Wife, Mom, and Occasional Writer

“Crackin’ the Cat O’Nine: Because Girl Talk is Subversive” has been long in the making: a celebration of attempts at collecting, consolidating and committing to, well, digital paper my scribbles and scraps here and there, through the years – indulgences I had allowed myself when on break from being a mom (that would be, virtually, never) or in peril of death by deadline (imposed by someone else: a professor, editor, workplace superior).

I often succeeded with the second, since academic papers and professional documents have, indeed, always effectively fueled my cramming, and there is never really any turning one’s back on professional obligations and pursuits. But, what of me? My personal pursuits and pleasures? My personal commitments to the loves of my life are fulfilled with regularity and abundance – shouldn’t I count as one of them?

I had always broken my self-imposed deadlines. I do to this day. Seriously, what could I ever do to myself, right? Maim myself? Since there is no hope of my ever blackmailing, bluffing or posing any credible self-threat, coupled with my instinctive pronouncement that there’s always something more urgent and important to do, my head has long been a bubbling cauldron of stories, snatches, snippets that date back to our first child being the only baby (now they are three: a university girl, a high school girl, and a grade school boy).

with the three kids and hubby at the UP Diliman fair in February 2012

with the three kids and hubby at the UP Diliman fair in February 2012

Finally getting around to working on my blogs is the long-overdue toddler sprint that is finally about to follow my baby step of putting them up years ago. As I trot and trip over myself, I struggle to unlearn this guilt of writing when I don’t need to, of writing as a selfish act of pleasure that I am entitled to, of writing even when I have other things to do by virtue of my being a woman: a mom and a wife battling that ingrained compulsion to cook, clean, wash, fold, serve, arrange things around me and, generally, just put oneself last – a code so deeply embedded in me (and countless women the world over, I imagine) that I can’t help myself despite myself.

I have thus recently declared myself to be the occasional writer – a title that comforts me in my sporadic doodling and justifies my soon-to-be “past” inability to keep to my own deadlines, yet bodes of the inevitability of a promise that must be kept while i’m young-but-fairly-seasoned (bite me).

This blog crystallizes my resistance, my defiance, my silencing and my eventual removal of that voice within me that speaks to my gender, saying, “You shouldn’t write (or any such appropriate verb) until your reproductive work is done.” So here I am, not done, yet not lifting a finger. Except, of course, to type this blog.

“Crackin’ the Cat O’Nine” will feature stories, true and conjured, that celebrate the voices of women, for across genders, ages, classes, and races, the hands that “rock the cradle” – those who care, nurture, listen, teach, and mother in any context – do rock the world!

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