Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Daughter's Inheritance

Mother's Day was last weekend, but I'd like to add a belated entry regarding the importance of mothers, as inspired by Karen Burns, Working Girl.

WG's Mother's Day entry looked at a book, The Mother Factor, that talked about the way our mothers influence us later in life, particularly through behavior patterns. And it got me to thinking about how my mother has influenced me.

My mother was in the first class of women to be admitted to Worcester Polytechnical Institute. She wanted to study chemistry, and was paying for her own courses there. My father was two years ahead of her, studying mechanical engineering. And in the first few months of my mother's sophomore year, they dropped out and got married.

Dropping out was not a problem for my father, because he inherited his father's business, and still works in his own machine shop. But my mother never got to be a chemical engineer. She got the first job she could out of college, at a factory assembly line. Nearly 40 years later, she still works in manufacturing, as an Account Manager. She did eventually finish college, but at Worcester State, with a degree in business (and a minor in geology). She has always been a terrifically hard worker; when my parents sent me to a prestigious private high school, she took a second-shift job at the factory to help afford tuition.

What my mother's career has taught me is the incredible importance of education. I was able to find a good job out of college, and went on to get a Master's degree, the first in my family. Like my mother, I'm persistent. Im a hard worker, and though I may have hit a few bumps recently, I know I'll get back up on the horse and ride off into the sunset. I've also learned not to settle--my mother had to work at what she could get because of her lack of a degree. Because I invested in my skill set and education, I have the luxury of choosing what I do. I have the good fortune to be working in the 21st century with a little more equality for women, as opposed to the '70s where women were treated as intruders in business. I owe a lot to those who came before me.

Thanks, Mom.

2 responses:

Working Girl said...

Wow. Your mom sounds like a fantastic woman.

How can we help succeeding when we have role models like her??!

Kate Hutchinson said...

Thanks, WG. I think I might just send your comment to my mom. :)


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