A BAD DAY                           

 

I’m having one of those days again
where I don’t feel like I’m worth much.
Despite my ongoing efforts,
I can’t find a job.
My phone doesn’t ring anymore
and they don’t return my calls
or my e-mails.
I know what they’re thinking…
She’s a “Mom” now.
She’s lost her edge.
She’s distracted, hormonal, 
a sleep-deprived shell of her former
hard working, deal making, 
whip cracking, shining star self.
We can get someone who is more focused
and whose angry breasts won’t snarl at us
because they’re packed with 12 hours of milk.
And someone who won’t leave early
because her kid is ripe with fever.
Besides her husband makes a good living,
it’s not like she has to work.
Those bastards.  

I want to hide in my work like them.
Work, hide and earn money.
The way I used to
before motherhood.

Now I work all day and get paid nothing.
There’s no hiding allowed unless it’s
hide-and-seek with my 2 year old. 
She cries if she can’t find me
so I re-appear and hold her
and feel bad for her tears
and offer to read her a story
when what I really want to do is
write my own stories.

I want to escape but she won’t let me.
“Stop typing Mama! Stop!” she cries.
I stop and I hold her again and her
tears stick like honey to my cheeks  
and her bottom lip curls in fear.
I press her to my body and
tell her everything’s okay
when it isn’t.

The walls begin to close
and the roof caves around me.
I know that I will feel ashamed for
the thoughts ricocheting in my head
when I am so blessed with all I have.
I’m just having a bad day.

My husband who I only see when it’s dark out
comes home and tells me about his day
of accomplished fullness with 300 extras,
10 cameras and a freeway car chase with
explosions and a mad man director.  

Then I tell him about mine
filled with diarrhea diapers
dog shit in the house and my old cat threw up.
Our daughter has entered a hitting phase
and would much rather pee-pee in the
bathtub than on the potty.  
But hey, I clipped coupons and
saved $43 at Ralphs today.  

I walk to his side of the bed
and kiss him goodnight.
He takes my hand and says he
couldn’t live a day without me.
I check on my daughter who isn’t asleep yet.
I kiss her goodnight again.
She cups my face and tells me I’m beautiful.
I kiss her again and feel the shame
rise up in my body
and still I escape
to my computer
to write.

 

 ©LISA BECKER