Josephine Joseph* is, well, your average Jo. Her husband is traveling for work so she’s all alone and trying to keep her cool. She’s up early, showering, dressing, doing her hair. She gets the kids fed, rarely gets herself fed and packs the car with three lunches for children, her own laptop and clothes that need dry cleaning. Her cell phone has rung three times already and it’s only 7.30am.
Since she can’t share parental duties this week, she drops her eldest at summer soccer camp and her middle child at karate camp. One says she wants to do another camp next week and the other says he’s done with swimming and wants to do something different. Rock climbing, maybe. She figures out how much these camps cost and bites her tongue before telling him to head to camp and uses one of her common mom phrases she used to hate as a kid. “We’ll see”. Between camps and daycare, she wonders how much of her salary she actually takes home but her kids do love their summer activities, and this is life as a mother these days. Her cell phone rings again but she doesn’t answer it because she took that Oprah no phone zone pledge. Yet she feels pressure to get to work fast to start responding to all these voice mails. Otherwise she’ll never catch up and the kids get out at 5pm.
She drives into her parking lot, grabs her laptop and grimaces as her cell phone rings again. She run inside and finally sits down. She wonders how single parents do it all. Her co-workers smile. They know her thoughts because they have them too. Another day, another dollar, she says to herself, as millions of other moms say the same thing.
Three hours later, the receptionist tells her that daycare is on the phone. She says she’ll them right back. Probably a question about potty training again. They call again an hour later and leave a message that they assume her toddler is with her mom or dad today. Josephine reads the message ten minutes later and her legs feel like they’ll collapse beneath her. Running to her car so fast that her heel breaks she says over and over that it’s ok, the voices in her head are lying, everything’s ok and everyone’s fine.