Monday, May 28, 2012

a working mother: every mother is one

A couple weeks ago I began working.
Outside the home.
Doing social work with foster kids...supervising their visits with bio-parents.
Transporting them to said visits.

We need the work and the income to be gained from it,
and so we, I, am grateful.

Still, it is not easy to leave my little girl.
Some days I wake her and immediately put her in the car
to drop her at a friends
who will watch her until I pick her up several hours later.
So I can watch children,
who no longer live with their parents.
The irony is not lost on me.

Neither is the judgement I feel.

In those moments when I ache for my own child,
I know that I must feel in some way
what these others are feeling,
and yet, who, for whatever reason,
cannot reach past what keeps them
from making a home again for their children.

It's not easy.
None of it.
So I hold my girl all the closer
and kiss her all the more
and pray for a better world.
For all of us.

***Last year I went on a job interview when Sophie was still so tiny.
I wrote THIS poem then and am including it here, again.

Today at 4:15 ~ dawn still dark~
I woke and fed my daughter,
then put her back to sleep.
I showered, dressed, and made myself up
so I could go 
to an 8a.m. job interview.

I have to go back to work
and this new mama heart
can hardly balance the ache of leaving
my girl with the need to provide.

I watched her sleep~
this, the first morning I won't be here to greet
her tiny face when she wakes,
her smile filling my cup.

I know a mom
who rises early
to work at a dump
sorting trash
so she can feed her family.
Her harried existence
missing early morning smiles.
And yet missing the growing of her children,
does not lack the glow of sacrifice,
that fills her children's cup.

I don't pretend that my
going to work is anything
like this woman's daily
demonstration of selflessness.
But in the moments before I left,
I pumped my love into a bottle,
a cup that will feed~
and I think I knew what it meant
to exist to love.

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