homeland for hope of a better life for herself and her family and she achieved it. She has always been one of my personal heroes. And is one of the kindest, most generous people I've ever met.

4) When I start bellyaching about my own small problems in my life, I always remember the above story as it puts things in perspective.

I think that's it for today. I'll keep you posted on how "Nana Rose" is doing. Thank you again for your prayers and good thoughts.


  1. Hope your mother-in-law is feeling better. Here's to a speedy recovery. She sounds like a remarkable woman.

    I completely agree with you on #2. Having a goal outside of the home can be acheived, but it's s struggle everyday to maintain that balance.

  2. Thinking of you, your mother-in-law, and your family.

  3. i love your #2. i advocate for myself all the time and pretend that i am unapologetic about the time i spend writing/creating instead of cleaning or playing candyland. (of course i feel like a wretched mother anyway)

    your prose about it is an affirmation!

  4. I am also superstitious about I write. Logically, it makes no sense, but I avoid certain subjects too.

    I hope your mother-in-law is better soon!

  5. I am always feeling guilty about the time I spend writing, or working at my art studio. Guilt is always dropping books on my floor, and even though it is carpeted, I still hear it! I liked what you said about our daughters growing up without guilt. That brought me up short. I should celebrate both being a mother and working--be a good role model. Thanks for that.

    Your mother-in-law's story is also inpsiring, and just what I need to remid me of what is truly "hard times."

  6. Great post! re: #2, when my boys were toddlers and it was nearly impossible to find time and a space to write(no space of my own, then), I used to do my writing standing up at the piano.
    It worked. So important to be supportive of mother-writers!

  7. Kelli, you raise an age old contraversy. Why does it have to be that way? Why can't we honor stay-at-home moms who work so hard without respect and appreciation and honor Moms who do work outside the home. Each person has to find their own way in life and their own joy. I've done both, but mostly I have stayed at home. Like you, I too wonder about the affect of sacrificing my own needs for my family and how it has affected my now gown daughter. I want her to be independent and know that she has worth regardless of what she chooses to do in life. I pray Nana Rose is on the mend. And, yes, I too believe words have power.


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