I’ve waited for so long to post about how excited I am about going back to work and focusing on my career again… but reality is not as bright as I thought it will be. Well, it still is.
Before having kids I had full time job and I enjoyed every second of having a financial freedom. My life was very simple; work, coctails after work, travel during wekeends. There was no one in this world who could make me change my fabulous lifestyle. My child was my Mercedes Benz, my playdates were trips to shopping malls and meeting friends at some of the greatest bars and clubs in Europe. Oh yes, I remember the night dancing in famous Buddha Bar in Paris. But as soon as I thought, this is the life I’d never wanted to change, it changed. Drastically. On one of my fabulous trips to Adriatic Sea with friends, I fell in love. I fell in love so hard, that I saw stars and I could not feel ground below my two feet. And he was not from Slovenia. He was not even from European Union. He was (is) American Citizen.
So, I flew far away from my family and friends, followed my heart to windy Chicago. City of tall buildings and amazing people. I had big dreams. I saw myself totally rocking my career in USA. Until… my pregnancy test came out ‘Pregnant’. Pregnant in unknown place with people I don’t know? In a big city with language that is not my first. Neither second! Unfotunately yes, all my preggo mama dramas I had to deal with myself, some of them heard my loved husband. But after nine months we got lovely colicy boy Alexander. He was (still is) love of my life. He was my companion in this uknown country. I was learning with him, I was getting to know this country through him. He helped me be stronger and braver.
Three years later joined us snow flake Isabella. We call her snowflake because of her white hair, light blue eyes and fair skin. Small body, big personality. She’s been forever that way. Such a joy and blessing for both of us, not as much for Alexander.
And, finally, another three years later, Alex started Kindergarten, Isabella turned three, and this mama was ready to go back to work. Going back to work, in my mind, was still having fun, being free, and do all fun stuff with co-workers. But, as soon as I started, I learned it’s not just fun fun fun, but it’s really just work work work, and it’s not me me me at all, it’s kids, school, meals, house, scheduls. But how can I celebrate this big life moment instead of being completely overwhelmed?
I became licensed realtor in State of Illinois and joined Chicago #1 real estate office! The team is amazing, I love the area where I work (my office is in Libertyville), and I love idea of working towards financial independancy. I love real estate. Being in foreign country, specially in country with unlimited opportunities, is hard to find yourself. In Europe I worked in law and governement environment, and what that means, all my knowledge is basecaly nule! I had to start from start. I had bold six years to figure it out. And I am really passionate about helping people sell their homes and find their new homes.
But in all this euphoria, in busy life, I hadn’t had time to stop, breath and THINK! As soon as contract was signed and when i realized this is for real, I’m not ever going to be stay at home mom again, this is it, my career, my life… I felt overwhelmed. My planner is next to me 24/7, I became super busy, we even had to enroll Isabella in full day daycare. Questions, I’m facing right now are: Can I do this? Am I forgeting something? Did I kiss my kids goodnight? Did I read them a book today? Have I replied to my manager’s email? When is husband out of town? I forgot to buy Alex’s favorite snack for his school lunch!!! These are all the problems working moms are facing with ALL THE TIME! I have a big respect for them. I was always jelous of their ‘freedom’, jelous of them having actually adult conversations, not just changing diapers and picking up pacifiers. And now I have it. It’s my time!! But why am I feeling anxious? Why am I feeling stress?
No matter what are your personal reasons of feeling anxious, there is always a way to feel better when you face these moments. After doing some research, I found some great tips to overcome this imagionary fear.
1) TAKE A TIME-OUT
Anxiouty is just a state of mind that can be switched consciously. Meditate, practise yoga, listen to music. Personaly classic music really helps me. Before every big ‘thing’, doctor’s visit, meeting, important deal coming up, I listen to Mozart. It really calms me down. If you are facing a problem that you are trying to solve, stepping back usually helps clear your head.
2) EAT WELL-BALANCED MEALS
Have you every heard coffee makes me nervous? Or, Coke makes my heart beat? Yes! When you know the next day you have an important meeting, or presentation, job interview, a test, or anything that makes your body shake, make sure to not skip any meals, keep it healthy, get enough of sleep and drink a lot of water. You don’t want to face these meetings with a hangover.
3) LIMIT ALCOHOL AND CAFFEINE, GET ENOUGH SLEEP
Again, avoid late nights out, alcohol or caffeine. They can aggrevate anxiety and trigger panic attacks. Have a decaf or caffeine free tea instead.
Take deep breaths. Breathing slowly slows down your heart. Why do you think meditation is so important for our health? Because while meditating, you are inhaling and exhaling slowly, which makes your heart beat slower. You can actually help yourself preventing from having a panic attack with breathing.
6) NO ONE IS PERFECT
Instead of aiming for perfection, which is not possible, be proud of however close you get. We all make mistakes and we learn from them.
7) LAUGH and POSITIVE THOUGHTS
Humor helps. Why to stress about situation, when you can just laugh about it. “It’s a peace of cake, I can do it all!”
Another thing is, try to replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts. Read affirmations every morning before you go to work. Listen to inspiring messages in your car. Read a good book about positive attitude.
8) WHAT TRIGGERS YOUR ANXIATY?
Learn what triggers your anxiety, is it work, family, school, or something else you can identify? Write down your feelings and thoughts every time you feel overwhelmed, stressed, and look for pattern.
Fitness helps with stress. It releases feel-good brain chemicals that may ease anxiaty and reduces immune system chemicals that can worsen it. It’s repeated time and time again how important exercise is for your mental health, and it simply cannot be emphasized enough.
No matter how hard every start is, nothing in life is easy. Not one change. Maybe just being a woman and a mom, being emotional, these changes hits as even harder then it would have ever hit a man. Every life change we make, we think about our family. They are always with us, everywhere we go. But, we need to think about our finance independancy. And children need independancy as well. Away from us. Charish those moment that we have. Bring a picture or child’s toy with you, and every time you feel guilty, scared, overwhelmed, look at that toy and think of them. Think of that you are doing all this for them, for their future, and you CAN do it! First few days will be hard, but you will fall back into routine fast. And you’ll enjoy it! We can do this!