Off the Record: Moms

By Lyndsie Kiebert
Reader Staff

It’s an ongoing joke that even though my mom and I live about a quarter-mile apart, we never see each other.

This is not entirely true. We are busy people (an integral aspect of our shared busy-body personality type), but we do see one another once a week at Hope Elementary when I work my paraprofessional job. My mom is the school librarian, advanced math instructor, Kindergarten reading intervention teacher, etc. — as it goes in small schools. The joke stems from the fact that we seem to only catch up in person at school, and have a lot to talk about. That’s another prominent aspect of our shared personality: We are really, really good at talking.

My mom has been many things over the years, some things I’m still learning about. Just yesterday she mentioned her time working in the office at Pend Oreille Shores Resort in the ’80s, helping sell the resort’s first condos — “back when a phone call from Hope to Clark Fork was considered long distance,” she said nonchalantly, blowing my mind.

My mom worked for the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare; as a scab during a teacher strike in Great Falls, Mont.; as a Pampered Chef consultant, traveling to Chicago for a conference when I was 4 years old, sending me a postcard that reads, “Dear Lyndsie, I love you & miss you — hope you are having fun!!! Love, Mommy”; and for the better part of the 2000s, as an elementary school teacher and librarian. This is just a small sampling of the many professional paths my mom took during her life as a parent — not counting her time working at Dub’s Drive-In for under $3 an hour in high school or the number of other jobs I have heard about in passing.

The older I get, and the more friends I have with children, the more I’m confronted with the challenges of balancing career with motherhood. I feel fortunate to have had a mom who stayed home for the majority of my childhood, but who also set an example that with a supportive partner and flexible work hours, you can — and should be able to — do both.

Sure, my mom and I “never see each other” — partially because she showed me how to work hard and make my schedule work for me. That also means that when we do have our weekly catch-up session, there’s plenty to talk about.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!

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