GIVING CREDIT

It’s almost Tax Day.

And as usual, in spite of my oh-so honest intentions to get my butt in gear and get my forms in on time, I will confess that I’m filing an extension.
Again.

I do have a perfectly good excuse, however — actually, make that two perfectly good excuses: my daughters.

See, I’ve been busy cooking and cleaning and shuttling them to school and shopping and sleepovers and afterschool stuff… Oh yeah, and then there’s that job I’ve been working to pay for many of the aforementioned activities.

I’m not complaining, though. It’s what parents do. And my girls are the light of my life, and so very, very worth everything I do for them.

But on Tax Day, I get a bit more appreciative of how much they mean to me.

This year, it’s around $2,000.

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GIVING CREDIT

They truly are annoying when they whine or when they fight,
when complaining about homework or a shoe that won’t tie right;
plus, they’re noisy and they’re stinky and they cost a lot to feed,
and it seems there’s always some new toy they really, REALLY need.

They keep us from our sleep and leave us stretched from all the stress;
they muddy up the floors and leave their rooms a massive mess;
they dismiss and disobey us and then question all our knowledge;
they rebel and they revolt and then they leave or flee to college.

Yet though they test and tax us, we’re still glad for our kids’ births,
And today I have to say that I do realize their worth;
So even if they misbehave, for once I just won’t sweat it,
‘Cause I’m thankful for and so adore my beautiful tax credits.

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©2012 Carlotta Eike Stankiewicz

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A Limerick A Day – Day 12 – Moms at Work

©2013 CEStankiewicz all rights reserved  ©2013 CEStankiewicz all rights reserved
Between the Yahoo no-working-at-home kerfuffle and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In” movement, there are a lot of people out there giving mothers advice on how and how not to work. So what’s new?

For women, balancing parenting with non-parenting work is a big challenge and will continue to be, as long as we continue to be the gender that gives birth (not gonna change anytime soon) and shoulder most of the childcare responsibility in our society (changing, but slooowwwwly).

One thing that can change: how we talk about our roles.  I’m not trying to be Politically Correct when I say that I don’t like the term “working mother.” To me it’s not only redundant, it’s exclusionary, at least the way it’s currently used. Having been both a stay-at-home mom and a work-outside-the-home mom, I contend that both types are “working mothers.” For now, let’s just use the abbreviated “WOHM” and “SAHM.” Maybe not the most elegant terms, but they’re what I’m using until someone (me? you?) comes up with something better.

And while we’re on the subject, please let’s get rid of the phrase “full-time mom.” I became a mom nearly 16 years ago, and I don’t think I’ve been off the clock one day or hour since.

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On the Redundancy of the Term “Working Mother”

Whether home-based or job-bound, it’s irking
To suggest other mothers are shirking
Some female ideal –
Can’t the world just get real
And then say that ALL mothers are working?

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©2013 Carlotta Eike Stankiewicz

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Trashy Dresser

I’m a single mom, which means that all of the typical “guy chores” around the house get done by yours truly. That includes taking out the trash, which in our city consists of not one but three containers: the garbage, the recycling and the yard waste. (I’m in charge of the mowing, weed-whacking and landscaping, too.)

I’d add it to my daughters’ list of Chores They Never Do Anyway, except I always forget about it, and for some reason they’re not stepping up to remind me.

So it’s up to me to do it myself — if and when I remember. Which is usually at the last minute. Or last second, really.  And it ain’t pretty.

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Trashy Dresser

Friday morning
without warning
I hear rumbling from afar.

I wake and wonder,
“Is it thunder?”
Or…a plane? A train? A car?

As it grows nearer,
it gets clearer
that the trash truck’s on my street.

That’s when I doubt
that my can’s out;
my response is oh-so fleet.

Downstairs I go,
small cans in tow,
to dump ‘em all in one big bag.

Outside I hear
noises grow near –
time’s of essence, must not lag!

Quickly I’ve
run down the drive,
dragging my big can behind.

Gravel scrunching,
loudly crunching -
Oh, the neighbors? They won’t mind.

One last swerve
and can is curbed
as trash truck screeches to a halt.

Down hop trash guys,
squinting their eyes
at some visual assault.

Seems they’re staring
‘cause I’m wearing
my old nightgown, gray and frayed –

topped by bathrobe
that has mellowed
to a semi-lilac shade –

plus my sweatpants
pulled out by chance
from the dirty laundry pile –

And on my feet?
the look’s complete
with my fluffy slipper style.

It’s not the first time
that I’ve found I’m
rushing my stuff to the street.

Somehow with this
I’m quite remiss;
remembering seems too hard a feat.

It’s no disgrace,
I now embrace
this trait, and thus my neighbors know

that in my ‘hood,
I’m always good
for a Friday morning fashion show.

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©2012 Carlotta Eike Stankiewicz