What I am Taught To Feel Sorry About

I didn’t hear the alarm again, overslept, third time this week

Missed making pancakes and served just cornflakes and milk

Lunch box and midday snack had fruits and bread with jam .

“Mama, again we have to eat this …” quipped my son.

My partner was in the bath, getting ready for work.

I wanted to say, “Eat if you like, or give it to someone who needs it”

But as I rushed to change for work, I felt sorry,

For not preparing their favourite banana pancakes.

Children were ready to be dropped to school, waiting for me.

And I told my partner, “I have a presentation, need to reach office early,

So honey, please drop off kids at school today.”

He swooped down for a kiss as I struggled with my pumps

Wished me luck and herded them out.

I felt guilty, for prioritizing work and not my family.

Things went great at work, late working nights paying the dividend.

“Superb”, congratulated my Boss.

“But, your kids are still young,

Will you be able to balance the expectations that come with the promotion?”

“Yes, I can” said I, ignoring the guilt shoehorning its way into my conscience.

Yelling at me “Home work”, PTA meetings, doctor’s appointments, hobby classes

Play dates, Friday movie nights, Saturday baking, Sunday outings

What will you comprise?

“My partner will help and things don’t need to change “

Assured my unwavering self, as I took up the offer.

I will unlearn what I have been taught to feel sorry about

And relearn and reteach the people around me.

My life is not meant to serve others just because I am a woman

Men and women must learn the same things and do the same work.

I will not feel sorry for not keeping up your expectations.

No apologies if I didn’t conform to your gender rules.

It’s me and my place in the world.

So you need to unlearn along with me

To not guilt trip me with your looks , sighs and unspoken words.

When I unlearn what I am taught to be sorry about.

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