I was in my final year of college and I had my life planned out. I thought I knew exactly where I was going. Once I found out that I was pregnant, I put school on hold (well, more like I quit) and dedicated the next 6 years to my kids. I enjoyed every minute being with them but in the back of my mind, I was afraid. What will my kids think of me? Would I ever amount to anything? What could a college drop out with extremely limited work experience do for a living?
After tons of soul searching, taking a phlebotomy class then deciding that it wasn’t for me, going back to the drawing boards, moving to Arizona, then coming back to Hawai’i, I finally decided to pursue a career as a realtor.
It’s been two years since making that decision and I’m proud to say that i’m a licensed realtor and have been working for a little over a year. Balancing my job as a realtor as well as my job as a mother and wife isn’t easy! I knew it would be difficult and I thought I prepared for it but there were a few things that I wasn’t expecting…
1. Mom guilt
I dedicated my life to two kids for 6 years and now that they’re both in school, I have freedom that I haven’t had in years. Why do I feel guilty? My kids are both in school, my husband is working, and I still feel like I shouldn’t be enjoying my quiet time. Is it guilt because I’m not with my kids every moment of the day anymore? Maybe it’s because I can’t stop thinking about all the milestones that I might be missing while we’re apart? I know many moms haven’t had the luxury of being able to stay home with their kids full time and probably think I’m being a big baby but the separation anxiety is REAL.
2. Always on the go!!
Before the kids, I was always on the go! I would wake up at 5am to get ready for school, go to classes all day, hang with friends until midnight, finally got to sleep at 2, woke up at 5am, and did it all over again! I never needed a nap and I always woke up in the morning feeling well rested (with 3 hours of sleep). After having my kids, I was always exhausted! I wanted to nap all the time, I had no motivation to do my hair and makeup unless it was a special occasion, and I was content with staying home all day and hanging out with my boys. Fast forward to today and I’m full of energy again! I never want to be home if my husband and kids aren’t home, I’m constantly on the go, I wake up at 4am to go to the gym almost daily, and I enjoy doing my hair and makeup even if I have no plans that day. Part of me thought that after my kids went to school, i’d be home enjoying the quiet in my home office. Instead I pack up my computer and paperwork and find places to sit and work!
3. Finding a job is complicated…
So, I never had a legit 9-5 job before. Before my kids, I worked briefly at a small Korean restaurant, a hotel gift shop, a few months part time at CVS, and in the beauty salon that my mom owns. That’s it. Getting a job before kids was easy! I could work anytime, overtime, holidays, etc… Now it’s a nightmare to find an employer that understands that I need to drop my kids off at school by 7:45 (so no early morning shifts), pick my kids up from school by 2pm (so no late afternoon shifts), and I need to be with them at least until my husband comes home at 6pm. I’ve tried looking for part time work before starting in real estate and it was nearly impossible!
**With that being said, there are many opportunities for stay at home moms to work from home! I’m currently working on a blog post about that so stayed tuned!
4. You get lonely
After being with my kids every minute of the day for 6 years, it can get lonely when you find yourself with hours of child free down time. I miss the sounds of my kids giggling and playing together when I’m home alone. I catch myself zoning out, wondering if they’re having fun or if they’re missing me too. (Let’s be real, they’re probably having the time of their lives with their friends while mommy counts the minutes until I can pick them up!)
5. Working weekends
As a realtor, weekends can get pretty busy. From showing houses to visiting open houses in my neighborhood, weekends are jam packed! I try my best to leave Saturdays open for family time or I try to schedule work for later in the afternoon so we have some time together but it’s still difficult to get used to. My kids are used to me leaving on weekends but it’s always sad to have to say goodbye.
Being a full time mom is the most rewarding job I’ve ever had. I miss being home with my kids everyday but it’s a part of growing up which I knew was inevitable. Finding work and balancing life can be difficult but it’s worth it in the end. As moms, we easily forget about ourselves and put all of our time and energy into our families. The most important lesson I’ve learned is to roll with the punches and make it work! As much as we all want to plan everything out perfectly, life with kids and working full time can get hectic. So just take it one step at a time and enjoy the ride!