Carrie has four daughters and runs Write On! Workshops--a summer writing camp for children.

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Advice for working moms from a 93 year old

I loved the recent post from  Carina Wytiaz on working moms. She quoted Tina Fey who basically said it’s pretty tough. Hearing someone like Tina Fey say it takes a little of the mystique away.  Being a mom is being a mom–no matter how famous you are.

Last month I interviewed a 93 year old woman named Ethel Bradford for a little community newspaper I write for.  Ethel worked as a newspaper woman most of her life–in an age where few women worked– and raised a family at the same time.

After the interview, I confided to her how I sometimes feel guilty taking time to write while my children are growing.

She sent me an e-mail response:

And as for writing,  KEEP IT UP.   Even if  you have no avenue for publication, keep writing.  Your girls will see  you busy with your interests and will admire  you for it.  Won’t make you less a mother, but more of one.  This is the world they are growing up in, where women are active and productive, let them see how it can be done.  You are NOT taking time from them, you are showing them  how women now live.

Does that speak to you the way it speaks to me?

This woman has published four books in the past eight years. She told me the key to longevity is to be too busy to die–and in the meanwhile, to live without regret.

(If you want to read more about her–you can find the article here. )

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Comments (9)

  1. Shelly Knight 03/18/2011 at 10:06 am

    Inspiring for sure. I struggle so much to be in the moment with my children sometimes. But, I had not given much thought about the lessons they’re learning when I’m not.

  2. Carrie Finlinson 03/18/2011 at 11:20 am

    Oh! You said that so well! There is no way to predict what our children will have to face in their futures. Sometimes when I feel guilty about outside work I am doing, I’ll shift and think that maybe this is exactly what my children need to see me doing.

  3. Jen 03/18/2011 at 11:29 am

    Excellent post on the reflection of what we ‘think’ we should be doing vs. what we are doing and how it’s not always as bad as we see it. I totally agree…being a strong women with talents and convictions while also being a mom is a powerful tool in raising the future generations!

  4. Rachael 03/21/2011 at 10:40 am

    I loved this quote: “You can’t die 10 years before you leave the body,” Bradford said. “I know there comes a time for everyone, but then there’s the ‘meanwhile.’ And I’m still here.”

    I hope to grow old like THAT!

  5. Johanna 03/21/2011 at 1:10 pm

    Amazing! I loved her advice. “She told me the key to longevity is to be too busy to die–and in the meanwhile, to live without regret”…I really liked this.

  6. Meagan @ The Happiest Mom 03/21/2011 at 3:46 pm

    Seriously inspiring. I love the part about being “too busy” to die! LOL

  7. Michelle Powell 03/21/2011 at 5:23 pm

    Wow. For some reason, that brought me to tears. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  8. Diana Windley 03/21/2011 at 8:41 pm

    Thanks for the pick-me-up. I’m always inspired by women who have successfully managed motherhood and a career at the same time.

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