Last night Wife Swap (I admit I watched it... but American Idol wasn't on) had a real estate agent wife swap with a fun-loving wife. The agent put her job first and it looked like the main bonding time was when the young kids cleaned their office ( a hubby/wife team). Her kids were polite, darling, and lonely. They said they felt like crying inside. They knew her job came before them.
I don't care how busy of an agent you are, there is no excuse for putting your kids second.
When I first had kids, in the mid 80's, I wouldn't even admit to my clients that I had kids. It was still a man's world, and I felt it showed weakness to show I had other non-work priorities that might interfere with their seeing a home. (Now I can't believe I felt that way, but I did.) Even so... my hubby and I worked it out where I sold 20-30 houses a year when my kids were 3 & 5, yet spent a TON of time with them. I was a super Mom. I worked at their parent participation pre-school, we did art, they learned to play rummy, we danced, and we read, read, read together. My goal was to raise them thinking I didn't work.
I realized quickly I needed to set boundaries, or this business would suck the life out of my family. My boundary "line" was "If it doesn't make me money or support my family I won't do it." So when my broker asked me to be on a decorating committee... up came the hand with my "line" on it. But when he asked me to be on the company softball team, I imagined my kids playing in the dirt while I practiced, watching their Mom be active, and maybe learning a little about team sports. I was in! Water cooler talk? nope.... didn't make me money.
I took my home phone number off my card, and didn't let anyone interrupt me at home. When I was at work, I was at work. But when I was home, I was at home.... coloring, looking for cool rocks, digging in the mud.
As they grew older, I worked on school auctions, PTA, and in the classroom. My husband coached softball and fixed the fields. Then he coached their water polo teams, and built stuff around the pool. All the while we had their friends over all the time. We had 3 or 4 kids who called us Mom or Dad. We were always involved, and both made them #1.
So can a real estate agent do it?... be a successful agent while raising kids who feel they are number 1? They can if they decide to. My desk is dripping with dusty trophys and plaques. But the best "award I have is this...
Thank you for being the mom all of my friends are jealous of. No matter where I go geographically, my friends are always jealous of the relationship I have with you and the person you are.
...I love that our family can entertain ourselves with each other infinitely. If we were on a deserted island with a radio and a deck of cards, we would be just fine. More like Swiss Family Dunbar.
...I love that you have helped me build a strong enough foundation for myself that despite all of these things, I can still live 300 miles away and only see you and Dad every 2 months.
...And I love that you have made me a woman of substance.
I love you, that is all."
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