Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Womanism started off as a movement formed by the feminist author, Alice Walker, that specifically referred to African American women's fight for equality.

Women of color feminism began with criticism of the white woman's movement of excluding women of color and the issues important to them: poverty, racism, and needs such as jobs, health care, good schools, and safe neighborhoods for all people. Asian-American, Hispanic, and African-American women and men who are activists often chose to join forces with each other to fight racism and classism, even though the women are aware of their oppression as women.

Since, according to a professor I had in university, womanism has extended beyond race or class and even feminism and expresses a respect for women and their talents and abilities. This is a more accurate description of what I stand for: not "equality" in the sense that woman is equal to man (don't get me wrong, I DEFINITELY believe in equal rights and opportunities for both women and men), but that woman should celebrate her unique qualities that set her apart from man. I really like this thought. And I especially like that way that it challenges me to continue to develop strengths that make up me as an individual.

Politics aside, yesterday I had a lot of thoughts about how challenging it can become as a mother who stays home with Cole to not turn my life over to routine. I really want to make sure that I'm constantly challenging my self on all levels. That I'm developing more talents and skills and practicing whatever expertise I may have because I am home. Are you following this?

This is HARD when my primary commitment right now is to take care of someone(s) else. BUT, I really loved going to a tap dance lesson yesterday and pulling out my really cool apple green yarn, knitting needles, and a Knitting for Dummies book I bought last year with all of the intentions to become a knitter. It was refreshing. And I hope that most days I find time to do something like this.

Any ideas for other "creative" projects?


  1. I love this post, because I can completely relate with you. In my younger years, I was scared motherhood would mean I had to kiss goodbye to personal growth and identity. Obviously, that's not so - I've probably grown more so as a mother than ever. But, the idea of mother groups used to depress me. Is that wrong or weird? They don't anymore, but they did. I think we have to make a conscious choice all the time to further our talents and abilities as a mother and not give in to routine day after day. That said, sometimes routine is just what I need. Other times, I need a night class on photography or writing. Something that uses creative energy and doesn't involve getting my child to sleep.

    I could comment forever about this, but I know we probably all three feel the same way and Kelli, you said it nicely already ("celebrating her unique qualities...").

    I love your creative projects - tap and knitting. I want to sew square pillow covers for my bed.

  2. Again, I really this idea of continually exploring and developing our creativity.

  3. I think that your realization of this is one step ahead of a lot of other women and men out in the world. It's a challenge to figure out how to better oneself, whether you are a mother or not. Mothering just seems to take the cake on this subject because you have to literally (almost?) devote your entire self to the raising of someone that cannot do anything for themselves, including sleep (!) at times. It's an interesting topic to discuss and I think we as mothers need to speak out about and not be afraid to say, "you know what, I need something else in my life." Not that being a mom isn't fulfilling, but there are times that you just need to take care of yourself and in turn you'll be a better mother.

    But, Lindsey is right. Somedays a routine is comfortable and settling. When we have those feelings that you are experiencing right now Kelli, we shouldn't be afraid to embark on them. Take tap class and become the best tapper you can. Now am I making sense? It's just that by enrolling in tap, you've already made yourself a better mother and then can go back to a routine that works for both you and Cole. And Bradley for that matter.

    I wish I had a list of projects for you. But, I think the "projects" are equally different for each of us. While yours may be knitting, I'd fail miserably at that and give up. I think that is why we three like blogs so much. We can express ourselves and put time into something for ourself (even if we talk about our children). I'd love to sew, I really would. But, it's just not me. I'd rather buy it. So, what does that say for my creativity? I'll have to find another project. And that may just be returning to my track practice on Tuesday nights.

  4. Just to clarify: by "routine" I mean doing "things" without thinking through what you are doing. More of a habit really. I think this can happen to anybody- stay home mom or not. I also think that you can neglect being a committed mother by falling into this habit/routine: wake up, open blinds, feed child, bathe child, dress child, put child down for nap, play with toys. In this, there has to be thoughtfulness. There has to be the element of challenging yourself to be your best.

    That is what I meant. I really like your thoughts.


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