BALANCING HOME AND WORK

The stage was set for the balancing act when, several weeks after beginning a new job, I learned that I was expecting our first child. Feeling a sense of responsibility to my employer, I assured my manager that I would return to work full time. And I did. Five weeks after our son's arrival, I was back at work as night supervisor. At that time, my husband was a schoolteacher, and he was at home for summer vacation. Because I had to sleep during the day, my memories of the next five weeks are of his waking me every few hours during the day to nurse the baby. It quickly became apparent that something was out of balance. My son was growing up—and I was sleeping through it!

My sincere desire was to do what was right for all concerned. I loved my work as a Christian Science nurse, but I also yearned to spend more time with my family. A favorite sentence in Science and Health by Mary Baker Eddy states, "Love for God and man is the true incentive in both healing and teaching" (p. 454). This established my priorities: first is love for God. I recognized God both as the source of all true caring and as the Father and Mother of all His creation. God does not feel any conflict between the roles of nurse and mother. Both roles express Her tender nurturing. As the image of God, limitless Love, I am a reflection, or effortless transparency, of that Love. And selfless love for man was evident in my care both for my nursing patients and for my family. These thoughts lifted all sense of being torn between the two. Then, even though part-time schedules were frowned upon at work at that time, a mutually beneficial arrangement was established. That position was so suitable for our family that I continued in it for the next seven years.

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