Bad Word

by Tracee Sioux

Mommy, Kinsey called me a bad word!

Oh no. What did she call you?


So this is what bad mother Karma feels like. I so wish I had been nicer to my mother. Where once my main goal in life was to not become my mother, I now realize there are WAY worse people to be. I’d be lucky to be as kind, generous and loving and together as my mother.

The other day someone said, That must have been hard for you.

We were discussing how my mother actually taught me real homemaking skills like sewing, cooking and cleaning that I thought were passe. I believed feminism would save me from that fate.

I guess, as a kid I didn’t appreciate that some mothers leave. Some mothers beat their kids. Some mothers work three jobs and are never home. Some mothers involve a litany of different father-figures in their kids’ lives. Some mothers don’t care if you do your homework or graduate. Some mothers give you their cigarettes instead of punishing you for smoking.

I actually do sew. Sometimes for fun. My friends are jealous that I have this antiquated and exotic feminine skill. They bring me their favorite clothes and beg me to fix them. They ask me to teach them these nearly-dead feminine arts. They ask for my recipes.

My parents were right – I just didn’t know how good I had it. I really thought every kid got it as good as me.

Now if only I could convince Ainsley – There are way worse names to be called than Tracee.

1345 replies
  1. Tracee says:

    Sewing is traditionally feminine – unless you do it for money and then they call you a Tailor.

    Just like cooking is traditionally feminine – unless you do it for money and then they call you a Chef.

  2. Rebecca says:

    The idea of cooking and sewing being feminine skills today is antiquated.

    I know several families of varying ages where the husband is the cook. I doubt those husbands are total anomalies.

    Alot of men really enjoy cooking. It’s not considered feminine of them at all nor should it be. I mean, there are cooking articles in men’s websites and magazines.

    The bottom line is that they’re handy skills whether you’re male or female, and continuing to think of them as female roles is pretty silly.

  3. Janet says:

    Cute Tracee. I hope your mother gets a chance to read this blog and know that she is appreciated. Sometimes I wonder if mothers really know how much we do appreciate them. They tend to play the marter role and don’t think anyone cares. I think it’s great that you can say how you feel.
    Love you,


  4. Tracee says:

    Growing up those were the things a woman was expected to do, at least in my house. Maybe in yours it was your father who did the laundry, toilets, preparing dinner and taking care of kids. But, I doubt it.

    When I was young, I thought feminism would free me of them. Which is not a comment on how things should be, but a comment on how I perceived them. Which is that the cooking and cleaning and sewing were the unappreciated crap work.

    No doubt, they are handy skills to have. That’s my point. But, no matter how feminist I am – the fact is, I’m still doing WAY more of that kind of work than my husband and I always have and probably always will.

    And I know I’m not the only woman who is. Statistically, women still do 75% percent of the housework and childcare – whether they work or not.

  5. Tracee says:

    By feminine art of sewing, I did not mean repairing a button.

    I mean, I hand sew Christmas stockings and make baby quilts for sentimental reasons. I make throw pillows and curtains.

    Traditionally this is how the women in my family were artistic. That’s what I mean by feminine art.

  6. Rebecca says:

    They may still do 75% of the housework, but they should not. Women and men both need to shake off those notions of what is a man’s job versus a woman’s job, b/c alot of times it’s not practical to still think along those lines.

    If it IS practicle for the wife to do the housework, by all means, then she should do it. But not because she’s a woman. Women don’t have any special skills that make them better than men at housework.

    In alot of families, both parents work, and both parents negotiate who does what. If the husband automatically expects the wife to do the housework b/c she is female, then shame on him for passively accepting gender roles and shame on his mother and father for teaching him that housework is solely a woman’s responsibility.

  7. Rebecca says:

    If your mom taught you how to sew quilts and stockings, then that’s great and you are lucky. My parents didn’t teach me any skill. Hopefully you can pass on your skill to both Ainsley AND Zack.

  8. Violet says:

    As an adult, I can see my parents so much more sympathetically, especially my mom. My mother has gone from being my nemesis to being my hero. She is getting older, and I realize now that she won’t be around forever, so I cherish our time together. So glad we got to this place!

    As for sewing, I know what you mean. I grew up with all these gorgeous quilts my grandmothers made, not realizing they were works of art. (My husband does have his own sewing machine though!)

  9. Tracee says:

    That’s what I mean Rebecca – my Mom did teach me those skills and many other homemaking skills that I use all the time.

    I thought every girl was forced to learn and it wasn’t until I was in my 30s that I realized not all my friends could make a baby blanket, read a pattern, cross stitch a portrait, or make a pillow and drapes or a shower curtain.

    Quilts really are works of art and its a dying artform that used to be passed around between mother and daughter for generations. I took for granted that everyone else’s family was passing these feminine arts down. I realize now that they aren’t. I realize now that I’m a rare minority having sat in a quilting bee with lots of other women.