From Gucci to Gerber
By Tracy Chongling
As I saw the 2 blue lines darken on the stick I could feel a knot form in my stomach. Pregnant! I could feel the surge of emotions over take my entire body. What was I thinking? Was I ready? What am I going to do? Sure I was in my late twenties and had a career, but that was just it. I had a career. I had a life. How was this tiny being going to fit into this life I created? At the time I was working in the financial industry and my goals were to climb the corporate ladder. My days were filled with strategy meetings and conference calls, and my nights were spent laughing during happy hour and late night dinners in the city. That was all about to change and I had no idea to what extreme.
During the next 9 months I tried to maintain my same lifestyle minus the late nights of course. I still shopped at the same stores and still managed to squeeze my overly swollen feet in my sky heels, although looking back I realize how ridiculous I must have looked. I knew a baby was coming but yet I still hadn’t wrapped my head around it. I had a plan for life. I had career goals. It was mid-July when my daughter was born, and the first couple of days were a whirlwind. For any of the Mothers out there you know the overwhelming emotions that ensue after giving birth, add that with a colicky baby and it’s a recipe for long days and nights spent crying right along with your new baby. But even in the midst of the darkest times I started to realize over the weeks that all the “I” moments were now “we” moments and that she needed me. This baby needed me in ways that my Senior Leadership team and peers at work just couldn’t match. It was hitting me – how am I going to balance this new life.
Going back to work began to weigh heavy on my mind, all the days of anticipating going to the office were replaced with feelings of guilt and stress of managing a career and motherhood. In a strange way I found myself envious of the Mothers that were able to stay home full time, but I knew that wasn’t going to be me. During the drive into work the first day I felt saddened that I left my daughter and a bit resentful that my job would really expect me to come back full time. Finding a new normal in my life was certainly hard, I would rush out of work in the evenings, fight through rush hour traffic just to see my baby for an hour before she went off to bed. It was frustrating, draining and quite frankly exhausting. Over time I started to figure it out and things started to fall into place – sure I struggled to eat dinner before 9:00 p.m. each night and my career took a dramatic turn when I turned down a promotion but at the end of the day I was doing it and this was exactly what I was supposed to be doing.
The juggle between career and motherhood can be extremely tough but with the right support system and mindset it is possible. Maybe you reach all of your goals and maybe you don’t in this season, but continue moving forward. There is limitless possibility inside you. At the end of the day, if you’re aligned with your purpose, growing in that purpose and have a heart filled with joy, you are already exceeding in life.
About Tracy Chongling
I am a wife and mother of three girls, and when that job has given me a few minutes of breathing room I am a Mortgage Professional. I work closely with several of the state housing and coaching organizations and enjoy advising on financial literacy and securing homes for those in my local communities. During my down time I spend most of it at home with my family, and while life has taken me on many journeys and I’ve worn many hats along the way I can truly say that where I am today is the exact place for me. The roads have never been paved, nor made especially easy but seeing my daughters grow and doing a job that I love is a rewarding feeling and I hope to share that with others.