In the spirit of being somewhat braggy, I must take this opportunity to publicly tell all the world wide world that I have been interviewed!
I was really stressed when I was asked–should I, shouldn’t I….what if my words got taken out of context and I sounded like an idiot?
[Okay, let’s be honest here, my words would not necessarily have to be taken out of context. I can easily sound like an idiot.]
But, I decided to take the plunge and just go for it.
Because, you know, I think I am ready to break out into the real Mormon mommy blogging world. I think I might be ready to advertise for Shabby Apple and do tutorials with pictures!
Actually, it was just an interview with my daughter, who is about to graduate from BYU-Idaho’s Nursing program. In one of her classes, she has been asked to interview someone in the career field she wants to pursue. The field she chose was “stay at home mom.”
And, she thought of me.
Of course, I was flattered. I mean, there are so many more people in this field that are more accomplished, better looking, and more…oh, I don’t know…everything…
I am sure many of you may be a bit jealous that she didn’t ask you. After all, she does follow many a mom blog. She could have asked anyone, but she chose me.
Actually, it may be because she felt she had a better chance getting me to answer the questions before the deadline. But, I can think whatever I want, can’t I?
So, without further ado, here is the actual interview–published here free of charge. Just because even though I may feel slightly more famous today, I am still as humble as ever. 😉
1. How did you decide to do what you are doing now?
When I was five, I was given an IQ test, and afterward, was told that I could pursue anything I wanted in life because I tested at near genius level. Given that wide scope of endless possibilities, I would happily study anything and everything that came my way. From anatomy to floral design, physics and astronomy to theatre–I truly became something of a renaissance woman. While in college, I realized that only motherhood would give me the opportunity to practice so many of the skills and knowledge I had acquired.
I felt like any other career would really tie me down to one discipline. Motherhood has fulfilled and exceeded my wildest expectations. I have been able to use and increase my knowledge and skills in ways no other career could manage.
2. What do you do during a typical day?
My day usually begins around 3:30 or 4:00 am, at which time I manage the nutritional needs of a 4 month old. In the morning, I manage a small scale cafeteria and dining area, and then I teach elementary, middle and high school aged students for several hours. I also teach pre-k students number recognition, foundational writing skills, social skills, and reading mastery using phonic programs. I engage in outdoor adventures like hiking, backpacking, and cross country skiing, and physical education activities like wrestling, stretching, and running.
I also publish articles on the internet, design websites and blogs for other writers, work on writing a novel, and teach life skills to my students.
In the evening, I also give hugs and kisses, read books to children, and discuss and set career, life and personal goals with pre-teens and teens. After that is paperwork, studying in continuing education, and reviews. My day usually ends around 11:30 pm.
3. What do you like most about your job?
My favorite part about my job is the fact that I know I am making a difference in the world. It’s great to have a career that is so focused on humanitarian efforts. It is truly a work of love, and a career based on serving others and changing lives. It’s amazing to see the difference one person can make in the lives of these children–there are so many in need–it’s nice to know that I am doing something positive and really reaching them on an individual basis. The most important part of my career is to see these children’s gifts and talents and make them feel that they are capable of doing something remarkable–and it’s so satisfying to see that I am doing that.
I also greatly enjoy chubby cheeks and feet.
4. What are the disadvantages of your work?
The main disadvantages of my work are probably three-fold: 1) It is such an intense field that it really kind of takes over your life, which is great–but you really need to make sure you have a balance, 2) there just doesn’t seem to be enough time to do everything I want to do, and 3) other people sometimes just overlook or downplay the work I am doing, citing that there are many organizations and non-profits already in place to help children, and that my career may be somewhat obsolete. Of course, that is entirely unfounded, but it’s a myth perpetuated by competitors in the industry.
5. What was it like to work at your job when you first began?
When I first began, it was pretty overwhelming. I mean, I thought I was pretty prepared, having interned almost my entire life as the oldest of ten children, but when I was actually at the head of my own organization…wow. Nothing can really prepare you for the thrills and sometimes failures that occur when you start out.
But, really, when you think about all the humanitarian work you are doing, you realize that so many other people have been where you are and they stick with it. Why? It’s just so rewarding. I mean, you are at the cutting edge of social change! Every day is an opportunity to change the world for good. You also get the courage to take a deep breath and keep going. The learning curve is steep, but after a few months, it just becomes so natural.
6. What is it like to work at your job after years of experience?
After years of experience, the job is more fantastic than it’s ever been. I love that I am finally in a place that I can feel confident in all my decisions–from financial management to day-to-day operations to special events planning and everything in between. I have very little job stress, as the routine is so established that the organization practically runs itself. If I feel like change is needed, I always seem to be able to expand and add new children into the mix. It’s just amazing.
7. How does your job affect your lifestyle (family life, leisure time, social life, vacations, material possessions, personal happiness, etc)?
Pretty much my job is my life, but it does not interfere with my family in any way, except toward the positive. My husband loves what I do, and we still have time to take weekly dates, and occasional weekend trips away. My social life has only improved, as I usually associate with others who are of the same frame of mind–that making a positive difference in the world is more important than having stock in a company and having a billion dollars. Since my work is so important and consuming, I also make sure that I don’t waste time with things that aren’t truly important. As far as vacations–well–I know I’ll do that someday, but when your work is vital to humanity, it’s hard to get away.
As far as material possessions, I was so grateful what this job taught me near the beginning–LESS IS MORE! A recent study showed that Americans have far too much “stuff” and never use it–they just stress about taking care of all of it and finding a place for all of it. I was able to truly simplify and live a lifestyle that took me out of the ‘consumer rat race’ that is the source of so many people’s stress and problems. I learned that space free of clutter is so calming and creates such a peaceful, zen like environment.
At the same time my career allows me to focus on the value of experiences over things! When you work with children, you see clearly how valuable, meaningful, fun experiences are so much better than more stuff anytime.
Working with children and changing the world is such a great way to find personal happiness–and when you add to that the opportunity to teach the next generation how to better care for our planet, be compassionate to others, and learn valuable life skills that can help people all over the world, well–I think you’d be hard pressed to find something that could bring more personal happiness than this career.
8. What opportunities exist for advancement in terms of money, responsibility, or personal growth?
This is where my career really shines. We have always seen that when you put positive thoughts to work, great things happen. If we need more rooms for more children, a safe vehicle for transportation, more learning opportunities or enrichment for the kids, we just get to work thinking positively and doing all we can–and wow! The money pours in–sometimes it may appear to outsiders to be a trickle, but as in most charitable efforts, somehow every single nickel, dime and penny really count!
Opportunities to have more responsibility are endless. While dealing with multiple age groups can sometimes be challenging–the rewards are tremendous, and if you find that you have extra time on your hands–there is always so much more you can do. This job offers on-the-clock opportunities for additional responsibilities in the humanitarian effort–like opportunities to manage sports teams, major community events and fundraisers, food drives, literacy efforts and more.
With regard to personal growth, really–the sky is the limit. While actually working in this field, you are supported in every personal growth endeavor you want to accomplish. My organization offers onsite opportunities for such things as: learning to make quilts for the homeless, searching for ancestors using high end technology, and other types of personal growth activities. Also, there are several ways to tie in a personal growth plan with what we are doing for the children. Pursuing great literature, artistic pursuits, and other things are not only acceptable during work hours, but encouraged!
9. What type of training is best for this job?
The best type of training for this job is probably spending time with a host family (usually your own), in which you can see a mother in action. If you haven’t had the chance to intern that way, don’t worry! There are many other ways to get the training. The LDS church offers youth programs and youth seminaries, and the adult training program for this career, known as temple attendance, is vital. Also, the LDS church sponsors full-time missionaries to serve for a period of 18 months to 2 years which provides absolutely excellent training for this job.
If you did not have the opportunity to pursue any of those training paths, don’t worry! The church has also put out a set of manuals that have been hailed by millions as the absolute authority in the field–called The Standard Works. They are available free online, or free of charge from the missionaries of the church. You can also opt to buy them bound in one volume, in pocket size, in leather, or in extra large print anywhere in the world where there is a Distribution Center or online.
Other training opportunities that would be best for breaking into this field are:
- Living with roommates, some of whom you may not naturally get along with
- Engagement and marriage
- Continued Temple Attendance (for continuing education)
- Bachelor’s Degree in any field of study (can help in critical thinking skills and putting up with bureaucratic nonsense, which are vital to this job)
- EMT/Nursing/PA School (these are all excellent fields to help in the practical side of the job)
- Any education in the arts or sciences
- Money management training, hair stylist training, fashion merchandising, and culinary expertise are a HUGE plus
10. How do people find out about openings in this work?
It’s a fabulous career, and it’s sometimes hard to find openings. A lot of cultures require you to have children before you begin this career, but if you branch out a little, you can clearly see that being a mother involves a lot more than having children. It’s great to be a stay-at-home mom even if you don’t currently have children. There are myriad opportunities to serve our communities, neighborhoods, churches, and our nation. They are literally everywhere. Right now the market is HOT, as there is a HUGE demand for mother hearts and nurturers, and not enough people trained or able to choose the career.
If you choose this career, you can really work from anywhere. There are openings ALL OVER THE GLOBE. Literally. Want to visit China? You could do this career there. Always wanted to see Paris? No problem. The current demand in France is very high.
And statistics show that the demand is going to increase dramatically every year for at least the next 200 years in every part of the world. Talk about JOB SECURITY.
11. If you were to hire someone to do your job, what qualifications would you look for?
The greatest qualification is YOU HAVE TO WANT IT. The second hugest qualifier is LOVE. Is this person capable of loving other people? Is this person capable of the huge workload of a major humanitarian effort? If they can’t right now, are they willing to try? Other qualifications to look for:
- Sense of humor
- Handles unexpected situations appropriately
- Sense of humor
12. What are some related jobs that you could do with your training?
Other related jobs someone could do with this training:
- Event Planning/Transportation Coordinator
- Youth Camp Director
- President of the United States
- Nobel Peace Prize contender
- World leader
- Head of the UN
13. If you had to do it over, would you make the same career choice? Why?
Definitely yes! While there have been days that I really felt like quitting, I have never once seriously considered it. It’s just great to be at the cutting edge of societal change for good. It’s great to be able to really have an outlet to teach children to be less consumer conscious, more aware of their environment and caring for it, and more compassionate to others. I feel like I am really making headway in shifting our culture away from serious problems like drugs, pornography, bullying, abuse, not caring about the earth, and the perpetual immaturity that seems to be plaguing our communities and cities. It’s so exciting to really be the change!
14. How many years have you worked at this job?
I have been mothering nearly my entire life, but officially committed to a lifetime contract about 15 years ago.
So, there is the interview. It was a lot of fun, and great to feel so vetted and sought after! Don’t worry, though, I won’t let it go to my head!