P is for Peg: My mulitasking mom. Sixteenth of 26 posts in the April 2021 Blogging From #AtoZChallenge. Theme: “Endwell: My Early Teen Years”— adding my story to the family history mix. Please join me on the journey.
My mom Peg was also career building during my early teens (1963-65) — but unlike Dad, she had other pulls on her time.
So Mom developed her School Music Educator career more slowly — while also meeting the demands of motherhood, an active social life and volunteer work at our church and a local hospital.
Mother of five: from teen to toddlers
At home, Peg was a no-nonsense mother. Caught up as I was in my early teen world, I sometimes bristled under her demands to keep my grades up and to generally behave myself at school and on the block (enforced by occasional groundings).
But looking back, I am now amazed at all that she accomplished while simultaneously raising five children — who in the early 1960s ranged from a teen to toddlers, as shown above.
Back to teaching
Once my brothers and I were in school, Mom commuted to Ithaca College at night for her masters in Music Education — and also substitute taught in the Endwell public schools.
After Mom finished grad school, my sisters were born and she was back to homemaking again full-time. Nevertheless, she made sure to get her permanent music teacher license, which was awarded in 1964. And while my sisters were still little, she resumed teaching in the local parochial schools.
Life of the party
Yet it was not all work for Mom — who was then in her late 30s. At a Malverne Road reunion a couple of years ago, our across-the-street neighbor told me an entertaining story about what Mom and the other mothers got up to during their weekdays at home.
“Peg called around and said she had seen a recipe for a new cocktail and wouldn’t we like to try it?” she told me. “So after our husbands left for work and the children were in school, Peg had us all over one afternoon and we had a great time with that new cocktail!”
Such a good time, in fact, that they secretly repeated their cocktail hour on occasion. “And we made sure to clean up and get back home before our husbands and children returned,” emphasized the neighbor.
Well, well. And I always thought it was only us kids on the block sneaking around to have some fun!
Yet even with teaching and raising a family, Mom also found time for volunteer work.
For years, she used her music skills to lead the choir at Endwell’s Christ the King RC Church — and thus expanded her social life.
I still remember the friendships Mom made with couples from church who came over to play board games with her and Dad — laughing and carrying on and keeping us kids awake until all hours!
Mom also served as a Pink Lady hospital volunteer one night a week — and she had to stand up to Dad to do it, because he thought she should be getting paid.
In short, during my early teens my mom Peg was multitasking long before the word was invented — and doing it in a balanced way. A bit of homemaking, a bit of work, a bit of fun, then giving back with some volunteering — yet all the while incrementally building the School Music Educator career she would eventually return to full time.
Up next, Q is for Questioning everything. Please leave a comment, then join me as Endwell: My Early Teen Years unfolds one letter at a time!
© 2021 Molly Charboneau. All rights reserved.