I will never forget growing up in a family with four girls. I loved my three sisters more than anything, but I always felt a little desire to be ‘different’ than the others (well, Caitlin and I had our major similarities and still do with life/career/family). My sisters always wanted to be moms; definitely a part of their life plans. In ways I wasn’t even able to comprehend, I remember looking at moms driving past in minivans and saying – please don’t ever let that happen to me. Mind you, this was junior year of high school when I was running for VP of Student Government and bought a week worth of perfect outfits/shoes/accessories (we wore uniforms; this was my week to show the real me in normal clothes – and let me tell you, I looked the part and probably spent $1,000). I barely slept since I was working my butt off at the gym and around the clock to have that perfect image. I thought, hell, I could do this. I want my life to be like this… and I think I will always care more about my career than about the desire to have a family or be at home with my kids.
Fast forward to college and you’ll find that I switched majors about 10 times and ultimately went most of the way through college in education to decide – you know, I’m not so in love with kids. And then I entered the PR/marketing track and at last, that is where I was supposed to be. I was meant to shop at Ann Taylor and Banana, wear heels everyday, and most importantly compete with the men to climb my way (and step on them) until I surpassed them on the ladder. I was the girl that never wanted to get married until I was at least 30 and not really settle down until probably 35. I was totally certain. And then I met my husband when I was a senior at Marquette and well, we’ve been together ever since that day.
As women, we go through too many stages in life to count… and too many ‘I know this is the path I want my career to look like’ moments and countless ‘I do want kids, I don’t want kids’ scenarios in our heads. But all of the sudden, one-day you may start to want it all. And from what I’ve read, we can have it all. We can’t be fantastic at each task day in and day out, but we can be pretty damn good when it counts and matters most. And I will never forget when that ‘I want kids’ moment struck me.
I was at Target and saw a mom talking (in a way I’ve sworn I will never talk to my kids), and discussing Halloween costume choices with her toddler, soothing her newborn in his carseat, and clearly had come straight from work/daycare pickup. She had what I wanted. It was the first time I wasn’t annoyed at babies crying everywhere (especially on planes), the first time I stared at moms (and probably creeped them out), and I knew… I was ready. Well, I was ready except for the mini van part. That won’t ever happen. Just a personal preference. We’ve secured that for sure by purchasing two new SUV’s that will last us for a long time.
But regardless of whether or not you have an ‘I’m ready moment.’ Don’t tell yourself it will never happen. You’ll just might surprise yourself.