NOT OK THAT’S OK MOMENT BY: DIANE FOSS
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.
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.
For now, I am happy where I am at and I am perfectly okay with the fact that I do not have to wear suits and heels everyday!
Do you have a “NOT OK” moment you want to share? We would love to hear it.