This post is sponsored by Northwood Realty Services and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own.
At the end of 2015 I wasn’t sure that I wanted to continue with Pittsburgh Brown Mamas or BrownMamas.com. I started running Brown Mamas as a full-time job back in 2013. My vision was to create a supportive environment for Black moms in Pittsburgh and run a website that could compliment the organization with guides, keep-it-real articles and words that highlight the beauty in Black motherhood. It was all good at first, then I found myself running to meetings everyday, staying up late to craft articles, using all my spare time planning events and constantly on call to answer the 75+ Facebook notifications (and 5-10 private FB & twitter messages I’d get in one day).
My brown mama tank was running on empty. (I mean below E at the point when you start praying that your car doesn’t stop before you get to the gas station, or meet-up in my case.) I stopped having movie night with my kids, our Thursday toe massage while watching Tamar & Vince that I looked forward to with my husband came to a screeching halt and (this is no lie) August came and went and I hadn’t had a pedicure. The light in my eyes and pep in my step that was palpable when I started PBM was now damn near dead.
Last fall I attended a meeting with moms who worked for Northwood Realty. I was there as a blogger and I really expected your run-of-the-mill press event where bloggers are invited to see the glamorous side of the business and expected to go home and write a glowing review of how great it is to be a real estate agent and all that jazz. What I found instead was a bunch of moms who admitted they weren’t perfect mothers, but had found a career they really loved and were willing to weather the storm for it. I found myself in a deep, almost philosophical, conversation with Northwood moms about trying really hard to squeeze time for yourself between homework, sporting events and SOLD signs. All-in-all it made me realize that while I needed a break to re-energize, I was doing the very best I could. Though I’d made a mistake in trying to be a super brown mama, I do deserve to do be fulfilled in my life. For me that means a family-first lifestyle. The good news is Northwood Realty is a company who supports and understands this choice.
During the #NorthwoodForMoms event, I had a chance to talk with Susie Holmes (Super Susie). She’s a mother of boys, just like me. She explained why being a real estate agent for Northwood Realty has been so great for her. She attributes her success to Northwood’s mom-friendly environment. Here are some of her highlights:
- You make your own schedule. Of course, you’ve got to be able to sale homes at the request of buyers, but there are no 9 to 5 hours.
- Moms are well-suited for this job. We multi-task, we chauffeur, we know how to make a home shine and our time management skills are just stellar. In other words, you’re already doing half of the job.
- You get help. (It’s not husband help either. You know when you ask him to clean the bathroom and the toilet is still dirty.) It’s REAL help. After you’ve got your real estate license (which Northwood offers classes to help with) as a new agent you are paired up with an experienced, successful agent for mentoring and shadowing opportunities. Plus, Northwood offers classes to help you continue learning even after you’ve passed your real estate exam.
At one time I considered a career in real estate until I realized I couldn’t sell water to a whale. But, meeting the moms of Northwood Realty made me realize why so many moms choose this career path. It’s a flexible fit for a family-first lifestyle. As for me, I feel much more re-energized now. I took a little break and have done some re-organizing. I’ve realized that balance is the lifeblood of a mother’s journey. Yes, I need to feel fulfilled in my career, but I also need movie nights with the kids, pedicures and toe rubs to feel like me.
So mamas, what changes can you make in your career to feel more like you?