Budgeting Time for Work and Kids

Services for Real Estate Pros with Real Living Gateway

If you know me and my husband, Joe, you know we are the parents of three young daughters.  Madeline is 8 years old in 3rd grade at McCall Elementary in Willow Park, TX.  Jolee is 4 years old and attends Quest Learning Center part-time.  Delaney is our newest addition and at 5 months old she stays with Mom and Dad all day. 

Needless to say working is sometimes the 3rd or 4th thing on the list that needs to be done in any given day.  I am an attorney and attorneys tend to work a lot.  My first attorney position was with a non-profit in Fort Worth.  It was a great job with great hours.  I could bring the girls to work and I was off on Fridays.  Unfortunately, the funding was cut for the position and I was again looking for a new place to work.

As I surveyed the legal employment landscape I realized that it was not a good place for a mom who wanted to be with her kids as much as possible and work also.  At that point Madeline was 4 and Jolee was 8 months old.  I would not and could not work more that 40 hours a week.  Joe was a high school football coach and he worked enough for both of us so there would be no one to watch the kids on Saturday or Sunday or late in the evening if we both had to work.

Now, I understand that many people do this and can handle that sort of situation effectively.  I am not the kind of parent that says parents should work or stay home.  Each parental and family situation is different so no judgment on my part, but I personally wanted to be with my children as much as possible.

We talked and decided to go into real estate.  We both got our real estate licenses with the express intent of opening our own brokerage.  Our job now is growing Real Living Gateway and our children while  trying to stay sane.  There are many times that our girls are with us looking at houses and often we tell our clients up front that there may be kids with us during showings, not always, but it could happen.  Gratefully, I have never had anyone say that they are bothered by that.  Most seem to be understanding because anyone with children has been in my shoes. 

Real Living Gateway is the culmination of our inability to find any other way to have our cake and eat it too, per se.  We require our agents to work from home, because we do.  We call them virtual agents because there are no mandatory in house meetings.  We don't care if an agent calls us and her kids are in the background.  We encourage the role an agent's family plays in his or her life and work.  That is what real estate is all about, family and home.  Granted, there are times children get in the way but I believe that each agent is professional enough to decide when that is.  My best clients have come from being a Room Mom and participating in our local Aledo PTO. 

Joe and I are the lucky ones in this situation.  We get to watch our kids grow every day and grow our company but I bet you can guess which are growing faster.  Come see how we do it at Real Living Gateway.

Charlie Ragonesi - Big Canoe, GA
Homes - Big Canoe, Jasper, North Georgia Pros

INtersting post and your web site is very pretty . Family is everything .  More folks should feel and act the way you both do

Nov 09, 2008 03:53 AM
Li Read
Sea to Sky Premier Properties (Salt Spring) - Salt Spring Island, BC
Caring expertise...knowledge for you!

Enjoyed your post...balancing acts are always a challenge, but the rewards are also great.

Nov 09, 2008 03:56 AM
Vickie Nagy
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate - Palm Springs, CA
Vickie Jean the Palm Springs Condo Queen

Congratulations on making the decision to focus on the important things in life...your children, husband and family.

Nov 09, 2008 04:00 AM
Ilyce Glink
Think Glink Media - Chicago, IL
Best-selling author, award-winning TV/radio host.

Brandy- This was a great post! Not enough gets said about making time to balance family and work, especially for women. It is an incredibly tough job, but I commend you for finding a unique way to make it work for you. Good luck!

Nov 09, 2008 06:06 AM
Jack Gerbehy
Egg Harbor Township, NJ

I see you haven't posted in some time.... Things have changed at ActiveRain...  Its a great social environment  filled with industry knowledge and connections from around the world, stop by you might like what you see !!!!

Jan 20, 2016 07:13 PM