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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Managing Expectations

Another day, another study about working moms and stay-at-home moms.

***Sigh***

For your reference, here you go http://www.washington.edu/news/articles/lesdepression-for-working-moms-who-expect-that-they-2018can2019t-do-it-all2019

This study suggest that moms who work outside the home are less depressed than their stay-at-home counterparts. However, that's only true when working moms don't take on the I-am-supermom-and-can-do-it-all-perfectly attitude.

In a nutshell, working moms need to chill. No mom ever picked raising a family while managing a career because it is the path of least resistance. It's hard. Dang hard. And we all need to realize that some things may need to slide in order to maintain our sanity.

It all boils down to priorities and attitudes for working moms. Choose your priorities both at home and at the office, get a positive attitude about your choices, and forget the rest.

Pardon me for stepping on my soapbox, but I am weary of women who whine about the need to work outside the home to help financially support their families.

Get. Over. It!

It is not the opportunities and challenges that present themselves in our lives that define us; rather, it is the way we choose to respond to those opportunities and challenges that reveal our true character. Great blessings are in store for us when we embrace opportunities and challenges rather than throw ourselves a pity party because "life is hard."

I can't tell you how many times I've been blasted out of my comfort zone in the workplace. And you know what? Those experiences have made me a stronger and more determined person. That tenacity has been helpful during the last few weeks as I've learned to deal with my father's illness.

I don't write these words to diminish stay-at-home moms. The above-mentioned article states there is truth to the adage "Stay-at-home moms have the hardest job in the world."

My hat is off to you ladies who are in the trenches on the homefront 24/7. I value the stay-at-home moms who take on the roles of school and community volunteers. I appreciate their watchful eyes and kinds words towards my own children.

And truly, I'm not so worried if working moms or stay-at-home-moms are more or less depressed than the other. I'm concerned that moms are depressed.

Life is about managing expectations. Don't set the bar so high that you can never achieve your goals.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Bravo Ladies!

Due to recent events surrounding my father's illness*, I've spent dozens of hours at the hospital in the last three weeks. Hanging out at the hospital has given me the unique opportunity to meet many women in the healthcare profession.

It may sound nutty, but I've really enjoyed watching these women in their professional element. And because I'm a talker, I've come to learn that many of these ladies are also moms.

This evening I attended back-to-school night with my daughters and met their teachers. Both teachers appeared professional and quite capable in their jobs. And both teachers mentioned in the course of their presentations that they are moms.

I'm so impressed by these women, both at the hospital and the school. They approach their jobs with enthusiasm and professionalism. Their attitudes are refreshing and uplifting. They have inspired me to do more good at my own office.

Bravo ladies!


*updates on Dad's illness are found here: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/cliffordwhetten

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Thankful

The last two weeks have been among the most difficult of my 41+ years. Someone said it's like an emotional rollercoaster, but I feel more like it's an emotional climb of Mt. Everest.

On August 6th, my parents made an emergency return from their mission in Peru. A few days later, my father was diagnosed with a malignant pancreatic tumor. To complicate matters, the tests that were performed to assess the tumor resulted in an extremely severe case of pancreatitis that caused most of my Dad's organs to not function properly. As a a result, 5 of the 14 days my Dad has been in the hospital were spent in the ICU.

At this point, we still don't when my Dad will be strong enough for surgery. And it won't be until after the surgery that we know the extent of the tumor that is in my Dad's pancreas and bile duct.

But even during this incredible challenge, there have been many sweet moments.

When I've been alone in the hospital room with my Dad, we've had very special father-daughter talks. He has shared with me his testimony, thoughts and beliefs. At times, the Spirit is so strong I feel more like I'm in the temple than a hospital.

I had the privilege of being at the hospital when Elder Russell M. Nelson unexpectedly walked in the room, spoke with Dad, and gave him a Priesthood blessing. It was an amazing experience.

There have been other moments when I've been in tears at my home, or the office, or in my car, and the Spirit has calmed me almost immediately so I can carry on with the things I need to do.

And I've had the privilege of reading the many guestbook messages posted on this website http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/cliffordwhetten along with other emails to my Dad and Mom. I've always known they are wonderful people, but to read how Dad and Mom have touched the lives of so many others has been a blessing.

I have had many friends, neighbors, co-workers and extended family members offer me their support. Your kinds words and sweet acts have lifted me up when I've felt sad. Thank you.

My husband continues to be a rock, and wonderful support to me. And my girls are understanding that their Mom is going through a rough time.

Although this is an incredibly difficult experience, I have been truly blessed. I have learned a lot about myself in the last two weeks. My testimony of the Plan of Salvation has been strengthened. And I have come to know what it means to have the Comforter in my life.

I am thankful.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Updates on Dad

I've learned a great lesson in the last seven days: we don't get to pick our trials...we just get to choose how we respond to the challenges that come our way.

Updates about Dad's health situation are available at this website:
http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/cliffordwhetten

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Zuchinni

Yesterday we harvested our first zuchinni, and tonight we made our first batch of zuchinni bread. It's a family favorite...especially with all the chocolate chips we add to the recipe. Of course, this is completely justified because the zuchinni are fresh vegetables grown in our backyard, and it's a great way to get the family their veggies...right?

So the family could hardly wait for the bread to cool a little bit before we devoured it, and I said "Save the end piece for me...that's my favorite."

And my husband said, "You mean the bread butt?"

Really? Bread butt?

How appetizing. How mature.

It was just one of those times I was reminded that even though I don't have a son, I still have a boy living in the house. "Butt" I love that guy...dumb jokes and all!