I moved to South Dakota for college at SDSU. While attending school, my ultimate goal was to gain a “Mrs.” Degree, marry the perfect man and become a stay at home mom. I grew up and my plans changed. I learned that I love working. Love it! I love the challenge, multitasking, and the feeling of success upon accomplishment.
After graduation and the birth of our daughter I became employed with a fast moving company. I started my employment commuting to Sioux Falls, then to Watertown, before obtaining a position in Brookings, where I live. That was short lived as I took over another location and then all of our companies South Dakota stores. Did you follow that? – Yeah, it’s hard to wrap my head around too. I’m a mother of a five year old and 18 month old and my husband is in night school to get his masters. My schedule is chaos and I regularly work over 60 hours a week. My husband is our rock, the glue, and the support of our family. Our family bends gender roles. We know it.
I’ve been employed with the company for 4 years (almost) and I’ve had 5 title changes. All these changes better my family financially, but create new challenges, such as the time balance between the job that provides for them and me being their provider. Sometimes balance fails. Work comes home with me nightly, but it’s about when I complete it. I make it home most nights for dinner, bath time, book time and bedtime. After our children are in bed my husband works on his homework and I finish out my day. It’s not ideal, but it works for us.
I don’t work Sundays and I haven’t in years. That is the ONE day where neither my husband nor I work and it’s our family’s day. It’s important to us that our children attend Sunday school and church every week and they are enrolled in a Christian daycare to help if I miss a lesson. Sunday is a day where we keep TV off, computers shut and phone calls are for catching up with grandparents.
I’ve also learned that it’s the quality of time that I spend with my kids. I don’t clean on my days off or open my computer unless it’s naptime. My days off are solely dedicated to my kids. These days are planned out in advance and something my daughter can look forward to. I’ve built on the fact that our time together is limited. So when mommy doesn’t work we have a day filled of fun. My goal is to have my children look back at the fun memories with mom, not the fact that I was gone.
A big focus of our fun is giving to others. Our family is blessed and my children get a lot (only grandkids on both sides). It is very important to me for our children to understand giving. Giving without expecting anything in return, like Jesus did. How do you do that with a five year old and 18 month old? I’m still working on that. So we make it fun! Our favorite activity, and we do it at least every other month, is random acts of kindness.
This is how we do random acts of kindness: My daughter loves arts and crafts! So we make notes covered in stickers wishing people to have a great day. We’ll stick them in cars at the grocery store and sit in our car to watch their reactions. The reactions are mostly the same stare confused then smile. We wait for their smile and get excited! We also turn our activity of entertainment into gifts for others. For example, we like to go pick raspberries in the garden and then bring them to friends and family. I like that they are working for their gift, to benefit someone else, not just us.
My family will grow up and plans will change. I know as my children grow and comprehend more we’ll find more and different ways to help teach the important life lessons of giving. I will always work to make it fun in hopes they’ll make giving to others a habit of their daily lives. I have no idea where my job will land us next (currently moving to Sioux Falls). I can’t predict time constraints or job demands. I know that the balance of priorities sometimes fails. I know that if I focus on the quality over quantity of time I spend with my children I will have wonderful memories of their upbringing.
Our mission is to assist women and families in the Brookings area and SDSU who are experiencing unplanned pregnancy to explore choices by providing appropriate resources and support including counseling, educational programs, and mentoring.
CALL: (605) 692-1600
Life, Love and Lessons Series
Option 1’s "Life, Love, and Lessons" blog series provides small glimpses into the life, love, and lessons from a variety parents. Some may be just like you and some may not resemble you, but each is here to share their own journey.
PO Box 924 | 103B 22nd Ave
Brookings, SD 57006
Phone: (605) 692-1600
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At Option 1 of Brookings, SD, we recognize that women have a right to make their own decisions about the outcome of their pregnancy and their sexual health. We are here to help women and their partners make informed and thoughtful decisions. The information provided on this website is not intended to diagnose any condition or pregnancy and should not take the place of your medical practitioner. Although option1.org provides valuable and credible health information, this website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical, legal or counseling advice.