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The World's Most Exciting Career: Motherhood!

When people ask me if meant to have nine children, I drop my head and admit that I didn’t. They smile knowingly until I add, “Actually I planned to have ten!”
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When people ask me if meant to have nine children, I drop my
head and admit that I didn’t. They smile knowingly until I add,
“Actually I planned to have ten!” Of course not everyone wants such
a large family, but I knew from the get-go that I wanted and needed
to have a large family.

After getting a college degree in music education I taught in a Jr.
High School in the Boston area and gave private music lessons to help
diminish our loans while my husband attended the Harvard
Business School. I loved my job but after a year we decided that
we better get going on our dream of a large family so I quit teaching in
my eighth month of pregnancy and went home to have a baby. I must
admit that in the last moments of a crazy-horrendous not-on-purpose nat-
ural childbirth I secretly vowed NEVER to enter the halls of a hospital for
the purpose of childbirth again!

BUT, the moment that beautiful little girl opened those misty baby eyes
full of other-worldly wisdom and wonder, I knew that motherhood would
be my most important career. As I thought about my motherhood career
from my hospital bed, I anticipated a career that would be challenging
and exciting, full of surprises and creativity. Little did I know how creative I would have to be to survive, nor did I have any inkling of how many
surprises the coming years would hold!

What I have learned in the following thirty five years of parenting nine
children is valuable beyond my wildest dreams. When asked how I survived all those years and all those children, I usually answer, “One day at
a time!” The astounding thing to me, now that we have sent the youngest
of our nine off to college is that I am the one who has benefited most. It’s
a refiner’s fire, the heat of which made me more patient, less judgmental, more tolerant, less critical, more able to multi-task, less worried
about details, less structured, more serendipitous, more organized (and
less organized).

There will never be a more challenging career than motherhood! I
always smile when I read the following little story which reminds me so
much of myself as a young mother: “It was one of the worst days of my
life. The washing machine broke down, the telephone kept ringing, my
head ached and the mail carrier brought a bill I had no money to pay.
Almost to the breaking point, I lifted my one-year-old into his high chair,
leaned my head against the tray and began to cry. Without a word, my
son took his pacifier out of his mouth and stuck it in mine.” We all need
a little soothing and understanding as we work through the hard moments
of this vital career!

As the children began to grow and I learned what was important and
was not and we realized how important certain things were to teach children while we have them in our homes I became involved in what others
may call another career. I have had the undeniable privilege of writing
books about the real life of mothering. True, one of those books was
called I Didn’t Plan to be a Witch (and might I say that kids can drive any
loving, normally good-hearted mother to put on her wart and black hat
and become a stark, raving witch). But I wrote another book called A
Joyful Mother of Children because as hard as motherhood can be, it is also
full of the most uniquely wonderful joy.

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I have also had the very unique privilege or writing books with my husband Richard. We have done a gaggle of national book tours, radio and
TV shows and have loved rubbing shoulders with good parents who all
want to be better. In recent years we have had the distinct privilege of
having what seems to us to be the most fun job in the world...traveling
around the world to talk to parents about the importance of their families. Yet all that is what I call just a wonderful job. My real career has
been and continues to be motherhood. As I’ve written books, given
speeches and really thought about and analyzed what it takes to be a good
mother, I do think I have become a better mother because of the things
I have learned from “my job”, but nothing we have done or seen can compare with the true “in the trenches” nitty gritty experiences of being a

C.S. Lewis said it best when he stated, “[Motherhood and homemaking]
is surely in reality the most important work in the world. What do ships,
railways, mines, cars and governments exist for except that people may
be fed, warmed and safe in their own homes. [The homemaker’s] job is
one for which all others exist.”

If you feel the need to hone your own skills as a mother and participate
in some professional development in the field of motherhood, our oldest
daughter Saren has started an organization to meet this need. She and
some of her friends who had held interesting jobs in the larger world
before starting their motherhood careers and enjoyed the networking and
opportunities for professional development that they had in those jobs
decided that the career of motherhood should have opportunities for
“networking” and “professional development” as well. For information
on this new movement and how you can host a CareerMothers conference
or retreat where like-minded mothers can learn from each other, log into

Love and congratulations go to all you incredible mothers who are creating wonderful families day by day, month by month, year by year. On
those hard and dreary days remember that you are shaping lives, helping
human beings become more unique, more caring, more joyful and more
responsible. What could possibly be a more exciting career?

Linda Eyre

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