February 15, 2011

Career Girl Interrupted

Ever since I was a child my mind has been wrapped up in making it as a successful business/career woman.   I was about 8 or 9 years old when I saw this commercial:

She seemed so with it, together.  I wanted to be that woman with a business suit to say "I brought home the bacon".  While all of my friends were playing with dolls, pretending to be mommy's, I pretended to be the daycare center owner or the school principal where all the dolls would be.  While my friends were playing tea party, I played the owner of the restaurant where they were having tea.  My parents had taken me to a warehouse store (Think Costco)  and asked if I wanted anything.  I wanted a huge box of Cracker Jacks.  Instead of a delicious snack, I though of selling the boxes to my friends and making a profit out of it.  This was successful and I had a neighborhood candy store out of my garage.  I started with candy and progressed to soda's to the neighborhood adults.  I got my first job at 13 working for the parks and recreation program in the city through a special program.  I also was able to house sit for the neighbors that went on vacation and babysit to make some extra cash. 

I never saw my life without some kind of goal being met towards a career.  I went to school became a preschool teacher and then life happened.  I met Prince Charming.  I wanted babies with him and my career goal took a slight back seat to Life.  When babies were not in our future and a divorce was more than likely I put my head back into being a career woman.  I was 30 by this time.  I changed careers, and had to start from the bottom again.  The struggles where all worth it, I went back to school and worked in various businesses.  Graduating with my Bachelors degree in Business was the best thing ever, I was looking forward to working towards my MBA.  There I was 35 and full of hopes to move forward with my career and with my new job. I still rememeber my interview they asked me "Where to you see yourself in 5 years?"  my answer "In a management position, such as yours" .  I was THAT ambitious.

Flash forward to just a year after graduation.  I find myself pregnant, this was not in my career plan or my life plan.  I struggled with concentrating on work let alone on the whole I am going to be a mom.  I had wanted to be a mother for so long and then the moment I gave up and was going to dedicate myself to my career.  After all this was the dream I had since I was a child.  I felt really emotional about the choices I was going to have to make.  During that time I was the only one that would have a child in the office.  I felt hard to relate to my co-workers and all I wanted to do was sit and cry.  Once Thing One was born, I just yearned to be home.  Financially Big Cheese and I knew I had to go back to work.  It pulled at every inch of my heart to leave Thing One everyday.  Every morning I cried in my car before getting into work.  I often felt alienated because no one really was going through the same things I was going through.  Not to much later I was pregnant again with Thing Two.  I struggled again with going to work.  This time I was the not the only one in the office with children, so I started to feel more of a camaraderie between my co-workers. 

So here I sit almost 5 years from the point of when I got hired and I told the interviewer I wanted a management spot.  Somehow life has side tracked me again.  Sure, this could probably be a really sad realization to some, but something happened just the other day. My yearly review was a real success and I was asked if I would like to make the next step in my career.  My answer surprised me.  Without hesitation I said "Let me think about that, I have to consider my life/work balance".  I thought of the extra stress , what I would be bring home with me and into my children's lives. Imagine that?!?!  This whole time while I thought was wishing for a career, I really just wanted to be a successful mom. I am ok with that.

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