I am not religious. I believe that all religions are true. If a religion brings you happiness, comfort, community and a set of guidelines that align with your lifestyle or helps you to live your best life, then awesome. Practice and preach!
I am spiritual. And by that I mean that I believe in the soul and grew up reading Deepak Chopra, Gary Zukov and lately Eckhart Tolle.
Culturally I am Catholic. I didn’t grow up in the church. I did not go through all of the rites. I wasn’t even baptized till I was 7 and then when I was, it happened twice. I’m pretty sure my mother suffered a moment of guilt and thought to herself, “Oh what the hell?”
My parents couldn’t decide who the god parents should be so they chose two sets. A set my mother liked and a set my father liked. Each set of god parents did not know about each other. My parents lied in the church during a holy rite and then asked me to lie about it for my entire life. I’m pretty sure this is all a sin and that my two baptisms are nullified because of it.
I have not baptized my kids. I know what scripture says about the unbaptized going to purgatory but I cannot believe it.
I say I’m culturally Catholic because I know my prayers in English and in Spanish, thank you, anytime I’ve been scared I pray, and the mention of God happens every day. Si Dios quiere. Que Dios te bendiga. Ay Dios mío! I mean if we are not supposed to take God’s name in vain, in Spanish we are screwed because it’s built into how we express ourselves.
My kids are growing up without a formal religion. Without the guilt and hang ups of being a Catholic. Recognizing and respecting all the faiths that we encounter. And hopefully someday, they will read all of the books so that they know all of the stories. As literature the holy books of the world are pretty cool.
My big generalization is that Latin mamas, then and now, have felt a great cultural pressure to participate in some kind of religious practice.
Tell me, do you feel or have you felt pressured and guilt tripped into practicing a religion?
Do you see your religious practice as a way to teach your Latin culture and less really about the actual religion? How are you teaching your kids about religion? Are you, or will you give your kids the autonomy to choose?
Would love to hear from you!
I love being pregnant. I feel healthy, strong and vibrant. I’m that mom that takes a weekly picture of her bump, publishes it as a pregnancy journal, and then prominently displays it on a shelf in the living room for anyone to look through. I love the changing, ever-growing bump and everything else it ripens with it. It’s getting the kid out of me that is problematic. I’ve had 2 c-sections and right after them, it feels like a death and a birth all at once. The person I was, the body I had inhabited is gone. The baby I hold in my arms and this new body that I share, granted, in a very awkward way, have to be nursed into being. The baby and my body change over the course of the year. Each becoming independent, beautiful, whole again.
My moms version of the sex talk was threatening me to not get pregnant or else, or calling me a whore when I came home too late in my very early 20’s and because of this, there were so many things I didn’t know. I read so much about parenting, a little about giving birth, and nothing regarding post birth.
My big generalization for this week is that our mothers did not prepare us for any aspect of the birthing process because it was considered indecent and probably gross to speak about anything related to women’s bodies. It’s getting better, but women are still embarrassed to speak to each other candidly about these experiences.
What do you wish someone had told you about the postpartum experience?
I wish someone would have told me that having a baby was going to make me a better version of me. I’m stronger, more patient, kinder, more efficient, more determined.
Do you think motherhood has made you better?
Did your mother speak candidly to you about any aspect of the birth experience? Making the baby, housing the baby, birthing the baby, being with the baby?
Would love to hear from you!
Wendy writes blog posts that turn into conversations for the Mamá Cita Podcast.