Before I had my children, I was a very career driven person. I worked in Minor League Baseball right out college for seven years and now work in college athletics. Working in sports requires a huge time commitment, including 12-14 hour work days multiple days a week. I absolutely loved my career and it’s who I was; it was my whole identity.
After I had my girls, my whole world changed. I know it sounds so cliché, but I really felt like I gained SO much but also lost so much of myself when I had them. It doesn’t help that I had them a month after the world shutdown due to the pandemic, so we were forced to stay home and away from anyone/anything that could have given me a sense of normalcy.
I was even worried to have my family come help (they live in Georgia) because of the unknown of COVID at the time and what it could do to my newborn daughters. After three weeks of paternity leave, my husband returned to work and I was home alone with the girls. Just the thought of that terrified me. I remember being so jealous that he got to leave the house and go to work and socialize with other people.
I caved and called in backup and my Mom came to help for a month or so. I currently work in college athletics, so with the pandemic and all sports being cancelled, I was able to work from home starting just 6 weeks after giving birth. I was so excited to get back to working and feeling like myself, but I quickly realized that I’m not who I used to be. I started to feel so lost and overwhelmed.
While I was ready to get back to work, I also had two newborns to take care of at the same time. I had to be a Mom and an employee, and I had no clue how to balance the two. Of course, I did what all of us MoM’s do and I made it work. I have learned that my career now takes a backseat to my family because I am a Mom first and an employee second. It sounds crazy, but it has taken me a while to come to terms with the fact that my job isn’t the most important thing in my life anymore. Before I became a Mom, I was ALWAYS working. I would feel guilty if there was a game going on and I wasn’t there with my coworkers; now I feel guilty when I’m at work and not at home with my children and husband.
In the last 16 months since having my girls, I have found a good balance of the “old me” and the “new me.” I leave for work in the morning before they get up, get to work early, and leave work early so I can have more of the afternoon to spend with them. I still work a couple nights a week when we are having games, but my husband brings the girls to my work to see me for a couple of hours if it’s on the weekends. I know it’s not perfect and it probably won’t work forever, but for now, it allows me to continue to do both things that I love; be a Mom and continue to have my career that I am so passionate about.
I know it’s hard to be a Mom, whether you work or stay home, and we lose ourselves because we care so much about our family that we forget what used to make us happy and make us who we are. I encourage you to try to find the balance and continue to do what makes you, YOU!
Courtnie Ortiz works as an Athletic Marketing Coordinator at The University of Texas at Dallas. She lives in Hurst, Texas with her husband Nathan and twin daughters, Faith and Gracie (1.5)