I Stand Here Ironing by Tillie Olsen

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Stephanie Fernandez
Instructor Larson
Enc 1102
September 30, 2011

Society’s Blind Eye
Many women in today’s society are struck with reality when suddenly they are left to fend for themselves and a young offspring; this hold true for Emily’s mother in Tillie Olsen’s "I Stand Here Ironing". This is a story about a mother having a flashback on her daughter’s life, and how she has played a role in each stage of it. She reminisces on how she deprived her daughter of that stability she longed for, wishing she could go back in time and give it another try. Waking up to feed your children, and nurture them as their emotionally deprived souls seek love and affection is so easy to do when you don’t have the weight of the world on your shoulders. There is so much pressure to raise children the "right" way according to society. When women have to provide financially for their family, time is divided, and has to be balanced precisely. Parenting is severely hindered by the financial and emotional stress placed upon single mothers in society. When you have both mother and father in a home- the financial responsibilities, along with parental responsibilities are split between two people. A single mother has to work twice as hard to meet the family’s financial and emotional obligations. Society is the first to see when something is going wrong with a child, but turn a blind eye when the mother is struggling to keep a roof over that same child’s head. Emily’s mother maintained a hard work ethic to provide for her daughter, but when that still fell short, she had no choice but to give her away for a while until she got back on her feet. The narrator reminisces leaving her daughter at a daycare, while she would work, but when she would return to pick her daughter up she would begin bawl. This holds true for too many women, having to leave their children in the hands of others, for their own good. It is devastating to know that another woman has to raise a child that isn’t...
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