Going to drop a bomb here, but I never really thought I wanted kids. For a while, when I was younger I absolutely did, but after being in corporate America for a while, I had a change of heart. I also suffered awful verbal & emotional abuse as a child from my birth-mother that left me petrified to have my own children. I saw my friends with kids that had to re-arrange their whole lives, adhere to their children’s schedules, miss out on things because, well they’re responsible adults and I thought to myself “great for them, but probably not for me.” Dropping another bomb, After getting married, I felt residential real estate would be a career that would allow me the luxury of being a mom and business woman, just another reason for me to jump ship from the corporate life. Once my career took off, I started realizing that to work in one of the most sought after luxury markets in the world, was practically a 24/7 job; how would I even have the time for a baby?
Five years ago I brought home a 5-week old puppy to prove to myself and everyone else that we barely have time for, now 2 dogs, how the hell would I be able to juggle a baby in the mix. With business booming, I found myself pregnant with my first baby in the Fall 2018 and I was beyond freaked out. I went through a range of emotions from fear, worry to slight excitement, back to fear, confusion, the list goes on. Firstly, I wasn’t sold on the idea of motherhood right away, but almost instantaneously, my “mommy instincts” kicked in and I found myself protective of this little peanut growing inside me; the strangest mental mind-fuck. I then made the decision, the moment the doctor confirmed my pregnancy, I WOULD NOT post anything publicly about my pregnancy and/or my baby once it arrived. Here I am, with a crazy busy career, two dogs, a cat and so much more going on, the person who was pretty set on not having a child and being a dog mom forever, is now going to be responsible for another human life.
Let’s fast forward to June 2019. As you all can probably tell from my past posts, I’m a type-A personality and like to control situations as much as I possibly can. June 3rd, I found myself in the car on the way to my elective scheduled c-section (control freak) and was freaking the fuck out. All morning I found myself cleaning the house, then took a shower, walked the dogs, blew my hair out, just keeping myself occupied until my check-in time. Then there I was, in a hospital gown, hooked up to machines, waiting for an offer to come through (yes I was working lying on the hospital bed) thinking to myself “okay, this is it. Going to meet my little oops baby.” At 4:34PM June 3rd, 2019, little Genevieve “GiGi” received her final eviction notice and the doctor stitched up the door for her to get back in. This is it, my life is forever different.
Whilst I was pregnant, a dear friend of mine, who I appreciate so much for always being honest and real, told me when the doctors first handed her daughter to her, she didn’t know what to do. It wasn’t that instant magical moment everyone raves about. I truly didn’t understand what she meant until I experienced something similar myself. I was actually a bit fearful. Firstly, GiGi was so small and I was scared I would harm her if I held her too tight, or her neck would get be all messed up if I didn’t support her head properly. Then I started getting the breast feeding pressure from the doctors and nurses, like really people?! It’s my body, let me make my own decisions and stop bullying me into this. Then the first night alone with the baby – one word, brutal. I legit didn’t sleep, I got MAYBE an hour’s worth that entire night. So I just had major surgery, barely ate or drank anything, and I ended up staying up the entire night staring at this little baby in a bassinet next to my bed and was so scared to fall asleep with the fear of something happening to her. Needless to say, night 2 she spent it in the nursery because I just couldn’t have another sleepless night. Then the next 2 days visitor after visitor came by, my phone was going off the hook from deals to congratulatory calls, texts and emails I didn’t have two seconds to myself. The fear started sinking in, “how will my career make it through this” got the best of me, until I got my 1099 and saw the amount of business I did all on my own, without my former team and my jaw hit the floor. GiGi was my little good luck charm.
Needless to say, I went through the various emotions of being a new mom, and then 4 months in I suffered a huge personal blow from which I thought I would never recover from. I sometimes underestimate my own strength. The year 2019, professionally, was my BEST year of my career AND my first year as a solo agent, all the while I was trying so hard to be the “perfect” mom, yet I was struggling emotionally from the heartbreak I endured. I was trying so hard to get my body back, continue the growth momentum of my career, and ace the new mom role while trying to conceal how much shit was going on in my life. Through it all I sold over $20M in real estate, and was raising a beautiful baby girl.
Now let’s jump to 2020, the infamous year 2020. Global pandemic (check), slow down in luxury sales in NYC (check), massive exodus of Manhattan and Brooklyn (check), boom in residential sales in suburbia (check), all time low interest rates (check), the list goes on and on. I think it’s safe to say that 2020 was a pure shit show. Here I am, mom and agent trying to pivot my business and BOOM in the midst of all this global chaos, I find myself pregnant, by accident, again. However, this pregnancy didn’t have a happy ending. At my first visit we found out the pregnancy wasn’t viable, but they saw something on the scan that might mean I have a molar pregnancy. Then, two days later (Wednesday) when my blood results came in, I got a call from my doctor that they need to put me in for an emergency D&C due to high levels of the hormone that indicates potential molar or not. Here I am in the middle of Tourneau picking up a watch (shocker), trying to keep my cool from panicking in front of my sales associate and my daughter. That Friday, I found myself in a hospital again, only to be right back to work the very next morning showing coops in Queens.
Did I mention that during the pandemic, my business expanded? I had quite the number of clients and referrals coming my way for those leaving the city and moving to Long Island. So naturally I did what any hustler would do and I started putting homes into contract on the island, only to have one schmuck stop me that they didn’t have to pay me/co-broke since I wasn’t a member of their MLS. The now CEO of Douglas Elliman, Scott, introduced me to a manager in Queens, so I could become “dually licensed” to cover Long Island & NYC then I would be protected with all these millions I had put into contract. All that footwork I did, I didn’t want to let go of that business, leading me to my next expansion move (and frankly something I should have done eons ago) and officially get my associate broker’s license to hopefully start a team of my own.
Through all of this that miscarriage left a huge gap inside. After my 2019 turmoil, I swore GiGi was going to be an only child, “one and done“, but nope in natural Sarah fashion I was determined to have another baby, so of course I worked on a schedule and BOOM pregnant again, and this one stuck! This pregnancy also made me even more sick than my first one. At least the first time around I was only nauseated, not dipping away from clients to find a toilet to puke in. Yup, this pregnancy nearly killed me. I was puking well into my second trimester and didn’t stop until the beginning of my third. I was also studying for my brokers exam, putting clients into contract, referred out a few buyers because I was so physically ill I just couldn’t take on anyone new clientele. OH, and did I mention the entire Summer and Fall 2020 into Winter 2021 we had construction going on at home!? I’m exhausted thinking about all the things I did up to this point and my son isn’t even in the picture. How about I was able to do all of this in the middle of a pandemic, with little to no childcare!? Yes, you read that right, I finally understood the meaning of “it takes a village” to raise a child.
Let’s fast forward to June 2021. During the beginning of the year, I took a little step back to focus on myself, draft up my goals, build my business foundation so I quietly worked with a few buyers but again referred out some things that came my way. June of 2021, I found myself sitting in the waiting room of the hospital for my scheduled C, on the phone with clients who had no idea why I was calling them so early on the day they knew my son was scheduled to arrive. Later that morning, we welcomed my son Bijan (named after my dad) into the world and postpartum hit me HARD. I starting spiraling almost instantly, trying to figure out how I would make my comeback with two kids and two dogs, how I would find child care, maintain my daily household chores, etc. I was home for a month (albeit I know you’re supposed to spend 6 weeks recovering) but that’s just NOT me. On my 5th week, things started happening due to the few phone calls I had made while sitting at the hospital pre and post birth. Next thing I know I have a bunch of listings coming up, things going into contract, and I was starting to feel like myself again, but experiencing something new… anxiety. Over what though? Simple, my children.
All I kept saying to myself was “Fuck how am I going to find someone I trust to care for my kids!?” Little did I know one of my oldest family friends sent me a message out of the blue saying that her daughter’s sitter was looking for a new family as her granddaughter was going to start school. Well, needless to say, not only did I hire the sitter, all of us love her, and I have officially started a real estate team at work, put millions into contract and closed out a few million before the years end, but I have really grown a new appreciation for moms everywhere. The year 2021 in just 5 months of really focusing on work turned out to be my 2nd biggest year to date. My children have proven to be lucky charm for their mom.
Men don’t understand what our day-to-day looks like and the emotions we go through child rearing and raising/caring for a family. Working moms have it especially rough, not only do we basically have two FULL TIME jobs, but the emotions we deal with daily, and keep bottled up deep inside, are things a man will never be able to fully comprehend. The purpose of this post is show those expectant moms everywhere, that it is possible to be a great mom and have a successful career. It really comes down to mastering time management and honing in on your multi tasking skills.
Today, March of 2022 and the mom of 2 beautiful children, I’m projecting this year to exceed that of 2019 and 2021 (closed a little over $9M in just 4 months of work with ZERO prospecting). How will I accomplish that? I accepted that I will make mistakes, I’m not perfect, I accepted that I needed help, hence the team formation and I will do my best to keep my head up even when I’m so overwhelmed and things feel like they’re crumbling around me… Trust me, as a mom, you feel that way quite often.