Friday, January 27th, 2012
Working moms, has anyone ever said to you, of your life with a job and a family, and possibly school or whatever else you do– “I don’t know how you do it?”
Scratch that. It’s not a question. I know you’ve heard that before.
These people mean well. And hey, I’m certainly not complaining. It’s a compliment, really. It means they respect you and the things you have accomplished. But although I’m appreciative of their admiration, I can’t help but think that they don’t exactly understand.
I was chatting with a friend this week and we somehow got talking about traveling, and I was telling him about the trip I took to Belize to do dental work. He leaned back in his chair and looked at me and said, “I don’t get how you’ve done so many things with your life, in spite of the fact that you have a kid.”
It was a compliment, but, well… he doesn’t quite get it, does he?
We don’t do things in spite of the fact that we have children. We do things because we have them.
I finished dental school and travel and write and do all the other things I’ve done (and all of the things I want to do) because I want to be the kind of woman my daughter wants to be when she grows up. I want her to respect me and look up to me and basically just think that I am really, really cool. I want to be her biggest role model. I want her to be proud of me.
And most of all, I want her to have all the opportunities I’ve had, and more.
Being a single mom does make having a career more difficult and complicated, I certainly won’t argue with that. But Caroline isn’t some impediment that I’m trying to work around– she’s the reason and motivating factor behind everything I do.
When I graduated from dental school (at last), I wrote that Caroline was not an obstacle to my achievement, but my biggest motivation and the reason I never lost sight of my goal. And I think that’s how it is for all of us who choose to take on both a career and motherhood simultaneously. Being a parent, and to a greater degree, a single parent, should never be the reason you don’t follow a dream.
It should be the reason you do.