Be Inspired by Joy:
“How do you do it?” The most common question I get every time I am introduced as a mother of four, and of course then I add “yes, I do have a full-time job as well”. There is no simple answer, I do it, because it’s my chosen path.
I’ve always wanted the career and the family and I settled for no less. As the only girl of three, I grew up watching my parents struggle financially to provide the very best they could for us, especially when it came to our education and ambitions. I knew at a very young age that the only guarantees you have in life are those you provide for yourself, and in this belief, I set out to create my path.
There are always people and obstacles that will try to slow you down, for me, those things fuel me to work harder and challenge myself more. My experience growing up made me more determined that I would work harder to ensure that my children grew up without the same worries. So I put my nose to my books and focused on getting an education, my first challenge, getting into college.
I remember the day like it was yesterday when I first met my guidance counselor at my high school, I was 14, entering my sophomore year and as he looked at my class schedule and my gpa he was quite impressed, “I can do better”, I said challenging myself, but Mr. Pitt was already nudging me to entertain the idea of going to college a year early (immediately following my junior year). For a while, this was “out of sight, out of mind” to me. Then I met with my BRACE (college) advisor, and she was quite adamant about the fact that, although my merits were quite deserving of an Ivy league education, finances would be a significant hindrance on my personal goal. Now that was a challenge, and by the spring of my junior year, I was not only showing my guidance counselor and BRACE advisor my acceptance letters into all the universities I had applied to, but also the financial packages which would allow for me to attend any of these schools at the ripe age of 16 (check two challenges off the list).
By the age of 23, I had acquired a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics and a Master of Science Degree in Financial Mathematics (the only Latina in my class). Upon graduation, I went to NY to find a job and landed a full-time position as a financial analyst for a boutique investment bank in London where I lived and worked for a year and then returned to New York. At that point, my career was on the rise, I had an amazing boyfriend who had been with me through graduate school in Chicago, long-distance while in London and then met me in New York so naturally, within the year I returned from London we married and were expecting our first daughter. That was 2006 and in the last six years, our family has grown to 4 kids ages 6,4,3 and 6 months and we’ve resettled in Florida where I still work as a senior executive in the finance industry. I also sit on the Board of Trustees of my sorority’s Education Foundation which grants scholarships to young women pursuing their undergraduate or graduate degree, and my husband and I are well on our way to running our own business – an eco-friendly clothing line.
So back to the original question, “How do you do it?” Think about what it is you truly want and make your own rules, set your goals and recognize that there will be challenges, but victory is that much sweeter when you’ve worked so hard to get there. Know that the only obstacles you have are those you let come between you and the finish line.
- Follow on Twitter: @mywaveshop
Why was Joy selected?
Joy is a superwoman in my eyes. She maintains her household, raises four children, maintains a strong marriage, has moved up the ranks professionally, and runs a business. I'm not saying things are perfect in Joy's life. I'm sure there are days that she can't cross everything off of her "To-Do" list. I'm sure there are days that it seems impossible to do everything perfectly. But, she continues to do it and continues to try. I admire Joy for having the moxie to follow her dreams. I admire the support that she and her husband give one another. If Joy can follow through with her passions while raising 4 kiddies, having a professional career, and maintaining a household -- then so can you!!