Even as a young child, I knew that I was going to be a career mom.  I remember dreaming about wearing business suits and high heels all while carrying a briefcase in one hand and a cell phone in the other.  I never really dreamt about having children and figured I would settle down after I had an established career.  Boy, did life have a different plan for me!

I got married fairly young, but still was not thinking kids at the time.  I was so focused on my career and desperately wanted to move into management.  I took on projects, mentored peers and participated in high profile process improvement initiatives.  My career was on fire and I was sure I was going to move into management prior to turning 30.  At the same time my doctor was telling me due to family history and my health issues, if I did not have children soon I probably would not be able to.

I needed to make a decision and despite my childhood dreams, I chose family.  

Fast forward a few years later and I was still working on climbing that corporate ladder, despite a change in my course.  Once again, I was on fire and I was doing everything it took to remain the superstar at work and raise a family.

I felt like I was on a hamster wheel and I was exhausted.  

I found myself finding ways to simplify my life at home and made my career a priority.  If there was a school activity going on and I had something more important going on at work, I chose work.  If we were on vacation and work needed me, I chose work.  If I got a call after hours, I chose work.

It took a major life event for me to realize that I had my priorities all wrong.  At the time, my son was about to go into kindergarten and my daughter was in third grade.

I had missed out on so much because I put my career first.

I knew right then and there that I needed to make some changes in my life.  I still wanted to work, but I knew I had to put my family first.

diaries of a working mom

I am sharing this story because a surprising thing happened after I chose to focus more on family and less on work.  I actually became an even better employee.  I am more focused.  I am more productive.  I am more happy.  I know that I will always work in some capacity.  However, the corner office is no longer on my bucket list.

I have learned that I enjoy working, but I love being with my family.  I have made some changes to my career plan and while I still work a corporate job, I am able to work from home.  I am able to take the kids to the bus stop each day and pick them up each afternoon.  I now go on field trips and eat lunch with my kids at school just because I can.  I few years ago, I would have been making very different decisions.  There will come a point in time, when my kids are older, that I may choose to lean into work more.

Do you have a “NOT OK” moment you want to share? We would love to hear it

Diane Foss

Diane Foss

I am a working mom with a supporting husband and two young children.I am a runner, a foodie and avid reader.I also own a small business and share my journey being a working mother through my blog, The Diaries of a Working Mommy:
Diane Foss

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