Harper is 11 months old. With each day she is walking with more confidence. She struts around the house, in a bow-legged wobble, arms out to the side for balance, and goes from room to room. If she doesn’t see me, she utters “Ma-ma-ma-ma-ma” as she toddles around looking for me. She is still nursing, just a wee bit each morning, night, and sometimes during the day, but only when she is sleepy, or else she bites me. I have been prolonging the inevitable; my breastfeeding days are numbered.

Typically, just before my babies turn a year old, my body, unbeknownst to me, is getting ready to be pregnant again.  I could never get ovulation kits to work for me, and never having a predictable menstrual cycle I had no idea when I was ovulating. So it always came as a surprise to me to find out I was pregnant. With all my children spaced 20-22 months apart, right about now is when I’d be peeing on a stick and seeing that little pink plus sign.

This time, however, I’m getting ready to conceive a different kind of baby. Since the ability to conceive children with my husband has been made “officially” impossible, this time around, as my Harper turns a year old, I’ll be conceiving something else entirely. Instead of a human embryo, I’m looking to 2013 to bring to life a new career.

One of the hardest things I ever did was quit my job. I just loved working. I enjoyed being an employed member of society. I might not have been the perfect employee but I was good at my job and I loved the stimulation that my brain received from being around like- minded individuals in an educational environment.

When I quit, I felt incredibly guilty for having the feelings I was having. I wanted to be at home with my babies but I so badly wanted to be a working mother. I didn’t want to admit it to anyone that this decision was so hard. I worried that people would judge me. I knew that there were other mothers who didn’t have the luxury of staying home with their kids and they would have killed to be given the opportunity, and here I was balking at it.

I had no idea that being a stay-at-home-mother would be so rewarding and so challenging. The truth is, I love being at home with my children, but I honestly think that I might be one of those mothers who is a better mom as a working mom. I am seeking the kind of fulfillment that can be obtained in both places, work and home. Since I haven’t hit the pavement just yet, I can’t really say if that last statement is going to be true, but since I’m a tryer, I’m interested in finding out

During the past year, I did a lot of soul searching about going back to work but my timing seemed off. I was pregnant with Harper and something told me that launching a new career and then having a baby might not be the best thing timing-wise. So as Harper approached six months, I decided to in earnest to begin studying for my real estate exam.

I know, I know, there isn’t a shortage of Realtors in Petaluma, but I had been drawn to the profession for years. My husband, as a real estate financier, had introduced me to a lot of great professionals in Sonoma and Marin County. For one, I was attracted to the ability to set ones own hours or work weekends, which would bode well for a mom like me, but I also was excited by the opportunity to help people buy or sell their homes. I have always loved the housing market; I find it fascinating, complicated, and personal. I have enjoyed the feeling I have gotten when walking into a home and seeing its unique potential. I love the details; like a nice floor plan for a family, the functionality of a kitchen, and the work and care people put into the decorating.

In December, after pushing back my licensing exam twice because of four other obvious priorities, I finally sat for, and passed, the California State Real Estate Licensing Exam. As they handed me the paper with my test results, I felt like a million bucks seeing that I had passed. It was a feeling of accomplishment that I hadn’t felt in years. Sure, I have felt accomplished other times in my recent past, but making it through the grocery store without tantrums from all of my four kids is a different kind of accomplishment altogether (also one that I truly enjoy).

It’s going to be nice to give birth to something in 2013 other than a baby (not to mention the fact that, although this might stretch me, I won’t get stretch marks). I have no idea what balancing work and home life will be like for me but I’m certain that my kids, and my husband, will always remain my top priority. I’m going to give it my best shot and hope that 2013 is fruitful in a different kind of way.

Happy New Year! I hope that all of your goals for 2013 come true too.  Wish me luck! And if you know anyone looking to buy or sell a home….



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