In Tillie Olson's short story "I Stand Here Ironing," the narrator reflects on her life and has a conversation with herself as though she was talking with her daughter, Emily. Emily's school has sent home a note explaining that she is struggling and needs extra help. The mother's depression is not because of her daughter; instead, she is sad because of the events surrounding her and her daughter's life. She wishes the school could realize all that their family has been through and that she has tried her best to give her daughter all the support she can.
In the story, the narrator explains that her daughter was born during the Great Depression. Times were difficult for their family: the daughter had to go live with her father while the mom worked to make money. Once they're able to live together again, the mom has another daughter and Emily gets measles. As they recover, WWII begins and the family must again adjust to the trials of the time.
Like many mothers, the narrator of our story wants the best life for her daughter. While the school doesn't see the things that she does for her daughter, she knows that she has done the best that she can and wishes that they could understand.