Friday, April 30, 2010

My Role as a Woman


Don't you love the economy? Because I do. It is a wonderful, fantastic thing that is going exactly as I wanted, and I'm so overjoyed by this experience that I'm blogging about it.

Hello. My name is Tasha. I'm overly sarcastic.

I have been having some interesting discussions lately about the role of women, how it's changing. I've even heard that it is the thing that Sandra Bullock was talking about three years ago when she started the adoption process on her new son. As much as I like her, that's not what this blog is about.

A week ago, I had the opportunity to attend a regional LDS relief society meeting with Sheri Dew as a guest speaker. If I were going to pick two women who I would consistently jump at the chance to listen to, she would be one and Mary Ellen Edmunds the other. They are women who didn't necessarily have life go the way they planned or how they were told it should. I get that. I completely relate.

Let me explain. When I was growing up, I thought mom's went to school to be smart enough to have something to fall back on if their husbands died and to be smart enough to help their kids do their homework. A GOOD wife is content to stay home with the children, may run a small business on the side to have some extra money and is so happy to be mom.

I have known since I lived in a little apartment in Orem, UT with a working husband and staying completely at home for the first time in my marriage with a baby that the role of a full time stay at home mom was not for me. I almost lost my mind several times. I'm not one who cries very much, but I was all the time. I was not at all a joy to live with and felt like I was the biggest jerk in the world that every moment with my newborn son was not fulfilling for me.

I know many AMAZING women who have complete joy in staying with their children, they feel such satisfaction in experiencing their everyday looks, discoveries, etc. I ADORE my children, am thrilled when they want to come snuggle with me, love that my girls love to do my hair, want to bake, that they want to collect everything and think they are about a cute as anyone when they are in their little costumes or uniforms performing.

But when I was doing just this, I was depressed. I felt picked on, neglected, ignored and unnecessary for anything but cooking and cleaning. I know that most women go through these periods, but I couldn't get out of it.

So now I work. I LOVE what I do for work - I really do. But with the economy, what started as a way to jointly create income and shifted to me carrying a decent amount of the burden. I'm so incredibly GRATEFUL that I have this job - I honestly don't know where we would be without it. But that at times is a burden I didn't think I'd feel. It has made me appreciate the stress that husbands often have of carrying the burden of money and still being a fully invested parent.

Back to Sheri Dew - she spoke of the importance of magnifying our role - whatever that may be. Mothers are absolutely the foundation of society and the presence of one who cares about her kids absolutely has an impact on that child. Trust me, I work with teens from all different aspects and I can always tell who has a mom that cares.

It is a difficult thing to explain to "traditionalists" that I'm carrying so much of the financial part of the relationship right now, that Enoch is a tremendous help around home, and while it hasn't shifted completely, there is somewhat of a role reversal going on right now. And, being prone to self- inflicted guilt trips, I sometimes feel like maybe I'm not the mom that everyone else is, that I'm neglecting my kids if I'm not in 100% attendance at every event of every child and volunteering in the classroom every week.

I'm learning to cut myself some slack. I don't get after Enoch if he misses part or all of a game because he's working. The kids don't come in with sad puppy eyes if he isn't at the whole thing. No one goes to bed feeling neglected if the dishes aren't washed that night, or there's still some laundry not folded and in the living room.

I'm a damn good mom. My kids all do a decent job in their games, are at or above level in school, learning how to play the piano, and know how to clean their rooms, even if they don't all the time, and know how to behave in all kinds of social situations. It's okay for me to be sane, working, providing - I can do that and still be a loving mom. My role right now isn't traditional - I don't know that it ever was intended to be. But at this point in my life - I feel satisfied, full of joy and incredibly blessed.

I feel a manifestation that the Lord is pleased with what I'm doing right now. He told me that I would have the opportunity to teach many students, both those who are of the faith and those who aren't, and that I would have a powerful impact on them, that they would remember me as one who cared about them. My ultimate goal is to have my children always know they are the tops, they are my favorite, they are my loves, life and priorities. I'm thrilled that I have a husband who is okay with that, who doesn't mind picking up the slack that may be left behind because of that (usually the dishes) and that I have a Heavenly Father who knew me well enough to let me be born at a time when I could do this and be a mom.

I am truly blessed.


Mellissa said...

Your post reminds me of a quote (by Sandra Bulloch) from While You Were Sleeping. "He said that sometimes life doesn't turn out the way we plan. I just wish I'd known he was talking about my life." Sometimes, things don't happen like we thought. And whether you like your job and feel its right or not, it's nobody's business! And just because you work doesn't mean you love your kids any less than any mom who stays home full time. Some people just think they know what's right for everybody. Those people need to staple their mouths shut. I'm glad you love your job--it makes it so those students who walk through your door, especially the ones who don't have moms that care, have someone to look after them. :)

Harmony said...

Even full-time stay-at-home moms don't get to every kid's event or spend time in their classrooms every week. I know at least one stay-at-home mom who leaves dirty dishes overnight and has unfolded laundry sitting around almost weekly. :-) It's all a matter of balance. Good for you for finding a balance that you feel good about!

Charlotte said...

I like this post.


Laurel said...

I agree with Harmony. It is a matter of balance. We are all just doing the best we can.
"It is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else's life with perfection." Bhagavad Gita
Way to do what's right for you (and your family).