The Title Says it All

So my dad was offered several free magazine subscriptions that he had basically already paid for so he decided to get some random titles that looked like they might be interesting. One of the magazines he is having sent to the house is called Working Mother.

Sounds interesting right? Well, when the first one arrived I flipped through it and found it to be both intriguing and appalling at the same time. This second issue is no different.

On the cover there is a perfectly coiffed platinum blonde mother and her two platinum blond children. One boy and one girl of course and they look to be about 7 and 10. Oh, and by the way, the Papa is missing in the photo because this is about the working mother.

In the past year or so, I have come to the conclusion that you cannot be a mom and a career woman and be satisfied with your life in both arenas. You can either be the best mom or be the best at your career. It takes more than 40 hours a week to do either them exceptionally and there aren’t enough hours in the week (unless you intend not to sleep and no one can go full throttle on no sleep for long).

Now I’m not saying that a mom can’t work. In fact, there are a lot of women who enjoy their jobs and being a mom. And there are lots of women who have jobs they might not like so much but have them because of financial constraints on the family. What I am saying is that the focus and time allotment to really succeed cannot be divided between two objectives: motherhood and careerhood.

The table of contents of Working Mother really hits this dilemma on the head, or should I say the order in which articles are clumped exemplify the point. First up are the articles focused on You, then Work, and finally Family.

The main problem is found in the first focus: you. When we focus on ourselves everything else does come secondarily and even tertiarily. But I believe that our positions in which we serve others (family and church) suffer the most. Even careers don’ suffer as much because ultimately a career is also self-focused and about how I can get ahead, make more money, attain esteem, etc.

4 thoughts on “The Title Says it All”

  1. I would like to say that I know there are people that feel that pigeon holing each part of their life is the way makes things optimal. The idea of separating this activity from that has a lot of proponents however I am not one of them. I have found the world to be a messy complex place. I have also found and the time I expend trying to build permanent walls only uses up my time unnecessarily. This is because things happened and I would find myself continuously rationalizing why I am on this side of the wall and not were I though I should be if I controlled things. I have tried to develop an integrated life focused toward goals. In the context of this blog you would call me a working Dad, but you know me. I am more than that and I would be less if I had to play the accountant and measure out time and effort into bins of my own making.

    Lastly, beware how you hone your blade between motherhood and careerhood. Many will cross it and will be cut in your eyes over the years. It is an unnecessary heartbreak to do that family and friends.

    Love John

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  2. I too am not good at pigeon holing; work, school, wifeliness, motherhood, life, it all runs together in a mismatch. I was simply stating that we only have so much time that the Lord has given us and we need to be particularly careful where we spend that time.

    I was not upset over a dividing line between motherhood and careerhood as much as I was about the fact that there is a strong temptation to spend too much time on self promotion instead of being servants as exemplified by Christ.

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  3. You have little experience in the professional environment so it is understandable that you would have prejudices about it. You have heard your life long that it’s a “dog eat dog world out there” However if you think everyone is focused of self promotion you would be wrong at least in professions I have personal insight. Some people are focused of self promotion in the workplace but they are focused on self promotion everywhere. They are the same way in church activities, in sporting activities, on the internet and even in sewing circles I would be willing to bet. Focusing on self promotion is one of the harder ways to get in to leadership positions within a profession.
    You have not been in a profession so you may confuse leader with bosses. Bosses can be leaders and you ever blessed to work for one you will appreciate the experience. Sadly bosses are sometimes not leaders and it is a common pastime of workers to talk about them. It has been my experience that pride is the problem with those bosses. Pride is inherent in us all so I try not to engage in the talk.
    You have not been in a profession so you may confuse a leader with the people in a company that make the most money. Leaders are certainly valuable and valued by a company but they are not the best paid. You Mom is a leader where she works and she is not the best paid but she is certainly valued. Her company has gone through a lot of upheaval and many people have been let go, but she is still there. In addition her company gave her accommodation that they did not do for others. Why do you think that is? She certainly works hard but I would bet that quantity of work performed is not the reason. I suspect it is her leading, teaching and servant leadership that is valued because those are the qualities that have been valued in all the professional work places I have work at.
    I am moving to a new office and I came across some class notes from a leadership class I attended about eight years. One team exercise we performed was listing our lifelong leadership lessons. The following is the unedited comments from my team which included both men and women.
    1. Be honest in your listening and speaking
    2. Give what you want
    3. Take responsibility, learn to follow up
    4. Know what is required and assume authority to do it.
    5. Personal pride is a motivator in itself
    6. Don’t work for shit heads – vote with your feet – learn to walk way
    7. Have the courage and tenacity to make or lead the changes necessary
    8. Put yourself in the other persons shoes
    I see the golden rule in the list and a lot of servant leadership. What I do not see is much self promotion. If you do then blame the secretary, me, because I have always been impressed with the selflessness of the people I have met in my leadership classes, in particular the women. I love you and hope you become a servant leader.

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  4. Sorry The previous pose did not format propperly when it was pasted.

    You have little experience in the professional environment so it is understandable that you would have prejudices about it. You have heard your life long that it’s a “dog eat dog world out there” However if you think everyone is focused of self promotion you would be wrong at least in professions I have personal insight. Some people are focused of self promotion in the workplace but they are focused on self promotion everywhere. They are the same way in church activities, in sporting activities, on the internet and even in sewing circles I would be willing to bet. Focusing on self promotion is one of the harder ways to get in to leadership positions within a profession.

    You have not been in a profession so you may confuse leader with bosses. Bosses can be leaders and you ever blessed to work for one you will appreciate the experience. Sadly bosses are sometimes not leaders and it is a common pastime of workers to talk about them. It has been my experience that pride is the problem with those bosses. Pride is inherent in us all so I try not to engage in the talk.

    You have not been in a profession so you may confuse a leader with the people in a company that make the most money. Leaders are certainly valuable and valued by a company but they are not the best paid. Your Mom is a leader where she works and she is not the best paid but she is certainly valued. Her company has gone through a lot of upheaval and many people have been let go, but she is still there. In addition her company gave her accommodation that they did not do for others. Why do you think that is? She certainly works hard but I would bet that quantity of work performed is not the reason. I suspect it is her leading, teaching and servant leadership that is valued because those are the qualities that have been valued in all the professional work places I have work at.

    I am moving to a new office and I came across some class notes from a leadership class I attended about eight years. One team exercise we performed was listing our lifelong leadership lessons. The following is the unedited comments from my team which included both men and women.

    Be honest in your listening and speaking
    Give what you want
    Take responsibility, learn to follow up
    Know what is required and assume authority to do it.
    Personal pride is a motivator in itself
    Don’t work for shit heads – vote with your feet – learn to walk way
    Have the courage and tenacity to make or lead the changes necessary
    Put yourself in the other persons shoes

    I see the golden rule in the list and a lot of servant leadership. What I do not see is much self promotion. If you do then blame the secretary, me, because I have always been impressed with the selflessness of the people I have met in my leadership classes, in particular the women. I love you and hope you become a servant leader.

    Like

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