Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A New Career

My friends told me my life would change when I became a mom, and, while I knew I would have to adjust my ways, I truly didn’t anticipate the level of my metamorphosis.  At first I noticed little adaptations such as new eating habits, a visceral distaste for violent films, and spontaneously speaking in rhyme
      all the time,
          which is fine,
               ‘til you lose your mind,
                    which is a sign,
                         that it’s time,
                              to no longer rhyme.
While all of these were unforeseen, I never-ever-not-in-a-million-years, thought I would give up my career; a career for which I endured eleven years of higher education and finally had earned my way up to a director level position.  But the strings of motherhood pulled me towards my daughter and away from the corporate ladder.   

My husband’s career financially allowed me to morph from a multi-million dollar strategic leader to play-date planner extraordinaire efficiently juggling swim lessons, ballet classes, birthday parties, and pre-k fund raisers.  Over a year has passed since I hung up my new “Stay-at Home Mom” shingle, and I have no regrets. Someday I’ll rejoin the rat race, but for now, I’ll just enjoy the only rat in my life—Chucky Cheese.  (Or is he a mouse?)

In my new role, I have discovered that reading encompasses a huge chunk of my time.  My daughter, Madeleine, and I love going on literary adventures together.  We have read just about every children’s book in the library, and it was these mental explorations that inspired me to put pen to paper and rekindle my passion for writing.

When I was in elementary school, I won first place for my short story, Hello Mother, Hello Father, about a topsy-turvy summer camp experience.  Ever since then, writing has been woven throughout my life in a variety of forms: pathetic poetry, dreary diaries, pointed press-releases, and riveting research.  Except for my dissertation I never took my writing seriously; that is, until I found my muse, Madeleine. 

Last fall, she and I engaged in an outdoor inquiry lesson about an orb-weaver spider that had built a web outside our kitchen window.  We had such a fun day watching and learning about “Charlotte” (I know—what an original name for a spider), that I decided to write down our adventure.   As I re-read my journal entry, I thought, this would be an awesome children’s book.  I was often frustrated that the majority of children’s science books I read to Madeleine had male protagonists and that when a female character did find her way into the story she often shrieked and shrilled when she saw bugs, snakes, and all slimy things. 

Let me jump on my academic soap box for a moment.  Research indicates that we have a true problem in this country with young women not engaging in the fields of science, mathematics, technology, and engineering; and I believe that much of that lack of involvement is due to poor modeling. The media (books, movies, cartoons, etc.) doesn’t often portray girls in these roles, and when they do the girls are often stereotyped in not so flattering ways.
Jumping back off my box; after reading my journal entry and knowing what I know about girls’ science education, I had an epiphany.  This children’s’ book could be my contribution: promoting science as something cool not only to girls but also to boys.
And that is how my new career began as a children’s book author.  Do I have anything published? Nope; not yet.  But this is only the beginning.

While children, nature, and education are near and dear to my heart, I also have other topics that you will read about in my future blogs.  My interests span a variety of areas such as culture, leadership, business management, food, friendship, parenting, and much more.  So if you’re not interested in the topic of the week, then come back the next for a taste of something different. You never know what I might write about:  how getting lost at the Opryland Hotel landed me a graduate assistantship; my life as a vegetarian married to a hunter, academic ramblings, science projects exploding in my kitchen, or even some pathetic poetry.     

Thanks for tuning in!


  1. I love it. Nicely done! Looking for more.


  2. Wonderful beginning, Amanda. I'm especially interested in the vegetarian kitchen of a hunter's wife. :D Looking forward to more.