Freedom – Right?
As we approach Mother’s Day, I’ve been thinking of how fast my kids are growing up. Everyone tells you how quickly it’s going to go but when you have a colicky, crying infant you think, ‘One can only hope.’
You should know, my father was the instigator; he was the one that kept suggesting I get my real estate license by saying, “What if you did a deal every now and then?”
At that time, I had two boys – a two year old and a newborn and I was President of my local MOMS Club. I had been a stay-at-home mom for two years and I thought, “What if I did a deal every now and then? Real Estate allows you so much freedom, right?”
A little over a year later, I had my real estate license and it quickly became more than ‘a deal every now and then’ – and I loved it. My friends were growing families and an immediate source of wonderful business.
In theory the job is flexible – but in practice – it can be demanding in ways that can be intrusive with a family. Yet, I gave birth to my third child, my daughter, and I nursed her, and cared for her from my home, and I was able to continue working. The year of my pregnancy and her birth was my best year in production up to that point.
The Elusive Search for Balance
As a working mother, I think many of us struggle with the elusiveness of ‘balance’. In a real estate market where only the strong survive, finding that balance is a daily effort. As a mother, I have often felt torn; I think many women do.
As a once stay-at-home mother, I know that the often expressed sentiment is that to be a full-time, at home mother is superior. I know that full-time working women feel that there is something to be said for the empowerment gained in a career that is particularly important for a women. I could argue both sides of this debate with confidence.
Artwork and Frozen Pizzas
There are challenges with being a working mother in the real estate industry. Sometimes my days are chaotic and unpredictable. Sometimes I forget the flower for Teacher Appreciation week. Sometimes I forget to bake for the fundraiser. Sometimes a bed goes unmade. Sometimes we have a frozen pizza for dinner.
But there are gifts this business has afforded me that I never take for granted. I drop my kids off to school everyday and I’m here everyday when my kids come home. I have helped in each of my their classrooms. I attend every play, every conference, and every award ceremony. I can take a day in the middle of the summer and go to the beach (even if I do sneak in a few work related calls). I’m here to break up the fights, soothe the fever, admire their artwork, and laugh at their jokes. I try to be present. Phone calls don’t interrupt picking up or dropping off at school, and they don’t interrupt meals.
I suspect that they will have memories of the times my work has ‘intruded’ on their moments with me. But, more importantly, I believe they will also have memories of me being around. I know that they will see the sense of self reliance this career has given me, and yet the true partnership I have with their dad.
Real estate has been the career that has afforded me the ability to be the kind of woman, the kind of mother I really wanted to become. I still love the business and I’m filled with such a sense of gratitude for all that it has given to me.
To all my fellow Realtor Moms – Happy Mother’s Day!