Four years ago my husband and I had our youngest child, Noah Benjamin. There is a massive age difference between Noah and our two older sons who are both teenagers now, one in high school and one in middle. Recently I’ve begun shifting my career focus from working as a dedicated buyers agent to having more of a listing focus, and the reasons are simple. As a listing agent, there is a measurable amount of work out of the house – photos, maintenance of the property before and after showing appointments, property checks if the home is not owner occupied, and of course open houses and showing appointments. Okay yeah, that looks like a LOT – but – much of that is easy to accomplished with toddler-in-tow, and the beautiful thing about working for yourself is that you are in control of your schedule. I can plan my appointments around when my husband will be available to stay with my littlest – though you better believe if a buyer calls directly to see my listing I will toss that lil pumpkin in his car seat and let him be the one to open the doors! (Nothing is cuter than a four-year old working a supra key!) But all the really complex angles of being a successful listing agent can be accomplished mostly from your home office, provided you have a. Extremely well-behaved children (hahahaha!) or b. A high tolerance for distraction. Luckily my tolerance is at its peak (teenagers, remember?!) and added to that Noah has recently discovered the amazing world of video games, so I have found that as he grows ever more independent I become ever more successful as a listing agent. Whoop Whoop!
SO here’s the dilemma. Before I entered the wacky world of real estate I spent six years as a stay at home mom and Loved It! Stressful day at the office sweetie? Come home and I’ll make something delicious. Kids had a rough day at school? Lets bake a special dessert to cheer them up. Oh, the boss has the flu? I bet she’d love some chicken soup! Now that I’m a full time professional as well as a full time homemaker, I’ve learned to be diligent with my time management. Each morning, I write a list of work related must-do’s, hope to do’s and do tomorrow’s. I work very hard at being kind to myself when those “Mommy’s working” boundary lines are drawn, but also like to pat myself on the back when I recognize a “gem” moment in the making and find a way to put work on the back burner. After all, what’s the point of having a job that lets me spend so much time at home if I still miss out on those special moments with my babies?
Today I found the cozy autumn tones of my little house set against the backdrop and soundtrack of the grumbling pitter-patter of passing storm clouds to be irresistible! Noah Benjamin by my side, I made a nice hearty breakfast, fresh honey oat bread, and one measly showing appointment. !!! How do I re-train my brain to work through even the rainiest, coziest of workdays?! Or maybe the question I should be asking is this: should I bother? Really, this comes down to one more struggle between the rock of a successful career and the hard place of a balanced family. How much business is really being lost because I chose to bake some bread with my little boy? I only have a little more than a year left before he’s off in school. After that, I’ll never have another little one at home with me during the day and my availability will only continue to increase from there. So today I chose to follow my heart (and my toddler), and let the world of real estate feel a little roomier if only for the afternoon. That was time well wasted.
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