Monday, April 16, 2012

I Carry it in My Heart

"You can be a mom and work, I guess it all just depends on how much you love your kids."

Says the anonymous person commenting on the latest article designed to make my heart shrivel up inside me because I work outside of the home.

I sit at my desk on a break from lunch surrounded by photos in cheap plastic frames.

Jack on a walk

Trevor and I smiling at a wedding

Jack laughing on a blanket

Trevor and Jack at the beach

The 3 of us smiling on a blanket of fall leaves

I listlessly pick baby carrots from a sandwich bag staring at the screen remembering how I packed that lunch in the hour of quiet I get every night after Jack is asleep and Trevor is reading in bed.  I do a lot in that quiet hour so that I can enjoy all of the noisy, joyful hours of wakefulness I get with my family.

I wonder if that person knew that somewhere, someone would read that sentence and their words would break her heart.

The tap of their keys like gunshots designed purposefully? accidentally?  intentionally? unknowingly? to hurt so deeply?

In an instant, everything around me seems shallow and empty.  This tiny desk, these photos, this coffee, these carrots.

I close out of that page, that awful page and that awful article written by a man, no less, telling me that I secretly hate myself because I'm sitting here while other people raise my child.  Thank you little red "x" at the top of the page.  You did what you could to get rid of those thoughts, but yet, they linger into my day.

I don't have any answers for you who find yourself reading this.  I don't understand why the world, but especially women have begun a civil war on the complicated journey that is motherhood.  For decades we have joined together to fight the indignities heaped on us from men who didn't know better and now we know better and yet we still fight.

But what I do know is that I love my son with every fiber of myself.  I love how free-spirited and independent he is.  My guess is that he'd be this wonderful whether or not we shared every day together or not.  

But then again...

We do share every day together.  How can we not?  A full 1/2 of that little boy is me, an extension of me and an extension of Trevor.  When he hurts, I hurt.  When Miss Heather or Miss Sarah or Miss Andrea call me and tell me that he's sick, they can't even finish their sentence before my keys are in my hand and I'm shutting down my computer.

So to the men and women so set on breaking my heart and the hearts of every mother or father who works outside of the home- don't you ever, ever, ever tell me that my love for my son is compromised because I eat my baby carrots out of a sandwich bag instead of at home on the floor with my son.  And don't you ever, ever, ever assert that because I don't always occupy the same space he does, that it's the same thing as leaving him.  And to the men and women who don't think parents who stay at home with their children "work", try it for a week.

The children I worry for aren't the ones whose parents go to work every day or the ones who stay home.  The children I worry for are the ones who are growing up in homes filled with unrelenting judgment and anger.

My little family is turning out so well.  I just need to remind myself of that every now and then. 

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
                                                      i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)


  1. Love this (and all your posts), Nancy! Having been on both ends of this (working mom and stay at home mom) I can safely say that neither has upped or lowered the amount of love I feel for my kids! And both sides come with their own set of joys and concerns. Thanks for continually reminding us all that where a parent eats their lunch has NO bearing on how much they love their children. :)

  2. UGH, Now I'm sitting at my desk surrounded by my little plastic frames in tears! Mondays are especially the worst after having two whole, wonderful days with my baby girl.

    You're a good mama, Jack is a lucky, loved boy.

    Okay, I have to go compose myself for a meeting...on second tought...maybe I won't.

  3. I think the thing most people forget is that everyone has their own story and reason for doing what they have to do, that'd what I have to remind myself everytime I read an article cursing women who feed their babies formula. Your story is yours, own it, the love you have for your boys is so apparent in every tear-jerking post you write. Please, Nancy ignore thodse negative comments, the problem lies deepwithin those people's minds, never you!