Second shift

I am a full-time mother
And a part-time wife
The remnants of my love life
Are strewn about like confetti-cuts
Of paper that here-and-there scatter
I am but robotic-in-motion matter.

Methodically getting through the day
With a periodic table of chores
The desensitize, sacrifice and bore
What does tomorrow have in store?
Probably nothing,
Which means more of the same.

A toddler tugging at my hips
A baby nursing on my nips
I am equipped for maternity
My mind is of modernity
I am a walking casualty
With the malady of which
Jokes about marriage and motherhood are made.

I go it alone for 5, 6, 7, 8 hours a day
I work two times as hard
For twice as little pay
Multi-tasking and responding to needs before asking
Babies bouncing on a bruised lap
Too much touching and fussing
Papers rustling, mentally cussing
I am adjusting to being a means without an end.

Will my afterlife be amorous?
Can I find companionship beyond books,
Adulterers’ lusty looks,
The hue-and-cry of discontented children
Conceived without caution,
A schedule that has their father leaving me often?

I am scintillating
I leave a trail of sparks when I put on heels
But what good does it do
If I can never dance?


© K. Danielle Edwards

“A gender-equal society would be one where the word ‘gender’ does not exist: where everyone can be themselves.”*

I’ve always been aware of gender conditioning and actively tried to combat any lingering prejudices or stereotypes in my own parenting, even down to encouraging dolls with my boys when they were little. It’s great to read people writing about gender issues they’re experiencing with their kids. For too long these subjects have been discouraged or silenced. I’d love to publish some more creative writing on this topic, especially if you are struggling with a child who actively tries to move away from gender normative preferences. A society where everyone can be themselves thanks Gloria for those aspirational words.

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* Gloria Steinem