Wednesday, December 13, 2006


Today I am sad. I am sad because of immigration. There was a huge raid in six states, where workers were arrested for using fake or stolen documents. One of these plants is in Hyrum, Utah.
I have met people who work in that plant. One of my roommates when I was at USU taught an adult English class in Logan, and she asked me to come and help them practice their English. So I did. It was very interesting. I remember them telling me about their work, and I was surprised at how brutual the working conditions were. They did not seem to mind. They said they were living much better than they did back in their home countries.
I know that breaking the law is wrong. I know that it would be horrible to have your identity stolen. However, I think it was horrible to stage this raid right before Christmas. The news said that some of the workers children were left in school wondering what happened to their parents. I hate that the laws of this country tear families apart.
I do not know what it is like to be truly poor. I sometimes struggle with money, as we all do, but I am sure I will never starve. My child will not starve. I love my daughter so much. I can understand why these parents would want to make their children's lives better.
Most illegal immigrants I have met want to be legal. The process is horrible. My husband and I have been through it. We had to spend lots of time, money, and sleepless nights. Some people just don't have that money. It is so sad.
I have no solution. I don't know of a way to make it better. I feel the US has made immigration what it is. People don't want people here illegally, but don't make realistic ways for people to get here legally. We all want things cheaper, but are not willing to accept that the cheapness is at the expense of illegalness.
Mostly, it is horrible to let people work and live here for years, pretending that you don't know they are illegal, and then one day come in and ruin their world. Will I sleep better knowing that the government is finally "doing something" about immigration? No. I will sleep worse. I will sleep worse because This raid has left children alone with out the adults in their lives. I will sleep worse because of the news report that people with light skin and white skin were quickly released while all the ones with dark skin were retained. My husband is here legally. My daughter is an American Citizen. How soon do I have to expect questioning for them, because they "look" illegal?
Why do we think we are so much better because we happen to be born here? I am so lucky that I can travel where I want, when I want. I can see and talk to my family any time. My husband does not have the same blessings as me. But I would venture to say he is a better, more righteous, law abiding person than me. However, I have more rights than him, because of my accident of birth. Politicians say they are protecting me, by keeping illegal immigrants out. Stricter screening processes protect me. Stricter screening processes also keep my daughter from meeting her Grandmother, because the US feels there is not enough evidence that her Grandmother would go home after the visit. It hurts. It really hurts, and I do not think I will ever understand it.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Being a Working Mom

First I must say that I love being a mom. I am actually surprised at how much I love being a mom. I do not mind changing diapers, I do not mind being spit up on. My darling little girl has a fussy period where she screams for at least an hour every evening. Not just crying, but screaming so loud that I sometimes worry that the neighbors will call DCFS. However, I find the crying cute. I sit and hold her and laugh at her personality. See, we have discovered she does not cry from hunger, or needing a diaper change, or anything like that. She cries because she is tired and does not want to sleep. She is so mad that she feels tired. Then she completely crashes into a deep sleep.
Now, having said that, being a working mom in Utah seems to be very difficult. I really want to know if this is a general experience for Utah, mormon moms everywhere, or moms in general. When I was in New York I worked with many moms who did not seem to have the problems I am having.
First, let me say I love my job. I do not like getting up in the morning, and I am right out the door when my day is done. None of this lingering too long. But when I am here, I enjoy my job. I love working with clients, meeting people, helping people, etc. I also enjoy going home and being with my precious baby. She is taken care of in the day by my mother, so I figure I have the best of all worlds.
So, where is the problem? The judging. For good and bad I am judged everywhere I go. Some people at work mention things like "don't you just cry when coming to work?" "How can you be happy away from your baby?" At church "I would never work and have a child. My husband would work three jobs rather than send me to work." "Women who work are just selfish and do not know how to live on a budget." "You do not need to work. You can have medical insurance through Medicaid."
I also get the women who say "I wish I could have a good job and get out of the house". "You are so lucky. If my mom would watch my baby, I would work, too."
I know I do not need to justify myself, but I feel like I do. My husband and I do not work for luxuries. I would love to see how people handle it on one income, but as a teacher (my husband) and a Rehabilitation Counselor (myself) we do not make a fortune. Yes, we do live comfortably. We are getting a nice starter home next month thanks to my husbands saving skills. I have a good education. In fact, my job is paying me to take an online Master's Degree program. Why not take advantage of that? If I have to work, why not let it be something I enjoy? I had another working mom tell me "I have to work, but at least I hate it. At least I know that I would never choose this!" I think that is kind of stupid!
I guess I do feel guilt. But it is guilt about not feeling guilt! Isn't that stupid? People tell me my feelings will change as I miss more and more of her "firsts". Perhaps. But knowing that my family is taken care of, and that my husband's family in the Philippines is taken care of, I feel good about my life. We have our struggles, but I love that we have educations and that we can provide together for our family.
We are moving into a new ward. I am worried about being looked down upon. I know I shouldn't care, but I do care about what people think of me. Call me weak.
Anyway, I write this because I hope to find others out there who have to work, but make the best of it. Those who know that God leads their lives and do not feel guilt about it. Is anyone with me on this?