That’s a funny story actually. After a long day of working, house cleaning, meal preparing and toddler chasing, I was finally catching up with my husband. He, a long-time and die-hard freelancer mentioned that he had applied for a full-time job. Surprised that this was something he was even considering, I asked him about it, and as he was describing the role, I realized that it was really not perfect for him - it was perfect for me. I applied that evening, thinking that my application would be a needle in the haystack. 3 months and 5 interviews later I had the job!
Healthy child, happy marriage, strong body and fulfilling career. It’s really all of those things. And yeah, there is some ebb and flow, some weeks I don’t have time to run because I’m working too much. Another night I might go on a date with my husband while my kid is eating chicken nuggets at home with his Grandma. But that combination of things is what makes me happy - and that is really what “Having it all” means to me.
Find a mentor who has similar values to you. It’s hard out there for a Pro Mama and you need someone to look up to that has your back. It’s easier to see a future for yourself in your career if your mentor has similar ideals, for example, if you are someone who has tweens who are really into sports, try find a mentor who has kids that are involved in extracurriculars (specific but important). They’ll help you navigate job issues and show you opportunity that you didn’t know existed.
Biggest Success: I think we got this - like my family is going to make it. That may seem like a crazy thing to say, but sometimes it feels like you’re all on a runaway train heading towards the end of a track (my son is very into trains). But, I am confident that my husband and I can make this work/life/kid/family/play balance work. And that confidence feels like success. Right now at least.
Biggest Challenge: Saying no. I have a hard time doing that at work, at home, in my personal life. Can I help out on a project? Yes (even though I’m totally overwhelmed). Can my son have a 5th cookie? Yes (because I don’t want to hear him cry). Can I jump on the phone at 11:30pm to help a friend deal with a break-up, yes (but ahhh… that is so past my bedtime). I need to learn how to say NO -- for everyones sake!
I’m going to shout out to my own Mama. She is an incredible inspiration who has taught me - and continues to teach me - that life is an adventure and to always, always be creative. My mom has worked my whole life, as a writer; freelance and full-time, as a high-school and college professor and as a PR director. She got her masters while I was in High School and is an accomplished poet. She picked our family up and moved us internationally twice for my father’s job. She renovated a house (stressful) in a different country (impossible) and beat breast cancer. Honestly, if you need something accomplished gracefully and with attention to detail, call Mary Jo Jerome, she is one badass bitch.