Thursday, April 26, 2012


A lot of people are looking for it. Evidently being a mom doesn't qualify (at least in some people's lexicon.) A few people are addicted to it, but a lot of people wish they didn't have to do it.

I have kind of an interesting perspective on work. I have tried to juggle work and being a mom in just about every combination known to woman. There are pros and cons to each situation, and I still haven't figured it out by any stretch.

I was a full-time mom when the child was a newborn until she was 8 months old. Then my maternity leave ended and I "went back to work." She was a pretty demanding baby, a function of what we now understand as her sensory disorganization and oral motor challenges. Honestly I was pretty overwhelmed with her care, and just starting to hit my stride when I resumed my teaching position. I'm very glad I had that time with her, but since I had expected to return to work I didn't really allow myself to settle into being a mom.

When I returned to my job my husband and I had a strategy to keep us both working and to keep the child out of daycare. It worked for a while, but we were stretched thin, and we knew it early on. It didn't make sense for me to keep working and essentially hand over my paycheck to someone else so they could be with our daughter. So I finished out the academic year and returned to full time momming.

It took a while for me to settle into my role as a stay at home mom. I wasn't bored (too busy for that...) but I did miss the sense of accomplishment that comes with completing a project or knowing that you've truly been helpful to someone. Somehow folding the laundry didn't quite cut it. I still enjoyed the new freedom, though, and explored some new hobbies. Just when I was starting to get in step again, the twins arrived on the scene, and the child's issues came front and center. Suddenly we were stretched again physically and emotionally. The economy shifted, and now here we are...

It became clear that I needed to start working again, this time from home and in partnership with my husband to boost our income a bit. I have to admit there is a piece of me that is loving the feeling of professionalism, and problem-solving, but it may be the worst of both worlds. I am distracted from my kids who still need a lot of supervision and training, I'm limited "at work" by what my kids need, and I'm still seen as an "at home mom" who has so much free time on her hands to...

The point is, work is important. It is important not only as a means of support for our families, but as a fulfillment of a basic human need. Adam and Eve worked in the Garden of Eden even before that whole apple incident. Their work was satisfying and fruitful without the drudgery that stifles us today. We were made to work. In whatever way you work - in or out of your home - it's important to understand that you're striving to do what you were made to do, but in a world that is waiting to be restored. It won't ever be quite perfect.

Jenny Matlock
Waxing eloquent on the Wonderful letter W. Click here to see the other works of art...


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