Babies & Briefcases is an idea that hatched almost four year ago. My second daughter had just been born and before we left the hospital, I felt the maternity leave clock ticking. I did not want to go back to work.
Not every woman is wired this way. Some can’t wait to get back to adult conversations, days with no crying, and the feeling of being productive again. Not me.
Pre-baby, I loved my sales career. My schedule included traveling most days of the week, dinners at pricey restaurants, and fun client outings. Long hours weren’t a big deal and I wore my late nights as a badge of honor and dedication to my work and company. All that changed when I got married.
I married a man with a five-year-old daughter who we have 50% of the time. There will be lots of co-parenting, step-parenting, and blended family entries on here! He and I came home from our honeymoon and I had two straight weeks of travel scheduled. After the first week of being away, my new husband and daughter and I were settling in to watch a movie on Saturday night when she dropped a bomb that still plays, on repeat, in my head.
“When are you going to live with us?”
Though my belongings (and my cat) were in the house, I wasn’t.
The reality was, I’d become a mother overnight and had no idea what impact that would have. That next week of travel was spent brainstorming on what this meant, how to slow down, and telling myself I was a bad stepmom. (Also, that was my first bout of mom-guilt.) I knew what kind of parent I wanted to be, but I didn’t know how to get there. Honestly, sometimes I still don’t.
Nine months and four days after our wedding, our second daughter was born. I had spent the pregnancy talking to coworkers about how they or their wives/sisters/mothers/friends had handled returning to work after having a baby. There were mixed stories. One woman stayed home until her children were in middle school and then reentered the workforce. Another anticipated loving it, but then shortened her maternity leave because she could not wait to get back to the office. This, like many things in parenthood, seemed like a matter of what was best for you and your family.
But back to my original point – that maternity leave clock ticked SO loudly in my heart. By the time I went back, I was such a mess that I could not do the job I once loved. I lived for updates from daycare, refused to travel, and eventually my performance suffered so much that I had the choice to change jobs within the company or leave. The woman who couldn’t wait to lead teams and crush quotas was gone and it has taken years for that to seem ok. And it is. It is perfectly ok.
During that maternity leave, I started brainstorming on ways to work from home, stay at home, work less, work differently… anything that would give me more time with my daughters. The idea of a blog seemed like a great outlet, but also very foreign.
Fast forward four years and we are now a family that has gone from two sales parents and one child to a firefighter (husband… not me, although that would be a super cool ending!), inside sales person (that one is me), and three amazing daughters.
These have been transforming years in all ways. We went from making big money to both feeling called to serve and be present with our family. Spoiler alert – this did NOT come with big money. We’ve moved, added headcount, set expectations that failed, and have learned from it all. Babies and Briefcases is an outlet to cover those topics that I struggled with, prayed over, researched, worked around, and sometimes just learned the hard way. Here are the three main topics you will see here.
- Step parenting/co-parenting.
- Becoming a mother as it relates to the workplace.
- Changing careers and even leaving the public workforce.
There are a myriad of subjects under these topics. Most of these are experienced by a parent, especially a female parent, at some point in their life.
A couple of things about me and why I’m so passionate about these:
- I am a wife, stepmom, mom, daughter with a blended family. I’ve been in the mix, as both a child and a parent, when it was done wrong, and I’ve been in the mix, as a parent, when it was done right.
- I have negotiated maternity leaves, raises, work from home schedules, internal job changes, and interviews for new opportunities.
- I have struggled with all of this. Been at my wits end with all of this. Stayed in situations and careers that I didn’t know how to get out of, short of just quitting, and couldn’t find resources to provide real help.
I’m not saying I have all the answers, but I do have a lot of experience. My personality is also to obsessively research, so that helps, too! I won’t doctor or ease any truths, photos, or experiences. My house and life are NOT Instagram-worthy, but you will see them there anyway. The last thing we all need is to feel bad about our mental, emotional, scheduling, and physical messes! Seriously… I type as I ignore laundry, dishes, and sticky notes glued to the fridge that no one would own up to.
Comments, questions, feedback are welcomed and encouraged. Tact isn’t a requirement, but kindness is.