A story about a teacher Silviani, who is also a mother of two. She is struggling. The load she carries as a wife, mom, employee, daughter, friend, cook, housekeeper, driver, nurse, activities coordinator, judge, warden, referee, hairdresser, manager, etc., is usually more than she can bear. But, the husband can’t fix it. She knows he wants to. She knows he thinks that if he takes a few of these balls to juggle, she will be okay. But she won’t. Because it’s not the balls that are the problem, it’s much deeper than that. Her load is not just a list of chores, responsibilities, and jobs. It’s mental: the things she needs to remember, the fears she has, the dreams she dreams. It has cluttered her brain. She knows he doesn’t understand, but it is normal.
In her career, Vivi feels stuck. We follow her as she joins the performance evaluation conducted by the headmaster. The result impacts her salary. But the scoring system is not clear and transparent. The pay raise is not significant nor immediate, and to make it worse the teacher could only enjoy the pay raise five years later. She’s curious about why her single colleague’s career is brighter than hers even though their workload is the same. Married females receive lower salaries than non-married females due to stereotyping. She’s been refusing the job that required extra time away because of caregiving. The science Olympics is held every year, the husband always on it, and his career is rocking fast.
Vivi is still holding on because she needs the money and she doesn’t have a choice. She’s grateful because she still has a job while many other schools lay off their teacher without severance pay. And, though pushing through is the hardest thing she has ever done, it is worth it. For her. For their family.