Disclosure: Diary of a First Time Mom is partnering with The Motherhood and Northwood Services to discuss what happens when you start something new and how you can balance work and family. Although compensated , all opinions remain my own. #NorthwoodforMoms

Dear Diary,

I never imagined I would become a mother. Now, I can’t imagine my life without my daughter. Over the years, my expectations of what fulfillment meant changed. Not long ago, I lived in the Cayman Islands, hosting a television show and traveling the world.

Cayman Islands Carnival
Cayman Islands Carnival (3)

But now, I’m back home in Pennsylvania, telling a different kind of story about being a mom. At first, the new title scared me. Before I had a baby, I don’t think I ever babysat one overnight! Of course, I watched my nephews for a few hours here and there, since I didn’t live nearby. I don’t think I ever changed their diapers or cooked them a meal, besides breakfast. I was the fun aunt–the one who pulled their rafts to the deep end of the ocean and rode the waves to the shore. The one who bought the VERY loud and very fun toys for birthdays. The one who took them to the circus, science center and children’s museum.

Cayman Islands Carnival (10)
Cayman Islands Carnival (7)

Then, something changed. I was in an unfamiliar environment–I couldn’t give my baby back, like I did my nephews after filling their bellies with sugar and soda. I wasn’t sure if I could succeed as a mom. I never doled out punishments. I never balanced my budget. But my circle of supporters surrounded me, letting me know that I was wiser and stronger than I thought. Although I still don’t cook dinner daily–the Thai restaurant around the corner knows our order by heart–and I don’t always unplug from my day job, I’m no longer afraid of motherhood–or even failure. I know I don’t have to be perfect to be a good mom.

When you’re in that kind of unfamiliar situation, it can be difficult to know what to expect and how to succeed, especially if you re-enter the workforce after becoming a mom. Fortunately, I had a very understanding boss! I was sleep nursing–a sleepy employee pumping break milk on lunch breaks.

Northwood Realty Services also understands what it takes to be a good mom and provides support, education and training to make heading back to work, or starting a new career, less overwhelming.


  • When you make the decision to start a career in real estate, Northwood Realty Services will help you schedule a meeting with a recruiter so you know exactly what to expect in the journey to becoming an agent.
  • Once you decide a career with Northwood Real Estate Services is for you, Northwood offers classes to help you prepare to take your real estate exam. They prep you on real estate principles, laws and terminology, which will help you feel confident.
  • After you’re licensed, Northwood Realty Services offers an undergraduate program of 15 classes that cover a wide variety of topics, including what is involved in the day-to-day as a real estate agent, how to give a presentation, how to find prospective clients, etc.  These classes let new agents talk to people in the business, ask questions, receive more hands-on training, and be able to answer the all-important question: “I have my license, now what do I do?” Northwood Realty Services also offers a Master Class for seasoned agents.
  • An important aspect of the Northwood culture is their mentor and coaching programs. New agents are paired up with an experienced, successful agent for mentoring and shadowing opportunities. This relationship helps new agents work with seasoned professionals to develop their own skills and techniques.


  • Northwood Realty Services take a true team approach to its business. Each office has at least one manager and an administrative manager onsite, and a coach, tech trainer, mentor manager and regional trainer who visit the office regularly.
  •  Technology also plays a role in the real estate process. Northwood has tech trainers come to each office to offer all agents one-on-one support and training for any of the new programs, assist with each agent’s personal website, and other related training.

Just yesterday, one of my best friends shared that she’s searching for a new job–one that provides financial stability and flexibility for her family. I told her she should sell real estate. We continued the conversation and shared how we really want to work, but also want to focus on our children, perhaps even expanding our little clans. Northwood Realty Services help you do just that–make a smooth transition and make a good living, without making you feel guilty for living an unbalanced life.

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.

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