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Monday

Working Mom List of Five Thanksgiving Blessings

 
On Thanksgiving in the city of Pittsburgh, in a newly renovated house, a family gathered to celebrate Thanksgiving and gave thanks to God for their blessings…

Like every working mom I struggle with managing my household, caring for my toddler, and being a productive employee. Sometimes I have great work success only to miss putting my daughter to bed or miss attending a party with her. As I often say, my life is a constant quest for balance in my stilettos—and often I am teetering.

Like a lot of working moms, I sometimes sit around and envy stay-at-home moms and my envy is particularly palatable during the holidays, when I imagine that their homes are sprinkled with magical organizational dust and constantly filled with visions of sugar plums.
I imagine that they have the luxury of ensuring that everything happens without the chaos and controversy that accompanies our attempts to have a Norman Rockwell type Thanksgiving, 

This year though, instead of being envious, I decided to be grateful...

1.  I am Blessed to Have First World Problems 


Even though I know that some moms have more resources and flexibility than I do I cannot help but be incredibly and overwhelmingly grateful about my chaotic, overbooked, somewhat disorganized, life. As I said to a colleague recently, I could be picking cotton…

It is true, had I been born in another time, I probably would have would have taken a very brief break from my cotton picking duties to deliver my baby and would have been back in the field doing my duties without complaint. I wouldn't have even thought about maternity leave benefits because it wouldn't have been in my consciousness. 

In contrast, I was fortunate to have paid maternity leave for both of my children and my biggest challenge over the past two years has been experiencing home renovations. It has been an exercise in frustration and in patience. We lived for several months without a working kitchen. We began this journey when our son was three weeks old, and it has been intense. It's been hard. And I have whined and complained bout it more than a few times, even on this blog. Yet on this Thanksgiving, I am grateful for that struggle. Without that struggle we would not have the beautiful home that my husband has created for us.

2.  I am Sometimes Stressed, but I have a Great Job  

According to Gallup only 30% of people feel engaged at work.
Engagement at work is not my problem. I am FULLY engaged at work and my work makes a difference. I also get paid to do what I was trained to do--what my parents and I sacrificed for me to do--and that is a huge blessing. I am an attorney and I add considerable value to the success of my organization. My job is interesting and respected.  Although it’s demanding, it affords me the ability to provide for my family. We have what we need and a lot of what we want.

3.  I Make More Than Minimum Wage

Two-thirds of minimum wage workers in the United States are women ― and the minimum wage falls far short of what it takes to live above the poverty line.

There has been a visible and vocal fight to raise the minimum wage in this country for some time and it will play a significant role in the next election. Indeed, cities like Pittsburgh and companies like McDonald's have voluntarily raised the minimum wage. Making the minimum wage is not my problem. That is a huge blessing because it means that I have the luxury of contemplating whether my work is as rewarding as it should be.

4.  I am Blessed to Have a Great Family

Family is not an important thing. It is everything. -Michael J. Fox
My family makes my heart beat. Had I been born into a different family with less support I likely would have had a different life with fewer opportunities and even less hope. I could be underemployed and in addition to struggling to balance managing my household, caring for my daughter and being a productive employee I could be struggling to pay my bills. I could have children with health challenges. I could have a lot of problems. Others do. But for the grace of God go I.  

5.  I Make Mistakes, and I Learn From Them

Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time. –George Bernard Shaw

My husband and I hosted Thanksgiving for the first time. The dinner was served two hours late and I put the napkins on the wrong side of the plate. That said, the event was a success because we have done it. We know that each year will be better, and eventually, our perfect practice will make perfect. Here's hoping!
My Thanksgiving Table with Napkin on the Wrong Side...
How did you spend your Thanksgiving?!

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