Monday, September 22, 2008

Live In Your Season

My friend Megan left her professional life after her oldest child was born.


She told me once that she used to worry about it. 

"Will I ever get back in the game?  Will I excel again?  Will I be a success?"

On one occasion when she was fretting about it, her mentor told her to “live in her season.”

“Now is your season of motherhood,” she said.  “There will be plenty of time later for you to focus on your career.”

I think about that a lot… about living in my season.

I haven’t been particularly focused on my career since I became a mother.

Consequently, I’m not winning any awards for my innovation or influence in my field.

[I did win Mom of the Week in blogland once though...]

Instead, I’m doing what I can at thirty hours a week and at the same time, taking the short and loud people to the doctor and prioritizing family life in general.

As a result, I've established a good work – life balance.

That feels important... and worth it.

But sometimes I still have moments where I worry that I should be trying harder professionally.

In those moments I try to remind myself...

"Live in your season, friend."

Now is my season of motherhood.





35 comments:

Patience said...

And I think you fit your season very well!

Omaha Mama said...

My mom has always said to me (for the five long years I've been a mom any way) that she wished women knew how long they had to work after the kids were grown. Which always felt a bit like a dig, since I've chosen to do the work-outside-the-home-mom thing. But I get it, I do. It is a damn long time. I think I've got, like, 28 or so years left of work. Balance.
Seasons.

Cheers.

Natalie said...

How incredibly true this is. As a working, single mother, I can't possibly put my all into my career and quite frankly, I don't want to. Right now I want to make ends meet and raise my son. Not that better than ends meet isn't desirable, it's just that I can't and don't want to be aggressive enough to be better than that. I watch my coworkers with older or grown children work umpteen hours for my company during our busiest seasons without prodding, whereas I will only do it if I am getting behind or asked. Yes, they are looked on more favorably, but I try to remember that they are at a different stage in life. It won't be long before my son doesn't need me anymore, so I want to enjoy these years (and not keep him in daycare more than 9 LONG hours a day) as long as I can.

kurrabikid said...

Sometimes a nugget of wisdom is just ... perfectly applicable. And I love this one. Thanks for a timely reminder of what's important.

carrie said...

Mine too!

All that other crap can wait.

QT said...

Very well said, Jess.

zellmer said...

Thank you for this. I've felt spread thin in my career since having children, and I've also felt guilt for not wanting to kick ass at work. I'd rather excel at home. I quit a freelance job a few weeks ago because they wanted me to work late hours and I had to say, "then you'll need to find another writer." It's just more important to me that my children are never the last ones picked up from daycare. I like this seasons philosophy. It makes me feel validated. Thank you.

HW said...

You will not regret any time you spend with your kids right now. When they reach high school and you are scratching your head wondering how this happened so quickly, you'll be glad for this season of life.

But for the moms who work full time, your kids get it. They know they are your priority. I was raised by a single mother who sometimes had to put career first to feed and clothe four children, but I never felt slighted. Your little ones will grow up feeling just fine about your choices.

WILLIAM said...

Mother Season. Duck Season. Mother Season. Duck Season.

Lala said...

I've been trying to adopt this as my mantra ever since you left it as a comment on my friend Panda's blog. I thought it was brilliant. I have no career to distance myself from though because I've never found my niche. I hope to figure something out over the next year so I can do something satisfying for the next 5 years.

Lala said...

I meant 25 years

Janet said...

Lovely concept: the season of moterhood.

I sometimes fret about having left my corporate job 7 years ago (and the promotions and stock options that went with it). But then I remind myself what I was told by a successful philanthropist I interviewed for an article I was writing. He spoke of death bed projections - - projecting forward to your death bed and really focusing on what you will want to remember about your life; what legacy you want to leave. I want to remember this season of motherhood clearly and without regret. Suddenly, the job I left seems insignificant.

BOSSY said...

And Bossy thinks the season suits you.

Sayre said...

To everything there is a season - and a purpose under heaven.

This includes Motherhood!

BlondeMomBlog (Jamie) said...

And all the working mamas said "Amen."

I can very much relate.

p.s. love the picture :)

Grim Reality Girl said...

I agree the season suits you and commend you on taking stock and realizing it. Work continues for me, but it is a backseat priority. I'm working for a paycheck at the moment -- a renewed career can begin later... or maybe not even then!!! Live in the now is the way it was phrased when I got this advice. I remind myself often -- 10 years from now will I regret not working late tonight? I think not!!!

Amy @ Milk Breath and Margaritas said...

Judging by the photo, it looks very successful to me!

Where do I get one of these wise mentor-people??

Super B's Mom said...

Over the last five years, I've realized just how quickly loyalties fade at the office. But when I walk in the front door every evening - my most loyal of fans is standing there smiling.

Nothing else matters to me. I just try to do what I can to earn my paycheck and hurry home to my boy.

I love the concept of seasons. Really puts things in perspective.

Above Average Joe said...

As I talk with Mrs. Joe over tha past year, trying to figure out what went wrong, this has become one of the biggest challenges for her.
She's trying to be everything instead in living in her season.

Christina_the_wench said...

Boo!

Cece said...

I am adopting that phrase, thanks.

Magpie said...

I like that, J. Thanks.

MamaGeek said...

Smart woman, you.

I loved this and I think it's one of those thoughts that will stick in my head for a long, long time.

Queen of the Mayhem said...

You can only do what you can do! That is what I continue to tell myself!

Once, while I was sobbing to my principal about how sick one my babies were and how I didn't know what to do about it, she told me something I take to heart. She said, "I tell you what you do....you go home, take care of your child, and when he is better work will still be here."

I tell myself that when I start to fret over my priorities. I am doing the best that I can...for the season I am experiencing!

Patois said...

I wish I'd had a mentor like that. I'm enjoying this season. I'm becoming sorrowful of its end.

katy said...

My grandma once told me that when you die no one is going to stand over your body and say "she always got her work finished and stayed at work late." You children will stand over your casket and say "she always had time for us"

JoeinVegas said...

I think it does look like a very nice season.

Anissa Mayhew said...

I like this season, and it gets to be so very different for each person, that's what makes it fun.

Waiting Amy said...

Thanks for this. I too gave up my professional career with the advent of motherhood. And it is the type of profession I may not be able to return to after such a long hiatus. But this truly is my season, and motherhood is what I need to be doing.

nutmeg said...

Damn, this is one long season! When do I get to buy new clothes?

April said...

This is such a great, enlightening post! If only we all did (live in our "own season" ) that all the time!

EmmaK said...

Very good advice. This is my season of motherhood too. Although I think I preferred the season of tequila slammers and dancing till dawn more.

Jenifer said...

That is such a nice way of looking at balance.

Laski Gal said...

I'm living in my season and enjoying it more than I thought possible . . . but I wonder what happens when the seasons change. Will I embrace the falling leaves, will I miss the feel of snow, the sound of rain???

I'm sure I will . . .

Mac and Cheese said...

I loved reading this. Occasionally I worry about the next season but do my best to bury the thought as I am enjoying motherhood so much. Good to know I'm not the only one.