What came first, the parent or the working parent? If you broke that questions down between the two parental types; mom versus dad, it might make this question easier to answer. The mom came before the working mom. (Obviously, the mom and dad thing happen at the same time, if you get what I mean) You become a parent whether you are employed or not. Statistics in welfare show that. Otherwise, social services would not be necessary if this were untrue.
I once heard on a talk show that being a single parent or a stay at home mom is hard. I take nothing away from either of them. I have been a single mom. I have been a stay at home mom. And as I type this, my 11 year old is behind me on the couch vomiting. I am supposed to be at my job today. My first job. You see, I have three or 12 if you want to break it down. Of the paying jobs I have, I am a Senior House Manager and Life Skills Educator for a local transitional housing facility in my hometown of Norwalk, Ohio. We work with women and their children who are homeless. Then I am a certified master hypnotherapist. I run my own practice out of my home and do talks, seminars, etc. for the general public on various different things. So that’s two- for those keeping count.
Then I am a mother times three. That’s would be three jobs under one title. Each child with its own personality, own needs and desires, it takes special managing on my part to take their potential and mold it into more. To guide them toward the person they will inevitably be. We are up to five now, right? Then I am a wife and for those of you who personally know my husband, it IS a job in and of itself. My husband is wonderfully funny, energetic, spontaneous, and handsome. But sometimes keeping up with a husband nearly five years my junior is work. And then I am a daughter and again, for those of you that know my mother, depending on the day…well, we all have mothers and I am one, so I will leave the rest of that comment up to interpretation.
I am a sister and my brother has needed guidance all his life but I have just now been patient enough to deal with his antics without smacking his senseless. That you give us a total of eight, I do believe.
I am a niece and sometimes the family peace keeper or in some very strange way I feel like the sane one in the group, depends on the day and the crisis. And depending on which person I am counseling the job number could be greater than twelve. I am a minister and I work at a local nursing home doing healing services to those in need. I am an aunt but most of my nieces and nephews I have not seen in years. It has been a chore and tiring effort to be able to see my brother’s daughter, Audrey. I miss her greatly and wait for the day we can re-connect again. Lastly, I am a friend. Which falls into a job description of all the above tasks. Mothering, counseling, helping, hand holding, praying, etc.
I forgot a group but not intentionally. I am someone’s in-law once again. Or former in-law. Now the former in-law part is more difficult than I would like but this comes with being formerly married. My ex-husband and his family do little to make my life easy and at times my kids end up feeling like they less than matter. Its sad and true. My husband and I do our best to make them know that you cannot control what another person does or says. All you can do is be you and be proud. The in-laws part of it has been relatively easy. (With the exception of one’s wiry grandmother J) My in-laws live 380 miles away (most of them, some farther) and I love it when I get to see them and I enjoy their company. They have embraced me and the kids whole-heartedly. Even in-laws that far away could make life difficult, I’m sure. But mine are the best. I couldn’t ask for better in-laws. They make daughter-in-lawing ( I made a new word) easy.
Now, some of you may be taken aback by this or offended and think, ‘I am her friend or her aunt or her co-worker, if it feels like work, maybe I just won’t bother her.’ I would hope this piece would not be interpreted in that way. If it is, then maybe none of you know me at all. I love all the people I have come in contact with. Even the ex-in-laws and the wiry grandmother-in-law. These people that touch your lives daily; from stock boy at the grocery store to the child you tuck in at night, they ALL give us meaning, our lives meaning and everything happens for a reason. We touch everyone and everyone touches us. Its how we chose to react to their presence in our lives that defines who WE become.
So, being a working mother to me is just as difficult as being a single mom or a stay at home mom. Each duty has its own unique way of teaching me, molding me and delivering to you the person I am today. You laugh, I’m sure. (Who is this person and how’d she become so philosophical?)
Whether I was a single mom, a married mom, a divorced mom, a stay at home mom or a mom employed elsewhere, I would still be a wife possibly, an aunt, a sister, a niece and a friend. For these jobs, I could not be paid enough to make it worth taking all the insanity away from me.
Blessings to you and yours. Hug the person to your left and the person to your right and tell them THANK YOU for making me the person I am today. Remember, its because each millisecond of each moment is the catalyst for the next. God loves you and so do I.