Photograph credit: Jason Stern

A month ago I sub-letted my small office to a colleague.
I have worked alone for a long time and wanted to change up the energy around here, and have another acupuncturist to talk shop with. I thought if I had a really good acupuncturist working in the office next to me, I would work a bit harder in my own room. It has certainly done exactly that, in ways that I could not have predicted. He easily fit right in and filled up his one day a week with clients. Has great energy and is bringing lots of new people through the office doors. What I did not count on was that in the few minutes conversations that we get to have tucked in between clients, I have had to see myself a little more honestly…

My self-esteem gets challenged really easily. I am a little stuck in my ways. I still have many career goals that I would like to tackle. I feel that there is no energy and time surplus in my life. I get jealous of other people that have more resources then me. On one hand, I think that I have done really well building up a business from nothing, while raising two young children. On the other hand, I question if I could be more successful. I imagine that these are the challenges of any self-employed, working, mother.

As I ponder these last few sentences, what strikes me, is that I am looking for validation. I would like someone to say, “hey you have really done an amazing job with your business and your doing that while raising kids, wow I am impressed.” I often keep the trials and tribulations of raising kids secret when I am working. I will mention it to other working mother clients and friends only. I think it would be nice to break the barrier of silence and come out. Come out and say how hard it is to work and raise kids. It feels really good to be acknowledged. There is something valuable in being able to do both at the same time and I could use more support from the community.

I remember once having this type of conversation with another mom and asking her why raising children is not as valued as working. With out skipping a beat, she said because raising children does not support the capitalistic for profit model in our country. It is an undervalued service because kids do not earn income and raising them pulls people’s energy away from working. I realized within seconds of her saying that, she was exactly correct. And traditionally males got to earn money and females stayed home with the children. Now everyone works and there is a constant struggle to spend enough quality time with the children.

Employed parents, if you are even partially successful at your job, go ahead and pat yourself on the back. You are doing a great job and working really hard.
Thank you for your devotion. We are facing a time where empowered children will make a great difference in the future. It is really the whole communities responsibility to support and raise the children. It is valued work that you are doing.
That is what I would like to hear more.

Post by Jipala

Jipala R. Kagan is a healer and a writer. She is a New York State Licensed Acupuncturist and a NCCAOM Diplomat. Her work emphasizes Emotional/Spiritual Acupuncture, Trauma Recovery and Muscular-skeletal Relief. She has a working knowledge of Western Herbology, Homeopathic Medicine, Nutritional Supplements, Dietary, Lifestyle and Energetic counseling.