Like a Personal Trainer, for Your Life

I am excited to be kicking off the week and the new month with a fantastic guest post from a reader, Robin Leon. I fell in love with her post immediately and think that once you read her piece, you’ll join me in wishing Robin had a blog of her own so we could keep up with her. (Hint hint, Robin!). Until then, however, hopefully she’ll contribute more here to WM. Her piece made me laugh out loud and I connected with her immediately because of her honesty (anyone who compares themselves to looking like a “bedraggled hobbit” is someone I immediately like). So read on for a great Tuesday morning read – and thank you Robin! If you’d like to contribute here, please do, just email me your piece at wiredmomma@me.com

With that, I turn it over to Robin

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 Stay at Home Mom confession:

Every day, I question whether I would be happier working a 9 to 5. Actually, this is DC, so let’s be real, a 7 to 7. This isn’t exactly a deep dark secret – the very heart of the “mommy wars” is a population of women who aren’t positive they’re making the right decisions, the right choices. Every. Single. Minute.

So sometimes I dream, hell, fantasize about going back to work. Most of these fantasies involve drinking coffee ALONE, in a very posh office, wearing an immaculately tailored wardrobe straight off of Robin Wright in House of Cards (I couldn’t pull off her hair, my hairstylist assures me – something about bone structure). That’s what it’s like in the office, right ladies? Working moms, back me up – lattes and leisurely email reading, right? Lie to me! Never mind the fact that when I was working a “real” job pre-baby, I was overwhelmed to the point of stress dreams and often contemplated faking my own death (first, obtain fake passport on Ebay . . .).

My working mom friends tell me they do exactly the same thing, in reverse – dreams of peaceful strolls in the park, hand in tiny hand, games of catch with a giggling toddler and epic nap times spent catching up on episodes of Scandal. Sorry ladies, try potty training battles, non-stop clean up, and a clerk at CVS who notes helpfully, “He sure can scream loud.”, but I’m sure you could burst my coffee and power suit bubble, so let’s all just be cool.

Being a stay at home mom has piles of perks, but a gigantic paycheck generally isn’t one of them, which is why my next Stay at Home Mom confession is a doozy:

I hired a life coach.

Yes friends, I hired someone to help me get my act together – someone who will help me figure out how to hide the significant gap in employment history (apparently, “made a person” is not appropriate resume-speak) and nudge me back into the workforce, while keeping “real life” priorities in check.

My grandmother passed away last year and was generous enough to leave me a small sum in her will. I was touched, thrilled, and then immediately torn. Spend? Save? Invest? I’m hoping my life coach is a little bit of each.

It’s bit embarrassing to admit – this new relationship. I’m not sure what kind of people I thought hired life coaches – fancy people? People on the fast track? People who are deeply confused and (gulp), in over their heads?

The first time I got busted by a mommy friend (MF) was at preschool drop-off:

Robin should know she’s not alone in looking like a bedraggled hobbit during preschool drop off. I am pretty sure this is my reflection on my days. Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

MF: “You look nice!” (I had brushed my hair and put on lip gloss. Note to self – stop leaving the house looking like bedraggled hobbit).

“Any special plans for the morning?”

ME: “Umm . . . I have a meeting. With an, umm . . . .with a career counselor.”

(Why on earth I thought “career counselor” sounded loads cooler than “life coach” is a question for the ages).

MF: “You mean, like a life coach?”

ME: (looking down in shame, kicking non-existent dirt with my shoe) “Uh, kinda.”

MF: That’s so cool. I’ve always wanted to work with a life coach. Do you like the person you’re working with?

That’s the  funny thing, the more I opened up to friends about my “new hire,” the more people told me they had worked with one, thought about working with one, or were intrigued by the process.

One wildly successful friend (seriously, the woman probably started a non-profit and invented a better mousetrap before I had breakfast this morning) was intrigued by the whole concept and compared it to a personal trainer for your life. That sounds about right. Of course you know you should be doing squats, lunges and cardio, but when you’re paying someone else to set up a workout plan and hold you accountable, you can bet your weight belt, you’ll work harder to make sure it gets done.

And so it is with the life coach. Of course I know I should be networking, keeping my resume current, and developing my “brand.” Ok, that last one was news, but generally I know what I’m supposed to be doing when it comes to the slow march back into the workforce. Paying someone good money to keep me on track however, has forced me to stay on target and stop procrastinating  – the career equivalent of walking slowly on the treadmill while flipping through gossip magazines.

The experience itself has been great. My life coach asked me a ton of questions, helped me prioritize my work and life goals, and holds me accountable on the short term to-dos (final confession: I really like having “homework” – nerd). I feel good about my prospects, and I couldn’t have done it without my coach.

Now, if I could just find time to get to the gym.

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Thank you so much Robin! Share here what you think of her piece of post a comment on the WM Facebook page..and of course, if you haven’t yet done some, please “Like” the WM FB page….and send me your guest post!!! (if you are selling something then i’m not interested, FYI).

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