One last thing regarding Mother’s Day.
On Sunday, I visited my brother’s church. During the sermon, the preacher referred to mothers who sacrifice for their families, for how they have “prayed and cooked and cleaned” for others.
To that list, I would add “how they have worked”. Not just worked in the home (which is definitely work), but also worked out in the world. My mom was a working mom. She worked as a pharmacist since I was 7 years old. Some of my friends had moms who stayed at home. I wonder if my mom ever questioned her choices and whether she was a good mom by choosing to work. But I gained a lot from her choice to work, and not just financially.
My parents had different attitudes to bringing up work at home. My dad almost never talked about his work as an actuary. His philosophy was to leave work at work, and not bring it home. I respect and honor him for his decision.
My mom did the opposite. She talked about work a lot at home. At the dinner table, she would talk about her patients, about how busy it was in the hospital, and so on. Through these conversations, I learned a lot about how to navigate difficult workplace conversations. I learned from her example about how to stand up for myself, to persevere, and to work well with others. She was my first model of the working parent, and I learned a lot from her experiences.
If I ever become a parent, I want to think about how my experience with work can inform my children’s experience. I want them to see that work isn’t easy, and can be really taxing, but can also be deeply rewarding.