I am 90% caffeine,
served cold
with a milky crust on top.
I spend most mornings starving,
and afternoons
hunkered over my plate,
for the 3.12 minutes I am given to eat.

I wear bags under my eyes
like most women wear mascara.
The stretch marks on my tummy
are my zero control control top undies.
Did I have a shower today?

Yoga pants,
a stained t-shirt,
a ponytail,
are my

My day is 14-24 hours long,
7 days a week,
362 days of the year,
(If I’m lucky).
I don’t get holidays
sick days
sleep ins
sleep through the night.
I wee a little when I sneeze.
I use the toilet with an audience,
and not in the cam-girl,
“someone’s paying me for this” way.

I got
peed on
puked on
pooped on
and that was only between 7.07
and 7.43am.

It takes me 8 hours to reply to a txt message
If I reply at all.
I now have to pack
18 extra things
Just to leave the house.
I cannot guarantee,
that a trip anywhere,
will not end in a meltdown,
(his or mine, or both).

There is a mountain of washing
Sir Edmund Hillary
could not climb.
Punxsutawney Phil lives in my closet.

And all of this so that
he and I
can graduate from constantly crying teething toddler, to:
A codependent clingy child;
A tween stamping his feet and telling me that he hates me;
A teen slamming a door in my face and telling me that I am ruining his life;
And then a young adult,
asking me for money.

And I don’t get paid
I barely get thanked
and I am chased by statements like:
On, you’re just a Mother;
You chose this;
Stop complaining;
Your life isn’t that hard really;
Why on earth would we hold your job for you?
So that I can be reminded,
about how lucky I am.
Even though
some days,
my life resembles a North Korean labour camp,
with more bodily fluids
and a speciliasation in sleep deprivation torture methods.

And yet, if I, and every other woman
“Sorry, we’re shutting up shop,
The HR laws here aren’t favourable.
The hours are too long.
The wages are terrible.
I’m going to take a nap,
In the sun,
Without little hands trying scalp me.”
Then the human race would die out
In one generation.
Funny that.

Luckily the fringe benefits
are enough
to make me rethink my resignation letter.
Like how you kissed me awake this morning,
giggled at all my funny faces,
and fell asleep with your hand
curled around my index finger.
And that every day is better
than the life I had before,
that didn’t have you in it.

as we know it,
It would all be over.

So please,
go and thank your Mother.

Image used in the creative project #wordsandartcollide with permission of the artist, Anu Enhk-Amar (@anuenka). To see more of her work, please visit her Instagram page here.

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