14 Dec The struggle is real. When 9-5 becomes 24/7
As a self-taught marketer working for some of the biggest fashion companies in Montreal I always put in 110% effort when it came to my work. I lived for fashion and had a passion for using my creative expression to build brands and satisfy customers. Work was priority and I used it to fulfil my days and sometimes even my nights.
But what happens when your priorities change? When you go through something so monumental that changes you deep within your core, so much so that you feel like the person you have been your whole life just disappears before your eyes… for me that was motherhood.
I married in June of 2012 and found out after very little “trying” to conceive that I was pregnant… with twins. That is when it all started to change. I suddenly felt so protective and excited about what the future held but also scared for all the changes that I was going through both physically and mentally. Fortunately, I was blessed with what I would call “the best pregnancy ever” and on June 18th 2013 my twins Ronnie Parker and Prosper Jacob entered the world and quickly took over my heart… and life forever.
The first year was hard to put it mildly. It was hard on my body, my relationships, my sanity and my marriage but as they say, time passes quickly when you are having fun. And it was fun…for the most part. I consider myself to be very hands on as a mom. I toted my twins around… buckets on both arms to playgroups, music classes, grocery stores and shopping malls daily. I didn’t have any professional help but thankfully was fortunate enough to have a strong support system with my family.
As my maternity leave was coming to an end, I realized that I wasn’t ready to face the working world and leave my twins behind.
They consumed so much of my time and occupied so much of my mind; I was worried there wasn’t enough room to focus on marketing. I ended up taking 18 months off work to fully enjoy every minute and every milestone. But by then it was becoming clear that I was getting the itch to go back to work and find the things that I was once so passionate about.
As I settled back in to the working world, it was becoming clear to me that things were different this time. I couldn’t commit to the insane hours, throwing everything I had into my work projects like I was accustomed to in the past -back before I had a husband and two of the most beautiful little souls waiting for me at home. I couldn’t catch a drink after work or stay late to finish a project or get a manicure. I had responsibilities and priorities that no longer started and ended with myself. I worked all day and when I was done at the office, I hurried home to my second job working the night shift. Playtime, dinner time, bath time, story time, bedtime…repeat.
I started to remember those first feelings I had when my twins were born. Always feeling like I had to split my time… split my love and put myself on the back burner. Feelings of guilt started to creep in.
Was I a bad mom because I was enjoying my time at work? Was I a good employee even though I was focused on my kids in the back of mind all day?
There is where my struggle started. The more I tried to piece together parts of who I used to be, the more I realized that she was gone for good.
Don’t misunderstand; I wouldn’t change the life that I have been blessed with. I have 2 of the cutest, most wonderful children and a supportive husband who is a hands-on dad. I am a very lucky woman and I know it. That doesn’t mean that I don’t feel torn at least once a day, every day. Whether it’s at work or at home, sometimes I feel like I am only giving it 80% when I want to be at 100%. Sometimes the fridge is empty and the laundry is piled sky high. Sometimes the emails have to wait until I have tucked my kids in at night. I guess those are just the sacrifices that we make to be able to do it all and try to do it all well. The struggle is real…at least I know mine is.
My name is Samantha Brown. I am a 30 something mother of 2.5 year old boy girl twins. I work for Danish fashion House BESTSELLER here in Montreal as a Marketing Team leader representing all brands they carry for both wholesale and retail. I am trying to be the best at everything I do from Motherhood to marriage and at work.