Today, my boss told me to “just quit.” She saw me ready to give up and she encouraged it. She doesn’t wake a sleeping baby in the morning to get him to his sitter so mommy can work. She doesn’t lose hours tossing and turning because the two hours of commuting to and from a job that doesn’t pay enough to cover all the medical bills causes restlessness and the baby didn’t want to sleep because his teeth are coming in and they hurt.
Yesterday someone found out my nine-month old still sleeps in the bed with me.
She asked me “what happens when he’s seven?” She doesn’t have to soothe an
aching heart every time the baby cries and wants to be near to his mommy. She
doesn’t have to panic every time he goes in for a surgery because God only
knows what can happen under the anesthesia. She
doesn’t watch him breathe, his chest going up and down, up and down, up and
down, peacefully, thanking God for letting him make it, for letting him be
healthy again. I tell her that he can stay with me for as long as he wants,
because that’s what works for my family.
A week ago, I made a lighthearted
joke about my baby’s elation knowing I came home to him with his favorite food
source- my breasts! Someone told me that was “too much information.”
She isn’t there to see the look on his face when I come home. She wasn’t there
when I struggled and my body struggled but I fought to keep it well enough to
provide food for my child. It was a challenge, and now it’s a success.
You are not my child.
You judge. I work harder.
I am away from my baby for too many hours a week to bring home a paycheck I rarely see. Every second I am away from him I feel physically ill.
I agonize. You criticize.
Now, generally, when there is a
debate, I don’t speak my mind. This is not because I do not share opinions in
certain matters. It is because I have what the general population will call
“anxiety” and it causes physical pain to my heart and my head getting into
confrontations on matters that most people won’t change their minds about. I
scroll past cyber screaming matches about how you should or shouldn’t raise
your child from people who don’t have children, or people too ignorant to admit
that different parents have different parenting styles. I do not state my
opinions on political issues. Tell me I’ll never make a difference if I keep my
mouth shut, but you know who it makes a difference to?
Me. My family. My child.
My parenting style is what it is because everything that I do, I do for the
benefit of my baby. If I feel that something will hurt him, I don’t do it. If I
feel something will help him because I am educated on the matter, I go for it.
Just because I do not state my opinions doesn’t mean I’m in the dark about
I agonize, you criticize.
Raising a child is not a brisk walk in the park. It is not a game.
What a shame my little boy has to grow up in a world like this. All I can do is EVERYTHING in my power to be the strong woman he can look up to and love, knowing that there is some good, still.
I will love him with everything I have and more. So while
there is so much to agonize over, there is so much to be thankful for.
So, so much.