Disclosure: Recently, I teamed up with The Motherhood and Northwood Services to discuss what makes moms happy and we can pursue our passions at work and at home. Although compensated for attending the event and writing this post, all opinions remain my own. #NorthwoodMoms

Dear Diary,

When my daughter starting spending half of the month with her father who lives six hours away, I was devastated. I couldn’t imagine living my life without her. That’s an extreme view, but that’s how it felt at the time. My little girl, whose heart beat inside my body for nine months, would be away from me for the longest period she had experienced in her life. Then I realized, I shouldn’t feel sad about our time apart. Instead, I would cherish the memories we made together. So I requested a flexible schedule, which was approved! When Caitlynn is in my care, I work a shortened shift. After she gets out of preschool, we have hours to spend together before bedtime. Sometimes we go to the park to feed the ducks; other days we hang out at the museum. But most days, we play pretend. We imagine we’re royalty, zoo keepers and school teachers.

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Right now, this time probably means more to me than it does to my daughter. Toddlers don’t have the same sense of time as us adults. But the hours are priceless, especially since I don’t have to choose between my job and my child. I can have both. Such satisfaction is one of the topics I discussed at a recent meet up with Pittsburgh area bloggers, The Motherhood and Northwood Moms.

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Both bloggers and Nothwood moms talked about striving for success at the workplace without sacrificing our home life. We shared stories about our desire for flexibility and respect. And we agreed that being a mom requires passion, patience and understanding–the same qualities required of a real estate agent. Northwood Realty Services recognizes, and celebrates these unique skills that working mothers bring to both their families and their careers every hour of the day.

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During the discussion, we asked questions like what makes moms happy and how do you achieve contentment. We each had different answers–all different, but all right. For some, the happiest day happened when they became mothers. For others, the best time of their lives was vacationing. And some working moms said the best is yet to come. So just how can you reach your personal and professional goals? The number one tip–set up a support system. Recruit family and friends to your super team instead of exhausting yourself trying to be a super woman.

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Question DFTM Fam–How do you define happiness? Answer that question in a short homework assignment that my friend Janeane posted on Facebook. Make a list of the things that make you happy. Then write down what you do daily. Compare the lists, and adjust accordingly. Share your answers in the comment boxes below.

About The Author

Vlog Mom/DFTM Creator

Not long ago, Heather Hopson hosted a television show in the Cayman Islands. Today, she's back home writing a different kind of story as a new mom. In her 15 years working as a professional journalist, this by far is her best assignment! Growing up, she dreamed of becoming Oprah Winfrey. She was the features editor for her school’s newspaper and a teen talk show host for her city’s most popular radio station. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Michigan State University. After graduation, she worked as a television producer and reporter at CBS, NBC and Fox affiliates throughout the U.S. Instead of heading to Chicago to join Ms. Winfrey on her set, she bought a plane ticket to the Cayman Islands instead. She arrived five days before a category five hurricane! She lived in paradise for seven years, hosted an award-winning television show and traveled the globe with a government delegation. She also served on the board of directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters and spearheaded a Send a Kid to Camp campaign. Then, she relocated to Washington, D.C. to obtain a teaching certification and instruct 8th grade reading at a high needs middle school. She later returned to her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA to raise her daughter Caitlynn, now 4-years-old. During her 10-month-stint as a stay-at-home mom, Caitlynn inspired her to create this blog, and Diary of a First Time Mom was born on Mother’s Day 2012. Two years later, she expanded the family to include 20+ writers. Currently, Heather serves as the communications director at Allies for Children. In addition, she is the owner of Motor Mouth Multimedia, which ranked #49 in Startup Nation’s Home-Based 100 Competition sponsored by Discover Card and Sam’s Club. Recently, The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments selected Heather to receive an Emerging Black Artist award to develop Diary of a First Time Mom.

3 Responses

  1. Nicole Vascianna

    I think these conversations are so very important; with no judgement. You mentioned that each woman had a different response when she described what makes her happy. At the end of the day I think we’re all striving for the same things. It may look different but we all want to be fulfilled in our careers and not lose out on pivotal milestones with our families. Great blog!

  2. Janeane Davis

    It is important for us to understand what makes us happy and how to duplicate that happiness in other areas of our life. One of thebest things about happiness is that it is custom made and can fit each of us. One thing I learned by making my lists is that I need to put more reading and knitting in my life.

  3. MJ

    I am definitely going to do this homework assignment. I will post my answers where I can see them every day. This is such an amazing idea. All moms matter and deserve happiness. It’s great to see a company recognize and embrace that.


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