Sunday, May 8, 2016
From SAHM to Working Mom to Something In Between.
(written awhile ago and I forgot to post...Mom brain)
As I sit here in the bath tub with some hot tea trying to wish away my impending cold that I can feel coming on, I hear Maxwell crying in the other room. He was sick for the first time ever in his life the past couple of days and just when we were doing well with sleep training and he was only waking once a night, we take a few steps back with his sickness. Of course Ty is trying to soothe him but I'm sure that he will cry inconsolably until I decide to get out and hold him....
This is life lately. It's a little bit of chaos as I find my place in this new adventure into Real Estate. I've been both a stay at home mom and a working mother. I know what it is like to feel horrible guilt for leaving my child 8 hours a day and I also know what it is like to feel so completely isolated staying home day after day without much adult interaction. I've seen both the good and bad of both places. But now here I am journeying into this new place that I've never been before. A place where I get to stay home with the kids more and still work doing something I love! And
Believe it or not, at one point in my life, I didn't want children. Or to get married for that matter. I had it in my mind that maybe family life wasn't for me. I've always enjoyed working and staying busy. When I met Ty, my world did a 180. All of a sudden things that I didn't think were in store for me, suddenly were. It wasn't long before my life completely changed paths. And it happened quickly. I found out I was pregnant with Scarlett on Ty and my 1 year anniversary of dating. It was a complete surprise and I was utterly terrified. But life has a way of changing things, usually for the better and Scarlett was one of those things. I went back to work part time after I had Scarlett but not for very long. Ty accepted a job offer in New York and had 2 weeks to move. I stayed behind to look after our homes. When we found out that it was going to be more of a permanent move, I packed up 4 month old Scarlett and our things and followed Ty to Saratoga Springs, New York.
I could go on and on about how I think it's a disgrace that this country does not have a paid Maternity leave of more than 6 weeks.....but I will save that for another post. It was this fact that made me decide to stay home with Scarlett. And I really enjoyed that time. Albeit was often lonely, especially in a brand new place, I joined a Mother group and put Scarlett in all kinds of classes to keep us both busy. For two years I bonded with Scarlett. We had lots of play dates and she was my side-kick. My friend. I also started a head band business and sold baby/children's head bands online. I got this idea after so many questions on where I bought the cute headbands that Scarlett wore. But there was always this little part of me that felt as though staying home was hurting my resume, hurting my chances for any sort of career. I didn't pay it much attention as Scarlett was my #1 priority.
Again, I have an appreciation for mothers of all different walks in life. A HUGE portion of that is for SAHM's. Some mothers are perfectly happy with staying at home raising children, which may I add is probably one of the most difficult jobs I have EVER done. I as well loved my time home, but I knew one day my Scarlett would grow up and be off to school and where would that leave me? Struggling to find my place? This affected me so that I wrote about it many times....here and here.
I made a decision to look for some part-time work. And after a couple months of searching, I found a job that fit my needs perfectly. That job in lending and financial services soon led to an opportunity to work for them full time in Business Development. After some careful consideration, I took the position.
I found myself happy with working full time, although it was completely different and the challenges did not go away, they merely changed form. I found myself feeling guilty sometimes that I didn't have a lot of time to spend with Scarlett. It was hard to adjust. I will never forget the first day that I dropped her off at daycare. It was an extremely rough day for me. There were tears on the way to work, tears at lunch in the bathroom, and tears when she ran towards me at the end of the day. We all adjusted to me as a working mom. Ty stepped in more with home duties and understood that I no longer had the time to do the things I once did. We shared bath times and cooking dinner....or compromised at least. I'm a horrible cook so often he volunteered to cook and clean up while I took bath time and laundry. We were a pretty good team at that point in life. It was hard at first but I adjusted quickly and soon began to appreciate the quality of the time that I had with Scarlett instead of just mediocre quantity time that sometimes did end up happening before I was a working mom.
Things were going really well in life. Ty and I were happier than ever. Ty was doing very well in his career and I was making extra money to put away for the kids. We talked about owning real estate often. Ty is a dreamer and pushes me to go after the things that sometimes I feel are out of reach. We purchased a couple of homes and planned to use them for a rental/income properties. We were so happy that I started to think things were too good to be true. Upon moving into our 2nd home, things changed. We found out that we were going to be adding another member to our family. Of course this was great news, right? Yes it was! I was very sick for the first 4 months or so of my pregnancy. So sick that I don't even know how I made it through my work days. I wrote about that here. After Maxwell was born, I planned to go back to work even though.....insert my disgust with this countries Family Medical Leave/Maternity Leave....but again, life has a way of doing what it wants. And to make a long story short, (If you want you can read about that here) I ended up not going back to work. Here I was again a SAHM.
I thought about all of my options. Two kids in daycare....$$$$$$$, staying home for another couple of years.....maybe. But then I will be starting at square one again. Everything kept coming back to one thing. I needed to do what was right for ME and MY life and for MY family. Because after all, it's all different for each of us, isn't it? Ty encouraged me to go after something I had wanted to do for awhile. I began the journey into Real Estate. I started when Maxwell was 4 months old and it was a difficult to juggle nursing, full time school, being a parent to two children and a wife. But we juggled until I got that license in my hand. Now here I am, showing homes, putting closing dates in my calendar and going to appointments. I was surprised how quickly things started to take off for me. In this career, there are so many different avenues that I can venture into. Although I am trying to acclimate myself into a work flow, I can't help but plan even more for my future. I am really excited to start buying and flipping homes in the near future.
I sit back and think about all of the different roles that I have been in over the last 4 years. It amazes me what us mothers can do when we put our minds to it...or when we have to rearrange for our families. We don't live in a world where life is fair. That is for sure. And I HOPE that someday soon, our country gets with the rest of the world and fixes this disgrace of a FMLA that we now provide. But until then, we have what is here before us. And I took a look around and said, let's go do something that I love. Luckily for me it happened to be something that works out for my family too. I won't say that things are smooth sailing. Every day is a new adventure and it's always a roller coaster ride. But I've made it thus far and I don't plan on slowing down. At 31, I can say that I am finally in a place that I am proud to be. A place that I got to all on my own. Through many sleepless nights, lots of hectic days, a few chaotic moments and many tears....I'm here.
I write this as a reminder to all of the SAHM's out there, working mothers and everything in between...we all do what is best for our families. That doesn't mean we have to give up our dreams or goals. It doesn't mean that one size fits all and it certainly doesn't mean that we are stuck in the place that we are currently in. Life is a book of chapters. It's never too late to go after what we want. Anything worth it is hard, isn't it? This new role in my life is an exciting one and I'm enjoying it.