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!
What’s your name?
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.”