Adeeba Jean-Louis
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The Working Mom

The Daily Struggle

So, what is with the shaming of mom's by employers? I have two small children, and unfortunately they get sick quite often, as kids often do. I do not have the luxury of grandparents to help as both sets are late. I don't earn enough to hire help, so what happens I have to take time off work to take care of them, because it's the mom that is needed or wanted way more than the dad, and I am still breastfeeding 😱😱 my two year old. So when she is ill that's all that will console her. I am so tired, exhausted mentally and physically, as mother's we do so much and are responsible for almost everything. We are sleep deprived, as is the norm, yet we still get up as normal, and do everything we need to do.

I want to pull my hair out right now. The anger that rages inside, because you made to feel as if you are doing something wrong by putting your families needs before anything else. "It won't always be like this","you have to find someone to help you","you know this is unacceptable"; blah, blah, blah, and so on, and so forth.

We, as women that are moms, also have dreams, and needs, and careers, but trying to have both at the same seems like you shooting yourself in the foot. You are constantly made to feel like you need to choose one over the other, or guilty for wanting to have both. 

Hey, don't get me wrong, I am grateful for my family, and for being able to work, but why do women have to get the short end of the stick. We also have dreams of furthering our careers, or accomplishing our goals. I have always wanted to study and get my degree, but life has always seemed to say "not now, it's not your time." I know that I have chosen to sacrifice for my family, and I now I find myself constantly thinking is this it? I have to put up with jobs, I hate or employers who use and abuse you, because they smell the desperation. 

Do you know what one of the most annoying things are? The colleagues that have gone past this stage, or maybe don't have kids, so they are constantly bringing you down, or complaining that you shouldn't even bother to work! Like for real? I can't tell you how many times I have been made to feel like a failure, or useless, or I can't get my life in order, because I'm a mother to small children. One employer even said," I don't hire women with children because it's always an issue."

So here I am again at a crux, job number four and I can just see what's waiting for me when I go back. Unfortunately this isn't working out, I'm sorry, but we think you should maybe think about finding alternative positions that can help with you, and your unfortunate circumstances.

Why do we allow this? Why is this even and issue? I will tell you why, because no matter how much we try, we just can't stand up and fight, and those woman who have help, or chose not to have kids will not stand with us or behind us. I find that my biggest obstacle is finding willing members to help you out when you have a sick child, and you cannot afford to stay home with them. Not everyone has a support system! 

How do you choose between what's more important? Why should you be given a choice? Even those dad's who are the only parent in the home, or those that want to take time off to help with the kids. They also get treated as if family shouldn't come first or matter.  We are forced to endure this treatment, because we are too afraid to stand up and be counted, too afraid to be lashed out against by the women who are fighting for their place next to men in the work place, for equality for all.

Here I stand again, up against the wall, trying to be a good mom, a good wife, a decent human being with goals and dreams. To have a nasty boss say that I'm lying about my kids, that I just use this as excuse. To make me feel as though I am the small piece of dirt on the floor that needs to be trampled on. Is this true? Is this who I am? Will this define me, and what does it mean? 

So I pick myself up, and dust myself off, this is what is going to make or break you. I am strong. I am a mother. I cannot fall, or fail, yet most days feel as though I'm failing. When I look at my children they remind me this won't last, just as fast as they grow this won't always be this way. Life goes by in the blink of an eye, and will this really matter in five years. My children will only remember the moments that made the most impact, "Were my mum or dad there when I needed them? Or did work always take precedence." How do you explain to young impressionable mind that work pays for us to live. The boss is not interested in how your family is, or if you are happy and content.

I just know that my family will always come first, my children only have one mother and I can't allow bullies to get me down, as I am the teacher, shaping and moulding my children's minds.