Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I am not alone

Apparently, I am not the only one that feels that mothers today are being discriminated against in the workplace. I guess I should have figured as much. We spend so much time in our own little world and our own little homes that we forget that there are others having similar experiences. Thank god for blogs and the network they create among people and information they spread. Lack of real physical social interactions, after all, is largely due to being too busy bringing home the bacon, or at least trying to.

According to, families are not valued in America - big surprise.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

If I were any stiffer I'd be dead

Yes, folks, If I were any stiffer I'd be dead. The combination of having very little savings, no job, no sleep, and two screaming kids have left me with rigor mortis. My shoulders are up to my ears, and it feels like someone stuffed some golf balls behind my shoulder blades.

Right now, we can't afford any of these modern day luxuries like having a home, running water, electricity, sending the boy to preschool, and certainly not this high speed dsl that I could be using to find a job. On the plus side, I think we might be able to afford to eat this month.

You see, the trouble with having children, is that they need someone to take care of them, and if you vow never to have some stranger watch your children, well then, that means you need to watch them. That also means, that with every child you must leave work. The effect of that then leaves you with gaps in your work history. Staying homes shows you value your children over your job, and well, employers don't like to see that because NOTHING should be prioritized over your job.

You'd think working in a school where children are a priority things would be different. No. No. No. No. Your the teacher, and nothing should be valued over bringing those wonderful test scores up, even if it means forgetting you have your own children, living at school because with the amount of hours you are expected to put in, you might as well bring a bed, and being clever enough to make the impossible work. Yes, and after all that, don't expect to be paid what you're worth, or even be given a pat on your shoulder with a "good job", because you must never forget that as soon as ANYTHING goes wrong, you will be blamed. It doesn't matter if what went wrong happened at home, or in a small remote island off the coast of South Africa, because it will still be your fault. Scapegoat, scapegoat, scapegoat.

The work world is not child friendly, and leaving a job to tend to them will result in massive blacklisting, so don't expect to find one after they are finally old enough to be put through the system. Hey, it's free childcare. Isn't it?

My point is, if your reading this, send money, or some brilliant references, because I need a job so that my shoulders can be tense for other reasons like trying to bring test scores up from the pits of hell.

Okay. That's enough sarcasm and ranting for today. Stay tuned.

Monday, September 17, 2007

While watching the Emmy's...

and looking at pretty dresses I will never get to wear or even have a place to wear them at, my son commented, "Look mommy! That's the wady that lives in the doctor show!"

Friday, September 14, 2007

Shaking Off Stereotypes

Today, the kids and I went to lunch with our park friends. The eldest played as I tried to chat with the other moms while chasing the littlest Bee. Nothing weird or interesting to point out about our outing, but I can never help but notice that I am the only person of color. I know that this is partially a consequence of where I live. Our neighborhood is predominantly Caucasian, and because we visit our neighborhood park, we make many Caucasian friends. All lovely people - very friendly, kind, and thoughtful. I never really think about the fact that they are Caucasian and I am Hispanic, but every once in a while, when we start talking about our own childhoods, it hits me, their experience was nothing like mine.

Growing up, I've always had very americanized friends of different races because I've never felt like I could completely relate to either culture. I was somewhere in between American and Mexican, and I tended to gravitate to people who felt the same way. Yet, as a child I quickly learned that being a minority meant that I would be followed by all the stereotypes that society had put out there about being a Hispanic. Even to this day, I always feel an intense need to shake these stereotypes off, but they follow me like a shadow or stormy cloud wherever I go. When I meet someone new, I'm instantly tagged by these stereotypes and the expectations of me that come along with them. My first task is to prove that I do not fit the stereotype, but that is never easy.

I'll never forget when, as an adolescent, we moved to California for the third time just as I was entering middle school. Again, I was living in a mostly Caucasian neighborhood. I remember spending my first few weeks of school trying to prove to my peers that I wasn't stupid. Whenever I did well on a test, it was assumed that I cheated, and it actually prompted many in my proximity to cover their papers whenever we tested. After all, aren't Hispanics only capable of achieving menial, no-brainer jobs like cleaning houses, busing tables, mowing lawns, and other things of that nature? It took me a year to prove that I actually had a brain, and that I was looking for something more than what society had already designated for me. By the end of the second year, people were asking to copy off my paper.

I guess I am just wondering what my children's experience is going to be like. Will they be immune from the stereotypes that followed me because they don't look Hispanic, or will they quickly be tagged once their peers find out that they are indeed at least partially Hispanic? I am willing to bet that the color of their skin will be predominantly used to prejudge them, after all, that brown lady who picks them up is nothing more than the nanny despite what they say. Yet, even if people assume that they are Caucasian, what will their experience be like? Will they be prejudged as harshly as I was for being Hispanic, or will they be spared any stereotypes? Will they be judged as an individual, and actually be given a chance to make their own impression on people without first being labeled? I hope this for them, as I still hope this for myself, but still, I know nothing about growing up Caucasian and the stereotypes that come or don't come with that.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

My Littlest is 1!

One year and one day ago, my littlest Bee was born. It took a lot of pushing to get him out, because even though he was coming out head first, he wasn't facing the right direction, and it took 5 1/2 hours of pushing to get him out. His head was massively lopsided and he screamed and screamed. We figured he must have had a monstrous headache.

It's amazing how much they change in one year, and how fast that one year goes once you get past the first three months of intense breastfeeding. My little grub is now walking, talking, eating solids, and asserting his place in this family. (I'd like to add sleeping to that list, but alas, he still doesn't sleep for more than four hours straight.)

Happy Birthday Bee! I love you! You were a wonderful birthday gift when you were born, and you continue to bless me everyday with your sweetness.

Quote of the Day

"Look mommy, my penis is wearing sunglasses."

He found his sunglasses in the bathroom after having used the potty, and decided this would be funny. Silly boys and their obsession with their penis.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

I've Got Pickles

According to my oldest, I have pickles. A few nights ago, while attempting to give big brother a bath, he loudly screamed and proclaimed that I had pickles.

me: "It's time for your bath."
the boy: "Noooooooooooo!"
me: "Come on, we need to give you a bath so that you'll be ready for bed."
the boy: "Nooooooooo, mommy has pickles!"
Dad joins in:"Mommy needs to give you a bath, I'm washing dishes."
the boy: "Nooooooooo, mommy has pickles! I want daddy to do it"
me (while wrestling with him to get in the shower): "Come on, it will be fast."
the boy (flailing, kicking, and screaming): "Nooooooooo, mommy has pickles!"
the boy (while being thrusted into the shower): "No! No! No! Mommy has pickles! Aaaaah, pickles! Pickles! Pickles!"

Even now, I 'm not sure what he meant. He has called pimples pickles in the past, but as far as I could tell I wasn't breaking out or anything. Could he have been so overtired he was seeing spots? Mommy had turned into a freakish pickle monster right before his eyes waiting to feast on clean little boys. "Mmmmmmm, clean boys are good for pickle growing ya know."

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Who's the Mama?

Did I ever mention I look nothing like my children? I'm dark, dark, dark, and they are light, light, light - and by light, I don't mean they weigh very little, but that they are very fair. They are two blue-eyed, fair-skinned, light brown hair and blond boys that despite their dark momma, don't tan. All the Texas summer days has little to no effect on their skin color.

As a mother I don't care what color my children are, but I find that people have a hard time getting past that. When people first meet me and my boys, and discover that I am their mother and not merely their nanny, they just stand there baffled, aghast. How? Even my own family questions whether I am their biological mother.

"Did you steal him from the hospital?"

"Does he know your his mother? You must nurse him so that he knows, right?"
Seriously, I don't think babies are born racist.

"Daddy must have blue eyes?"

"You know, you look nothing like your children?"
"Well, duh?"

Although, if you look past their caucasian features, you'll see that we have similar lips, and cheeks, and nose. One is petite like me, and the other has the same fuzzy patch on their lower back like me- definitely a trademark on my side of the family even if it's not the most desirable thing. And to answer the question of who has blue eyes, I have to say it's their grandpas.

Yes folks, they are the product of many recessive genes. If you look in the dictionary, under recessive genes, you will find a picture of them. So there's the story, get past it, move on. My children look caucasian, and I do not. Color doesn't play a roll in our relationship except when it comes to issues dealing with misplaced art.