Many women see their career path take a detour when they have kids. How do you find your balance again once your family is complete?
When we are young, we all think that we can have it all. The white picket fence, the 2+ happy and healthy children, the career of our dreams, a social life resembling that of sex and the city and just overall happiness. I guess this is true for some, but I think realistically speaking, this is not in the cards for most. Life isn’t all about, rainbows, fairy-tale endings, and perfection. Life is hard and the choices we are sometimes faced with may seem impossible.
I saw myself at 25 being married and having children. I never envisioned a specific career for myself but like everyone, I always thought that I would be successful nonetheless. Now here I am in my thirties, I have been married for quite some time and have three beautiful and healthy children. I guess you could say that I somewhat achieved the goals I created so long ago. And I have, my family is my world. They mean more to me than I ever thought possible. However up until recently, professionally, I was still struggling and was not yet satisfied.
I never saw myself in any specific profession like “a doctor” or “a lawyer”, I just always wanted to be happy regardless of where I was and what I was doing. Sometimes, I wonder if I had worked harder, if I had been less interested in my social life and if I had been more determined when I was in school, that maybe I would have already found my path. In truth, we cannot go back in time, as much as we might want to. So, now I must play the with cards I’ve been dealt and I know that no matter what, I will always and forever choose the happiness of my family above all else.
Shortly after having my second child, I was working in an office and I realized that sitting at a desk and constantly watching the clock was not how I want to spend my days. The daily struggles of getting the kids dropped off and getting to work on time, the stress that comes with traffic and getting back to pick-up the kids at the end of a long day, and then putting healthy food on the table, all while keeping the house liveable was not something that made me happy. I had to accept the fact that a 9-5 job just wasn’t for me and that having a great salary really doesn’t mean all that much if you are not happy. What is important to me is the ability to be flexible and to be there for my kids, if need be.
While working a full work week, I was stressed and unhappy but I pushed through it for as long as I could. At that time, having a dual income was necessary to be able to support the lifestyle that we were comfortable living. Once I was off on leave again after having my third child, our situation changed for the better. I was finally able to find myself and what makes me truly happy thus what makes for a happier home.
That time around, I decided to take a chance, to put me first and follow my dreams of finding true happiness with regards to my career. I decided that the time had come to change the path I had been following for so long. Sure, money is important but at this point in my life I want to be able to have my cake and eat it too, and so that is exactly what I did. I changed directions and I am finally doing what makes me happy and what makes the most sense for my family and I couldn’t be gladder. What’s even better is that despite taking the chance, I am also helping others and there is nothing more rewarding than that. Of course, it’s scary and sometimes I feel as though I have made a huge mistake but at the end of the day, I appreciate all the struggles because they are making me stronger and more determined then I have ever been. I am also teaching my children a valuable lesson, you don’t have to settle.
I guess you could say that I have finally found my way. It wasn’t easy and I am so fortunate and grateful to be doing what I am doing but, in the end, life is too short to always be wondering if the choices we have made were the right ones.
Sometimes we just have to take that chance. So, chase your dreams while you can, it’s ok to be scared, but in the end, what is meant to be will be, trust the process. Who knows, you might just end up in a far better place then you were, I am proof of that. Life is far too short to be spending so much of our time doing something that we really don’t want to be doing. Find your passion, trust your dreams and let the pieces fall into place!
*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Parent Life Network or their partners.