Talk about first world problems.
I was all set to write a light post about my daughters’ taste in pop music, but I just can’t get out of my head a tragedy that happened here this week. A mother was walking her three children to daycare at 4 a.m. so she could catch a bus to get to her minimum-wage job, and they were hit by a drunk driver. The woman’s three-year-old was killed.
Suddenly, the guilt I sometimes feel about juggling my career and family life seems frivolous. This woman gives new meaning to the term “working mom.” I cannot imagine what it’s like to have to get your children up at 3:45 a.m. and walk with them in the cold to a sitter’s house in order to work a job that probably barely pays for daycare in the first place. I feel so very fortunate to have a flexible work schedule with good pay and the ability to give my children a safe and stable daily routine.
There’s so much more that I could, and want to, say about this story: Like how this mother is an example of the working poor in our country – a person some discount as part of the 47% who don’t “take responsibility for their lives.” Like how much I admire her for doing what she feels she has to do to care for her family– the epitome, in my book, of taking responsibility. Like how sad I am that she lost her precious child while trying to do her best for him. But I’ll leave it to our readers to digest this story and come to their own conclusions.
Right now, I just want to say that I recognize how very lucky I am. Yes, moms from all walks of life experience guilt and tough times, and those experiences are no less valid for not involving the loss of a child. But every now and then, a little perspective can be a very good thing.