“You are such a good mommy, and soooo beauti-sool”, she said to me as we were cuddling before bed. I looked down and felt so fulfilled in that moment, and I wondered why we didn’t have more of these. Why I didn’t de-stress more often, put my phone in the back, and just soak up their sweet little voices and hugs. This became my plan this summer, to just be with my kids. It’s funny that it took losing one of my biggest jobs to help me see the importance of slowing down and being a mother.
The past few months have been an emotional whirlwind. My baseball show Billy’s Bunch was cancelled after six seasons, and it felt like a part of me went with it to the television graveyard. It was just a kids show some say, but it was a place where I grew up. I gave myself IVF injections during baseball games in Billy the Marlins dressing room, and later pumped in the stalls of the ball park. A breastpump malfunction at Spring Training was the inspiration for this site, it is a place where I became a mom, and ultimately an adult. And sometimes our girls sometimes accompanied me to work…it really was a dream job.
So when March hit this year and I no longer had a show to plan, I went into coping mechanism overdrive. I did what every type A zealous overachiever does, I picked up every freelance job I could to compensate for the lost income, and took on more clients as a Marketing and Social Media consultant. I even finally incorporated and launched my new company misMEDIA, and started shooting two new web shows. My ego needed to feel important and I was trying to keep my “identity” up as a professional in the industry, and a working mother. I worried that another step out of the television world would lead to the demise of this illustrious career I’d built up in my head.
When in reality I’m a mom…who talks on TV sometimes. And that’s exactly how I like it.
A long time ago I read a fantastic quote, “decide what’s important, and build your life around that.” And that’s what I have unwittingly done, thanks to a little help from the universe. My body has needed the rest with some persistent health issues and it appears fate has brought me exactly where I need to be. At home working as a freelancer, and enjoying our first summer together since our oldest started school. It is the most peaceful I’ve felt in a long time and I’m so grateful my husband works so hard to afford me this opportunity.
Sure we all want to be millionaires and come up with the next big thing so we can buy a house in the mountains. And a boat. And have a dream kitchen. But in reality this is what matters…those little girls need me just as much as I need them.
This blog has been a wonderful outlet for processing all of life’s changes. While it doesn’t generate a ton of revenue, it’s been a vehicle to lead to other great projects and jobs. It’s re-ingnited a passion for writing which inspired me to finally write my book, and taken me down a new career path I never knew existed. Who knew I would love web hosting, creating social media campaigns, and integrating blogs and You Tube channels for clients? And who knew that I’d actually become a credentialed member of the media for mommy in SPORTS?
This life I’ve built around my children is really quite special, but I still crave a creative challenge. So I work, partly because we need the income and partly because it feeds my soul and makes me a happier and better person and mother.
I’ve contemplated applying for a full time job when things get tight. But those sports jobs mean more late nights, and more bedtimes when I can’t be there. More moments like tonight, where they just needed a hug from mom. I seem to have finally come out of a fog after entering the ranks of motherhood six years ago and now understand the gift I have. The responsibility that comes with raising these two lovely little humans that has been bestowed to me and my husband. It’s a pretty special and very big job, and to me – comes first.
Sure I will continue to work outside of the home because I have to, and quite frankly television is in my blood. But their hugs and silliness, and their pure joy… all of it means more now. Because those moments before bed won’t always be there. Their need for mommy will be replaced with friends and growing independence.
And while I do miss baseball and the symbolism of summer that it brings, now with a little bit of distance I’ve realized I outgrew that job. This time to just be was exactly what I needed to learn that I’m more than my profession. I’m a woman who cherishes her family, and chooses them over all else.
Janine Huldie says
I can totally relate as I was a teacher before having my girls and when I made the decision to stay home with my kids and then ultimately work out of the home to be here for them and not miss out on as much as I would have as they were growing up, I felt so similar to how you described above. Sometimes, as much as the decision may be a no brainer, it still does take a leap of faith. But still I know I, for one, am truly glad I did make that decision and glad you were able to do similar, too.
Wow can I relate. This post is going to make me think long and hard about my next step. You continue to be the “big sister,” though I actually think I’m a tad older, that I need. I always enjoy and find great meaning in your posts.
I know, this whole summer has made me slow down Caryn. I know what my head thinks, but I’m trying to listen to my heart and body.And thank you for reading, it means the world.
Crystal Bissonnette says
What a great post! I can relate to much of this. I had always worked, loved to work, and have a strong work ethic. Then I had my first son and leaving him with someone else broke my heart. When my second son came along I knew I needed to be more present with both my kids and decided to stay home and work part time. It is not easy always easy in several different aspects yet I will never regret this time with them. I can always go back to work, I will not get to replay their toddler years.
It’s wonderful you have found such happiness and balance!!!
Thank you so much! I think it’s interesting that so many women leave their jobs…the heart wants what it wants!
Jennifer (MomCaveTV) says
This post really hit home for me. I’ve been an actor my entire adult life but after having kids, started writing, producing, and editing web series. While I don’t want to live the tumultuous life of an actor anymore, I can’t stop identifying with that career as the one I always wanted. These other things are slowly replacing it and that’s a good thing. But difficult to adjust to! Keep up the great work. I love your site and your writing.
I know Jennifer, it’s like our lives are mirrors! It’s so hard to separate our identity of what we were to who we are now. It takes alot of courage to grow up!
Very well said my friend. I like your attitude of choosing to grow and develop new and emerging talents during this period of change. I think you really will continue to find peace and fulfillment with that frame of mind. Good luck and hugs to you for being such a strong and wise lady!
My oldest just started high school which means I can say I made my decision to take a different career path around 14 years or so ago.
I wasn’t the stay at home parent at that time, but I had a job that had regular hours and an opportunity to take something else that would have made our income skyrocket.
Except I would have traveled four days a week and I didn’t want to miss all of the important parenting moments that come when they are really young. Heck, I hate missing them now.
I don’t have any regrets. Maybe I would have turned it into something special and ended up with more to my name than I have now but you can’t put a price on time with the kids.
So true! And lucky you…I’m sure it hasn’t been easy, but must me soooo rewarding!
Morgan @ Morgan Manages Mommyhood says
This is beautiful. I’m a SAHM, but becoming a mom is what helped me quit the job that i really hated a lot. I think it’s important to remember that we are all first and foremost mothers. Every thing else can get in line.
Yes! I wish I got to this point earlier!
Love this! I contemplate leaving my job all the time.. but my bosses are so flexible with me that I know I should be more thankful and it would def be an adjustment to lose my income. Hopefully I will find a way to make it work one day like you have and get the best of both worlds! 🙂
You are really lucky! If I had flexibility I would go back full time. I miss working more sometimes, but it’s been a really good summer for us. Enjoy it while we can right?!
it’s such a tough decision yet such a privilege to stay at home and make your life work around what you love. i did that and rarely look back. the ego may take a beating but the bruise fades as the happy heart grows stronger!
” the ego may take a beating but the bruise fades as the happy heart grows stronger!” Love this line and you!
Melissa (Wading Through Motherhood) says
It is interesting how “When one door closes, another door opens.” I am trying to decide whether or not to go back to teaching in the next few years. I started doing freelance articles after my kids were born…it doesn’t pay that well but it keeps us afloat and I have a very flexible schedule. It sounds like you are definitely enjoying your kids and new projects.
Maybe you could tutor too for extra money? There are always other options, follow your heart…
What a beautiful gift – to realize what you have outgrown, and where and how you are needed in your #1 job as a mother and wife.
I really get it, not to the same degree. But in holding fast to things that were slipping from my grasp but those things were changing, but so was I.
My blog has definitely given me chances and friendships I didn’t know possible. And freelancing at home is kinda magical.
Wow. I’m right there with you. This summer I’ve been trying to find balance between being a mom and managing my company. It’s not easy. I often find myself staying up late at night to complete my work, but I remind myself of the fantastic moments we had during the day. They are only little for so long, and work (in my mind) will always be there. Hang in there, finding balance isn’t easy, but a clear path will come from this experience.
Thank you so much for your encouragement. It’s not easy, but soooo worth it. Good luck to you as well!
Help me find some balance! I feel like I’m always struggling to do it all – and I want to do ALL THE THINGS, which doesn’t help!
I do need to take a step back every now and then and just shut it all down and hang out with the family.
Ahhhh…the elusive balance. I hope this hasn’t given the false impression that things are perfect. Balance is elusive. But what helps is scheduling EVERYTHING. Work time, workout time, husband time, kids time, blog time, food shopping time…everything. And sticking to it. That way you can cut out what’s not working!
I love this. I feel like I really got to know YOU better through this. I’m so happy for you!
I’ve been contemplating leaving my job or at least work less hours to be with my family. My son is starting third grade and I feel like he needs me around. Third grade is a difficult grade and honestly, I miss him alot during the day. I feel like we’ve reached an age where he and I actually bonded. I praise you for continuing to work hard and spend quality time with your girls.
I feel like the older they get the more they need you. You have to do what’s right for you and not what others expect of you. A hard place for me to get there.
Wow. That must have been a gut-wrenching moment. But I’m glad that it’s come full circle for you and that you’ve found joy in the outcome. I love your web shows, and look forward to seeing more of them. And I can tell that you write with passion, so I’m sure that you’ve just put your pinky toe into the ocean of the good things to come!
Thank you so much! It WAS hard, and soooo sad. But onward and upwards
Jill Ginsberg says
The ego is such a funny and confounding thing. When we can step outside of it and really get clear about what makes us truly happy, the whole world opens up. Loved reading and learning more about your process since I’ve gotten to know you these past few months. So relatable!
Glad to hear you are happy 🙂 If I could just disclose a little secret I’ve learned….or maybe it’s a curse I’ve been exposed to……
The balance is nearly impossible to master.
I quit my full time job a year ago and while I still freelance from home and maintain my working presence, I am constantly torn between what makes me ME. I actually just had to write about this on my blog this week! Ha! It’s not easy finding the perfect zen between working, motherhood, and all the other obligations a woman has on her plate today (enjoyable or not). I’m glad to read you’ve taken another step in the direction your heart is telling you to go!
Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom says
Oh my goodness, can I EVER relate. I left my job because of my PTSD and felt for the longest time like I had failed. I tried to fill myself up with productivity and other work. However, one day I had the epiphany that my most important “calling” is this one to be a homeschooling mom. That’s what I’m doing for now… but I do long for more.
Enjoy your summer with your girls. They’re precious.
Thanks for sharing.
I needed to read every word in this so much tonight. I’ve kept a constant “eye on the prize” since beginning to write publicly again. So many times, I feel like I am missing the big picture. “Those little girls need me just as much as I need them.” That line. Wow. So much power and truth in that one line. Thank you for writing these words and giving me a greater perspective about what is important.
Thank you SO much for reading, commenting and sharing Rachel. It’s been quite a journey trying to find and rediscover myself. I really appreciate connecting with you!
Aileen from @NewsyParents says
I think you have the best of both worlds. I loved when I worked part-time and still had more time with my girls. You’re doing great things on your own and still pursuing your passions.
Allie Smith says
I’m sorry about the show – that sucks. But I am glad you get to enjoy your summer. I was in graduate school the inaugural season for the Marlins and it was so much fun – went to many games. And I didn’t know you wrote a book?