I was catching up with an old friend over the phone recently.
“You have everything together,” she remarked.
I nearly choked. “What!?”
According to Facebook and my blog, apparently I look like I know what I’m doing. The truth is, I’m making everything up as I go along.
One of the greatest shocks of my adult life is that, at 38 years old, I’m still figuring out what I want to be when I grow up, and that grown-ups don’t actually have all the answers.
I went to graduate school right after college, got a masters degree in occupational science, and went to work as an occupational therapist. I figured it was a good career for me, as it would let me work with people, give me a chance to work in healthcare, require me to be creative, never force me to be on call, never need me to perform a rectal exam (the reason I rejected the idea of being a nurse), not require any significant math, and the money was decent. I also liked the fact that my chosen career would allow me to work part-time once I had kids.
After we had Sweet Pea in 2012, I did exactly what I thought I would do and went back to work part-time as an occupational therapist. I had enough work to make me miss my baby just enough, and sufficient time with her so I never felt guilty or stressed about work. Life was good.
When Lady Bug was born in 2014, going back to work part-time work wasn’t so appealing. By then, I was burnt out on healthcare and hiring childcare didn’t make a ton of financial sense. Meanwhile, I’d started blogging in 2007. By 2013 I was getting paid to write, which felt (and sometimes still feels) too good to be true. In 2016, I published a book, I presented at the DU Women’s Conference, and my professional life took a sharp turn in new direction.
I can’t say I’m never going to work as an occupational therapist again, but I’m happy with my current situation, as a freelance writer/speaker/ running coach/ stay at home mom. My road to get here has been winding, and I’m not exactly sure where it’s going. The more I talk to other working moms, the more I realize most of us don’t know exactly where we’re going.
We’re all dealing with fear, guilt, insecurity, parenting challenges, and logistics issues.
So I was thrilled when I found out my friend Brooke Jean was hosting a series of interviews with women, specifically to find out how they’re navigating these exact topics, which she too faced in her journey of balancing kids and a career. This series, Moms Living a Life They LOVE: How to have a Flourishing Family, a Fulfilling Career, and Fun in the Process, features interviews with seventeen real women who are balancing career and family… including me.
I’m so honored to be included among this dynamic crew of women—including a few I’ve been following for a while, and whom I admire, like Sarah Bagley and Beth Risdon (aka Shut Up and Run). I am not getting paid for being part of this online event or for promoting it. I just think Brooke’s mission— to inspire women who are thinking about their future and curious about what’s possible and how it might unfold, through hearing the real life stories, tips, and wisdom from women who have been there themselves—is awesome.
It’s totally free to access the interview series, using this link.
After you register, starting April 3rd, you’ll receive one email featuring a 30 minute interview with a real working mom, every day, for seventeen days. These interviews are not edited, professionally lit, or scripted. They’re just real women, sharing the stories, struggles, tips, and wisdom they’ve accumulated through their experiences balancing motherhood and work.
I can’t wait to hear what the other women have to say. Some of the topics we cover in my interview (which airs April 16th) include:
–The Listen To Your Mother Show
-Why I’ve become super picky about who I hang out with
-The freebie I’m giving away
You can register for the Moms Living a Life They LOVE Summit (for FREE) here.