Last week there was a photo posted on the Humans of NY Instagram of a uniformed woman (EMT?) and he quote was about how hard it is to be a single working mom. The examples she cited: the school play was at 10 AM on a Tuesday. How am I supposed to be at that? Also, the Mother's Day Tea was a Friday afternoon. (Noted: The Father's Day lunch was a Saturday.)
The comments, as usual, were overflowing with "Keep up the good work!"s and tags and emojis and, of course, some haters too. I don't usually write, but I felt compelled to. Sometimes the photo subject finds the account and reads the comments. I wanted her to know! I wrote that I also had a mom who worked (of course, I also had a dad, which was pretty important). Nevertheless, I had a mom who worked, and she couldn't always be there for every little "mom" type thing. She did make it to a lot, which is very impressive. What she couldn't make it for...whatever. So, I wrote my mom has had a long, fruitful career in an interesting field. She has a lot of advice to share with me about education and the workplace in general. She is a valuable resource in my adulthood--not just as my mom, but as my peer. These conversations about her expertise mean much more to me than a conversation we could have about that time she helped make a craft for my Girl Scout troupe. I'm sure there is something very lasting, a foundation, set up from having a parent's presence--some psychological "someone is here for me"--but I think there's something just as lastingly important in growing up knowing my mom was out at work. She had important things to do, and I would do important things too one day.
As a side note, I liked that my dad picked my bowling team up from middle school. I liked that he took me to and from tap class and video taped our dress rehearsals. I liked that he gave me bowls of Rice Krispies and even let me play beauty parlor on him. I believe I am a stronger person and I hold others accountable for their actions based in gender identity because my gender equality education started quite young, quite naturally. Dads can make food, moms can wear suits, whoever is there is there, and today I have two helpful, smart people accessible anytime.