If I may be really honest—I love my children, but sometimes, I am certain that being a mother is one of the most thankless jobs in the world. It is certainly rewarding, but it can still feel utterly thankless.
One of the most taboo subjects is the challenging side of motherhood. While it is indeed beautiful and miraculous, it is also demanding and stressful. We come into this world through the painful labor of childbirth, a task that is placed distinctly on women. From the beginning, pain is the prerequisite of delivering joy, in the form of a human being, into our lives. Babies must be constantly attended to with care. They are adorably precious, but also fragile and surprisingly loud for their size. I once watched a segment on Oprah that featured a baby whisperer who taught mothers how to decipher the cries of their babies to understand what was causing their distress. Naturally, it made me wish I had seen the segment when my children were babies.
Seeing your babies grow out of their babyhood is both relieving and heartbreaking. You want them to retain their innocence but you also know that the circle of life means that we all grow old. And as we do, life involves setbacks and surprises that push us to our limits.
Pew Research Center reports that “women are more likely now to become mothers than they were a decade ago, and this is particularly the case among highly educated women,” and that “mothers are spending more time in the labor force than in the past, but also more time on child care.”
Being a working mother is challenging. I found myself juggling so much from school to after school that I was near my breaking point. And just as things couldn’t get more hectic, it hit me.
No, I wasn’t hit by the realization that I was carrying the entire burden of mental and emotional labor that should be shared by two people—I had already known that for years. If I didn’t ask or mention it beforehand, my husband simply wouldn’t think of it.
I was hit by a commercial truck.
I’m sure it was driven by someone who was as exhausted and taxed as I was because they didn’t see me at all when they made the turn before the light. The front of my car was destroyed, and I needed an accident lawyer. With an endless to-do list at home and at work, the last thing I needed was the burden of trying to navigate personal injury law and auto insurance on my own.
Thankfully, the trucking company that owned the fleet of the truck that had hit me had their own commercial insurance, which is apparently a requirement of their industry in California. I needed an accident law firm that knew how to handle my case so that I could actually receive the compensation I deserved. For once in my life since becoming a mother, it felt like the right person was held responsible for the whole shebang. Isn’t that funny in a dark way?