As 2015 comes to a close, there are more than resolutions on my mind. With the end of the year, my maternity leaves also ends, and I join the ranks of working moms who are trying to balance the demands of a professional life as well as a new baby. I started reading on the topic almost from the moment we found out we were pregnant. I had to stop numerous times because if you research the subject as a new or expectant mom, you’ll be overwhelmed and discouraged.
With that in mind, here are a couple of books I’ve read:
Tina Fey admits to all women that she is in a different situation than a lot because has the means to hire good help. I especially love her reference to breastfeeding and how it was the most wonderful 48 hours of her life. She is real and honest about her love for her children and her love for her work.
Sheryl Sandberg’s admits that she was tough of working moms before she became a mom. She also admits that she was working in the hospital after she had her child, not because she had to, but rather because she needed to check in. While her viewpoint is interesting, it’s not reality for the majority of women who don’t have the means she and her husband have at their disposal.
This was my favorite read thus far because it is from the perspective of two working pastor-moms. They admit the times that they feel like they should be gaining theological insight from the parenting experience, but can only see dirty laundry, dirty diapers, and dirty dishes.
I am extremely lucky to be able to work from home frequently as well as having a partner who is vested in creating a life so that we can spend lots of time with Ben, but it’s still hard. It’s hard because parenting in and of itself is hard. It’s hard because you want to teach your children to be independent while wanting them to know they have a support system and a foundation that is sound and stable. It’s hard because there are so many different ways to parent and to care for a child that are good and valid and important. It’s hard because you as parents are also individuals who have desires and passions that drive and inspire you.
As I listen to Ben learning to make sounds and as I smile back at him as he begins to recognize me, I wonder what work will look like for him. I wonder if he will ever live in a world where people “go to work” for certain periods of time everyday. I’m not sure, but I hope what I am teaching him as a working mom is to go after his dreams and passions and to sculpt a life around those rather than having people dictate his life for him.
Life’s just too short to do otherwise.