Little known fact about this frumpy homeschool mom: I have a fancy-pants professional past-life; I’ve been a Realtor for seventeen years. You’d never guess it from looking at me now, leading field trips in Birkenstocks, 19-digit library card number memorized, but I used to wear business suits every day and drive a zippy sports car.
I started my career before we started having kids, initially launching into real-estate just as Husband deployed overseas for over a year with the army. With youth on my side and no intention of socializing while my beloved fought a war, I worked obscene hours and quickly gained experience and a solid client base. As he marched through the desert in combat boots I pounded the pavement back home in heels with equal fervor.
After fourteen months my soldier returned and my business grew and evolved as our family did… As I started birthing babies I also birthed a team of baby Realtors, like-minded agents who partnered alongside me, taking over the more glamorous tasks as I moved into a more managerial role. With the support of my team I was able to tote my precious offspring along on errands, telecommute during naptime, field sign/ad calls as we bopped from toddler storytime to Kindergym, and limit evening and weekend appointments while Daddy was home.
Homeschooling wasn’t a part of the original blue-print for my career… I always intended to return to work in earnest when the kids started school, but in homeschool we’ve unwittingly discovered an alternative model of customized education that no vocation could tear me from.
These days, as I maintain a modest yet loyal client base, assisting friends & family in their real estate needs, I constantly field the question “How do you do it all?” meaning homeschool AND work. I’m quick to respond that I don’t…
The breakdown looks something like this: I teach full-time and work part-time; often my kids still tag along like they did as babes on hip at open houses, preschoolers who daily popped into the office to deposit paperwork. With a studly husband who also runs his own business out of our home, and does far more than his fair share on the home-front in the margins of his own workday, every day we’re shufflin’.
I maintained my license during the years my family lived in Montana, brokering deals through skilled agents back home, which allowed me to continue to contribute to our family finances (specifically to fund our adoption) and stay ‘in the game‘ vocationally. Back in our home state, I’ve resumed part-time work; aiding friends, family, and past clients as they buy and sell residential homes. I’m grateful to be able to work mostly from home, as much or as little as I choose, always around the needs of my family. .
Sometimes it gets a bit messy… like this hilarious email I nearly sent to a lender recently as I voice-texted a response while simultaneously dishing up dinner to the kids.
An occupational hazard, I suppose– similar to boarding my mom’s fussy flock of chickens while she awaits landscaping at the new home I recently sold her.
Firstborn helping show a house; I recall when she’d toddle around charming my colleagues at Realtor luncheons.
Sometimes my homeschool and real-estate worlds collide and helping a client move is deemed sufficient PE for the day.
And sometimes I simply write out a check-list of schoolwork that Husband oversees from his home office as I dash out for a signing.
What’s the one thing sure to get a homeschooling Realtor up and on the freeway before dawn? Why, a closing, of course. Neither Realtors nor homeschoolers are generally known to be morning people.
Mostly it’s pretty kumbaya, a privilege and hardly a juggle…
… but only because homeschool is a family effort and I’m buoyed by an encouraging community and supportive partner. I’m grateful.