No, this isn’t a blog about football, but it is about surviving and thriving as a working mother.
At 62 I’ve been married to the same wonderful man for 37 years, raised 4 beautiful daughters and am the proud grandma of 3 toddler grandsons. I’ve worked since I was 16 (as most of us have) and always thought that I would be a stay at home mom. After all, that’s the way MY mother and many others of the post WWII era did it! We were supposed to graduate high school, get married, have babies and stay home.
I have worked in one form or another my whole life. From freelance artist to Creative Director positions in Ad Agencies, to starting my own company in 1986, it’s been a roller coaster ride of adventure.
As an older working mom I know how tough it can be. I had three kids within four years and don’t remember a hell of a lot during that time because I never got any real sleep. Even today a song will come on the radio and someone will ask me if I remember it and I won’t because it was released between 1977 and 1981! By day I took care of babies, by night I was a freelance artist. I rejoiced when I got all three of them out of diapers and the first morning that all three were in full time school I was ready to party! Mothers were standing on the sidewalk in front of the school all teary-eyed, crying because their baby was starting school. I ran home and grabbed a glass of wine to celebrate. I didn’t even feel guilty about it! And guess what? After selling the cribs, the high chairs, and the “baby” stuff because I thought it was over… I FOUND MYSELF PREGNANT AGAIN!
I was on the down slope to 40 and was starting all over again. Talk about a crazed woman! By this time I was working a full time job, renovating an old Victorian and here I was with stretch marks worse than ever! Exhausted? There wasn’t even a word that could come close to how I felt. And so seven years after the last of the first three went to school my fourth beautiful daughter came into my life.
As I look back over it all I can’t believe that I survived four C-Sections, clients who rival those on the TV show Mad Men, hundreds of PTO fundraisers, too many corporate board meetings, 17 absolutely identical Christmas Pageants, thousands of media deadlines, countless Emergency Room visits, 37 years of running my own business, and nerve wracking Driver’s Ed classes. When the girls came down with chicken pox I was lucky enough to catch them too! Many a day I felt like a Zombie… And that was well before it all became so popular to be one. And do you know what? With all of that, with all the balancing act that I had to play throughout my life… My daughters all grew up to be beautiful, productive, caring human beings.
It’s been an adventure… and still is.