I shush them again because their sister is sleeping,
Stand at the steps to try and hear quiet weeping
That tells me she’s woken.
I silently look in their direction
They glance up at me, wondering if there’ll be a mention
Of something they’re not doing right.
They sit in the loungeroom playing their games,
Making houses and shops and streets just the same
But different to their world, not as broken
A world where their mother comes and plays when she’s asked
A world where their mother stays past
A couple of moments to spare while the baby is sleeping
Because there’s assessments due and Mum needs to write.
I watch them quietly and I wonder
Why have we as a society set to sunder
This bond between mothers and their kids.
We tell these mothers that being a mum’s not enough
That “just a mum” needs to be doing building resume stuff
We ask them what they did
Because raising your baby doesn’t cut it
In this consumer, achievement driven world, if you’re not earning or learning, you’re not it
I put my arms out for my daughter as she runs past,
She’s comes to me, tentatively, watching, then fast,
She falls into my arms, a smile breaks her face
She folds into me and her sparkling eyes
Search me out and make contact with mine
She buries her head against my chest in embrace
Looking up again, she gently pulls away
Runs back to the lounge, next to her brother to play
In a world that’s different, a little less broken
Because I have to write,
The baby’s not yet woken.
copyright – Jessica Blanch 2016