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June 22, 2019

Who Will Pay For My Work ? – Mother’s Poem

I am a mother of nearly 3 year old girl. Unemployed by choice and oriented at unschooling, I spend my time outside whenever possible, remain creative and try to sustain my daughter with colourful people and places while tending our small home with all the linked domestic activities.
Thinking of gender equality and my partner’s growing wish of me becoming a second financial provider in the family – I’ve come up with this poem… /another title is “The Multitasker’s Blues”/

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Who will pay for my work?

I don’t mean paying for my many night hours
spent at birthing new arts
I don’t mean paying like during the
maternity leave
– time when a woman is designed to be
with child and no distractions anyway –
I mean paying for my
voluntary leave
the-whole-day-with-child work
that I do
and that is sometimes being called
a ‘holiday’
an ‘easy way out’
or a ‘comfort zone’

Who will pay?

For those 18-hour-long days
always on duty
with weight-lifting and much of it
long distance
often in the heat

For the dish washing
clothes washing
clothes hanging
clothes folding
and much of it
only after the three previous loads
has been dropped at the
‘pass-me-by armchair’

Who will pay me
for the insane, napless, breast-tugging days
with too little sleep
and a mild depression creeping in

Who will pay me
for making of
breastfeeding infinity meals
and much of it
done on time
with devotion
and joy

Love takes time
Who will pay for mine?
spent on diaper ironing
story telling
but washing
swing swinging
abc reading
love-filled and willingly given

Who will pay
for my loyalty, commitment
and flexibility

Monthly time spent on shopping
carrying it home
then unpacking and sorting
Monthly time spent on
sweeping of floors
tiding of rooms
bringing out and recycling
of trash

Who will pay
for my organizing and management skills
teamwork, solitary focus
and advisorship
full-time-any-time repairing speciality
ability to deal with stress
and innovation in problem-solving?

All that while
trying to be
a person of my choice
who loves what she does
and does some for herself

I paint and write
dance and sing
craft and stretch
balance on the rope
ride my bicycle
and shine
my ideas inside out
connecting with people and
for to make my child’s heart sing
I first need to make
my heart’s sing
the louder – the better

All that while
drawing snails and sea-horses
and snowmans
playing lego for hours
digging the sandbox
taking my sunbeam out
to meet the world
and interesting people of all

All that while
growing my knowledge and patience
and physical pain endurance
compromising my needs
training for better stamina
answering emails
writing projects
doing interviews
running a few websites and having
a stolen alone-in-the-bath time

All that while
still having an idea
of being a better mother
a better wife
a better artist
Still having an idea
of being more engaged
present and gentle
attentive, productive, harmonious
Still aspiring
to become a yoga teacher
a published writer
a paid artist

A quiet morning half-filled cup
of chamomile tea after
5 hours of sleep
feeling empowered
and drowsy

Who will pay for this rainbow chaos work?
Who will pay for my
plain ticket
to the just world?

Who will help me to stay
on my own
two feet
with one wallet filled
with dignity
of no weight
and abundant
package of dreams?

Who will pay me more
than a boring 9 to 5
with 7 days off in summer
and 7 days off in winter
but none on the week
when my child is having fever
and needs me to stay

Who will pay me
for being home,
a domestic goddess crazy artist adventurer
and a mother

The work i offer my family is not a paid one,
though it could be.

So if something more is being asked of my
workful freedom
– as a change within or a money –
sorry, but I don’t give,
someone else must.

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photo credit: Ignas

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Agnieszka Olszewska  |  2 Followers