Life Diploma with a Work Degree

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Life of a Working Mom

I have served as PTA president a couple times.  I have coached middle school volleyball, basketball, track, and even soccer (of which I knew nothing about) for nine years and loved every minute of it.  That time has past and with my last two kids in high school, the daily changes have been evident as my taxi service diminished somewhat with another driver in the house, as well my desire for a clone in order to attend every event – I decided awhile ago that this is impossible and I quit beating myself up for it.  On top of all this, being a working mom has lent a significant amount of fatigue to my vigorous albeit whimsical quest for work/life balance.  This is not an excuse, it is merely a statement of facts.  But I must say, I wouldn’t trade the relationships with each of my kids or the admiration and appreciation I have felt, over the years, for their teachers and coaches – those who have helped me raise my kids.

Work is hard.

There are many reasons why I work.  Mostly because of the need and drive within me and the passion I feel for my industry, the company for whom I work and what we provide, as well as a impetus to find success and avoid failure at all costs – this pretty-much covers the last thirty-five years of my work experience, each company or client for whom I have worked.  But underlying all of that “happiness” for work is need, a need to provide for my family and self.  I haven’t always chosen to be away from work so I could attend a PTA meeting, nor have I always chosen to work at every bake sale – there have been many.  But I have tried my darnedest to find or create balance – the best I know how.


As we become adults and choose a line of work, we further define ourselves.  It is up to us how narrow that definition should or will be.  We don’t always have the choice to change our lives, for life tends to change us, not the other way around.  My career path has had many hills and valleys, mud pits and dry prairies.  Luckily, I don’t mind sweat, dust, or dirt – for they are most often an indication of hard work  One thing is sure, though.  I was a better dental assistant and office manager because I have been a mom.  I was a better recruiter because I am a daughter.  I was a better consultant because I am a sister.  I am a better marketing director and branding specialist because I am a friend.

To claim that personal life is unrelated to work life is short-sighted and without foundation.  One drives the other or the other drives one.  They are inter-related.  Well-rounded is just that and denial does nothing for me and provides no advancement on either front. ALL of my life experiences provide background for my work, whether I was teaching Sunday School to a bunch of three-year olds or strategically packing for a camping trip as a young, but crazed mother of four.

 And thus…

Every single work experience, past, present, and future, provides the background for my life and inherent depth to my base of knowledge.  This fact is irrefutable and without question.   A constant education without even a glimmering hope of an “official” diploma or degree.  Just life lessons.
No wonder I am tired.


by Rayanne Thorn



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