The “Oh, Crap” Moment

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I blame my husband.

As we settle into bed each night, I snuggle against the warmth of his back. It is in this moment of pure solace, that my mind rests – often for the first time all day.

A few nights ago, just before slumber, a realization startled me. We are raising two children that will become two adults. We are raising humans.

Oh, crap.

To be frank, this is the side of parenting that no one wants to discuss. It is far easier to exist in a state of denial or ignorance than to accept that we are actively shaping the malleable future with both our parenting AND the way we are living our own lives.

It doesn’t matter what is projected on social media, the truth will be expressed in the child.

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A Raisin in the Son

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They were the words all mothers hope they never have to hear: “I stick a raisin up my nose!”

And so began my first week back in the saddle of employment.

I would be lying if I said my return to the working world was smooth, rested, and joyous. To be honest, most things have an edge of sour when you are not sleeping well. For as excited as I was to teach young people again, I could easily recognize the compounding stress of a full-time job lurking in the shadows.

My toddler son’s triumphant announcement echoed in my ears until the great raisin extraction ensued three hours later.

Expect the unexpected, they say.

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The Last Eleven Pounds

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When I stare into the mirror, I see an inflated version of myself. Eleven pounds – to be exact – have been added. At times, I struggle to recognize this latest reflection of myself. She looks tired.

As I write this, it is approximately 10:42 p.m., and my body wants to run. I have eaten calories that need to be burned. And yet, I am readying myself for bed. Sleep trumps fitness and any neurotic weight concerns that I may have.

The children will need my energy and, more importantly, an agreeable mood tomorrow.

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The Two-Career Conundrum

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In Matthew Chapter 6*, Jesus discusses a person’s inability to serve two masters, but I would have to respectfully disagree – that is, if we are to consider the two-career conundrum that mothers who wish to work outside of the home face. Mothers, of course, seek or return to an external occupation for various reasons, but the emotional, psychological, and, often, physical ties to their children never diminish. If a woman is to contribute to the world vocationally, she must bear the weight of an additional career and somehow find a balance between the two.

For myself, this looks an awful lot like a hangover. Continue reading “The Two-Career Conundrum”

The Bus That Leads Home

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When I shared with my father that I, a 20-year-old graduate student, would be volunteering in Nicaragua during spring break 2007, his response was, in a word, strong. I explained that I would be working with orphans. No give. I emphasized the poverty that the children faced. No give. I told him that I was ready to see the world. No give.

I couldn’t see it then, but his anger and painful disapproval originated from a place of love.

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