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Portland, Oregon. Falling in love with the art of everything.

  • Writer's pictureRachel Sandstrom Morrison

Mother, working from home, 2023


Eat a bagel at your desk in the office (sesame, vegan cream cheese, chili onion crisp from Trader Joe's)

Read the news

Sob over the senseless, preventable cruelty of multiple genocides and recently released photos from one of the more recent major shootings at an elementary school

Write a poem (keep sobbing)

Get a Slack notification about a meeting starting in two minutes

Wrap up the poem (good enough)

Take a deep breath

Open a new tab

Scroll LinkedIn for a minute, look at job postings (as if that would help)


One minute to the meeting notification from Slack

Wipe face, drink water, think of an excuse

Join meeting

"Hey team, sorry, I restarted my computer and for some weird reason my camera isn't working. I'll figure it out after this meeting. We can go ahead and just get started. Does everyone have the agenda for this meeting?"

Pretend everything is fine

Keep your voice from shaking too bad

Keep busy

Check things off of your list

Find meaning in moments of productivity

Take an extra break to hug the kid a little tighter (if he'll let me, he's developing toddler bodily autonomy and loves to say no)

Try not to picture him at school in two years, cowering under his desk

He cries when he's scared, and

he's so loud when he cries

his emotions are so big

he doesn't know how to sob quietly


Should I teach him how to cry without making noise?


Another meeting in 10 minutes

Eat a snack

Tell him I love him again

Finish work

Attempt to find the delicate balance between numbing out with a doomscroll and giving him the undivided attention he needs

Hug my husband while he makes dinner for us

Try and focus on what I have, how I can be more grateful

Attempt to make light conversation at dinner and be fully attentive to the kid and the husband (it won't be like this for long)

Start the bedtime process

Try to remember how fleeting life can be without transferring anxiety onto your toddler while he's in the bath (he's only four years old, after all)

When he screams and fights you on which jammies to wear because he's tired (you grabbed skeletons because he usually loves them but tonight he wants the Spiderman ones which are, of course, dirty), try and remember that you won't have that many more bedtimes that require this much of you and one day he'll be old enough not to need you

(if he makes it through elementary school alive)


Take a deep breath

Respond with "I'm just feeling a little sad today, but I'm okay" when he notices what's wrong (he's too young, he's too young, they're all too fucking young)

Soak in every second of his little hug when he offers

Try not to picture the little arms in plastic bags held by devastated parents

Let him let go first

Read an extra book at bedtime even though it's late

Hold his hand and scratch his back while he falls asleep

Wipe your tears, don't let them disrupt him as he finally calms down long enough to relax into sleep


Watch him sleep for just a second longer,

the light from the hallway illuminating his soft, sweet face

he's so at peace when he sleeps

Try not to picture him in a casket

Go to your own bed

Doomscroll

Believe a tarot reader that says your life and the world is changing for the better

desperately hope they're right

Hold him tight when he comes into your bed for cuddles, even though you know he'll fidget for an hour and you'd rather sleep soundly

Try and respond to his every call for closeness (will you play with me? will you sit next to me? can I come with you?) and don't feel too guilty when you can't.

there are more meetings in the morning.

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