The strongest people are not those who show strength in front of us but those that win battles we know nothing about.
To be a mom is no joke. To be a mom that works outside the home living her two callings is really no joke. I admire women that are doing both. It brings me great joy to see friends that I have known for years live passionately as a mommy and in their role(s) outside the home. Two and a half years ago I was a new mommy in a new country not quite sure what I was doing. The jobs I had in the States just really didn’t exist here so I didn’t head straight back to work. I received a call from Plunket (an organisation in New Zealand that helps you once you have had your baby) asking me if I wanted to connect with another new mommy in my area. *Sigh* I really felt so unmyself that I was nervous and didn’t want to call. But one day while I was ironing and bored to death thinking this cannot be what being a stay at home mom is, could it? I called her. We chatted. Compared our new boy’s stories and made a coffee date. Little did I know what an amazing moment that was in my life.
I met my friend Hayley and her gorgeous son Finn a few days later at Starbucks. It was an effortless conversation and an instant friendship. I have to admit I was a tiny bit intimidated. You see Hayley was a surgeon. A surgeon! I can remember calling my best friend saying, “Who has surgeon friends?” It was such a different vocation for a friend to have for me. Surgeons were on TV. They existed on Scrubs and Grey’s Anatomy not in my little beach town raising kids with me. But there she was. I think we maybe both needed a friend in that season of life that didn’t take work. We walked on the beach, talked about life and marriage and family, we put the kids on our backs and walked up the Mount, we drank ridiculous amounts of Starbucks and just enjoyed learning about each other’s lives.
Hayley eventually went back to work and I was so sad. Surgeon isn’t really a job I could just ring her and chat I thought. But to my complete delight we have stayed connected. We have vacationed together and continued to love each other’s boys who are one week a part. She has an amazing supportive husband who like mine is in school pursuing a degree and excellence. We have so much in common minus the whole she cuts people open and heals people for a living.
She is an incredible surgeon. She wouldn’t tell you that but I have picked up enough to realise she is excellent at what she does. She has just had her second baby and I get the privilege of going and staying with them for a couple weeks to help. I am beyond excited. Not just because I get to cuddle a new born and see Max and Finn play together once again, but because I absolutely believe in what she is doing. She is a hero. Plain and simple. Her choice to continue working towards her goal and live who she was created to be is not only important but heroic. There is much chatter surrounding working moms. I guess everyone can have their own opinions but it’s really stupid (and heart breaking) to me that any woman in 2013 should have to defend or feel like they need to defend their life choices. I’m so proud of my surgeon friend. She does mom and wife like the rest of us…with excellence, stress at times and lots and lots of cuddles. She also demonstrates to her two boys the importance of working hard and diligently in your work. Her boys need to see her leave and change the world one surgery at a time. Girls that become friends with her boys need to see they can be anything, even a surgeon. Their eventual wives need to see a strong female role model that raised incredibly loving, healthy, non chauvinistic men. She is heroic on so many levels. The friend she is. The encourager for me in a season that is hard. The hope that she calls me to because she walked the med school road (and the horrible winters & summers of Dunedin!). The way she loves her husband and supports him to be who she already sees him to be. The way she puts her scrubs on walks into theatre (operating room) and focuses on her patient that needs her utter attention, to live in most cases. All the while longing to cuddle her newborn and play cars with her two year old. She is a hero to many. I’m a honoured to call her friend and love her for who she is not just for surgery or the way she is a mom but because I can call her friend. She is heroic making hard quiet choices everyday at home and in the hospital and for that she should be celebrated!