“My Career—Motherhood,” Ensign, Oct. 1994, 73
I have often thought of the similarities between a career in the work force and my chosen career as a homemaker. I have found that when I think of motherhood and homemaking as my profession, I am more satisfied and fulfilled with my choice to stay home. Here are some ways I treat my chosen career with respect.
Dress for success. Many professions are associated with a certain style of clothing. Although my clothing style changes depending on what I do in a given day, I avoid dressing sloppily. Wearing a touch of lipstick or a dab of perfume helps me have a positive attitude.
Continuing education. People in the work force must keep informed of new developments in their field in order to maintain their credibility. It’s no different for a homemaker. New ideas for child rearing can give practical help in maintaining discipline, understanding our children’s development, and helping our children develop spiritually. Workshops, seminars, books, magazines, and television documentaries are some resources I use that add to my understanding of my service.
Many professionals attend annual conventions to associate with colleagues and to keep abreast of current issues. Next time you attend a monthly homemaking meeting, consider that you are taking part in a homemakers’ convention. One purpose of these meetings is to help you have greater success in your career.
Break time. A ten-minute break in the morning and afternoon and an hour at lunch is a common part of many work schedules. Homemakers also need breaks to avoid feeling burned out in their career. It is important to me to take regular breaks from whatever I’m doing to write a letter, call a friend, read a book, push a swing, or sing a song. Children benefit from a change of scenery and the day’s routine as well.
Association with colleagues. An advantage many people enjoy in the working world is the opportunity to meet and associate with other adults. I need this association as well. Spending day after day with no one but my little ones to talk to can bring frustration and discouragement. I have learned to create opportunities to enjoy adult conversation and friendships through experiences such as exercise classes and visiting with another mother at a nearby park while our children play. These and other activities supplement my lifestyle and bring greater contentment to the time I spend with my children.
Wages. Although there are many ways that homemakers can save money, the real wages aren’t paid in hard currency. I like to think of being paid when I watch my babies learn to walk, when I can care for a sick child all day, when a school child runs home to show me something he made in class, and when I see the joy in a child’s face as she tries on something I’ve sewn for her. It’s important to notice and appreciate things that are of an eternal value.
Recognition and appreciation. Motherhood and homemaking occupy positions of honor, but recognition and appreciation are often slow in coming. On days when I feel discouraged and unappreciated, I love to read scriptures such as Doctrine and Covenants 122, especially verse nine: “Thy days are known, and thy years shall not be numbered less; … for God shall be with you forever and ever.” [D&C 122:9] Studying the gospel and learning of my worth to God give me assurance that my efforts in my chosen career are worthwhile.
I have learned to cultivate a positive attitude toward my chosen profession of motherhood. I find great joy, fulfillment, and satisfaction in the important work I do in my own home.—Karen Peterson Mosley, Tucson, Arizona