I always saw myself as a career woman.
Getting a college education wasn’t an option in our family; it was just what you did. My parents instilled in me to work hard, study hard, and start a solid career. I did multiple internships in college and landed a job right after graduation. A few years in, I decided to pursue my masters. Not long after obtaining my MBA, I was laid off. I was devastated, but it ended up being a blessing in disguise. We decided to become business owners and purchase an Anytime Fitness. I threw myself in head first, excited about the opportunity of entrepreneurship. My husband Josh works late hours at the hospital, so when he worked late, I worked late. I lived at our Anytime club and I loved it.
Fast forward five years and two kids later. I had been “leaning in” to my career so much that I was tired, stressed, overworked, and away from my family more than I wanted to be. My priorities in life had shifted, and I felt like every aspect was not getting 100 percent, including my kids. We came to the very difficult decision to sell the business, which became official last month. I cried at first, struggling to walk away from a part of my life that I held so close. Once I had a full week home though, I realized how stressed I really was before. I’m happier, I am sleeping better, and I am enjoying my family. But boy is it a life change!
Back to life, back to reality
While owning the business, I continued to freelance and pursue other opportunities, so I am now a stay at home, work from home mom. In my head, I was going to do SO many things once I was home. I would have an immaculate house, with beds made and laundry done. I would cook dinner nightly, exercise daily, and squeeze in some work in between. One week in, and talk about a reality check. Hail to you, stay at home moms – this sh*t is not easy. I never made the beds, my dryer broke, I cooked once, and I didn’t clean until the end of the week. I did, however, manage to get in three workouts and finish my paperwork for the week. Not what I envisioned, but it’s something.
I vented to a friend about not having all the time I thought I would. I said “How the hell did I get anything done before?” She said, “You didn’t, remember? You wrote a whole blog post about it.” Oh yeah, duh. My sis in law suggested I write out a routine for myself, just as I followed when working. Second week in with that idea, and I am doing much better. I made a schedule and to do list each day, allotting what would take place when. I even penciled in my workouts and days I would cook dinner. I’m certainly not Donna Reed (come on, is that even possible?), but I’m getting my rhythm.
Don’t forget number one
The biggest thing I have to remind myself of is my personal promise to focus on myself. I’ve quickly learned that whether you work full time or stay at home, you’re just as busy. As moms, we tend to put everyone else first. It’s our nature. I started working on this even before I sold the business, making sure I carved out time for myself each day. Even if I only managed a 30 minute workout or 10 minute bath, it was something. I see improvements happening, allowing me to unwind and be a better wife and mother. No matter what path you’re on, we all want to be the best mothers we can and do the best for our kids.