The Audacity of Help
By Shanna Brewton-Tiayon
What's faster than the speed of light? The stride of a working mother trying to accomplish a two page to-do list during a half-hour lunch break. What is the best tag-team collaboration around? The mother and father duo, attempting to balance a full-time job, extracurricular activities for the children, family time, church, and, oh yeah, household chores.
This was my reality growing up in Hampton, Virginia, in the 1980s and '90s. As an adolescent and eventually a college-bound teenager, all of what I amassed to file under the how to be a good parent category of my mental library was discovered and learned in the Tidewater area. I grew up as a typical overly socialized child with a mile-long activity list, but with no alternative logistical resources, except my mother. I became used to my mother—a single parent wearing multiple hats at once, with no complaints or requests for breaks. My life was full; I was happy. What I didn't know was that my mom was overwhelmed and very tired...