By Guest Blogger Amanda Shore
Growing up I had several friends whose moms didn’t “work.” Back then that meant that they didn’t work a public job. I remember thinking of my own mom and the hours she pulled teaching, working towards her graduate degree, often working part-time jobs on weekends – all the while shuttling my brother and I everywhere, fixing supper every night, etc. I would automatically think of these stay-at-home moms and snort derisively, thinking it must be nice to be so privileged. Even once I finished school, I still looked at SAHMs and marveled at such a calm, peaceful existence.
This went on for years. Then I had my first child.
After six weeks at home with my precious, perfect, beautiful son, I was ready to go back to WORK just so I could RELAX! Diapers, bibs, blankets, Babywise… I was exhausted! I thought I’d be able to “sleep when the baby sleeps,” but had I done that, when would the diapers be laundered? Who would wash the pump parts? Who would make sure the burp cloth matched the bib which had to match the blanket?
I’m getting carried away here, but my point is that there is A LOT more to being a SAHM than meets the eye. The same could be said of being a Realtor. My mom (the same multi-tasking, job juggling, on-the-go-dynamo mentioned above) worked for me a while back as my assistant. After just a few hours at work with me, she was blown away by what all goes into this business. If I am at lunch with a friend, she will comment that my phone dings, rings, and beeps every 10 seconds. When my children are in bed and my husband wants to tell me about something interesting that happened that day, he usually has to wait until I “call one more client” or send “just one more email”.
Just as a SAHM sleeps in, has a contented child who independently plays all day, and chats with friends while doing her nails, Realtors drive fancy cars everywhere, stick pretty signs in yards, and smugly wait for the offers to start rolling in so they can count their money. WRONG!
My day can go anywhere from breaking someone’s heart by telling them a deal is dead, to cleaning a toilet in a home that has been left vacant too long. I start every day with a to-do list, but rarely does my day go according to plan. Imagine walking out the door with your daughter, all dolled up for church in her pretty dress and matching tights, and then… well… poop. Literally. It’s sort of the same thing in mine and Lisa’s worlds. It’s 10 am, I’m congratulating myself on having already returned four phone calls, put out signs for my upcoming open house (and cleaned the counters and swept the stoop…), carried on contract negotiations on two homes via text, when SPLAT… a neighbor calls to tell me that water is seeping under the garage door of a home owned by some clients who are on vacation and unreachable. YIKES.
Make no mistake, I love my career and know that Lisa feels the same way. But, just as SAHMs don’t sit around all day watching soap operas, we don’t just daydream that a home will sell or a customer will find the perfect home. We agonize, strategize, and categorize constantly.
One of my goals for this year is to make my clients more aware of what I do daily. Oftentimes I assume my clients know that I am working hard for them. But if you don’t see us working first-hand, we can’t expect you to know! You hire us to do a job because you trust us, but we must make a better effort to communicate to you just how hard we are trying. I have lost sleep worrying about my son’s happiness and my daughter’s health, but I have also lost sleep brainstorming ways to work out a seemingly impossible real estate situation. It isn’t a 9-5 job by any means. This is probably why some of the best agents I know were once SAHMs!
Ultimately, I truly believe real estate is a calling. We get so involved in our client’s lives, from family to finances to faith, that it can seem overwhelming at times. There are moments when, just as I often did those first few weeks after both my children were born (and still do, occasionally!), I simply have to step outside, take a deep breath, and thank God for the chaos. Truly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Sponsored by Amanda Shore and Lisa Gifford of Allen Tate Realtors