Jennifer Pearce

Hi there! My name is Jennifer and I am one of the newest members to MomTalk and JustKiddin'. I am a 40-year-old mother who works outside the home. I live with my husband of eleven years and our two young daughters. After being a stay-at-home-mother for six years, I re-entered the workforce when my husband was briefly unemployed. When he returned to work, I chose to keep working due to economics and the age of my daughters at the time. I now work as the advertising manager of a community newspaper and appreciate how working has gotten me much more involved in my community. However, I often miss the opportunity to spend more time with my daughters, or to volunteer more time with their school and activities. My older daughter is a 10-year-old fourth grader, and my younger daughter is a 6-year-old kindergartener. Their many activities and my husband’s complicated work schedule make scheduling our number one family challenge. He works a rotating shift in a retail store that includes many nights and weekends. We struggle to preserve our time together as a family and make the most of it, while still finding time to accomplish our individual goals and pursue our favorite interests. My interests include reading, writing and photography. I love taking family photos and completed a Project 365 in 2010, taking a photo a day for the year. It was a wonderful experience to document our life for a year and appreciate all the little pieces of it. I am currently working to put the 365 pictures into a scrapbook…if I can just find the time. I look forward to sharing our journey with you here on JustKiddin'!

sadie-barker

The Cost of the Love I’ve Given

My sons know I love them. They know I care about them. They know I will be interested in their days at school, stories about their friends, their latest video game accomplishments, or just the afternoon’s thoughts and daydreams. They know I will always be there, always tuck them in, always return their texts or calls, always bake cookies on their birthdays, and always do whatever I can to do whatever they need. But lately I’ve come to recognize that there’s one thing they don’t really know very well at all. They don’t really know me.

When you offer your children your heart, what is it that you offer?

Many years ago, I set aside everything I possibly could to care for my family. I thought it was the right thing to do; in many ways, it probably was, but as a result, much of the person I was (outside of caring for them) was set aside also. I thought about this a lot while I was out of the country over spring break. Being away gave me the ability to see things with a clarity that everyday distractions do not often allow and it gave me ample mental space in which to follow these thoughts to their conclusions.

One thing I discovered was that the space I’d cleared in my heart to devote to them as newborns and toddlers has grown vacant over time as they’ve slowly met those needs with school, friends, hobbies, and with their own emerging independent selves. Of course, there was a bittersweet quality to this realization, but there was also an excited rush of possibilities that tumbled over themselves to get into my consciousness as I began to imagine what I could do with that new found space and energy.

Not far behind that thought was the realization that this is probably more of what the boys themselves now need from me, as well. As babies, they needed to be fed and held, to be loved, but as young men they also need to learn to love in return. What would they love about me if they didn’t know me as anything other than the person who took care of them?

Continued in the next post…

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