Moving from Career Girl to Mom

I Was a Career Woman Until Suddenly I Wasn't, And I'm Completely Content With That

I thought I knew what I wanted but I was nowhere near close.

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I'll be the first one to tell you I never imagined any of this- I never thought I would be in my late twenties, rocking two babies on the side porch of our home in the country. I never thought I would lie on my back on a blanket by a trellis of muscadine vines while my daughter played on the handmade wooden swing behind me and my son nibbled on fallen grapes.

You see, I was supposed to be the career girl.

I graduated top of my college class in only three years. I took every AP course there was available to me in high school. I stayed up late on Friday nights not because I was out partying, but because I desperately wanted to make an A+ on my Monday morning exams. Since I discovered my ability to write at an early age, I had done nothing but dream of becoming a famous author. I filled blue notebook after blue notebook with short stories, creating enough to fill up an entire cardboard box by the time I finished elementary school.

After college, I took a job as a technical writer back in my hometown. It was fulfilling and paid well enough, but it wasn't my dream job. That concept was always in the back of my mind: the "dream job." I would come home from work utterly exhausted and suffering from carpal tunnel but immediately after dinner, I would be pounding the keyboard again, working away tirelessly at the next great American novel. I was convinced that if I could just create characters that were interesting enough, charming enough and special enough, I could create a best-seller. Then, that best-seller would be turned into a cinematic treasure. Then, I would win a Pulitzer and an Oscar. It was the dream, I tell you.

I never got too far into that novel, though. Our daughter was born when I was 28 and our son came 23 months later. Suddenly, that mental urge I had to win the rat race was replaced with a maternal urge to nest and nurture my children as much as possible. I decided to stay home with them as soon as I delivered my firstborn in the hospital. I called my bosses and through tears, told them I had decided to step down. My projects, the ones I had planned on completing as soon as my maternity leave was up, would need to be given to someone else. I would be back in the office in a few weeks to pack up my desk, the one I had painted cherry red early one morning before work.

At first, I ran myself ragged: I tried to stay up and write after the kids went to sleep, I asked my parents, siblings, spouse and every friend I had to help me watch them so I could sneak away to a coffee shop a few times a week and knock out a few more pages.

The catch? I missed them like crazy when I was away.

I called constantly to check in, found myself browsing Pinterest for baby ideas more than I was actually working, and glanced at my phone every ten seconds to see if anyone had called. I even researched the legalities of installing a camera in our home to monitor my brood remotely when I was away, like we had done when we boarded our pup. It was all becoming too much and I was becoming a bit of a crazy person.

In short, I was dually consumed. I wanted to be the best writer I could possibly be, but I also wanted to be the best mother. I wasn't quite 30 and I was feeling the strain of a lifetime of commitments. I woke up one morning, however, with clarity.

At least for the time being, these are my characters. This is my story. No, the tale will never leave the confines of my heart and no one will ever read about us at the local bookstore. We won't go down in history for flying a kite in the backfield at two in the afternoon, while the pecan tree blows in the breeze and clothes dry on the line. No one will settle in with a cup of coffee and delve into the story about how we went to the library every Thursday, the same barbecue restaurant for chicken and dumplings every Tuesday, and the playground almost every evening in the summer of 2017.

But as the writer and the teller of these moments, I can't help but be so richly rewarded by them.

I may have given up my career temporarily, but the fact is that the keyboard will always be there, waiting for when I'm ready to pick it back up again. I have no doubt that the day will come when I am, indeed, ready. For now, though? I'm content to move from narrator to observer for the time being. I'll observe how the morning sunlight streams in through his hair when he's just stirring in his crib. I'll notice how her dimples show up when she's laughing with her head thrown back, hanging onto the monkey bars.

As my favorite song goes: "My only excuse for not doing enough? I was too busy being in love."

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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7 Life Lessons My Parents Taught Me

Your parents have been there from the start, and have no doubt shaped you into the person you are today

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I'm so grateful for everything that my parents have done for me. Even more so, I'm incredibly grateful for all of the life lessons over the years. At this point, they've taught me way too many life lessons to list here. However, I thought I'd take the time to write down seven of the most important ones!

1. Be Respectful. 

If there is one thing my dad has instilled in me from a young age, it's to always be respectful. I have always been impressed with my dad's ability to stay cool and calm in situations where that's the last thing anyone would expect from him, and he has taught me the importance of maintaining a respectful and mature attitude, even when life gives you the sourest lemons.

2. Be bold. 

My mom is the coolest woman I know, and she has always taken on life the only way she knows how: with unbelievable boldness and fierceness. Being bold means not being afraid to be different or to stand out, and my mom has taught me how badass it is to be the true version of yourself.

3. Be forgiving. 

Arguments and fights are unavoidable parts of life, and ever since I was little, my dad has consistently reminded me of how important it is to pick your battles. Knowing when it's time to pick up the pieces and move on is essential in order to be a forgiving person, not only to yourself but to others as well.

4. Be generous.

Growing up, I was fortunate enough to be spoiled by my parents. Not only was I lucky enough to go on vacations and get beautiful gifts around my birthday and holidays, but I was especially lucky enough to be spoiled by my parent's love and kindness. Being generous, not only financially, but with your ability to love and respect other people is something I am so thankful my parents have taught me.

5. Work hard. 

Both my mom and dad are incredibly hard-working people. Growing up, there were times where my dad worked 12-hour days, and my mom juggled work, household chores, and taking care of me. Even though their hard work resulted in some sacrifices, they always did what was best for my sister and I. My parents have naturally pushed me to be a hardworking person in all aspects of my life, and I think it's a very admirable quality.

6. Be kind.

My dad is the type of person who will always stop in an intersection to give money to a homeless person, and my mom is the type of woman to never think twice about sacrificing her own needs to help others. Both my parents have shown me, along with the rest of the world, what it means to be kind and selfless, and I can only hope I will one day be as good at it as they are.

7. Stand up for yourself. 

Before I came to college, I often found myself doing what everyone else wanted me to do. I jumped into things quickly, hoping it would please others and make them like me. However, once I got to college, I quickly called my mom on the phone, crying because I regretted some decisions I had made. My mom told me how important it is to stand up for yourself, learn to say no, and only do the things you really want to do. Learning to live your life for you, and not let other people rule your universe is key to being happy, and I'm fortunate that my mom helped me realize this.

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