(Career) Woman Interrupted


New Year’s Eve party. Old friends. Some strangers. Fascinating careers: federal prosecutor, child life specialist, rocket scientist, producer, nurse … and those were the women. Most of my close friends are either still single, married recently, or have found alternative ways to structure their families. Yet, in so much of the LDS world, women are expected to give up their careers, if not upon marrying, definitely when they have their first child. For those women who have no desire to have a career outside the home, this would seem to pose no problem. However, this strict cultural tradition is very problematic for those women who find fulfillment and joy in doing what they’ve expended time and talent to learn to do. In the LDS world, should a woman be expected to give up her life to be a wife?

When I was in Young Women’s. I had my life mapped out. I would go to college, get a degree. Work for six years, and get sealed at the age of 28-30. At which point I would quit my job, and lavish love and attention on my husband and the numerous children who would come to bless our home. Sounds just about perfect, doesn’t it?

While in college, I remember a humanities class that touched on the subject of women’s depression, and how some women felt isolated from the world at large after becoming stay at home mothers. This puzzled me, and the next weekend I was home, I remember asking my mother if she had ever felt this way. She gave me a rueful smile, and asked if I remembered her crying a lot when I was young. I started to say no, then hesitated, as a couple buried memories surfaced in my mind. We then had a very frank talk about my mother’s life as a mother.

My mother had trained in a field that gave her a lot of independence at a relatively early age in Japan. And as she was in Japan, and had a very nurturing mother, she did not assume many traditionally feminine tasks until after her marriage to my father. When she was in her early twenties, she journeyed to the US for some additional training and met my father. After returning to Japan, a pan-Pacific letter campaign, and another journey to the US, they were married when she was 27. I arrived on the scene four years later, and my first brother three years after me. My mother continued in her line of work until I was about two or three, then settled into being a fulltime wife and mother for the next eight or so years. My memories of her apart from me are hazy during this time. I think I was pretty self-absorbed. When my youngest brother started school, my mother had a very frank talk with my father. She told him that she needed to get out of the house for a bit. They counseled together and did some research. She took some classes, got some training, and started part time work in a field that she continue to be active in today. She worked when we were in school, and was there after school to shuttle us around music lessons, sports groups and church activities. Three years later, my mother found a job in her original field of work (at the same company as my father), and continues there to this day, after my father’s retirement. She continues to work full time at this job, and still do seasonal work in the field she trained in when I was young, from which everyone in my family benefits. And although she hates wrangling with office politics and pettiness, I know that she finds a great deal of satisfaction in her work.

I would like to clarify that I never felt unloved by my mother. I knew that she fiercely loved her children. And I never felt unimportant to her. It was a heavy load, working full time and still bearing the majority of the homemaking and child rearing responsibilities. However, I also knew that having some self-specific time to develop her technical abilities helped her to be a better mother and wife. I also believe that the time she and my father spent together as a result of work helped to strengthen their marriage as a couple. We were also lucky that my maternal grandmother stayed at least half of every year with us, and was able to help with the practicalities of running the household. And, we children were assigned chores to help run the household as well.

And so, it’s with a hint of suspicion that I question the Proclamation on the Family. Not because I don’t think children deserve stable families, but because I’ve seen first hand how families can adapt to fill the needs of the individual members. One size definitely doesn’t fit all. I am happy for those women who are able to invest everything in their homes and not need to seek for things beyond it. However, I would also like to see some recognition of the needs (emotional, intellectual, professional, etc) of women who may not be able to devote everything to the home.

I work in a woman- dominated field. There are women at all stages of life in nursing. Single, married, young, old, mothers, non-mothers. Some work days, some work nights, full time, part time, per diem. And there are so many successful personalized solutions to the wife (and mother) issue, that I can’t help but wish that we could make more room for women with careers (who may or may not have children) in the mormon world. Chieko Okazaki is the only well-known woman I can think of in the LDS church. And, much as one may or may not hate her politics, Nancy Pelosi started her career in politics after her youngest child became a high school senior.

How about men who are better full-time dads than career men? Sure, it isn’t for everyone, but there are some families for whom this is a good solution. I don’t want to make people feel like they should go against their natural inclination, but would like to see a “best fit” mentality that allows for tailoring general rules (children need attentive parents) to specific needs of individual families.

I don’t have practical solutions … I’m single and have no children. But I would love to hear how families are dealing with finding ways to make things work. Please suppress the urge to post demeaning or belittling comments, as they will be deleted.

Jana

Jana is university administrator and History professor. Her soloblog is http://janaremy.com/pilgrimsteps/

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  1. Caroline says:

    Dora, you perfectly articulated how I feel. I think there are many different models of families that can provide wonderful environments for children.

    My favorite model is the equal-parenting one. I know this is unrealistic for a lot of families, but I think it’s ideal. Both parents work part time, both parent part time. That way everyone gets to nurture and provide. My husband and I do a form of this. I go to work for 5 hours a day, while my husband comes home to take care of our baby. It’s not easy on him, as he is technically a full time professor, but it’s working at the moment.

    I also like another model you mentioned – the multi-generational model. This emphasis on the nuclear family that we see in the Proc is a very Western, American idea. In other cultures it’s normal to have 3 or 4 generations living together, which gives parents opportunities to work while they know the grandparents are there to offer love and care to the children.

  2. cchrissyy says:

    We share the ideal of both parents working part-time.

    what we do instead is my husband works 7-4 and when he’s home he’s totally the primary parent. And we split housework/cooking 50-50.
    If my kids were in school, I would want to work or go back to school, but since I’ll have little ones at home for quite a while to come, I have started working from home. I love it. I’m very suited to working for myself.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I appologize for changing the subject, but I find that everyone asks this question and no one ever asks the question that I have been faced with for the last few years.

    What happens to the woman who has always wanted to be a stay-at-home mother who then has something happen that makes her husband unable to support a family? Not death, but disability, mental illness, even just laziness.
    Do you give up the hope of having a family or do you give up the dream of being a stay-at-home mother and try to find a career you both agreed you never wanted to pursue?

  4. Dora says:

    Caroline ~ I like the way that you and Mike split the parenting responsibilities. I’ve seen you two in action, and it seems to work really well for you both.

    cchrissyy ~ I know a number of women who work from home for either personal satisfaction or to supplement their husband’s income, and I think it’s a great idea.

    Anon ~ Without knowing more of your situation, it’s hard to offer suggestions. Do I understand correctly that you do not have children yet? Are you and your husband having fruitful conversations about the dilemma? Maybe you might consider writing up a guest post and submitting it to the blog email?

  5. Deborah says:

    My cousin-in-law is the oldest of nine and never questioned staying at home with her kids. But I remember visiting her in a small New England town. It was winter, and her husband had the only car at work. There were no public parks nearby, no stay-at-home moms in the area, and a disfunctional ward. The isolation was palpable. “Staying home wasn’t supposed to be like this,” she said. “My mother had a community of women who helped watch each others’ children and who provided social support.” If I do choose to defer my career for a while, I pray I am in an area (ward, neighborhood) that is conducive to practical social support.

    That said, my husband is wary about the idea of my staying home full-time — not for material reasons, but because I am painfully restless during school vacations. My mood improves instantly and dramatically once I start work again. I’m lucky to have a job that I love. And I’m lucky to be in a socio-economic situation that provides me with flexibility and choices (see anonymous’ excellent question). Right now, I’m not stressing about this issue because I know that, when the time comes, I have options and a husband who would support many different work/family variations.

  6. cew-smoke says:

    Gosh, this is such a difficult question to answer. So many different types of careers demand full-time hours. In my profession, my hours are not my own. Being in the IT world I work the normal 40 hour work week, plus having to be on call and often putting in 50-60 hour work weeks. There’s no other field that I have enough talent in to provide for my family in a suitable manor.

    My wife chose to be a stay at home Mom until our youngest is in Kindergarten at which time she will be working in her chosen field of early childhood education. I think the thing that keeps her sane is she has the opportunity now (while the kids are still little) to finish up her degree. That consumes a lot of her time and I think helps keep her life in focus. If she didn’t have that I have no idea what we would do.

  7. Ana says:

    Anon, I am sort of temporarily in the kind of situation you describe while my husband pursues an advanced degree. He can’t provide for the family right now. Just absolutely can’t. For me, the answer found through prayer was that working mama was preferable to debt, public assistance, church assistance or some combination of the three. We needed to stabilize financially, and the latter options would not have allowed us to do that.

    For others, I completely understand if they find it a better option to take out loans and go on WIC as they go through school. I’m utterly serious when I say, pray your guts out about this. Take very seriously the responsibility of deciding whether you need to work or want to work outside the home. It’s your responsibility alone, but it’s a very real responsibility.

    I recognize that a husband who has a disability or mental illness is not entirely the same situation as a husband who can’t seem to quit school (although I sure hope this degree, supposedly the terminal degree, will put a stop to it!) BUT, I think the principle holds that God knows you and your husband and (if you have them) your children. He can help you find your way. Then, once you have sought his guidance and found it, it is such a tremendous blessing not to have to second guess your decisions and feel guilty. Sometimes we do have to let go of the life we dreamed of, and it is hard. But it is easier if we know we are doing what God wants us to do. And that really CAN be working outside the home.

  8. Michelle says:

    My personal ideal is what some of you describe: splitting work and family roles between both me and my husband. However, right now, after agonizing about it for seemingly forever, I feel like God is telling me no to the work side of it. Yet, I do not feel totally reconciled to my role as stay at home mother. I don’t think I’m much good at it, I don’t feel settled, and I wonder if I’m supposed to stay home but never really be happy about it. I feel frustrated that the talents I have don’t seem to be a good fit for either mothering or for building the kingdom. Have any of you sucessfully transitioned from wanting a career to being fully satisfied with staying at home to take care of children?

  9. cew-smoke says:

    Michelle,

    May I be so bold as to offer some near useless wisdom? This will not make you feel any better and is pop-psychology at its worst. However, I don’t think anyone is every truly happy and content with where they are in life.

    From my wife’s perspective, I’m the lucky one as I get to go to and office everyday to work. Though she says she would not trade being the caregiving homemaker for anything. I, however, am envious of her as often I wish I could spend more time with my kids then I get to. Though I find myself saying the mantra that I wouldn’t change being a responsible breadwinner and father for anything.

    The reality of the matter is no matter what I or my wife did we would still feel like we were not getting it 100% right. If I stayed at home I have no doubt that my self-esteem as a man would go to heck in a handbasket. I also have no doubt (and we’ve proven this) that if my wife went to full-time work and put the kids in daycare that she would constantly feel guilty and find it impossible to not worry and think about them every moment until she saw them again.

    So, the cliche is we are never truly happy and if we are, we must be dead.

  10. ducks says:

    I don’t think I was at your New Year’s Eve party, but it sounds something like the guest list at the one I attended!

    I dropped out of college and married in the early 80’s with no wish other than to be a wife and a mother. I soon found that I felt depressed and trapped in those roles. These feelings existed side by side with the tremendous joy and satisfaction of being a wife, mother and a homemaker. Within the first five to ten years of our marriage it became clear that my health and mental well-being would worsen if I didn’t find another outlet for my energy. I didn’t even know what I wanted to do. Looking back, I know that the spirit guided my choices and that preparing myself to serve outside of the home and then working outside the home kept our family intact.

    I ended up finishing my undergrad degree and getting a law degree. This process took six years. By that time, my three children were in school full time. I didn’t start law school until my youngest was in school.

    While I work outside the home and love my job, there is no question that in our home I am “primarily responsible” for the nurture of our children. This is because of the differing temperaments of myself and my husband. I also have no desire to bear the burden of being responsible for the support of our family. In fact, being relieved of that responsibility has freed me to make career choices that I would not have been able to make if that were my responsibility. Even though I now probably make more money than my husband (we don’t examine that too closely), he knows that I will probably stop working much earlier than he does because of my desire to meet, and enjoy, my family responsibilities at another stage of life.

    I have never felt any qualms about the belief that our family has “other circumstances” that require “individual adaptation” as it states in the proclamation. I do not see anything in the proclamation that eliminates alternative ways to structure families or that prevents us from being flexible in our roles when our personalities don’t fit the mold.

    I enjoy my job immensely and believe it has saved my sanity. Even so, I am so grateful that I was able to stay home with my children before they went to school. Nothing in my career has given me as much joy as the time spent with my children. I think that I would have had a difficult time giving up a job and career to stay home with my children if the job and career had come first.

    It can be difficult to have the right perspective when going through difficult times and making decisions about children and families. I think the proclamation helps us keep eternal perspective while giving us the flexibility to do what is best for us as individuals.

    I wholeheartedly endorse Ana’s comments.

  11. VirtualM says:

    I know that there are different models (and I repeatedly tell DH that I don’t have a testimony of the Proc), but unfortunately, practicalities often rule out several of the more appealing alternate models. The elephant in the room is health insurance…if DH didn’t work full time and we both worked part time and parented part time, we’d be screwed. The current health care situation in our country causes us to rely on corporate in order to take care of our families, and corporate isn’t always the most considerate towards families. We make too much for government assistance, but not enough to buy our own overpriced plan. Also, daycare is often so expensive that when a person has more than one child, it becomes a non-option, or the amount of income after taxes and daycare is negligible. And many times, the women who want to stay home must work for that negligible income to keep the electricity turned on. Ideals are nice, but not always feasible. The current model of the work week and the corporation in the USA, at least, makes it hard to find a happy medium.

    Like cew-smoke, I know that my husband’s self-esteem (which is not high due to life circumstances while growing up, etc.), would plummet if he did not feel like he was ‘taking care’ of me and the baby, even though he knows I’m perfectly capable of taking care of myself; cultural conditioning rears its ugly head.

    I’m extra lucky in that the corporate “man” I work for is actually woman (and mother) dominated. I work as a freelancer in essence, going to the office 12 hours a week in putting in another 5 or so hours from home. I’m lucky in that I have a friend who babysits my DS so I don’t have to deal with daycare and I know he’s happy. Even though I consider myself a pretty fierce feminist, my guilt factor would be off the charts if both DH and I worked full-time and DS was in daycare 10 hours a day. (For the record, I had a hard time leaving my dog alone all day when I was in school and working full-time.) There is a good community of young mothers in my ward who are available for support since we live hours away from the nearest family. One other thing I *never* counted on (having not been the hugest fan of babies in the past) was how much I enjoy spending time with DS. I do think, though, that going to the office a couple of days a week gives me the ‘me’ time I need and allows me to more fully enjoy the time I spend with my son.
    Each person is so different, we each have our own desires and needs, a one-size-fits-all model just can’t work.

  12. Anonymous says:

    It’s too bad that some LDS women look at each other’s situation as judge/jury. We do have circumstances that lead some of us to work for financial reasons. We all could use a close friend who cares about each of us as sisters. I am grateful for a community of women in my ward who come from different circumstances but are willing to bear one another’s burden. I am a part-time working mom not by choice with a husband whom I hope gets promoted soon so I can enlist my talents in raising our children full-time.

    I’ve been blessed by the assistance of an LDS stay-at-home mother (who also works) to care for my oldest children before school.

    I wish we lived closer to our extended family to enjoy the additional assistance community that they offer, but without that I rely upon the relationships/friendships I have with women in our ward to help us. I help our children’s caregiver by chauffeuring her daughter to church activities that she cannot get to.

  13. Janna says:

    I find these conversations fascinating in that men, generally, don’t have them. Also, generally, there doesn’t seem to be this heartwrenching, soul searching(not to mention, apologetic) process for men.

    For the last few years, I’ve been working to learn more about the “reasons” I am not married. I’ve come to learn that I have a firm paradigm ensconced in my head about having to choose between professional success and love. I understand that not all women want a career, but I do. I see now that I’ve closed my heart to love because, to me, it means giving up my career. It’s crazy, it makes no sense given the number of women I know who have not made such a partitive choice – but, I have made that choice. I made that choice based on erroneous views I’ve had about not being able to have/not deserving/not needing both. I feel sad that I’m just learning this about myself at age 35, but also grateful that I have learned it 🙂 so that I can learn a new way.

    Still, this conversation scares me. I don’t want to have it – I don’t want to feel torn. I want to feel whole. I hope that my paradigm can be softened and revised to accommodate all that I want – love and professional success.

  14. liz says:

    I love this post- I struggled with my transition from the career I loved to motherhood, not realizing it would be so lonely and different.

    I actually had the luxury of choosing to work PT from home for my former employer to see if the cerebral challenges I missed were an important part of my life.

    I was so freaking stressed to do both and wasn’t the mother I wanted to be, nor the worker I wanted to be. Everything and everyone got too little of me, most of all my husband (I worked at night when baby was asleep).

    It wasn’t something I enjoyed and made me appreciate and understand the proclamation a little deeper. I felt that if it is a choice I can make, I learned if felt most right and natuaral and peaceful for me to focus on my family & home, but sought fulfillment with new hobbies and friends and projects I never tried before in my life.

    My mother didn’t have the choice and always wished she could be home to make cookies and read to us and go with us on our field trips. The sadness of knowing I wanted that too as a young child ingrained in me the promise that if I can be available for those things I will.

    That doesn’t mean I don’t have days the office would be a lot easier and interesting, but it’s not where my heart is supposed be right now in my life. The Lord knew that before I did, I just had to learn the hard way.

    I think it’s healthy to ponder LDS culture and guidance, for the spirit helps us make a conscious decision about what it means to us personally.

  15. jennag says:

    Oh it is so nice to know that I am no alone with my struggles here. My husband and I recently moved from San Francisco to a small town in Oregon, a town filled with perfect mothers who relish in their role and would never think of working outside of the home. I feel like such an outcast, wanting to follow dreams other than motherhood. I get frustrated at church functions when people ask my husband what he does for a living, and then ask me how many children I have. I want to say, “I have a law degree! I graduated 2nd in my class! I have lived in four different countries (none for a mission, even)!!” But in this community, no one sees past that I am a woman with children.

    The one thing that I have seen in our world is that women fought very hard in the recent and not so recent past to have their cake and eat it too. I am thankful to my sisters of history for fighting for the vote, for the right to work in equal jobs, for equal pay (OK, we’re still working on that!), etc.

    But the one thing that they forgot to fight for is to make MEN accept the roles that the women were leaving. Men did jobs A & B; women did jobs C & D. Women fought to do A, B, C & D, but men never took on C & D. We have a few progressive thinking men out there who are comfortable with child care, house cleaning, cooking, etc. But for the most part, I think our society tells men that a good woman will come along to take care of those things for them.

    My husband and I adopted our two kids in June of 2004, and one week before we left for Russia to get them, he lost his job. So, our plans for me to stay home were foiled, and for 8 months he was the stay at home parent. He loved being with the kids all day, and frankly he is much better with them at this age than I am, but he found it immensely difficult from a societal perspective to be the stay-at-home.

    He was reluctant to attend play dates with the stay at home mothers because he felt that it was not proper to develop friendships with other women without me and their husband present. I am grateful for him, but that meant that his options for getting adult conversation were limited.

    He attempted to join a group for stay at home dads, but he felt that most of the men in that group tried to overcompensate in the “manliness” department because they were not the breadwinner. For example, the group had a “guys night out” at a strip club. My husband didn’t last long with them- he is a former professional ballet dancer!!

    He would be frustrated on almost a daily basis when he would have dirty diaper to change and would find no changing tables in the men’s rooms. He would almost daily receiving a comment from a woman tellng him how to do something better.

    So, despite the fact that he loved being a father, we did not live in a community that fully was prepared to have him be the stay at home father. And, mind you, we lived 20 minutes from San Francisco- one would think this would be a fairly forward thinking community!

    So, we knew it was important for one of us to stay at home, and that left me. I was at first excited at the prospect of staying at home with my children and not having the stress of the day-to-day. But I very quickly realized that what comes naturally to some women was very far from natural to me. I just don’t know how to be a mother, so every day is a new struggle to think of things to do, ways to deal with their naughtiness, and ways to find an outlet for my adult needs. I think sometimes, if I had a job I hated, I would just quit. But you cannot do that with parenting- you’re in it for the duration. I often feel trapped and unsatisfied.

    I am very, very blessed that I found a job with an employer that allows me to work from home 100% of the time. This means that I can be mom during the day, and then switch gears during nap and bed times, and get that outlet that I need. But, the one big problem that any of you that work from home already know is that you can never leave your office, and the stress of work stays around too. I find myself fighting the temptation to check email during the weekend, after 5pm, and when my children are awake and need me more than any client would. It’s a constant struggle of balancing my priorities.

    So, I cannot offer a solution to this question but I definitely appreciate the outlet to share my thoughts and hear all of yours. I wish you all the best!!

  16. scribbit says:

    I think many women would find it easier to find fulfillment in motherhood and nurturing their children if they could see the difference between being merely a Stay at Home Mom, which connotes stagnation and complacency and being a Homemaker, which is proactive and productive. It’s not your surroundings that determine your happiness.

  17. Dora says:

    Scribbit ~

    I hope you don’t take this the wrong way, but I was tempted to delete your comment. After reading about the struggles other women have experienced with this issue, and how they dealt with it (and not all coming to the same conclusions), I found your remarks to be rather jarring, and, well … judgemental and preachy. Then I had to chastise myself for being judgemental, and, well, preachy. Perhaps it might help me understand your point of view better if you could tell me how you came to your conclusions?

    President Kimball once wrote, “Your own journal, like most others, will tell of problems as old as the world, and how you dealt with them.” I like to think of the bloggernacle as a place where we can share our personal experiences to the benefit and learning of all. It’s so refreshing to hear from women with such different view points as Ana, Janna, Liz, and Virtualm. Thank you so much for sharing.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Aaahh… you touch on a topic that I have pondered as long as I knew what marriage was. Similar to most the other comments on here, I don’t have answers, only experiences which invite more questions. Personally I have always been torn by the desire to have a family and have a career and the feeling that I can’t have both. I was raised in a family where my mother was a homemaker and all of my siblings and in-laws have done the same in their own families, so pursuing a career has been a bit against the grain. But I also believe in the importance of the structure of the family… Ironically my career has taken me places where I have seen first hand, the poverty, neglect and abuse that results from a breakdown in the “traditional” structure of the family all over the world (traditional = mother & father, where mother provides primary care to infants and father is primary source of economic support). Now we could go on about semantics here and talk about primary vs. exclusive, and the problems with broad generalization etc… But I am not going there right now. Suffice it to say, I do feel there was a reason for the Family Proclamation. I felt it enough that when I married I did so at great personal, educational and professional sacrifice. And I did it no holds barred, because I believed he felt the same. However in the infancy of our marriage I discovered addictions and transgressions in my spouse that were not conducive to a family, but my faith caused me to stick around for quite some time trying to “fix” things. The result… Three years later, I am divorced and jobless…but for the right reasons, right 😉 I can not understate the extreme financial stress, loss of self-esteem, isolation and general vulnerability that has been the result of having given up my education/career for marriage. As my career is slowly sputtering back on the road I find myself asking if I would have made the same decisions and given up my career so easily were it not for my belief in the proclamation, and would I do it again? …with some hesitation I say yes, I would likely do it again (I would make a few changes ;-). And yes I do still feel the truth and value of the Family Proclamation. But the fact is people do not always behave the “right” way and we do not live in an ideal world. That is why Moses broke the original tablets and returned with only Ten Commandments and that is why the Israelites were given the Law of Moses. Even though we are given a higher law by Christ we still sometimes personally fall back onto behaviors more in line with the Law of Moses. Why? Because we are constantly struggling with the natural man on a personal and broader social level. I believe that in an ideal world, if everyone were following the higher laws of Christ, that there would be a stronger and more extended family support system, enabling women to care for children when they are most vulnerable and pursue things which would allow them to find personal satisfaction in using their talents and abilities on a broader social scale (i.e. work). For that matter, in and ideal world a woman would earn a similar wage to a man, and she would receive that wage even when she is on maternity leave (and during the most vulnerable years of that child’s life) because society would recognize her contribution to their own survival…some countries (mostly in Scandinavia) already do this!
    I do not think God ever intended women to be silent, anonymous contributors to society. There are plenty of women who through their talents and careers have made profound impacts on humanity, for example: Marie Curie & Florence Nightingale (who President Hinkley has even used as examples in talks). Were they wrong for having careers? ABSOLUTELY NOT! I think that they used their God given talents wisely. But because humans and society are imperfect sometimes they had to do it at the sacrifice of their families (Curie had children but Nightingale did not).
    I could look at my most recent experience and say, “look the proclamation didn’t work for me, I was not safe giving up my career for a family!” but I know that is not because God is not perfect, it is because man is not perfect and the resulting society is set up in such a way that I will always feel like I have to make a choice between family and career. It means it will likely be a balancing act and people will have to come up with creative solutions. I salute all you women who find ways to raise healthy children and use your talents in the public sector. I salute all the women who are lucky enough to stay home with their children; it is a blessing and a privilege to be able to do that today. It is unfortunate that society sometimes causes you to feel isolated and alone or even defensive about your decisions. In an ideal world you wouldn’t have to feel that way. And I salute all of you who struggle with less than ideal circumstances, who may not have either the family or the career they hoped for. Sometimes it is just to teach us patience and other times… well that is why we live on this earth, we hope for and believe in what is good (the family proclamation etc..) and know that if we do our best all will be worked out in heaven 🙂

  1. August 21, 2008

    […] the time I turned fourteen (or when my youngest brother turned seven). I’ve written before about how my mother gradually returned to the work force, and how my maternal grandmother took over many of the physical nurturing aspects of our home, and […]

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