Lady in the House Questions: Rachel McKibbens

1.What has been your ultimate journey?

Being a parent. I’ve been a mother since I was a junior in high school, it’s taken me twenty years to figure out what I’m doing; what works, what doesn’t. When I was young, I wanted to have six boys. Big mean boys. The idea of girls frightened me. I didn’t think I would know how to raise one since I was not raised as one myself. But having three strong daughters has allowed me to become empowered by my own femininity and that shit is exciting! Plus, they’re big and mean, in the best way.


2. How do you start? How do you end?

In the dark. It’s my inner-former-foster child; I am only motivated by chaos – as long as everything is falling apart, I am able to create. I don’t end. I wait.


3. Do you worry about the politics of classification? How do you classify yourself?

I struggle with classification every day. Being a non-Spanish speaking Latina and recovering misogynist slash feminist is HARD. So many times, someone has asked, “What are you?” and I want to say, but never do, “Everything.”


4. When do you leave the wall intact, when do you knock it down?

I’ll knock anything down if it needs it. Not all walls need it. Some of them have a good reason, so I let ’em be. But it’s important to know you have the power to construct or demolish. This question reminds me of something a girlfriend told me, back when I was in an abusive relationship. For five years, I was getting my ass kicked, and my only answer to that was in trying to come up with ways to devastate him so he would finally leave me, and my friend just shook her head and said, “Or you can just walk out of the door, Rachel. Leave. Not everything has to be a fiery explosion of brick and mortar.”


Lady in the House Questions: Rachel McKibbens