Working Mama

Erik’s got a job (cue the bombastic, triumphant choral music), but we are still sorting out childcare. In other words, I am working full time with Zora in tow.

It’s been an interesting week and a half so far. I think we are just inches away from having some sort of childcare plan pulled together. But for now, I’m really glad I’m where I am and that I work like I do and that I do what I do.

Here are some of our more interesting moments and “solutions” of the past few days:

  1. Zora, like her rhymed counterpart Dora, is an explorer. By which I mean she does not like to stay in one room. The first thing she learned was how to work the doorknobs on the church offices. So she can get out of mine. And make a break for the preschool. After a few days of this, I now put a box of paper reams in front of my door so that she can’t open it. If there’s a fire, we’ll go out through the window. If someone needs me, they page me on the phone intercom.
  2. I’ve told people, as a joke, that if you are a pastor’s kid, you can sniff out the location of the church cookie stash. Actually, it’s not a joke. Zora knows where the cookies are, who keeps food in what file cabinet drawer of their desk, and which office volunteers will give her anything she asks for.
  3. I’m desperate to get work done. So I’m willing to do just about anything. Like this morning. Since I’m the pastor for youth and children, I have lots of cool stuff in my office. When Zora found a package of balloons, I blew one up. When she wanted me to blow up another one, I did. There are 10 inflated balloons in my office now. I have no regrets.
  4. I love the pastors I work with. They are flexible about this. Case in point: yesterday, Zora came along to our weekly staff meeting. By the end of the meeting, she had spilled water (significant amounts) on all but the head pastor, and so much on herself that I had taken off her soaked shirt. She was running through the office bare-chested, until my colleague Bart gamely picked her up by the feet and swung her like a pendulum for 3 minutes just to give me a chance to get in the information I needed to give the group. Our choir director walked into the meeting to this scene: wet pastors, shirtless baby swinging upside down.

I went into ministry partly because I knew I could get away with cheerios strewn around my office. Now, excuse me while I clear the puzzle pieces off of some budget reports that I need to look over.

3 Responses to “Working Mama”

  1. ms rev or not Says:

    that’s great. i wish everyone’s work could be accommodating.

  2. ms rev or not Says:

    did that sound kind of… b*#@hy? i didn’t mean for it to. and congrats to erik on the job!

  3. Erica Says:

    No. I get it. I feel the same thing sometimes: this is so not the complete reality for many people in their work. And I really hate that. Sometimes I feel guilty that I can have cheerios strewn all over my office and that’s an OK thing.

    But I’m also trying not to feel guilty about it and remind myself that this is one of the big reasons I went into ministry. I had a minister dad who modeled the possibility of using the flexibility of pastoral work to be really present with your children, and when I think about my motivations for going into ministry, that possibility is one of them. And I was attentive to the this when I accepted this call: I don’t think I would have accepted this call if it seemed like the church would not be able to handle me working with little ones in tow.

    So, no worries, ms rev!