Saturday, May 9, 2015

This Mom's Got Skills

Wow, I really fell off the writing wagon for awhile. I got busy with freelance design projects and just did not have time to write. It simply was not essential at a time when I was working literally every one of my waking and my children's non-waking moments. (I just read--well, listened--to the book Essentialism by Greg McKeown, which was absolutely fabulous and I hope to write an entire post on it soon.)

But things are settling down as far as design projects go, so I plan to get back to writing a post a week.

In the meantime, you can check out one of the projects that took me away from writing. I did the layout for the May/June issue of the Desert Shamrock, which you can view online or pickup a copy at the Irish Cultural Center or many other locations around Arizona--visit for details. It was my first newspaper project since my newspaper design class at ASU the summer of 2004 (or was it 2003? Man, time flies!). I learned a lot from the project and am thankful I got the opportunity!

It was a lot of work but also a lot of fun, and I am very grateful to my family for making it possible. Without their babysitting help or my husband and kids enduring a messy house and lousy food for a couple of weeks, I wouldn't have been able to tackle this project.

I am very blessed with a husband who supports my personal and career development. While I am more and more confident each day in my decision to be a stay at home mom during this season of life, I know from my mom's experience how important it is to have marketable skills.

My mom stayed at home during my first 18 years of life. She had stepped down from her position as a nursing instructor at the University of Iowa to raise us three kids. When my parents decided to homeschool, her stay-at-home role was cemented. She wouldn't be re-entering the workforce when we all entered school as many moms do.

I never heard her utter a complaint about her role, and her career seemed irrevocably behind her. Until the day my dad became disabled and suddenly she had to go back to work.

She took a refresher course at a community college to get her nursing license renewed, and went back to work at the hospital. Her college education and dedication to her early career really paid off decades later!

Her influence was obvious when I chose to study graphic design in college. "This is something I could do at home when I have kids," I thought...even though at the time I didn't want to be a stay at home mom. I guess I wanted to keep my options open.

And now, here I am 14 or so years later, using the skills I learned in college to bring home some (itty-bitty) bacon while staying at home with my kids. My goal is to keep my skills sharp so that, if and when I do need to reenter the full-time workforce, I am ready.

So my advice to any girls out there who plan to be stay at home moms and are debating whether to go to college/trade it! Yes, being a stay at home mom is awesome and very important, and yeah maybe you won't ever use your degree/certificate...but it is far more likely that you will need it someday. And you can learn skills that you can use while being stay at home mom. Remember, there will be life after kids...will you be ready for it?

I for one and very thankful for the excellent example God gave me in my mom! I love you, Mom! Happy Mother's Day!

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