The other morning I was saying good-bye to everyone, and Michael said "You'll have a good day, right?" And I did the cynical adult thing which was to say "Eh, it will be okay, I guess." Michael looked at me quizzically and asked me if I liked my work. It was then I realized that, for him, he assumes I work for the pleasure of working--something we tend to instill in kids. "What are you going to be when you grow up?" is a big deal and we tell them they can be and do whatever they want in life. So, of course you grow up and do what you love, right?!
Thing is, being a working mother is a bit more complex than that (just like being a stay at home mom is not just about the child care). I do get pleasure from working and doing a job well done. I do like the social interaction and the intellectual exercise. But, to me, work is a means to an end. At the end of the day, it is the money that is important to me as it means I can give my children what they need materially and intellectually, what we as a family need to not only survive, but thrive.
While I am at work, I am always thinking about life outside of work. I am thinking my son's Halloween party or the next adventure we are going to take the kids on (meaning anything from the zoo or museum to chinese acrobats or a concert). I have pictures of my children and husband all around me. I am taking this one for the team. I enjoy doing this as part of the team.
Here is what keeps me going at work: the egg is a paperweight from my husband. The plastic bear is something my son made for me last year. The party favor is from my old work, one of the decorations at my work baby shower. I keep them near, even at work.
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