I’ve often stated that social media posts are the highlight reel of everyone’s lives. It’s actually not a bad thing, as we should share as much positive light as we can with one another; however, there are days like last Thursday where I feel it is vitally important to also share the blooper reel. We all go through struggles and it’s OK to not be OK from time to time….just try not to unpack and live there.
Thursday morning, on my personal social media I shared this photo:
Total highlight reel. Look at that #BossBabe Yaassss, girl.
But, PRIOR to this photo, I, a grown 41 year old woman, had a meltdown. Why? Because my husband was taking the kids to the zoo and I couldn’t go because my work schedule wouldn’t allow it. The real reason: I’ve been in a perpetual teeter totter on the MOM GUILT ledge for too long.
Thankfully, my husband has been with me 20+ years and is very well versed at talking me off ledges. He reminded me that when he was working these 18 hour days how I manned the fort at home in his absence. He reminded me that he has been on ZERO field trips and I have managed to go on the vast majority for all of the children to date thus far. He reminded me that now more than ever as my “Mortgage Mamas” team grows, I need to stay the course to bring these dreams to fruition. He reminded me that life is good.
So I pulled it together and pulled out my Morphe Make-Up James Charles Palette (OBSESSED, btw) and put on some dramatic eyes. Isn’t it amazing how different we act when we feel we look cute? I got dolled up as I normally do for work and still on the Mom Guilt Ledge kept repeating in my head the words my darling husband said, “you’ve got this, life is good.” Hence the cute pic above.
But, what happened the rest of the day is what really solidified my eternal “girl power” optimism that is part of what fuels my business, my relationships, and my soul….
On my way to my first appointment, one of my Realtor partners called & we got to talking about work/life balance. We joked on how much we want those hot bodies but also are in a committed relationship with carbs. We giggled through euphemisms on lack of sleep. Those tiny digs at our own expense actually showcase the sacrifices we make as working mamas. It was the reminder I so desperately needed at that very moment: the constant struggle is real & so very common. Working mama or just female human trying to do all the things….it’s tough, and we’re ridiculously hard on ourselves.
Why do we women do that? Sure, we’re hard-wired for empathy, so that’s part of it, but how do we stop? I’ve been a mama for 20 years & a female human for 41 years and I have yet to find that answer. I have found a bit of relief in the realization that we can indeed “have it all,” just not at the same time. Well, that’s what I used to believe until the remainder of events last Thursday ignited a spark in me that I hadn’t seen in a while….
The spark started to gain momentum next when I received a reminder from my amazing Office & Marketing Coordinator & dear friend Jenny about an event later that evening. I declined the invitation with a “not going, haven’t seen my kids all week, cried my eyes out all morning as Manny was headed to the zoo with them without me.” I’m a bit of an over-sharer, what can I say, lol. Jenny relishes in my “flair for the dramatic,” & never judges me but always knows how to turn my frown upside down. In pure amazing Jenny fashion she responds with a pep talk that gave me just the boost I needed to hop completely off the MOM GUILT ledge and pull my shine out for a “Mortgage 101” presentation I was doing for one of our Realtor offices.
So, shiny as all heck I walked into the presentation. One of the Realtors had her little boy there at the meeting. He must have been about 2 years old if that, and I was so impressed by how engaged she was in the conversation while also wrangling a wiggly worm of a toddler with a smile on her face. As a mother of 4, I’ve done my fair share of toddler wiggly worm wrangling, and she NAILED it. In that moment it hit me that this was yet another sign I needed. How powerful to be both a boss babe and a wiggly worm wrangler all at the same time, right? What’s that lyric, “How we’re smart enough to make these millions. Strong enough to bare the children. Then get back to business.”
So, yeah, at that point in the day I’m pumped…I’ve gotten reassurance I had been craving as a working mom, confirmation that I’m not alone in my plight as a woman in general, and affirmation in pep talk form. As an added bonus…I had a surprise visit from my 3 year old, Daisy (pictured below). The day was unfolding beautifully as if God was looking down & saying, “hey, chin up, mama.”
The Mortgage Mamas headquarters was abuzz, and I have never felt so proud as I did at that moment….this team of amazing women being their kind, authentic, attentive selves sharing the work load while also showing my baby girl how we “run this motha.” While I was fielding phone calls from the pop up desk we added to our office, Jenny sent me the photo above she snapped without my knowledge. And then I saw my tiny lady’s face in the photo.
That’s when that spark earlier became a burning fire in me! Rather than continuing to live on the mom guilt ledge and accept “I can have it all just not at the same time,” I am declaring it official…I do have it all even if it is messy with an occasional meltdown & too many carbs. I have never been more proud in my life of what I do and who I get to spend my days with when I’m not winning (and sometimes losing) the mom game. The Mortgage Mamas isn’t a gimmick, it isn’t trite, it is my dream realized bigger and better every day with a tribe of incredible people who make me a better woman, loan officer, mother, and human. I’m genuinely grateful to have a supportive partner at home and friends and colleagues I can be myself with.
So, my call to action is this, friends: what we can do for one another as women, mamas or not, is to remember the struggle is real and more than likely constant for the vast majority of us so by all means, let’s not be a “Judge Judy” with one another.
LIFT ONE ANOTHER UP.
HAVE A GRATEFUL HEART AND TELL PEOPLE YOU APPRECIATE THEM.
That face, though. THAT FACE. That face after a day teetering ledges was just the boost I needed to get off that Mom Guilt ledge maybe not for good, but definitely for a while.