This is a topic I could talk at length tirelessly, but I won’t.. lest I bore you. So allow me to simply give you a glimpse through the door into the life of a working mom.
Know what’s it like to be a working mom? Well, I was one for 20 long years. You bet that it’s not easy juggling work and raising children. It’s a constant pull in opposite directions-- a tug of war between job and children. I could have said home instead of children but a home is much easier to manage with the help of hired help, a dozen if you wish and can afford to, who can do the chores in the house for you. But children—that’s a different story.
The tasks or dual roles of a working mom will greatly depend on a woman’s values or personal beliefs--depends on your priorities. What are the things of value -- what matters most -- to you. Not what some Jane or Harry would babble about that work is the beginning and end of all things. Neither on what you hear from friends who will tell you that all that is needed to raise children is money, and lots of it. But as an old saying goes.. 'one man's medicine may be another man's poison'... So get your own set of values working on this one.
My parents had only two children, me and my younger brother. They had their separate careers-- Dad in the corporate world; Mom in the teaching profession. It was not a perfect family but there were good memories. The best ones were those when my dad and mom would be there for every birthday party, school program, graduations, recitals, sports tournaments, even school parades. And both would come rushing home for measles, chicken pox, fever, and even minor knee scrapes. We often went on vacations, on long trips in the car, or take us on carnival rides with cones each of ice cream melting in our small hands. Dad would bring work home and wouldn’t mind interrupting it to help my kid brother tie a loose leg on his wooden horse. Rarely would he work late in the office. He’d just bring work home-- While Mom would help me with my homework or mend my clothes or watch my favorite cartoon with me on her lap. She taught me how to draw.
When I began my own life as an adult, I made up my mind early on that in my own family someday—my children would be my priority. But I was also hell-bent to have my own career and so I worked. But I decided that work wasn’t going to make me an absentee parent with my children. That having more money wasn’t going to warp my values either because I saw how, in many families, a parent’s warped attitude and values unmistakably seep through the training fed to children in their formative years in the home. The children will image or mirror their parent’s character and attitude, good or bad, making it their own. Like father, like son, as we often hear it said. Really it’s up to parents how they want this new human being, their child, to turn out. Nobody can do that job for them.
Motherhood gave me the mission of stewardship and responsibility to raise and nurture new lives--human beings. An awesome task. I wanted my children to turn out good. The only way I could do that was to function as best as I could even as I pursue a career, too. I knew that it certainly would be difficult and would pose big challenges that would test my resolve. Parenting gets your hands dirty not only with changing diapers or toilet training or cleaning up mess. It means that you're totally immersed in it-- mind, body and soul. It's hard work. It’s nerve-wracking, physically exhausting, spiritually draining (but I never ever let go of prayer; it was my steady source of strength), and... surely definitely positively conflicts with the demands of a job. Always a tug-of-war; always pulled in opposite directions.
Yet.... mom and dad showed me that it could be done. I was determined to make it work for me. And in the process have learned one beautiful lesson that life can ever teach me---Love makes the difference-- the fullness of love makes the difference.
posted on Sunday, September 18, 2005 7:44 PM