These days, like most working moms, I struggle with the pull of family verses work commitments. I have set up my work to allow myself to be with my daughter more by having the clinic at my house. My sisters never saw my dad. I only saw him because I went with him to work when I could. My dad was a workaholic. But it wasn't just that. He loved his work and so do I.
I used to feel guilty that I got more pleasure out of work than being a mom, but I do. I would die for Shelley, but I won't stop work for her. I have gone through the guilt and I accept my limitations as a mother. I do all the right things I should do as a mother. I take her to school and pick her up most days. I nag her about homework and I talk to her teachers. I take her to softball and I watch her games. On the outside I am a great mother.
The young secretary
She will be in the office soon waking up. She will come in and sit on my lap and we will tell each other we love the other. I will ask her if she wants a pancake that I will make from scratch. She will decline because I asked. If I didn't ask, she would ask for one. If it is Sunday, our one day off, she will then trod off to either the TV room, or start up “her” music or go upstairs to Lego land in the loft. She does therapy up there where she lives the life she would like to live among her Lego friends or resolves conflicts that have plagued her at school.
I will be here on the computer writing, reading or “doing the bookwork”. After I shower I will do some cleaning up and Shelley will ask me to play catch. She likes to play softball and she aspires to pitch so we play for fifteen minutes or so several times a day. I love softball too and while I have one hundred other things I should be doing, I always stop for a quick game. We discuss life as we play. I used to practice cricket with Duncan, my stepson from my marriage, when he was sixteen and often I would catch or bowl to him. I doubt many moms do that here in Australia certainly not the fifty plus moms. You take your life in your hands with that deadly hard cricket ball. But despite the fact I am outwardly a good mom, I still secretly derive more pleasure from my work.
2 Pulling the neighbor's foal with Odette and Jescinta Applebee, Megan Tuckwell and Elizabeth Hatcher