faith

Interview with Working Mother Debbie Gaudino

Here at Tomato Pie, we’re celebrating the release of my biblical historical fiction ebook “Working Mother” by celebrating the working mothers among us.  Let’s meet working mother, Debbie Gaudino​!

 

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Debbie Gaudino​

Tell us a little bit about your family. 

​​My husband and I have been married for 18 years and have been blessed with two beautiful children: our son who is 12 and our daughter who is 10. A few years ago, our Pastor asked us to share about our family’s faith at a retreat for the graduating 8th grade class.  Each of us took a turn sharing how God has blessed our lives both personally and as a family. Father referred to us that day as “Team Gaudino” and the name really resonated with us and has stuck ever since. We try to approach all aspects of our life as a team and involve our children as much as possible in our work and ministry. Like many sports fans, the concept of rooting for our family as a team has drawn us closer together and helped us to support each other’s interests and activities.

Imagine you’re at a dinner party.  Someone asks the question, “So, what do you do?”  What’s your answer?

​”May I have another glass of wine?” In all seriousness, my life is a constant juggle of a wide variety of roles that defy an easy one-line dinner party answer. I am a homeschooling Mom, a blogger, a free-lance writer, the director of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in my diocese, a retreat speaker and leader, a theology graduate student at Franciscan University of Steubenville and an account manager for Lighthouse Catholic Media. If I had to sum up these roles in one short answer I would say: “I am a child of God and my life is spent trying to grow and reflect that reality more perfectly both interiorly and to others.”

 

How do you think God uses your job to help shape you into all He made you to be? 

​I “grew up” working in the banking and software industries and spent many years doing project management, working on sales proposals and making presentations to clients. I am so blessed that the Lord has allowed me to use the skills that I honed during those years working “in the world” ​to now work to build his Kingdom here on earth and give him glory.  Honestly, I sometimes feel like I am the person God is touching the most through articles I have written, or a Lighthouse CD’s I have sold or a retreat talks I have given. God has used my own work and words to challenge me to grow in holiness and in surrender to his will in my life and I thank him and praise him for that!

 

What benefits (besides the economical) have you seen to your family that are a direct result of your work away from home? 

Working outside the home on retreats or through my work with Lighthouse Catholic Media has helped my family grow​

 

​both spiritually and in knowledge of the teachings of our faith. We often listen to Lighthouse Catholic CD’s in the car as a family​ and my children accompany me to parishes to restock their Lighthouse kiosks. My husband and I try to stress the  importance of evangelization to our children and my work helps them to see that being lived out. One of the greatest joys I had was when my daughter, of her own accord, designed posters to promote Lighthouse Catholic Media for one of my Lighthouse parishes.  I treasured her efforts and, more significantly, her desire to share in my work.

 

 

How do you balance any guilty feelings you might have in the tension between your workplace and your homespace? 

​I try to keep the guilty feelings at bay by taking frequent check-points with my husband, my spiritual director, and my children as to how I am doing in the balancing act of life.  There have definitely been seasons in my life where I have had to back-off of some activities, and other times where I have been able to add things to my plate without issue. Making myself accountable to others I trust in this area has been a huge help to me. If everyone is in agreement that an activity is fruitful and the guilty thoughts creep into my mind, I am more easily able to push them out. On the other hand, if I am having guilty thoughts and have not discussed them, I know that there is a possibility that I am doing too much. ​

What is one thing that you would ask the people in your life to do to support you more? 

​Above all else, I would ask for their prayers. On a more practical side I would invite them to ask questions. I find that many people shut down when you mention that you work for the Catholic Church in some capacity and I am not sure why.  I would love for family and friends to ask a few questions – I promise not to proselytize them, sell them anything, or force them to read my writings (unless of course, they are my parents – then all bets are off).

 

Thank you, Debbie!   Readers, Debbie has issued you an invitation!  “Visit me at my blog: Saints 365 where I reflect on striving for the heights of holiness in the trenches of everyday life, or stop by the Lighthouse Catholic Media store for some of the best Catholic teachings available on CD or MP3.”

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.”  

Interview with Working Mother Emily Davis

Here at Tomato Pie, we’re celebrating the release of my biblical historical fiction ebook “Working Mother” by celebrating the working mothers among us.  Let’s meet working mother, Emily Davis!

What’s your name?

Emily Davis

Tell us a little bit about your family. 

I am married to Marque Davis, an RF Engineer. He spent 22 years in the Army and still works for the Defense Industry. I left my career in 2005 to stay home with our son (Marque has three children from a previous marriage). I had Christopher at 40 and he has Aspergers. I homeschool him and run our home. I teach a Saints Class @ Co-Op and am looking for a PT job to do at home after the first of the year.

Imagine you’re at a dinner party.  Someone asks the question, “So, what do you do?”  What’s your answer?

I worked in corporate America for 15+ years. Now, I’m a wife, mom and teacher. I think my job now is harder and WAY more beautifully time-consuming.

How do you think God uses your job to help shape you into all He made you to be? 

Through homeschooling, I get to revisit our Faith. It’s so enlightening and beautiful to teach my child and be called to live my Faith in a different way. It’s about being a good example. When your child is Aspy, they hold you to the exacts. So please – don’t break a Commandment or you’ll be scolded. HA

What benefits (besides the economical) have you seen to your family that are a direct result of your work away from home? 

I do not work away from home [now]…. But when I did work away from home, the obvious benefits were my paycheck and the fact we could take a vacation, not stress about money and in some ways, just being away from my child on occasion, rather the memory of it, sounds great.

How do you balance any guilty feelings you might have in the tension between your workplace and your homespace? 

When we lived in MD, I had to work. My child was very young and I knew there would be a someday I could stay home. I was so blessed to have an understanding boss and could work from home from time to time, when my child was sick.  I am odd, I never really felt guilty. I just didn’t. And if I had to go back to work tomorrow, I’m sure I’d have a period of guilt, but it would wane. Life is what it is. Though I am called to be home now, I look forward to a day when I can put my child into a Private School and go back to work… SERIOUSLY!

What is one thing that you would ask the people in your life to do to support you more? 

Give me time to rest. Everyone needs it. Sure, I’m superwoman. I went back to work while Christopher was in public school. And I realized how hard it was to work all day and come home and clean. I think when both people work, it’s about pitching in and everyone doing their part.

Thank you, Emily!  

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.”  

Interview with Working Mother Terry McDermott

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?Displaying McDermott family 2.jpg

Terry McDermott

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.”  

{SQT} The Better-Than-I-Expected Edition

It’s Friday, and Kelly is our lovely hostess for Seven Quick Takes!

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It was the first week back to proper, regular homeschooling days… and we’ve only had a total of 3 meltdowns.  Two were from the preschooler who is getting over bronchitis and a double ear infection.

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One thing we started this week is an addition to our “Morning Meeting.”  Each kid has her own sketchbook.  After we read the Mass readings and such, they draw something having to do with the day’s readings. This not only introduces them to both history and fine pieces of art…

… but it also teaches them that the artist of this John the Baptist is pronounced Ti-shun.  You’re welcome.

This week we added looking at a piece of sacred art depicting the gospel reading.  A lovely resource I found this morning was the blog Ad Imaginem Dei, which does this old art history student’s heart good.

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Oh, don’t forget the talk and signing on January 24 at JMJ Catholic Books & Articles in Virginia Beach.  JPII.  Don’t You Forget About Me.  Jane_E.  Together, as was intended by the original artist.

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And because that’s not enough, I’m working with a local library to hold a “Fall in Love with a Good Book” event for the afternoon of Valentine’s Day.  I’m trying to talk them into a “Speed Dating” event, where we’d have a copy of each book around their biggest table, then have visitors sit in front of the books, and they have 5 minutes to flip through it before the timer goes off and they have to move on to the next book.  What do you think?

Do you want me to answer that, or shall I just glare?  Rupert Giles.  Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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I’ve made more headway on Never Let Me Down Again.  I had a horrible chapter ending to write, and I don’t think I could’ve made it through were it not for the mutual support and the word-count-sprinting competition that I received from the Catholic Writers Guild.  Go join.  It’ll be worth your time.

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We have survived our first two months of puppy ownership.

The potty training is… progressing.

She still doesn’t like the rain.

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Lastly, thank you all for the continued support of the “Working Mother” release celebration interviews.  I have learned so much from all of you, and I hope the readers are as well.

I feel like I’m forgetting something that will hurt someone’s feelings for my forgetting it… if that’s you, speak up so I can make amends.

Interview with Working Mother Ashley Anderson

Here at Tomato Pie, we’re celebrating the release of my biblical historical fiction ebook “Working Mother” by celebrating the working mothers among us.  Let’s meet working mother, Ashley Anderson!

 

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Ashley Anderson

Tell us a little bit about your family. 

My husband, Paul, and I have been married for six and a half years.  We met my last year, his sophomore year, at Missouri State University and have been planting our roots here in Springfield, MO, ever since.  He’s a senior manager at Accenture and my understanding of this position is that his brain is so full with technical knowledge about computers and programming that they pay him to perpetuate his nerd status.  Don’t tell him I told you that though because I’m sure he would like to offer a more accurate depiction of his job. I taught high school English for six years but am currently at home with our three wild boys: Thomas (nearly 5) and identical twins, Alistair and Emerick (18 months).

Imagine you’re at a dinner party.  Someone asks the question, “So, what do you do?”  What’s your answer?

I’m home with the kids right now busy with lots of fun things.  I homeschool Thomas, tackle home maintenance stuff, feed all my guys as much good stuff as I can, and squeeze in freelance work in the margins.

How do you think God uses your job to help shape you into all He made you to be? 

My job here at home strips me of my selfishness.  Who doesn’t need more of that?

 

On a practical level, I teach my sons all day.  Almost all of the teaching is natural and prompted by the boys, but I’m also able to draw on my experiences as an educator to provide resources for my kids, and that part of my work at home is incredibly rewarding.

 

In addition, I do a bit of freelance work for the company where my husband works.  I’m contracted to essentially grade tests. It’s not a ton of work and the work is not steady income. However, I’m a firm believer that every little bit counts.  When I see the money I earn deposited into our account, I am joyful to have the opportunity to help us out with flex funds for things like extra traveling, big medical bills, or maybe a gift for someone.

 

What benefits (besides the economical) have you seen to your family that are a direct result of your work away from home? 

I taught for six years with three of those years as a mommy to my firstborn.  I’m grateful that we were blessed with six years of dual-income so that we could pay down debt and experience a great deal of financial freedom as well.

 

My freelance work, my “work away from work” (even if I’m doing it during naps and late nights), is a wonderful experience for me.  Transitioning to full time mom has been difficult for me.  My role feels overwhelming and at times, even invisible.  I’m working on my heart and my humility. In the meantime though, having a side job that I can feel really great about, that has parameters of work I can walk away from because it is “done” feels really gratifying.

How do you balance any guilty feelings you might have in the tension between your workplace and your homespace? 

Now that there is primarily one breadwinner and one homemaker, the tension looks different than when my husband and I were both working.  When I feel overwhelmed at all there is to balance at home, some things turning over quickly like dishes and toys carried across the house by toddlers and other things very slowly like projects chipped away at day by day, I think of how overwhelmed by husband could feel being the one we are all relying on financially.  I try my best to first think of how I can show my husband appreciation for the big role he wakes up to each day.

 

I also have learned that it is extremely effective to privately, honestly, and calmly tell my husband what is on my heart.  There is nothing I have once brought to him that he has not responded to with gentleness and action.  But barking orders and complaining when everyone is searching for socks and trying to get out the door (which I’ve also been guilty of committing)–it just doesn’t work.

 

From what we’ve experienced with our different roles, it’s that tension sneaks up when we aren’t actively trusting each other.  Sometimes I just say:  “We both work hard.  We both are stressed. If we need something, we should say it and we should be eager to both help and accept help.”  I think that reminder cools our jets a bit.
What is one thing that you would ask the people in your life to do to support you more? 

I have the most supportive family and friends. My cup is completely full when it comes to having a good network of people who I can be honest and real with about the joys and struggles of my life right now.

 

Maybe I can use this space as my opportunity to send out a bit of support to other moms:

 

Moms with full-time jobs: Please cut yourself some slack.  Buy semi-prepped food. Hire a house cleaner from time to time. Unfollow groups on Facebook or blogs that are advertising a lifestyle that is not part of your family culture and plan.  Rejoice in the gift that you have to provide for your family in the way that you do and rest in God’s provision and wild, unforeseen plans for your life!

 

Moms at home: It’s okay to pray for and seek out friendships.  That’s not a waste of time: it’s important.  Call out to Jesus in the messiness and close your eyes and think of Mary’s beautiful humility when you feel your invisible work begin to drain your joy.  Your work matters and maybe you should look in the mirror and say it.  It really does! Rejoice in the simple blessings as if you are harvesting fruit from the field and be joyful know that God has wild, unforeseen plans for your life!

 

Thank you, Ashley!  

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.”  

Updated: JPII Talk 1/24/15 in VA Beach

Anybody in the Virginia Beach area?  I’ll be giving a talk !  20140801-070421.jpg

Yep, that’s me on the right hanging with Frank.  I call him Frank because he’s totally cool like that.  A little two-dimensional, but still totally cool.  

Anyway, at 10:30am on Saturday, January 24 at JMJ Catholic Books & Articles, I’ll be presenting a (highly interactive) talk called “Entertaining the Catholic Conscience,” which unpacks St. John Paul II’s 1999 Letter to Artists.  I’ll also have copies of both Don’t You Forget About Me and Jane_E, Friendless Orphan on hand.  If you bring your e-copy of “Working Mother,” I’ll have some Sharpies and sign your Kindle-reading device, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Please spread the word!

POSTPONED! This Saturday 1/10/15, I’ll be talking in VA Beach!

This event has been POSTPONED until Saturday, January 24.  Please check out this link for more information!

Anybody in the Virginia Beach area?  I’ll be giving a talk on Saturday morning!  20140801-070421.jpg

Yep, that’s me on the right hanging with Frank.  I call him Frank because he’s totally cool like that.  A little two-dimensional, but still totally cool.  

Anyway, at 10:30am this Sunday at JMJ Catholic Books & Articles, I’ll be presenting a (highly interactive) talk called “Entertaining the Catholic Conscience,” which unpacks St. John Paul II’s 1999 Letter to Artists.  I’ll also have copies of both Don’t You Forget About Me and Jane_E, Friendless Orphan on hand.  If you bring your e-copy of “Working Mother,” I’ll have some Sharpies and sign your Kindle-reading device, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Please spread the word!

Interview with Working Mother Lisa Delay

Here at Tomato Pie, we’re celebrating the release of my biblical historical fiction ebook “Working Mother.” Today is the Feast of the Epiphany, when we celebrate all the different directions from which Christians approach Jesus and gather together in His name.  What better day to interview one of my favorite Christian speakers and working mothers, Lisa DeLay?

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Lisa DeLay

Tell us a little bit about your family. 

The DeLays (of Cressona) are typically an odd but tight bunch. Our family is marked by creative pursuits, family suppers together each night, the priority of a Christian walk of faith, mini vacations, cycling on rails-to-trails, a bit of sibling bickering, a love of quirky movies, and cleaning up after our dog, Luna.

 

Imagine you’re at a dinner party.  Someone asks the question, “So, what do you do?”  What’s your answer?

First, I might quip, “The best I can.” This is likely to followed by an awkward silence and the suspicion that I’m a hapless jerk. From there, I may proceed with a list (graphic designer, writer, artist, digital marketer, manager at a vineyard, volunteer at a federal prison, plus I’m a wife and mom to a special needs child and a gifted child) that either bores the listener or causes them to assume that I over-schedule my life–which is actually inaccurate…but whatever. Incidentally, I was asked this question at my son’s school one time. I was exhausted from my day, so I replied, “Oh, not much”–to which the man said (instructively) to his son, “Mrs DeLay is a ‘housewife’, Michael. That means she takes care of her home and that’s okay, too.” I didn’t bother trying to clear that up.

[Erin here.   Besides being a, and note the that’s-okay-too-quotation-marks, “housewife,” Lisa has authored and co-authored several books, including my favorite, Dog in the Gap, which I highly recommend.]  

 

How do you think God uses your job to help shape you into all He made you to be? 

Whatever it is that I’m working on I think that God gives me chances to share the gifts me gave me with others. In doing that I am found and I sense that I belong to a plan and a hope bigger than myself. Ideally, the struggles, whether at home or at work, can create Christ-likeness if I bear in mind a bigger picture.

 

What benefits (besides the economical) have you seen to your family that are a direct result of your work away from home? 

My children have to develop greater maturity, take on more responsibly, and contribute in useful ways to the family in meaningful ways–from doing chores and caring for the dog, to behaving themselves or getting snacks on their own when I’m not home from work yet. My husband shares in more household tasks too. If it weren’t by necessity, this may not happen as much. 

 

How do you balance any guilty feelings you might have in the tension between your workplace and your homespace? 

If those feelings ever arise I remind myself that I spent 7 years away from work outside the home to stay with them full-time and they are at an age to be challenged by the kind of independence my part-time work outside the home offers them.

What is one thing that you would ask the people in your life to do to support you more? 

My friends and my spouse do a lot to support me (practically and emotionally).  To my children I’d say, “Ditch the complaining…you have it pretty darn good.”

 

Thank you, Lisa!  

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.”  

Interview with Working Mother Colleen Gledhill

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 St. John Neumann, the first saint out of Philadelphia.  It’s the perfect day to interview Philly Girl Colleen Gledhill!

 

What’s your name?

Colleen GledhillDisplaying Colleen G picture.jpg

Tell us a little bit about your family. 

My husband, Bill and I have been married for almost 27 years.  We have two children (who are now young men) and we have two beautiful grandchildren.

 

Imagine you’re at a dinner party.  Someone asks the question, “So, what do you do?”  What’s your answer?

I would say that I am a wife, mother and a Legal Administrative Assistant.

How do you think God uses your job to help shape you into all He made you to be? 

In the job of “Mother”, I believe God shapes me through both challenges and tenderness.  Recently, my family has been challenged with experiences that we never thought we would ever face- not in a million years.  This required great faith, patience, forgiveness and acceptance.  Through it all, I definitely felt that I was being shaped and molded into the woman that God created and not the image that I was portraying on my own.  But God is gentle and merciful, which allows me to show kindness and tenderness in even the most disappointing of situations.  In the job of “Administrative Assistant”, God uses diversity to shape me.  I have worked with so many interesting, beautiful and different types of people.  It has really broadened my view of the world and helped me to think out of the self-imposed box that I often found myself in.

What benefits (besides the economical) have you seen to your family that are a direct result of your work away from home? 

One of the biggest benefits of working outside of the home that I’ve seen in my family is cooperation.  There is definitely a sense of community and helping each other out.  Each of us realizes that we all are working hard and we are a team, (most of the time:-)…Utopia does not exist in the Gledhill household- but mutual respect does.
How do you balance any guilty feelings you might have in the tension between your workplace and your homespace? 

In full disclosure, I did not work outside of the home when my children were infants/babies.  I returned to work when they were pre-schoolers, but guilt was still present.  Guilt is a tough one.  I believe it is supposed to be a feeling that lasts only a moment or two when our conscience recognizes something that is contrary to God’s will.  It should be a spiritual nudge- not the gnawing torment that it can turn into at times.  The way I deal with it is through prayer and discussion.  I ask God to help me and my family to be balanced.  I have honest conversations with my family members which are important and helpful.  Time spent in the car driving to events, running errands and the kid’s activities usually prove to be enlightening and informative.  There is something about a car ride that makes it easier for children to open up.  Also, no matter what else is going on, we try to always have dinner together.  That is where much of the ‘guilt’ subsides.  We regroup, bond, debate, converse and laugh.  For years at dinnertime, we have asked each other “what was your high point today…what was your low point?”  This question helps you to remain in touch with your family, which in turn decreases any guilt that may build up from time spent apart.

What is one thing that you would ask the people in your life to do to support you more? 

I know this probably sounds so cliche, but the one thing I ask the people in my life to do to support me more is to pray for me.  That is the honest truth.  Years ago, my husband began to say the Rosary on his way to work each morning, and there is no better means of support for our family than that of him praying to Our Lord and His Blessed Mother!  I firmly believe that his praying the Rosary has helped our family get through the toughest and most tragic of times.  When others are praying for me I feel very supported, which in turn gives me the ability to reciprocate that support to my family and friends.

Thank you, Colleen!  

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.”  

Interview with Working Mother Sarah Reinhard

It’s the feast of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, one of my favorite working mother saints.  Join me in celebrating working mother Sarah Reinhard as we also celebrate the release of my biblical historical fiction ebook “Working Mother.”

SarahRpicWorkingMother

What’s your name?

 Sarah Reinhard

Tell us a little bit about your family. 

4 kids, ages 9-almost-10, 7, 4, and in utero (due in March)

Imagine you’re at a dinner party.  Someone asks the question, “So, what do you do?”  What’s your answer?

A little bit of all kinds of things (grin), including laundry, juggling, entertainment, writing, chauffeuring, personal shopping, anger management and conflict resolution, and much more.  Actually, I usually just tell people I’m a writer. It takes less effort than explaining I work from home and somehow manage more than anyone else thinks I should be able to.

(Erin here.   Sarah blogs for herself, for the National Catholic Register, is an editorial consultant at CatholicMom.com, and has a bunch of books on Amazon, and that’s just for starters).  

How do you think God uses your job to help shape you into all He made you to be? 

Well, it keeps me off the streets… It keeps me organized and focused on my priorities. I am constantly assessing why I work and whether I’m in line with God’s will. God and I have an ongoing conversation in which I say “How in the (colorful word omitted) am I supposed to DO ALL OF THIS?” and he answers with some miraculous person showing up to help or some circumstance falling into place or some clear realization on my part that it’s time to say No.  My job pays the bills, yes. But it also gives me a focus that I think I would lack otherwise. It’s how God wired me. (And I realize there’s room for a conversation here about how my kids and my husband should be my focus, and I don’t mean to ever imply that, at any moment, they ever aren’t. Because they are. At every instant.)

What benefits (besides the economical) have you seen to your family that are a direct result of your work away from home? 

I actually work from home, so I get the best and worst of both sides of this. I get to look at the unfolded laundry all day and feel guilty about whether I’m ignoring a kid while I try to meet a deadline. But I’m also here when someone’s sick, and I work with incredible people who understand that I’m a wife and mom FIRST.  I have flexibility, but I also have a never-ending to-do list. Literally. There is ALWAYS something that needs done, whether it’s dishes or laundry, a writing project or client project, homework help or sports carpooling.  My kids see, very clearly, that family comes first. Family is part and parcel of all of it: the housework, the outside work, the fun we have.

 

How do you balance any guilty feelings you might have in the tension between your workplace and your homespace? 

Confession and constant conversation with God. I’m always assessing whether why I’m working outside my home achieves God’s will, which requires always asking him for guidance. I also keep myself in check by listening to what those closest to me are saying — God so often speaks in the voices of my husband and my closest family and friends. 

What is one thing that you would ask the people in your life to do to support you more? 

Coffee and chocolate, people, coffee and chocolate. 🙂

Thank you, Sarah!  

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.”