Pumpkin Cottage

Pumpkin Cottage
sit and visit a spell

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Mama I am coming home

 Bringing home the bacon and frying it up in a pan.

Vintage Emporium Long Beach

Living Mr. Lee style.
This morning I woke to....
Ozzie singing Mama I am coming home
His rocker heart singing to his wife Sharon.  
Traveling on the road missing his wife and children.

Other mornings I wake to Louis Armstrong
What a Wonderful World.
This morning Ozzie's lyrics pained me.
Men do not have it better than women.
Yes, they earn more for the same work.
This discussion is about work life balance.
It's about how politics can't be separated from public policy.

The dilemma wrapped around my heart
and grew into  as a lump in my throat.
Women still have an out.
What man  grows up believing they have
a choice to one day stay home with their children?
I am sure there are plenty of men on the road at this very
moment wanting to be home and
torn between providing and being there.

Bloom in all Circumstances

Mama. Papa.
Entrusted with the care of another human
being. In my early twenties I gave birth to son number 1.
My endeavors were no longer important.

From the day he was born and for each of his 3 siblings
each day is for them.

Other women say I inspire because I am driven.
True, I have aspirations but my aspirations are all
wrapped in my children's futures.  My aspirations are
modest and don't involve traveling or having a dream
job.  Long ago I made the choice not to travel for my
job.  To be home every night.  Mr. Lee has made the
same choice.  We earn less but are home every night.

Hens and Chicken from my mother's garden


Motivated by providing an education,
a safe place to run back to and a deep well of
unconditional love. Old school dreams of working hard
and providing a better life for the next generation.

My parents gave me deep roots.
So this recent, but not new, raucous
over women having it all deeply disappointments me.
Read The Atlantic article.
Betty Friedan wrote The Feminine Mystique in 1963. 
I read Ms. Friedan's book in the late 80s after child
No. 1.  The book's premise spoke to me then as it does now.
Is this all there is?
Will we continue this debate ad nauseum?
Just because a single women or thousands of women
have to made a decision on what is best for their families.

You made the choice when you had the baby.
On your death bed, I promise, if you 
don't do what is best for your children
nothing else will matter.

God is Love

Any woman who tells you they made
all the sacrifices without impacting their children
is lying. There were opportunities for discussion
missed, a moment where a teen unsupervised
made a bad choice, countless games  and plays
missed.  Award ceremonies and first days or last
days of school missed.

No one balances work and family without scars.
Women of privilege have help.  Nannies, cooks,
housekeepers.  Who watches the help's children?
If you think the book the The Help was set in another
era think again.  I bawled during the movie because nothing
has really changed.  I can't bring myself to read the book.


Really, why are we still having political debates over reproductive rights?
Why are we still writing about having it all?
It is not possible at the same time.

The callous truth is women don't support the choices of other women.
Feminist are disparagingly referred to as women libbers.
Or Rush's favorite fema nazi.
Seriously, I wish I could flush him with all the other waste.

Really? Really? Who are we hurting?
Feminist simply wanted to open doors
for those who chose to take a different path.
I was a homemaker and I am here
to tell you that I loved it and returned to work out of necessity.
My husband, at the time, had lost his job and remained
unemployed for a very difficult year.
I worked two low wage jobs and was thankful.
I rarely saw my children and have suffered the consequences but
I am also very proud of filling the critical role of financially supporting our family
and providing health insurance.

My paternal grandmother was widowed in 1927 with three young boys.
My father was the oldest at 7.  She commuted between two islands for her
teaching post.  Coming home on weekends.
My great grandmother and a housekeeper raised my
father and two uncles.  Her circumstances drove her.
Women are strong we do what we have to do for our families.

The rub comes with guilt.
In The Atlantic article there is a veiled argument
that two incomes are necessary.

Yeah, that is true if you are living in poverty or
in the ghetto or barrio.
Most of us work to not live in the barrio, to
take our families on vacation,
own a home, put decent food on the table.
Nothing fancy.

I am reminded of a discussion I had with my
brother about the attorneys in his former workplace.
Highly paid primarily female lawyers and how they
would discuss making ends meet on their salaries
in front of administrative staff.  Using a term from
the 80s gag me.
It is okay if you have a dream job
and work because it validates your spirit.
Work because you are well educated and talented. 
Don't apologize to the nay sayers.
Rise up to the demands of achievement.
There is NOTHING wrong with living your dream.
Don't make excuses...Don't allow for a crack in your armor.
Stand and lead.  Allow the rest of us to support you.

It is never a failure to stop and attend to your children.
It is not a failure to support your personal dreams.

Work to provide a life.
Work because you toiled to arrive.
Work because you will make a difference.
Work to lead and mentor other women.

Fellowship.  Support and admire women.

Seriously?  Over-educated spoiled rich women whining,
yes, whining is not attractive.  
Blah Blah Blah
Damn asses. Forgive me.
I read The Atlantic article in two sittings it was so hard to stomach.
Stop complaining.  You embarrass me.  Put on your big girl panties.

The dilemma these women of privilege are mulling over is understood
by any woman of color and every immigrant mother.

It's not like the average woman can take a sabbattical from
one great career to another great career.  
I want to scream.  Oh, how I wish I could run in the streets and
beat them with Mr. Candycane.

If your 80 hour work weeks are just too hard
try a back breaking
strawberry field picking job.
In the elements 7 days a week.
There but by the grace of God
go I.

So angry, my heart is ready to weep. 

Really, haven't we learned what the feminist sacrificed?
It wasn't about having it ALL at the same time.
It was about opening doors.
Have children.
Don't have children.
Wait until later, reproductive freedom,
or decide not to have children at all.

Did you like the days portrayed on Mad Men?
The clothes and furniture yes.
Mr. Lee and I were so uncomfortable with the treatment of
women and all the cheating we had to stop watching.

I am exhausted stepping down from the soap box.
My thesis may just be hidden in this post.  

Julie from the Vintage Emporium can bring it.

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