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Women With Vision Magazine
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Didn’t someone once say, “Times are changing?” Yes, they are, and in a big way. Demands are high, housing inventory is low, and rates have changed dramatically over the last two years. Many in the mortgage industry are fighting every day for the next deal, the new client, or analyzing the bottom line. Do you know what hasn’t changed? Being a mom, most importantly, being mom to a Special Needs Child. A path granted to me; one I’ll never regret."
Most women know at an early age if they want to be a mom, and others have a career path in mind. For me, the picture didn’t become clear until I realized I had one shot to do it right. I took my chances on both parenting and having a career.

This was my opportunity to live the best of both worlds while keeping my sanity. It was a chance to prove I am a worthy competitor and a compassionate soul. A chance to be a career mom while never compromising my role in my family.
What I didn’t know when making this life-altering decision was how an unthinkable change in direction would upend all plans for the future of myself and my family. Lexie was only three years old when diagnosed with Autism. On the day of the diagnosis, my life took a massive turn. I had to act, to figure out what to do next. Both for my child and my career.
I had 13 years in the industry; what should I do? Was I willing to walk away? Time wasn’t on my side and parenting, much like the mortgage industry, had its highs and lows. What ensued after the diagnosis were routines, a multitude of therapies, and specialists’ appointments a mile long. Autism and the working mom? Could one go hand in hand with the other? Only time would tell.
Managing both a child on the Autism Spectrum and a career was a daunting task. My psyche was strong, my will, and my goal was to provide nothing but the best for Lexie. My life moving forward as a mother was filled with speech therapy, early intervention, hospital stays, and ongoing cognitive testing. All the while my job took me to new levels as well. I was traveling to different cities while being an expert witness for ongoing lawsuits filed against my employer’s company. My family counted on me, as did my employer. A decision was forthcoming.
My life drastically changed the day doctors confirmed Lexie’s diagnosis, yet I could not allow myself to lose sight of what was needed. Lexie needed me. I didn’t have time to feel sorry for myself. Running away was not an option.
I decided to take a week away from the job during which I had an epiphany, a moral awakening, so to speak. I questioned my choices. What was holding me back? Could I have the best of both worlds and give Lexie the best life possible? Lexie deserved nothing less.
After taking time for careful consideration, I understood the choice I had to make and the consequences of my decision. While many may think my choice was a selfish one, I will say my life is better, and my choices are mine. My family gave me encouragement and the support I needed. My devotion to Lexie remains complete; my career became my salvation, my respite, and my outlet. My child is my life, my heart, and my gift from above. Lexie couldn’t ask for a better advocate. She had it all.
Without my career, my child would have missed out on many experiences: trips across this beautiful country of ours, visits to various beaches up and down the east coast, and so many memorable encounters. Each adventure has encouraged Lexie to push the limits of her comfort zone mildly. Why? Well, my child has given me drive, determination, persistence, and patience. My job as an underwriter has given me confidence, the ability to be detail-oriented, to do a job requiring laser focus and minimal errors. Those characteristics mentioned are transferable between both parenting and career. In my mind, one would not exist without the other.
As a mom, my life is never dull and always evolving. The same can be said about this industry of ours. I’ve worked late nights and weekends to ensure the borrower doesn’t miss their closing. You know what? In my many years in this role, I’ve met every deadline given to me. I accepted every task and took on more responsibilities when asked. Every day is a challenge, and I can’t imagine living it any other way.

My life is not dull or boring; my career and family present me with challenges I accept with zest and vigor. My life is my own and will always be. The mortgage industry gave me ample opportunity.
Many thanks to those employers who believed in me and allowed me to manage my work schedule while being a mom. I never wavered in my productivity or focus. If times became difficult at home, I took time off and used my vacation to give me the ability to recharge. To my daughter Lexie, thank you for giving me the gift of patience and understanding in my role as a mom. This is the most important part of my life, without question.
To my mortgage peeps out there. If you want an incredible career, work hard, put your energy into overdrive, and success will come your way. To those women who want both family and career, go for it. You have my deepest admiration. Don’t let the naysayers beat you.
To those select few who are parenting a child with special needs while juggling a career, you are not alone. Continue to move forward. Always remember: you are the driver of the engine. Keep accelerating down that road. Don’t forget to make a pit stop every now and then. Keeping yourself in check will allow you to achieve the best of both worlds: Motherhood and Career.
The moral of my story: having a family while pursuing a career might be a tough road but it’s a path that can be navigated successfully. From a Special Needs Mom trying to do both, my best advice is to stay the course, never give up, and believe; you will prevail.
Written by Mary Taylor
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