Poems & Essays

17 Jun

On Leaving My Child With A Fully Capable, Perfectly Lovely Professional Childcare Provider

General/Column 2 Responses

I leave my child with a stranger
and deny what my heart wants to shout.
My hands shake as they exchange her.

Giving notes how to feed and to change her
and a diaper bag packed full of doubt,
I leave my child with a stranger.

I pray this won’t somehow derange her:
the care of my child hired out.
My hands shake as they exchange her.

I drive and envision each danger.
My car wants to stop and reroute.
I leave my child with a stranger.

I fear this will one day estrange her.
How I fight not to cry and to pout.
My hands shake as they exchange her.

The workdays pass in a strange blur.
The money I earn goes right out.
I leave my child with a stranger.
My hands shake as they exchange her.



Ingrid Anders is a freelance-writing wife, mother, and stepmother residing in Northern Virginia. Her most recent works have appeared in Eunoia Review, Odyssa Magazine, and right here in Mothers Always Write. She hosts multiple writing programs at the Washington DC Public Library and writes children’s books as a member of SCBWI.

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  1. Katie Chicquette Adams

    June 17, 2019 at 1:57 pm

    This is really lovely–astute, simple but affecting, a wry and raw use of the language for the villanelle purpose. I shared it with our (at-risk alt ed) school’s social worker; it so makes us think of our teen parents. This is an issue that is extra layered for them, and they face the stress at such tender ages.

    • Ingrid

      June 17, 2019 at 6:58 pm

      Katie, thank you for taking the time to provide this feedback. What a gift to hear how you and the others (especially the teens) are connecting with the work.


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