A Tinge of Pain

Have you ever felt this on your heart? Coupled inside next to your mind? It’s like a quick lighting bolt of pain that strikes you at the core.

I woke up early this morning and went straight to the coffee shop to begin another full day of writing. I didn’t get to see Lucy, nor her three siblings.

When I am busy, deep in a story, and I know its a temporary heavy lifting, I can get through it. I put my nose down and ignore the fact I’m not with my babes. I don’t feel any pain because I’m lost in something else.

But when I get a glimpse of them, as I did yesterday with Lucy, my heart catches a tinge of pain and I’m thrown off course momentarily.

I had to drive home to meet up with Michael so we could go over some elements of the script I’m working on for him. We hired our part-time (very part-time) nanny to watch Lucy for a few hours. As I was driving on the street back home, Lucy and the nanny were headed out to the park. I looked the other way, hoping Lucy wouldn’t see me but that little pumpkin turned her head and looked right at me, recognizing our car.

For a split second she saw me.

My heart!

“She is fine,” I told myself.

And she was. No tears whatsoever (I am told).

But she was with her favorite person, Naomi. Naomi has been in Lucy’s life since she was two months old. Lucy looooooves Naomi. The relationship between the two of them is special, like two friends getting together for a play date.

So why does it still hurt? I don’t think the tinge of pain ever goes away. Which makes having a career, and being a caretaker so difficult. I think about the many caretakers who have walked this same path, taken this same journey, only to have it harder – entrenched in the need to survive. (Which we probably can’t fathom.)

I’ve noticed in the industry, whenever a journalist is interviewing a filmmaker or actress with children they often ask, “So, how do you do it all?”

There we go with the do it all comment again.

And what about the dads? Don’t they do it all too? Isn’t it tricky for anyone who has kids? Everyone figures it out. So why is this the topic of discussion or the main question asked to a female filmmaker?

Journalists, this is the last thing we want to talk about when promoting a piece of work over a hundred people have contributed on. I mean, really. It’s called life. If you want to know how we do it all, examine our Instagram, blog, or social media posts. But when we’re in the limelight, can we please keep the questions focused on the work?

Nobody asks the big budget, over 100 million dollars, male directors these questions, so please don’t ask us. Nobody is looking to hire a director who they think might have too much on their plate. High lighting ours, like we have more than everyone else, is truly unfair. I know you mean well, but remember everyone has things to do. It’s all relevant to the artist’s life circumstances at that time anyway. You want to be apart of evening the playing field? Then avoid asking these types of questions. And ladies, speak up! Ask for this too. Its up to us to help shift the way these reporters look at things.

It takes every part of me to stay focused on the task at hand, and not get lost in my emotions of missing my babes. No one is immune from this feeling, male or female, mother or father.

I am lucky.

I get to see Lucy every morning, when she wakes up, when she eats lunch, when she goes to bed. I got to observe and be with all my children from the time they born to the time they started school. I never had a nanny, or a full-time job/career that prevented me from being with them. But I don’t think that necessarily deserves an applause. That’s just the way the cookie crumbled for me.

This isn’t the ideal dream either. My dream evolved, and continues to do so.

The truth is many mothers would love to have this luxury, or wished they were in a different situation that afforded them the chance to be with their brood more hours of the day, to be able to carve out their own schedule. I feel for those women who have to get up at 5am, kiss their kiddos goodbye, slave away all day long for someone else, only to make pennies, then go home late and pick up the pieces for everyone else. That. Is. Too. Much.

Our mothers, our caretakers, our soldiers – we don’t appreciate them enough. We don’t take care of them enough, we don’t make life easier for them enough, and we don’t applaud them enough. It’s really awful how this country expects moms to get “back to work” so quickly after giving birth; preventing them from adjusting, gaining their physical strength back, and bonding with their baby that first year. It’s even more awful we don’t pay mothers the same rate we pay fathers, for doing the same exact work. This only hurts our children and the fathers!

It’s crazy madness.

Like rats running in wheels, going nowhere.

Mothers should be compensated for what they do. Veterans too. The caretakers of our country deserve better. Most of our government assisted programs help these two groups more than anyone else, so why not make it standard like many progressive countries are doing? We have to fix this, we have to make it right.

Someday, I will. I don’t know how, but I will.

Hugs and kisses to my fellow mama bears out there, and anyone else who is taking on more than they can physically handle – hang in there! You are loved. You are special, and you are GREATLY appreciated. 

Back to it,

AEJ

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