I was raised by a single mother, and I remember the times when we struggled. I remember my mother always doing her best to provide everything my sister and I wanted and needed. And I remember her heartbreak when she had to say no to something we asked for. Fortunately for us, we had my grandparents, who helped bring us up and who also gave us both financial and emotional support. I grew up valuing that family and knowing the value of working hard, doing my best, and giving back when I could. Today, as an adult, there are still financial challenges. I have debt, I’ve made poor decisions in spending, and those little financial “surprises” that come up can still send me for a bit of a tailspin. But, thanks to my mother, I am a strong, competent, and confident woman–because she was (and still is) exactly the same: strong, competent, and confident.
I thought a lot about my mom while reading Maid. I see so many similarities between her and author Stephanie Land. Her love for and commitment to her daughter comes through on every page–and really inspires a lot of respect as a result.
Reading about all of Stephanie Land’s struggles and experiences–her determination and tenacity in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges–was amazing. I was stunned by her descriptions of the loopholes and stumbling blocks included in just about every program designed to “help” those struggling with or at the poverty level. It was eye-opening, for sure. And I’m thankful for the author’s bravery and vulnerability. Without people like her sharing such stories, nothing can or will ever change.
Maid is a heartbreaking and inspiring book. I have a huge amount of respect for the author and others like her–those who are struggling and who just keep going. There is a lot of power in Stephanie Land’s words and, through her words, she has given some of that power and dignity to people who have and are working to get a foothold in what can seem like a hopeless world.