Happy New Year and a fond farewell to 2017!! Like most, I’m looking forward to new goals and new adventures but I’m actually most excited to celebrate my successes. This year, I say goodbye to one of the most important chapters of my life – being a full time mom. After giving birth to my daughter in 2016, I resigned from my job to pursue my MBA and raise my children full time. This December, after almost two amazing years, I completed my MBA program and returned to work full time with mixed emotion.
Preparing for interviews, I reflected on my time spent at home, a time I feared some might consider unproductive…and how wrong they’d be! Sitting down, I began to compile a list of accomplishments:
- Gave birth to a healthy baby girl
- Taught her to walk and talk
- Raised $700 to donate new books to a local charity
- Rediscovered my passion for writing
- Volunteered in my younger son’s classroom
- Supported my oldest as he navigates high school
- Queried 3 children’s picture books (with favorable feedback from editors and agents!)
- Witnessed the 1st total solar eclipse in 38 years with my children
- Designed and developed my son’s high school hockey team ad book
- FINALLY completed my MBA
- Accepted a full-time job offer
Looking at my list, for the first time in years, I had absolutely no regret. I had finally put myself and my family first and felt absolutely confident it would pay off. And it did!
Like most working moms, I’d had little time to pursue my passions while working full time so I took full advantage of the opportunity to find myself again. And, although I have always been well aware of what a blessing my children are, I’d had little time to get to know them as individuals, so having that time is something I will truly treasure. I was only 20 and still in college when I had my oldest and fighting hard to work my way up the corporate ladder with my middle child so I had limited time to dedicate my complete attention to both…needless to say, being home with them and my third was the most gratifying experience in the world!
As I sit now writing, I think about how different this new year reflection might have been had I not taken the risk and trusted my instincts…had I not been home to witness those first wobbly steps…that first eclipse in decades…those first query responses…pursued my MBA. When considering my career gap, I fully examined the risks but listened to my gut when it told me the benefits would far outweigh them. Because life is like a book…had I never turned the page, I might never have known that turning it was the start of a new chapter and not the end of the story…or that my next chapter would be the most incredible one yet!
What pages will you turn this year? Do it!! I promise you’ll regret it more if you don’t…