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 Spiritual Discipline of Baking Cookies

Today I did a difficult thing.  It stretched my limits of patience and tested the boundaries of my principles and values. I helped Thayer bake cookies.

Thayer has been excited about baking cookies lately and trying unusual ingredients and new combinations of flavors. I’ve been the happy recipient of many of his experiments and he has learned a lot about baking strategies and personal responsibility. It’s been a great experience in many ways.

Today, however, as he baked this particular batch, I was embroiled in a text/e-mail battle about this semester’s visitation arrangement with my ex-husband. The topic had gotten heated and personal and my feelings of conflict were strong and, at times, very painful. I was re-reading e-mails and scrolling through texts, very focused and emotional and desperately trying to force some sort of acceptable resolution when the interruptions began:

Keeping from crumbling in the kitchen...

“Mom, can you get down the blender?”

“Where are the frozen raspberries,” he asked, perched precariously on the tip of the step stool.  “I don’t see them in here.”

“The pan is stuck in the oven. I’m afraid of getting burned. Can you come here and get them out?”

Then he had an even better idea than just making cookies. He wanted to make a gift box with wax paper and a label with his Luck logo. Cookie Luck Service, he called it.  All the cookies would be stacked inside and visible through the clear plastic, but he needed help finding a box the right size and shape. Then he needed help peeling the label off. Then getting supplies for his replacement label. Then making a tag.

“To Daddy. Love, Thayer.”

“That is such a nice gift,” I marveled at the finished product.  “He’s going to love it.”

Ironically, this was exactly what his father and I had been discussing, how best to keep the focus on the kids without letting personal agendas get in the way. I had my values tested very directly and concretely in the midst of this discussion. Did I have to leave the room at one point to make strangling motions and imitate banging my head against the wall? Okay, yes, I’ll admit that I did, but in the end, Thayer had no idea I had any conflict at all with his project and the gift box of cookies looks great. That’s success for both of us.

Who knew cookies could be such a challenge?

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