Here at Tomato Pie, we’re celebrating the release of my biblical historical fiction ebook “Working Mother” by celebrating the working mothers among us. Today is the feast of Canadian St. Marguerite Bourgeoys, so let’s meet a working mom from the Great White North, Terry McDermott!
What’s your name?
Tell us a little bit about your family.
My husband and I have been married for 29 – 1/2 years. We have eight children, six young men, two young women. The oldest is 26, the youngest is 12.
Imagine you’re at a dinner party. Someone asks the question, “So, what do you do?” What’s your answer?
I am a registered nurse in independent practice as a certified foot care nurse. I own a small business, McDermott Footcare, and I provide nursing foot care services to patients who are living with medical conditions that require the expertise of a foot care nurse . I also provide nursing foot care clinics in a number of retirement residences where I am contracted to be the certified foot care nurse.
How do you think God uses your job to help shape you into all He made you to be?
The patients to whom I provide care are among the most vulnerable in society. All of them suffer from a number of complex medical conditions and the majority of them are elderly, many of whom live alone or are in care facilities. My younger patients often have limited mobility or are confined to a wheelchair. I think God calls on me to serve people in their affliction, to be a loving presence in their lives, and to give compassionate care that transmits His love. He calls me to be a servant but at the same time, He wants me to see Him in the suffering of my patients, and He asks me to relieve His suffering through the care I give them.
What benefits (besides the economical) have you seen to your family that are a direct result of your work away from home?
My kids have had to learn to do household chores, do the laundry, and cook meals. My kids tell that there is a heightened sense of responsibility because we have to work together as a team so the home runs smoothly.
How do you balance any guilty feelings you might have in the tension between your workplace and your homespace?
Honestly, this is a constant battle with me. Whenever I feel guilty that I do not give my kids attention or that I am preoccupied with work, I try to find some time that I can give to them. Since I am self-employed, juggling my schedule is easier than for most women but there are times when the needs of the business threaten to overtake family life. It takes a lot of work and a strong will to not let work get in the way of family life. I’ve learned that it is important to prioritize tasks that need to get done.
As much as possible, I schedule my day so that I am home when my youngest child, 12 years old, returns from school at 4 pm. I make dinner, talk to the kids about their day as they come home from school or work, and eat dinner together on most evenings. Any documentation or administrative tasks are left for later when the kids are doing their homework. It’s important for my husband and me to spend time together at the end of the day.
What is one thing that you would ask the people in your life to do to support you more?
Tidy up the kitchen before leaving the house in the morning. We have a sign hanging over the kitchen sink as a reminder that everyone is responsible for their breakfast dishes, pots, pans, etc. The sign has proven largely ineffective and the family still rush out the door without cleaning up after themselves.
Thank you, Terry! Your interview also drew me to reflect on how your job is literally washing the feet of our brothers and sisters. What a special calling!
Are you a working mother? So was (and is) the Blessed Mother! If you enjoyed this interview and would like to celebrate working motherhood some more, please consider getting a copy of my $.99 historical fiction ebook, “Working Mother.”