The universe had set us on parallel paths years before we met. We attended the same university, worked at the same marketing agency straight out of college, and married our college sweethearts at the same Soulard church. In 2004 we met for the first time at a St. Louis marketing agency. A dynamic copywriter and art director team, together we traveled the country and climbed the ladder of corporate America.
We were two bright women dedicated to our careers and quickly found ourselves on the fast track for success. By the fall of 2006 we were both pregnant with our first children, again similar situations and totally unplanned. Without missing a step, we continued down the career path while adding the title of new mommy. We supported each other through sleepless nights, and the emotions of leaving your new baby for the first time on a business trip. We pumped in the office bathroom, and learned that electric breast pumps do not work on airplanes. We coined the phrase, “the third shift.” The first shift being work, the second shift being family time, and the third shift that generally started around 8pm involving all of the things you couldn’t cram into your already busy schedule.
Navigating the ups and downs, balancing family and work, successes and failures; we were always there for one another. Just to have someone next to you that is going through the same emotions, the same struggles, and the same joys, all at the same time, lets you know that you are not alone. And no matter the situation we could relate to one another on so many levels. In the office we were smart, and valuable, driven, and determined. At home we were loving, and gentle and always the best mommies and wives we could be. Staying up until all hours of the night making the perfect Halloween costume, or icing the cutest cupcakes, our children never came second to anything.
Promotions and success at work were celebrated along with the births of our second children. Balancing work and home were always top of mind, and became more difficult as time went on. For some reason, you seem to think that the most a child will ever need you is when they are an infant. You realize it isn’t so when your 3-year old is crying on the phone for you to come home, as you put on your game face and head to a client dinner. Through it all, there we stood, side by side, supporting one another. We didn’t verbally praise one another, or pat each other on the back, we just knew that we were both in it. We were an example for one another.
I’ve since put the breaks on, left the dream job, and am taking time to re-evaluate things in my life. Leaving was hard on both of us. We had become moms at the same time under the same circumstances, and faced the same challenges together. I felt like I was losing the daily banter of mommy-hood. Who else would I share the morning routine horror story with, or debate soy versus organic? Women can be an incredible support system for one another. Finding that one person who understands you, and inspires you doesn’t come along everyday. Which is why the other night when the phone rang at 10:30, it was her calling to say, “I have to talk you about this, only you would understand…”