2018 Goals: Embracing Transitions
2017 was a big transitional year for us. For me, it was one of those years that I will always remember because there was a permanent change within the dynamics of our family. I’m actually not even quite sure where the past five years went, but I woke up one sunny morning last September and my youngest child was in kindergarten. We had officially graduated to the family-with-two-school-aged-kids status. And as a mom who has mainly stayed home with her children their entire lives, the two most predominant thoughts in my head were: 1) My kids are more independant and in school full-time* and I am no longer needed to the extent that I was needed before the day Finley started kindergarten, and 2) I’m out of excuses and it’s time for me to decide what’s next for me.
*For those of you who don’t have kids in school, “full-time” means a 2:20 pm dismissal four days a week and a 1 pm early release once a week. You still have to deal with after-school childcare if you want to work “full-time.”
This transition was difficult for me on many levels. My main job for the past seven and a half years was to care for my children and to give them everything I could to ensure their happiness and livelihood. People who haven’t been stay-at-home moms don’t quite understand this transition the way we do because they still have jobs when their kids start school. Staying at home with my kids had its downfalls, just like any other job, but it was a very fulfilling job and I loved being with them all of the time (ok, most of the time) (like at least 70% of the time).
Trying to decide what I wanted to do with my own life was challenging. I only thought about what Jackson and Finley needed for so many years. There simply wasn’t enough time in the day to think about myself or my future as someone other than a mom. Sounds a little sad, but that just wasn’t my priority at the time. I did not feel prepared to have a full-time job and my professional confidence wasn’t exactly at an all-time high. I gave myself some time to feel depressed about it, took a trip to Europe with friends and then decided to get over myself after realizing I was never going to feel completely ready.
Fortunately, I had managed to accomplish a variety of things over the past several years, in between diaper changes, feedings, outings, naps, etc. I had a few mornings to myself after Finley started preschool and I had some nanny time here and there. Mainly so I could have some independence and go to the bathroom occasionally by myself (kidding/not kidding). Anyway. For starters, I am still licensed to practice law. I’ve always kept up with my legal credits, I provided pro bono representation for non-profits, and I drafted contracts here and there for some small businesses. I founded a mom’s group called The Seattleite Mom when Jackson was a toddler, and it’s still a very active group and has grown to 750 members. I love running this group. I created this blog! It was meant to be my own little virtual space, where I could document some of my favorite things, including my kids (of course), photography, fashion, arts and crafts, gardening, party/event planning, and interior design. This in turn, inspired me to launch an interior design business and I started to pick up some clients.
I looked back on these things I chose to spend my time on over the past several years, and a career in real estate just made sense. Real estate was something I’ve always thought about pursuing and I was familiar with the industry because my mother was in real estate for decades. I will always be passionate about social justice and helping people in need (the reason I went to law school), but I chose a different path, simply because I think I will be happier and more successful in real estate. I have found other ways to help promote justice, and there also are so many opportunities in real estate to help others. This is not to say that there are many attorneys out there who are happier and more successful as attorneys, as opposed to real estate brokers.
While I’m loving real estate and super excited about my newfound career path with Windermere, I am working full-time and it was a challenging adjustment for the whole family last year. Without into going into too much detail, I was having a lot of self-inflicted guilt for not having as much time for my kids, because there is a new shift in balance when it comes to the division of parental responsibilities with Kai, and because things are just different now. But this was to be expected and the positive thing about an adjustment period, is that it’s temporary. We’re on to the next thing as a family, and I’m proud of the fact that after having so much anxiety about “getting a job,” I’ve finally done it. Thank you to Kai for forever supporting me in everything I’ve ever wanted to achieve in life.
Here’s to another year of growing and adapting to our new normal. Happy new year to you and the best to your families! I thought I’d also share some photos of the “big kids” from our holiday photoshoot this year at Greenlake. Thank you to our friend, Lauren Platt for the beautiful work she did.
In the spirit of reminiscing, check out one of my favorite posts from back in the day, when I had all of the time in the world for my kids: Destination Space Needle.
Like what you see? Follow my blog by email.