the weight of a woman

woman, i see you.
i see you doing it all.

feed your family healthy meals.
think of healthy meals to feed them.
plan them out. write them down. look up recipes.
think about this while you’re in the shower, while you’re putting them to bed. while you’re doing something for yourself.
keep the lists.
save the money.
keep it under budget.
your budget.
think of the future.
prepare for the future.
your job is the future.
to ensure everyone is okay.
be grateful for right now.
practice gratitude daily.
you don’t have enough pretty things in ¬†your house.
is this even your house? you don’t have a house?
save for that.
get yourself something to make this house a home though.
here’s some sales.
look where these were made.
support ethical businesses.
no one wants a slave making their Egyptian cotton pillow case that perfectly matches the bed spread.
no one wants to pay for living wages for an Egyptian cotton pillow case to be made.

know better. do better.
don’t put your kids in front of the tv.
enjoy them
‘screen time’ is killing their brains.
it’s scientifically proven.
you know this, because you researched it. or read it. and it was written for you – woman. mother.
go outside with them.
do your laundry.
find time for yourself.
do your art. get your hair cut. are those greys?
go grey gracefully. you’re too young for that.
stop your apparent suicidal baby from crawling into danger
putting things in her precious mouth that are just the right size to choke.
document all of the memories.
did you forget one?
never miss a moment.
make it pretty. hashtag memories.
but stay present while you document and upload
leave the guilt behind, it serves no one.
you don’t have a family photo printed out for a classroom request?
you don’t have family photos?
you sent your kid to school with a hand drawn family photo to hang up….

”babies don’t keep”
”excuse the mess, we’re making memories”
…yeah and laundry doesn’t wash itself.
the bathroom smells like piss.
and the kids are wearing the same clothes for 4…or is it 5 days in a row now?
‘mom! i want to watch a movie!’
‘mom! i’m hungry!’

when was the last time they took a bath?
scratch that. when was the last time I changed their underwear?
…all the nails to keep trimmed.
all the teeth to brush
the cavities to fester guilt in my belly.
the appointments to call and never pick up the phone.
the cervical exam due.
the art my soul needs to create
the words trapped in my body, bubbling over

what are you gonna do with all that privilege?
worried sick with guilt over the things you have, the things you don’t. the things you still have to do.
the ways to give back
the ways to show up
the ways to push past wash. rinse. spin. repeat.
as i write this now, the sun fades and it’s 6pm
a cup of tea going cold
…what was i going to make for dinner tonight
where’s my list
the list.
master of lists.
feed the family a healthy dinner
that the kids will refuse and live on toast.
worry about where they’ll get their vitamins from,
fully aware of where they get their cavities from.
unwilling to have a fight about brushing their teeth with their limbs thrashing.

when are you going to teach them about the starving babies in the world
and that they can’t always get what they want
and that they should eat the fucking food you put in front of them.

all the ways in which you carry things. people. thoughts. guilt.
without even having mentioned your body
that you love, that you choose to love every day –
that has been a battle ground to love.
that you must push past bullshit to love
that loving yourself is protest, resistance, defiant, against all odds.
no one believes that she can love herself. because who deserves to love themselves like that
fat brave girl.
‘i wish i could feel the same’
okay.. do it. just do it.

elastic was made for a reason
and these leggings feel soft against my pooch and thighs.
thanking myself for not adding that extra slice of guilt and worry on top
of when i’ll get my waist back, and when my weight would be a number worthy
of my value
for gravity to keep me firmly in my place.
taking up space.
writing my lists of shit to do and people to feed.