Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Guest Post -- By PTA Mom


FORK IN THE ROAD

Living in a suburb outside of New York City, most women I know didn’t get married in their twenties. I got married at 30, bought my first home not long after, traveled, got promoted (a few times), and then decided it was time to have kids.

Now, I never saw myself as the “stay at home” Mom type, but completely respected the choices that other people make. I had always focused on my career first— it was a career with long hours, business travel, and a healthy paycheck. But when child #3 came around (at age 38), I started rethinking my priorities. It may have been child #3, or it may have been that I missed going to the oldest child’s (age 5) school concerts that were during the day or that I didn’t get to have coffee with the other Moms after dropping the middle child (age 3) off at Nursery school or that I was envious of the kids afternoon trips to the park with the Nanny.

So I decided to get involved and fully embraced the idea that I could balance both being a Mom and working, but I would just have to make a few adjustments. I joined the PTA, volunteered to coach sports teams and made friends with other Moms. There were definitely other working Moms out there, and to my surprise, some that had pretty high powered jobs too. They just didn’t volunteer as much (or at all, in some cases). Even though I was determined to “do-it-all”, I was exhausted from trying to do so much (but really didn’t let on to anyone, even when people said “I don’t know how you do it all?” as a compliment). Yes, I may be “doing-it-all” but not well, I thought, so when the big 4-0 was just around the corner, I decided it was time for a change. I still work full-time, but recently traded my commuter train ticket for a job closer to home. Actually, in the home. I decided to be my own boss and become a consultant doing the same Digital Marketing I did while working for “the man”. Actually, a woman. One who was great, but I didn’t want to resent her because of missing time with my family. And now the paycheck isn’t nearly as big, but the happiness is enormous. It is so nice to see the smile on the kids faces now that I can actually sit down and have dinner as a family. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m still pretty tired, but now at least, I doze off with a smile on my face.

PTA Mom writes for http://www.thethreetomatoes.com/, an email newsletter and website lifestyle guide devoted to “women who aren’t kids.”

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