She is strong, fierce, and brave. She is a single mom. She works hard everyday because she doesn’t have a choice.
She doesn’t go to work everyday because she wants to. She shows up everyday because she has to.
She’s the first one to show up, and the last one to leave. Not because she’s passionate about her job, but because every hour counts. Every hour spent at work is to provide another meal, or pay another preschool payment, or another copay to the pharmacy. She can’t afford to lose her job, because to lose her job means losing the health insurance that is paying for 80% of the surgery that her sick child needs. She can’t afford to lose her job because she is financially responsible for the other 20% of that surgery.
When we watch how hard she works, we see her dedication and focus. What we don’t see is the child waiting at home, hoping that maybe, just maybe, his mommy will make it home in time to tuck him in tonight. After all, mommy hasn’t tucked him into bed for the last four nights.
You know what else we don’t see? We don’t see the tears welling up in the eyes of that child when he finds out that mommy won’t be home until after bedtime again tonight. We don’t hear the conversation going on her head as she blames herself. We don’t hear the forgiveness in her child’s voice when he tells her it’s okay, he will see her in the morning. After all, he knows she would be there for bedtime if she could.
Kids are forgiving. Kids are resilient. Moms, however, are not so quick to bounce back and forgive themselves. That mom will lay in bed tonight and wonder about everything she missed while she was at work, as she cries herself to sleep.
I hope that someday, you are fortunate enough to work with this mom. She is as fierce a friend as she is a mother. She may not be easy to get to know, but she is someone that you want in your corner when times get tough.