Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Incredible Woman #40 - Amy Oakeson. Wednesday's Question.

KARA: "You are a stay-at-home mom in addition to your consignment business. Tell us what you enjoy most about staying at home. Was it hard to go from full-time outside work to full-time at home work?"

AMY: "To be honest, I had a tremendously difficult time transitioning from the role of more-than-full-time breadwinner to mostly-stay-at-home-mommy. I had my sweet baby a little later in life – by Utah standards – at the ripe old age of 30. I’d been in the workforce full-time since I was 18. I had financially supported my husband while he completed his education and then as he built his business from scratch. I was good at what I did and I enjoyed working. I felt active, powerful and in control. I was firmly entrenched in that role and the change was rough … okay, disastrous for my fragile ego. Everything that I felt had defined me was gone, and here I was in a new role I didn’t feel I could fulfill. It was overwhelming and the perfect recipe for a fierce depression that became one of the greatest struggles of my life.

After awhile, I decided to get through the transition the only way I knew how … I got to work! But I had to re-think it to fit my new life because I wanted to be home with my daughter as much as I could. Work for me became time in the gym, becoming a distance runner, and taking on some new challenges on a snowboard. I had the opportunity to run in multiple races since Hailey was born, including the Salt Lake 10-miler, Half Marathon and the Ragnar Wasatch Back! Before training for these, I had never run farther than about a mile without walking or stopping. I truly felt blessed to have those opportunities come to me. In the many hours I struggled along roads, trails and mountaintops around our beautiful state, I learned some powerful lessons about life and about myself.

I’m still fairly new at being a mom and being at home so much. And I still struggle often with feelings of sadness and difficulties with this transition. But I have learned that I am so much more than just my ability to make money for my family or what I am professionally. I learned that I can and will do whatever I train myself to do. I’ve learned that each of us have tremendous value for no other reason than that we are people, children of a loving Heavenly Father. I’m glad I struggled so much with the transition to “mommy.” I truly wouldn’t have it any other way."

KARA: "I've always thought I'd like to own rental properties someday. Tell us a little bit more about that. What are the challenges and blessings of this type of work?"

AMY: "Since I talked about this a little in the other question, I’ll give you the Cliffs notes version...

Challenges — work, work and more work! When our other young married friends were out playing, we were working to improve our little properties. We sacrificed financially for the sake of the properties, too. I’m sure our life in the short-term would have been more comfortable without the properties. It took some time to get them “in the black.” And to most couples, a fabulous vacation would have been more enjoyable than a down payment on a tri-plex!

Blessings – It’s no secret that our generation doesn’t have tremendous faith in the government or the stock market. I feel a lot more comfortable having a little more control over our investments and retirement vehicle. It feels nice to have something tangible. Our goal was to create enough cash flow each month from our properties to pay for our personal mortgage. When we reached that goal as a couple, it was bliss! Accomplishing something as a team feels amazing and we get a little of that every month that the properties turn a profit. It’s also great to see young families move on from our apartments and purchase their first home. It’s exciting! And it has made us stronger together."

I'm learning so much from Amy this week! Come back tomorrow to find out what two words Amy's husband used to describe her...


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