Blog Post by: Jennifer Downes
After having my second child, I returned to work as the Clubhouse Manager at a private country club 12 weeks post-delivery, during the peak of fall season, after also having acquired a promotion while I was on maternity leave. To complicate things further, I was in the middle of my last semester to obtain my Bachelor’s Degree. All of these accomplishments were exciting, but meant additional responsibilities added to my already full plate.
I’ll never forget my first day back. I was on hour nine of being at work, missing my baby and my oldest daughter, and desperately trying to figure out how to be a mom and maintain my career. When I say, “be a mom,” I mean a truly present mom that absorbs every moment with my children, because it goes by in the blink of an eye. As I was walking through the dining room of the private club I worked at, all the members were excited to see me and were asking about the baby, how I was doing, etc. I’ll never forget the moment when one of the members, Mrs. Rossway, grabbed my arm and said to me, “This is the best time of your life! Don’t let it slip by without enjoying it. This is the best time of your life.” That resonated with me and I’ve never forgotten that moment, especially the look on her face. She was adamant on getting this message through to me. I walked back to my office knowing God had sent Mrs. Rossway to deliver this message. She was confirming I need to find balance and put what is most important to me first – my family.
That moment changed me! I needed to create boundaries to insure I was more present with my kids and stop allowing all of the outside noise to dictate my actions. This took courage, especially through all the changes that occurred in my life, but I always kept my faith in God, and kept my goal in the forefront of every decision I was making. It took almost 4 years, but I found a career that I love that supports that balance.
I share this with you to encourage you to enjoy the moments and “make the memories.” Life is fast and it’s easy to get distracted with all the noise that surrounds you. You can accomplish everything you set your mind to – especially in a chosen career. Don’t fret the time that it takes to accomplish your goals. It might just take a little longer than planned due to spending extra quality time with those that mean the most to you. Take the vacation, enjoy the slice of cake, go on a walk or bike ride, do the hobby you love so much, breathe in the fresh air, and read that story at bedtime! Life is precious, moments with your loved ones are a blessing, and the noise that surrounds you will always be there! Learn to create balance in your life and “make the memories” with those you hold dear.