1. What is your current occupation? Is this what you chose to be doing at this point in your life? Why or why not?
I'm a full-time mother and occasional freelance graphic designer, and yes, this is what I've chosen. Well, actually, the graphic designer part of things kind of got dropped in my lap, but I'm very thankful for the opportunity to keep my hand in. As for why I'm a full-time mom, I believe that children are a blessing from the Lord, and that I have a responsibility before God to give my best efforts to raising them.
2. If time/talent/money were no object, what would your dream occupation be?
Professional writer with an agent to do all the marketing and legal stuff for me, and a hired researcher to look up answers whenever I need 'em. (I hate research.)
3. What did/do your parents do for a living? Has this had any influence on your career choices?
My father was, and is, a full-time Bible teacher, but has never been employed by a particular congregation, nor received a salary from any organization. His income comes solely from unsolicited gifts -- that is, if somebody appreciates his preaching or counselling, they might decide to send him a bit of money by way of thanks, but he never asks for funds, nor does he tell his financial needs to anyone but God. My mother has always worked at home, handling not only the traditional homemaker's duties but also some secretarial and counselling work in partnership with my father.
The upshot of all this is that I grew up with daily, first-hand evidence that God is real, that He cares about those who depend on Him, and that a life of faith works on a practical level, not just a spiritual one. And since our family of six managed quite decently on a meagre and unpredictable single income, I became convinced that the general societal belief that most families need two incomes and two working parents to "make it" was a myth. All of which made it easy, indeed almost inevitable, for me to choose full-time mothering as my career when I married and began having children of my own.
4. Have you ever had to choose between having a career and having a family?
Well, yes, I did. I didn't know that I'd get the chance to do freelance graphic design when I left my typesetting job to stay home with Nicholas.
5. In your opinion, what is the easiest job in the world? What is the hardest? Why?
I have no idea what the easiest job is, and my brain hurts just thinking about it. Being a mother, on the other hand, may not be the hardest job per se, but it is certainly one of the most demanding.
As I've been reminded this week, when you're a full-time mother you don't get regular breaks, or indeed very many breaks at all. You are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Your days can be jam-packed with crises and responsibilities that leave you exhausted; and yet when you look back you realize that you can't point to anything tangible that you actually accomplished. Your employers are frequently oblivious to your efforts, and sometimes downright ungrateful ("I don't wike it," pronounces Nicholas firmly from his seat at the dinner table, without so much as having touched the spoon to his lips). And although you can save money for the family as a whole by judicious budgeting, you don't actually get paid. (I will abstain from nauseating platitudes about sweet sticky kisses and cherubic arms flung around her matronly neck being all the payment a mother needs. Yes, raising children has its rewards, but they're of an entirely different order than the measurable benefits of the workplace.)
And now, having pontificated at inappropriate length over what ought to have been five simple answers to five simple questions, I am going to bed.