When I became a mother, I vowed to do things differently from my mother. After all, who wants to be their mother. Did you swear that you would never turn into your mother? Even as she was baking wonder breads, maintaining a perfect house, sewing on a button or placing a band aid on a scrapped knee, I didn’t want to be my mother. I had no idea what motherhood entailed at that point in my life. Over the course of the years, I have learned that parenting and keeping a marriage together are tough jobs. Once you step into the arena of parenting and marriage, it changes your life forever. There’s no manual on parenting or how to have a successful marriage. Life is simply trial and error.
I grow up in a traditional household, my father worked and my mother took care of 7 children and the home. Yep, I said 7. She cooked, cleaned, did the laundry, and made sure homework was done. Additionally, she attended PTA meetings, got us to bed on time, and sent us to Sunday School every Sunday. She washed clothes in a wringer washer, hung them on a clothes line, ironed, cleaned windows with vinegar and water, and cooked meals in stockpots.
I remember taking clothes off the line when they were stiff as boards because they were frozen. I also remember the best smelling sheets. It was a good life for the most part. Nevertheless, I still did not want to be my mother. I just wanted to be me whoever that was.
True to form I kept my word. I stayed home with my daughter for awhile, but Corporate America was calling my name. My mother thought my choices were awful. Microwaved food, traveling around the country, and divorcing was not something a traditional woman did. As time went on she accepted my choices, and I didn’t feel guilty about not becoming my mother. We both realized that times change; where I come from doesn’t make me who I am.
Many woman were breaking the traditional ideology. When my daughter was in ballet, dads were bringing their daughters to class. Men and women were sharing the responsibility of getting kids to their destination and managing the home. Men were cooking, washing dishes, doing laundry and women were mowing lawns. Women were entering the workforce, bringing the bacon, frying it up and still taking care of their homes. Some were bringing in more money than their husbands. Many were holding it down without a husband.
I’ve enjoyed my years in the workforce, but I’m entering a new chapter in my life. I have decided to leave the work force within the next year. My career has been a journey. I’ve learned many lessons along the way. Working outside the home has taught me leadership skills. It has also allowed me to become a better business woman. Most importantly it has taught me that I no longer want to be apart of the work force.
My mother is aging, but I hope she remembers some of the yummy recipes that she fixed when we were children. I’m looking forward to making jams, getting my grandchildren for the summer, and traveling across this great country. I’m looking forward to scrap booking the thousands of pictures that I have stored. Last, I’m looking forward to enjoying a cup of coffee on my deck as I’m listening to the birds tweet and bunnies play.