Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Confessions from an Ambitious Mom

I have all this weirdness swirling around in my head. I wanted to share my thoughts with people and receive some feedback. And so, enter blog.

I just graduated. I just graduated! Wow. That's a blog in itself (but one for another time).

I'm trying to focus on two things this summer. First, I'd like to score my dream job or something in the ballpark. And second, I need to raise enough money to cover my India expenses. The first one has my attention at the moment, and so that's sort of the bigger picture focus for this blog. The second one is looming eerily in the background of my mind, but I'll worry about that later.

Can I just say I love to job hunt? I've been researching Guerilla Job Searching. I love the idea - using innovation and creativity and taking risks - it feels overwhelming and scary and so right. I'm sure I'll blog about that later, too. But, that's not really the focus of this one.

So, the twelve dollar question, what is this blog about?

I've been feeling conflicted lately. A LOT of my friends are stay-at-home moms. Some of them even home-school. I have a couple of friends who used to work, or are working now, but have decided to quit their jobs to be at home with their kids.

That's never really been an option for me. If you read my last blog then you know that I've been praying for Jermaine to find a killer career so I could do something similar. Similar, but not exactly the same. If I'm honest with myself I have to admit that even if it was possible for me to stay at home, I probably wouldn't. It's not that I don't want to devote my life to Sadie and our future children, I do - and I hope when they reach adulthood they'll know that.

But, I'm so ambitious. I want to work. And I want that work to yield monetary dividends. I have all of this creativity and passion bubbling up inside of me. I would venture that most moms do. But I don't want to focus all of it on Sadie. Sure, I want to bring her along for the ride. And I pray that my passions help shape her character and enable us to bond. But, a lot of what I aspire to has nothing directly to do with her.

I think that's the heart of this blog - that my work doesn't include her - and that, for the most part, I'm okay with that. It makes me wonder, tho - it encourages the little voice inside my head that is constantly probing - is there something wrong with me?

It's the age old mommy question. And I'm a sociology major - I've studied this exact phenomenon - I should know better. But life so much more complicated than it seems when you're studying it.

There are mommies I look up to - ambitious ones just like me. Phyllis Tickle, Katharine Weymouth, and Keri Wyatt Kent all come to mind.

I think, oddly tho, most of the people I look up to and aspire to emulate are dads - Rob Bell, Bob Goff, Eminem, Cameron Strang, Don Miller (although, he's not technically a dad), and Gary Haugen.

And I when I flip through the executive pages of the companies I want to work for - Relevant, IJMMars Hill, Restore International - I see all these men and I think, wow, we need to do something about this! We need more women to participate in running the show (kudos to Polaris Project, a notable exception) . And I think (I think) that's what I'm supposed to do. I think God has made me aware of this and is inviting me to work toward leadership in some capacity - whether now or in the future. All of my desires and endeavors are leadership related. And I feel thrilled, honored, and excited by my calling.

But, where does that leave Sadie? And how do I deal with the guilt - that little voice that insists I don't measure up as a mother? How do I find balance. And why does this seemingly unachievable balance seem to come so easy for fathers?

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