Friday, March 20, 2015

Bring Your Child to Work Day? Thank you, but No Thank You (Repost from Open Salon)

As the sun sets on another “Bring Your Child to Work Day” I am relishing the tranquility of not having brought my children to work.
There is nothing I love more than driving home to my children at the end of a day.  The tight clutch of a three year old hugging my knees; a ten year old taking a break from “tech-decking,” running full-speed down carpeted stairs, nearly sliding into a once white wall yelling “Mommyyyy….” all the way down; and a fourteen year old crossing and uncrossing her arms, chewing the ends of her braids, racing against her two brothers to be the first to ask how my day was—there is nothing like being back home.
Yet, I have to work.
I work for a living. 
I work to make a living. 
 I also work because I need the balance of responsibilities outside of the personal, intricate web of motherhood.  I was caught up once, so deep into motherhood that although I worked full time, I didn’t quite exist outside of my role as mother.  One day and two children later, I took a class in owning a bed and breakfast.  Going back to college had seemed like an improbability until I came home to as many children as I had left. 
A few weeks later I enrolled in classes at a local community college, then on the verge of completion, I enrolled in an undergraduate program atUniversity of Maryland University College.  By the time I walked for graduation, I had already begun graduate school at Johns Hopkins.  With each class, each accomplishment, each degree, I gained a bit more of myself. Two and a half years later, as I prepare to walk this May, I have immerged, stronger, fuller, more complete as a mother, a sister, a daughter, a friend, a lover, a neighbor: an individual.
Motherhood is the hardest project, the most fulfilling, rewarding, tiring, all consuming, giving, receiving job I have ever tackled.
Writing, researching, crafting, creating, troubleshooting, negotiating, implementing, multitasking, no matter how challenging the task in the office, I work away from home to appreciate coming home. 

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