I just spent the last 24 hours in Illinois and Wisconsin. My father was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Wisconsin. This explains his credentials and the reason for the degree. If you scrol down in this document to Ogren you can read a far less techinical excerpt.

It has been a long time since I have been in an academic setting. We attended the graduation ceremony with all the doctoral students. There were around 1,000 graduates. The thought of the amount of hard work and number of years toiling present in that arena was mind-boggling.

After the ceremony we attended a dinner at the Chancellor’s house. Sitting at my table was one of my brothers, a professer of botany and his wife, the chair of the botany department, and the university Provost. I have to admit I hadn’t a clue what a Provost does. It turns out he is second in command to the Chancellor. It was interesting to hear an overview of his resonsibilities and challenges.

I thoroughly enjoyed the dinner table conversations. As a stay-at-home mom, I rarely find myself around the table with other adults where there are no kids or discussions about kids. It was very refreshing. Intellectually stimulting conversations are very few and far between in my life. I don’t stop and think about my place in life very often, but in times like these I realize how different my life is now compared to when I was in the corporate world. I progressed fairly quickly in my career to posistions with important sounding titles and reponsibilities, but a mere 6 years into my career I left to stay home. I am not saying I regret it, but in some ways it is as if these accomplisments and experiences have been erased. They were something I took pride in and my career was something I was really good at. As a stay-at-home mom, I am only average (to below average) in my skills. I think that this is one of the reasons that singing in the church choir has meant so much to me. To be doing something I enjoy and that I am good at adds a lot of quality to my life.

Over the next few days I will write some more about my trip.

5 responses to “Academia

  1. Being a mom isnt below average. Its the highest calling a woman could have. I hate that the world makes it seem so minor… and low these days.So dont feel like you arent accomplishing anything.. or less than what you were doing in your career. Your raising 3 beautiful children! What could be more important.I can understand your days you question or wonder “what if..” Ive been there myself… “What if I had gone to college longer?” .. “What if I waited to have kids…? “etc..etc..””What if I had never had my son?”Life wouldnt be the same thats forsure… but my joy wouldnt be the same either.

  2. Remember – as far as your children are concerned – YOU ARE THE BEST MOMMY – and no one can EVER replace you. Can you say the same about the job you left? Are they lost without you or did they find someone else (maybe not as good – but still a replacement?) A replacement is something that a MOMMY can never have – so be glad for the opportunity. Anything done out of love is not “Wasted” but setting the stepping stones for their future! Keep up the singing because that is something you do as YOU without the tag of “child”‘s Mom – my kids are all married now but I still run into kids that say “Aren’t you Tex’s mom?” There were days I wanted to scream remember ME I am not an extension of someone else – but now with the nest empty I look back with pride!

  3. I know what I do is worthwhile. Lately I have been pretty down on myself for how badly I feel I am doing it. Three years of extreme stress fighting Nathan’s cancer has made me into a controlling, not-very-patient mother. I need more compassion and I need more tenderness for my children. So – right now I just do not feel like I am very good at this and this weekend’s setting being so different from my life brought these feelings to the forefront.

  4. drea, I think her comment was more meant as a critique of herself as below average at the job of mothering, not a critique of mothering being below average in importance.For the record I disagree with her assessment of herself as below average at parenting.I agree of course, that being a mother is the most important job anyone is likely to have, and given that, I think it’s likely that people will tend to worry more about doing a poor job at it.ptxpu

  5. Title or not, you have done an absolutely amazing job with your family. You not only have the typical stresses of being a SAHM, you are a SAHM with extreme circumstances. I think you forget how much you do. I think you forget how many people think you are an extraordinary woman. We get to ‘play mommy’ for really a relatively short period of time in our lives. 🙂 Enjoy it. Embrace it. Titles can come and go. Mommy Time is precious.

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