Tuesday, May 11, 2010

No Advanced Training

As moms, we have so many decisions to make. Some humdinger ones, some are just itsy-bitsy, but all of them effect our families in some way. When we give birth to our first little bundle of joy we have had no advance training on how to be good moms, or how to make all the right choices. Sure most of us have read books, taken in a few parenting classes, and been given enough advice to last us a life time, but lets be real there is no instruction manual, no amount of classes or literature to truly prepare you for the job of being a mother. Most of us moms just learn to do the best we can with the least amount of guilt as possible, and the most amout of love our hearts can produce. One of the biggest decisions that looms over almost every expecting new mom and their families is should mom stay at home or continue on in the work force. For my beautiful friend Mrs. Billie Sue Wilson staying on the career path and putting use to her degree was the right move for her and her family. Billie Sue is mother of two incredible handsome little boys Tommy and Charlie, and she works as a Pharmaceutical Sales Rep. I have known Billie Sue since our grade school days. She has always been a beautiful, intelligent, outstanding young lady. Did I mention she has always had and has perfect hair...hehehe I had to throw that in there! Anyways she was the kinda of girl who always stood up for what was right. She just has this relentless compassion in her heart for people. Without a doubt Billie Sue has always been beautiful inside, and out, but Motherhood and family life has unmistakably made this woman shine with a radiant beauty!!! Her answers to my interview questions just made my heart fill up with admiration and love. I hope you enjoy the insight this lovely career Mommy had to share with us as much as I did!

Interview with a Career Mommy

Question: What made you decide to be a working mother?
Answer: I decided to be a working mother long before the kids came. I became pregnant during my 2nd year of college with my first son, then my second son came before I even graduated. So I was already determined to get my degree before I became a mother, and the realization that kids were now part of the equation didn't slow me down. I wanted to have a career, because as much as I am defined by my children, I'm also a bit defined by my career as well, and how I manage being true to my responsibilities as a mother, wife, and professional.

Question: Do you think Mother's compare themselves to other moms to often?
Answer: I certainly think mothers play the comparison game too often...but that's life, and we, as human beings, compare ourselves to what we consider "the standard", whether it's the standard wife, mother, friend, whatever. I think that's how we measure ourselves and even though it becomes frustrating sometimes, I think it's healthy too...it's how we set our goals for ourselves.

Question: What your secret to balancing work, children, and you time?
Answer: The secret to balancing work, kids, and "me" time...well, there's not one, or at least I haven't found it yet. I think it is "one day at a time", and sometimes, we have to say "it's ok to be selfish" and make time for ourselves. We're better mommies when we're aware of who we are, and what our mental and emotional state of mind is...and if those things aren't healthy and in check, then we're only going to cause the ones we love the most to suffer along with us...so yes, I shop alone sometimes, I get massages, pedicures, and I have no guilt about it!!

Question: Do you run a tight ship when it comes to housework, and schedules?
Answer: My house is not the cleanest, most orderly house in the neighborhood, but I do believe that everyone functions better when things are in order...I'm not a huge fan of schedules, I think that adds to the pressure, but our house does have a routine. It can be broken, and it remains flexible.

Question: What was your own Mother like growing up?
Answer: My mother worked very hard in a factory most of my childhood. She was a complete neat-freak and we spent Saturdays cleaning the entire house (windows, base boards, you name it..). She was very loving, but also very busy. Though I love and appreciate her and the sacrifices she made, my experience as her child taught me to slow down, and let my children see me relax and take things in stride.

Question: What is the best advice you have ever received?
Answer: The best advice I ever received came from my 5 year old...he saw me crying one evening because I felt so guilty that I didn't spend the day with my kids right before I was headed to a week's long meeting, but instead spent the day packing, running errands and preparing reports for work...he said to me, "Mommy, it's ok to be sad, we all get sad sometimes. And no matter what you're sad about, I'll always love you." So this taught me that no matter how imperfect I am as a mother, they love me unconditionally, and they feel this for me because I've given that same love to them. And when we have that love, and that open expectation that family is all that matters, we are truly safe and capable of the happiness that we all desire.

Question: Do you have contentment in the life path you have choose for you and your family?
Answer: I am content, but open to change. I want my kids to know that part of being a productive, successful, happy adult is being able to adapt to what life throws your way. So even though I'm happy, I'm not opposed to going with the flow. We don't know God's plan...we only know our own, and oftentimes, those two plans aren't quite the same.

Question: What are your largest struggles as a working mom?
Answer: The biggest struggles I face are the ones I create in my mind. I miss my kids when I have to travel, I miss their faces, their little voices. I miss the conversations before I tuck them in at night. But these are the sacrifices we have decided to take on in order to provide them the kind of life I hope to give them.

Question: What is the best thing to your opinion about being a Mother?
Answer: As a woman, I think it's easy to find ourselves eager to please everyone we meet, every person in our lives. We want to be beautiful, inside and out. We want to be successful, liked by everyone, loved by those who we love. And so many times, we feel like we give, give, give, but rarely receive at the same level...but as a mommy, we feel that love...that overflowing love that is pure and innocent and ours because they mean it, not because they're trying to reciprocate. It's honest, and untainted, and without limitations or rules. It's forever...like God's love...it's the closest we'll ever get to how He must feel for us.

Question: Do you have any advice to give new mothers struggling with the decision to work or stay home?
Answer: My advice to mothers who are trying to make the work/stay home decision...listen to no one but yourself. Only you can determine what's best for your family. The decision will not be easy, and you shouldn't expect it to be...and it needs to be a big picture decision...think about what your family's goals are, and determine what sacrifices are worth meeting those goals. There's no shame in working out of the home, and there's no shame in working at home. But balance is possible...challenging but possible.


Melissa said...

Hi Myst! It's Melissa (your WoW buddy) - I love your blog and this interview really hit home for me as a working mommy! Keep up the great work!

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