Wednesday, November 17, 2010
I was reading through a site called the Power of Moms. They have a weekly question and this week's one hit close to home for me. A woman wrote in saying that she was a stay at home mom while her husband was pursuing a graduate degree. She felt that he was passing her by intellectually and that she often felt uneducated while socializing at his work parties. They couldn't afford to have her go back to school and she didn't want to leave raising her child to another so she posed the question of how she could advance her learning while still raising her son? image source
I have often thought of this myself. After Aaron graduated from one of the top business schools in the country he passed his CPA exam and joined with one of the "Big 4" accounting firms. Now he is moving up the corporate ladder one day at a time and find myself looking further and further up the road to see his little form moving ahead. I don't want to be left behind. But I also acknowledge that I am where I am supposed to be right now (at home).
At the wedding this weekend I found myself talking with friends and family of the bride and groom and after talking about my daughter, where we lived, the basics, I felt like that was all I had to offer. So we kept the conversation geared towards their work, their pursuit of another job, the pros and cons of what they do etc.. and I realized how sheltered I'd been lately with my local girlfriends where we talk all day long about our kids and running the household. Now, there is nothing wrong with that. But when it came time to talk with people who were walking differently through life I felt strangely behind and lacking in accomplishments.
The answers women posted provided many great ideas, some of which I've decided to implement myself:
1) Subscribe to monthly journals from the field you graduated in. Or, I could add, take up reading the local paper, the NYTimes or Wall Street Journal.
2) Take an evening class at a local community college once or twice a week.
3) Keep in mind that life won't be this way for long. Kids grow up!
4) Read more nonfiction as opposed to novels or 'beach reads'
5) Learn a new craft, skill or sport. It keeps your mind sharp and in the pattern of learning.
6) Take an online class (BYU offers free personal enrichment courses)
7) Take this time to learn from your children. You can learn a lot of things at this time in life that you couldn't otherwise in an institution like a university.
8) The book A Thomas Jefferson Education (http://www.tjed.org/) learn education a traditional way.
9) Create a place to record the things you learn everyday. Such as journaling, scrapbooking or a notebook to write down things you learn. If you're in a book group, jot down notes to make your reading approach more analytic.
10) Motherhood is a career. Look up and find out ways you can be the best person for the job.
11). Find something you're interested in, gardening, another language, swimming, sewing etc. Take up a challenge. Research the heck out of it during your spare time through the internet, library, others in that field, a specific group that meets each month. When you've mastered it, move onto the next interest you have.
12) Make a list of the "classics" and read one novel at a time. (Aaron is actually doing this and I'm amazed the list of books he has read and will be reading)
13). Susan Wise Bauer's book The Well Educated Mind.
14). "Books with a goal". A woman had the GOAL of parent teaching gymnastics to children. Then she RESEARCHED 100's of books. EXPERIENCED taking her kids to local gymnastics classes to see what she liked and didn't like. READ online articles about child development, left brain, right brain development etc. All towards her aforementioned goal.
This Q & A session gave me so much insight into what I can also do while raising Toothless. Do you have any other ideas? Something you're working on now?
*disclaimer: this is in no way implying that motherhood is not "enough", that you have to be worldly to be accomplished or that Aaron is leaving me in the dust. It is simply a list of ideas suggested for one who feels the urge to broaden their intellect and capabilities while maintaining their primary duties be it in the home or at work.