I read the Perspective by Lindsey Mead ’96 (Sept. 22) about work-life balance. Although Lindsey is fortunate to have a choice between working part time or full time, her angst is shared by many working mothers.
I used to worry that my education was wasted, but I now see that it taught me some essential survival skills — how to face challenges, see the big picture, attend to details, and set priorities. It helped me when I had to sacrifice my career to care for my parents. It made me a stronger person and taught me to empower myself.
As for my “dream job,” it wasn’t what I had hoped. Recently, facing job loss, I pushed myself to pursue opportunities outside of my comfort zone. I have been in a “new” job for two years. It’s not what I had planned, but I am happy. I may not be finding a cure for cancer, but my job allows me to solve problems and provide for my family.
I hope Lindsey realizes that splitting time between career and family does not mean doing “a poor job in both.” We may not accomplish as much as we hope to, but we are being effective and productive. We are teaching values to our children. And that’s saying a lot.
One of my happiest moments as a mother occurred last week, when my young daughter was working on an assignment that asked what she wanted to be when she grew up. To my surprise (and honor), she wrote that she wants to be “a mom” — not a doctor, teacher, or astronaut. Perhaps I’m doing something right after all ...