Moms in the Second Act

I’m blessed to work in a female-dominant industry. Our CEO is female, as is her second in command and 1 of 2 Regional VPs. We have 16 different locations across 4 states, 15 are run by women and a huge majority of the staff is too. With an abundance of women, many who are also mothers (and grandmothers), it’s obvious there’s no shortage of struggle or mom-guilt. I’ve wrestled with both sides of the coin. I know the plight of the 9-5 working mom who pays someone else to spend the day with her kids and fights to have enough energy each evening. I’ve also known the struggle of a SAHM over waning finances and friendships, grasping on to my own identity and thirsting for adult conversation. The WAHM struggle, the part time struggle, the on-call / after hours struggle … trust me, they’re all different versions of the same beast.

I believe that women across the world feel the pull of their own personal and professional ambitions fighting against the needs of those who rely on them. The guilt of ‘how can I say ‘yes’ if it’s going to affect my family’ is rivaled only by the desperate, quiet cries of ‘but I need to be more than this.’ There’s no easy answer here. I remember, like it was yesterday, praying for a mentor. A woman who understood the reality of all of it, within my industry. Thankfully, my prayers were answered, she was right under my nose (and signing my paychecks) the whole time.

I’ll never forget the day she said to me in the midst of a professional crossroads, “I spent 10 years staying home with my kids before jumping back into the game. It’s all important. I get it.” Listen to me closely, mind … blown. The woman looking at me from across the table has a title that makes me drool. She’s powerful, a well-respected, industry leader and all around [email protected]$$. She’s also an incredible wife, mother and grandmother who cherishes her family above anything else. In my book, she’s done it all … just not all at once. Say it with me: We can have it all, just not all at once. Those are the words that I’ve chosen to live by as my journey as wife, woman and mother continues to evolve. I’ve also discovered that learning about women who were able to focus one season of their life, and skillfully adapt when it was time to change,  is a huge source of inspiration for me.  For example…

  • Did you know that Nancy Pelosi, otherwise known as SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE was a SAHM until her youngest of her five children was a senior in high school? For twenty-three years she packed lunch boxes, drove carpools and settled sibling disputes. In a Washington Post article, she described that time as“the best life and some of the worst days.” Regardless of your political beliefs, those nine words describe motherhood in a practically perfect way. (image courtesy of www.biography.com)
  • How about, Mary Kay Ash? She was a divorced single mother of three, making ends meet by selling books door-to-door. It wasn’t until she was 45 years old, with the help of her 20-year-old son and her life savings, she started a company that has changed the way the world things about sales and skin care. (The Story of Mary Kay, Inc. www.marykaymusem.com)
  • Have you watched Desperate Housewives? Do you remember a little show called The West Wing? The late Kathryn Joosten, an actress in both spent her early adulthood momming in a suburb of Chicago. She raised two sons and worked as a psychiatric nurse before moving to Hollywood and chasing her dream … in her 40s. Guess what? She even won a couple of Emmy’s! (www.imdb.com)
  • Sixteen years ago, the idea for the series Twilight was only a idea in the mind of receptionist turned stay-at-home mom Stephanie Meyer. Now, the former USA Today, Author of the Year continues to juggle the roles of wife and working-mom … oh, and she added Movie Producer to her resume. (www.wikipedia.com, www.stephaniemeyer.com)

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I just need a reminder that “For everything, there is a season…” (Ecc 3:1, ESV) If this season for is exhausting, and you feel like your drowning in diapers, duties or decisions, have faith. Listen to me, Momma, you are exactly where you are supposed to be. The work you’re doing right now is important and is preparing you for what the future holds, and one day this season will be over. Who knows, maybe you’ll be Speaker of the House? Or maybe you’ll finally find a place have an uninterrupted conversation within your own home. Either way, your family is lucky to have you, doing exactly what you should be right this very moment. If they’re smart, they’re saving seats in the front row, ready to watch all of the good things that are headed your way. And you? You’ll be ready for them too.

Jenny Prevost is an aspiring author, french fry fanatic + founder of www.betherebox.com, a giftbox company geared for the tough stuff in life. In a very small town way, she fell hard for the boy who grew up one street over + married him. She is now Momma to three lovable kiddos (and one lively lab) + can be found her in her garden or playing outside. She has a passion for creative living + whole heartedly believes Brene Brown when she says, “The magic is in the mess.”

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