Bedtime Stories | Silver Line

Exploring Patriarchy – Chapter 10

MM and her husband both came from families that valued education. Money was spent on books and educational materials and there was little left to buy expensive jewelry. Weddings in the family were family-and-close-friends lunches, with minimal expense because young married couples would need to start saving to buy their own home.

Family traditions regarding parenting had given them lovely memories of childhood. MM remembered the songs her mother had sung to her, and then taught her to sing, and the hours they spent with music. MM studied music and did examinations along-side her regular studies. And this would later give her the option of switching from her accounting career and working from home.

MM’s husband recalled the long walks in search of books and educational materials that would give him hobbies that would later, become his career. And both of them remembered bed-time when they were young. How exciting it had been to get into bed at night, as their parents read to them and later with them.

It was a childhood very different from families where motherhood is about complex meals and women are stuck in the kitchen with heavy cleaning after dinner. Or those where gender roles might keep men away from they joys of hand-on parenting and childcare. Or times like the current time, when the tremendous busy, the long working hours, and long commutes eat into family time and leave children lonely.

2020 took many lives. And the lockdown brought hunger, joblessness and grief. But it also kept fathers and working mothers home. And some families that could get by and still afford the basics despite the loss of income, would be grateful. Some, because not every family is flexible enough to see opportunity in adversity.

And their children would, for the first time in their young lives, know the joy of having two parents.

Silver Line
She’s a single mom though they’re aren’t divorced
his work is his life – he feels he has no choice.
His 9 to 5 is not 7 to 7 (see note)
most days it’s so busy he’s home after 11.

Loan EMI’s and a lifestyle but missing a life
it’s a recipe for a lot of family strife.

She has a full time job but still manages the home
children and heavy elder care – she can’t cope alone.
So it’s maids, classes, caregivers and no unscheduled relaxed time
with lonely stressed kids that often are way out of line.

But now it’s work from home, caregivers but no maids
He does some house work and takes the kids out to play
Their kids have both parents for the very first time
and life finally feels good – it’s going real fine.

2020 has been a difficult time
but like dark grey clouds with a silver line.

9 to 5 equals 7 to 7 is a quote from another post This Busy and a reference to 2-hour commutes that extend the working day.

Thanks so much for reading this. I’d appreciate feedback on whether the story of Microwave Madam gives this poem more meaning or makes the social issues behind it easier to understand.

I invite you to read all chapters of Exploring Patriarchy and walk with Microwave Madam as she explores the impact of patriarchy on her life and on society. And looks for solutions.

Published by Anitaelise

Anitaelise teaches piano lessons at Anitaelise Piano Studio and writes poetry and essays at The Relaxed Housekeeper. The blogs - and are written and owned by her and published in accordance with the copyright notice at the footer of each blog.

4 thoughts on “Bedtime Stories | Silver Line

  1. Anita I love that there is a story and exposition to give the poems context. I don’t know which is my favorite part – the story or the poem! Both are excellent on their own merits but together is a delight!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Really agree with you- a lot of parents spend so much time at work their kids rarely see them and with the way the economy they really don’t have much choice. The pandemic allowed them to spend more time with their kids and I’m sure it benefited both the parents and kids.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It has Pooja G. I hear that from families I teach, as well as from friends. And I feel that myself too though we don’t have kids. There’s certainly more time for family life and living, and our family is grateful for it as well.

      Liked by 1 person

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