Every mother has two sides | TheUnion.com

Every mother has two sides

With my hand firmly pressed under my chin, here I sit on a stool at my breakfast bar. I’m tired. It’s Sunday evening and everywhere I look I see nothing but work. I can’t seem to escape it. If I look to my left, I see dishes lining the counter. If I look to my right I see Christmas decorations that need to be put away. Directly behind me a stack of bills needing to be paid, and directly in front of me a refrigerator still housing leftovers from Christmas dinner.

How did I get here?

A few months ago, my life changed and I found that had to go back to work. It’s hard going back to work when you’ve been home raising children. It’s a whole different world. I’ve always worked part-time or farmed, but this time was dissimilar. I needed to find a job that would provide an income that I could live off of. I had to sit down with pen in hand and jot down on paper exactly what I needed. I have to admit the moment was a little intimidating.

I opened up The Union newspaper and looked through the job ads. Help Wanted was what I was reading, but I was the one who wanted help. How was I going to do all this?

How was I going to work full-time, take care of my children, my home and do all that I did before? It’s amazing how fear of the unknown, at times, can be exciting. I found the more I read the stronger I became. I even talked to myself, building myself up: “Gina, you can do this.” When I was done reading the ads, I went and sat down at my computer. I found my resumé hidden away on a disk. I pulled it out of its protective sleeve – dusted it off and inserted it into my computer. I smiled and thought, “Graduating from high school does look good on a resumé.” I went through everything and realized that being a stay-at-home mom doesn’t make for a long resumé, but that I was qualified for many jobs.

Cook: Betty Crocker and I go way back.

Gardner: Been known to grow a pumpkin or two.

House cleaner: I have a house, and it’s clean.

Seamstress: I saw the sound of music and I too know how to make drapes into play clothes.

Computer expert: Google and I are friends.

Farmer: I know the definitions for gilt, sow, boar and barrow.

Physician assistant: I’ve mended many wounds.

Bookkeeper: I’ve been “balancing” books forever.

Even 4-H provided me references.

When my resumé was complete, I printed it out and smiled. I then went back to The Union newspaper. I grabbed a pen and circled all my options. The next day, I happened to run into a friend and told him that I was looking for a job. He said, “Full-time? I said, “Yes.” He immediately went to his cell phone and dialed a number. I hear, “Have you hired anyone for your assistant yet?” I stood in silence. I then heard, “Good, I have someone who is interested in the job.” He handed me the phone number and I went home and called. The next day I had an interview, and two hours later I was employed.

It’s been almost a month since I began working and I must admit it’s taken some getting used to. Dinner used to be planned in the morning, now I plan dinner while driving home. My home used to be cleaned before I made dinner, now I clean my home while eating my dinner. I used to have time to read the newspaper; now I have my friend, Melody Blaz, tell me if there’s an emergency that I need to be aware of.

This evening began in complete frustration, but while I was writing this column a friend of mine called. I said, “How do you do it? How do you work all day and take care of your family and your home?” I heard her smile through the phone and she said, “Gina, it’s called ‘TO DO LISTS’. Leave them for your children.” So girls, if you’re reading this. I would like you to clean out the refrigerator, put the Christmas decorations away, and please do the dishes.

There are definitely two sides to every mother, and it doesn’t matter which side we’re working from … because we’re always working.


Gina Gippner is a Penn Valley resident and mother of three. She can be reached via e-mail at justmom@nci-services.com or computer chat at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/justmom/

Her column appears every other Tuesday, alternating with Mike Drummond’s column from Clear Creek Ranch.

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