Nobody tells you that life after college is as hard as it ends up being. Life after college seems so glamorous and exciting. Everyone is so thrilled about you graduating into the “real life” and you’re so excited about no longer taking any more of those miserable exams or having loads of boring reading and homework to do, that you never really stop to think about what really happens in the “in between,” you know, the part of life in between student and career woman, also known as unemployment.

Due to our move back to Texas from Massachusetts, we’ve had to get new doctors,, dentists, vetenarians, schools, and everything else in between, and guess what question always comes up?

Are you employed? If so, where?
*gulp*
Well, I can’t say student anymore and unemployed sounds like I’m just sitting around doing nothing (which, I guess I kind of am). And although I want to, I really can’t write, “I recently graduated, I’m looking for a job. Seriously, I’ve put in like hundreds of applications, but no bites. Was my education even worth it? Now I have tons of student loans piling up, and still no job. I really am trying. Please don’t judge me.
Trust me, I’ve tried it. It doesn’t fit.
Unemployed it is then.

Which brings me to my other point, the guilt. I now stay at home 24-7 with my daughter (and my now retired husband, but that’s another crazy story altogether) and although I did that before, I now do it without school or my fashion design business on the side. I have the “luxury” of sitting down for hours and doing nothing, which causes huge amounts of mom guilt because I should have something to do, right? There’s always something to do. The house can never be too clean, I could make a fancy meal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but I don’t. I could scrub all the toilets every day and bury my guilt of feeling like I’m doing nothing in between the freshly laundered towels, but I won’t. I feel like I’ve spent the last 12 years of my life going to school, taking care of three children, hustling on my own business, and when I finally have a breather, I’d actually like to enjoy it. Of course, things get done, the house gets clean, (don’t worry mom, I’m not living in a pig-sty) But, nevertheless the mom guilt is always there with me, cuddling next to me on the couch making me feel like I should be doing something else, anything else besides relaxing (or maybe that’s my husband) but still, you get my point.

Why do we as moms have such a hard time letting go and relaxing? Why can’t we just unwind, give ourselves a break, and realize that these breaks don’t come around so often, so we might as well enjoy them. Is it because we feel that as women we have to have something to do. Something that actually shows a result that we can post on Instagram so others can see? Or is it all in our heads? Are we just built to be these crazy, neurotic, women who can’t relax because that’s not what social media tells us we should be doing? Instead of reading and relaxing we should be hustling and thriving at all times and hours of the day. We can’t just sit and relax (yes mom, after we clean) because that would not make us good women or moms. I don’t know about you but, that sounds like a load of crap.

A couple days ago, as I binged watched Good Witch on my super comfy, brown, leather couch, my hair in it’s now signature mom-bun at the top of my head, no makeup, sitting in just a pair of undies and a tee, because who needs clothes, I decided to head to Barnes & Noble instead to have a relaxing adventure outside of the cave I call my home.

I was so excited, I could picture it in my head: Me, dressed in actual adult clothes from head to toe, walking into Barnes & Noble, ordering a Large Vanilla Latte and browsing through all the beautiful books they had in store, touching each book, judging them by their cover (don’t lie, you do it too) maybe sitting and reading a bit while taking breaks to sip on my coffee and people watch, you know, a totally basic, yet super enjoyable experience.

But alas, my fantasy was smashed into a million pieces. I had my rambunctious 2-year-old who grabbed every single toy and book in sight, and made a mess, and a very bored, newly-retired husband in tow, who is not as much of a book lover as myself. My super-relaxing fantasy lasted about 10 minutes in the store, before I gave up and took my latte and red velvet cheesecake to go (which I then forgot in my car and didn’t even get to eat). Sad day, my friends, sad day.

So when I got home, I instead scoured the internet Gods and found a list of amazing books I wanted to read, at home. Sure, reading at home is no exciting adventure where other adults may be, but it does mean not chasing a 2-year-old around while trying not to be embarrased at my amazing, parenting skills. And although I’m not a successful career woman yet, I sure do plan to be.

So I guess, in the meantime, I’ll better myself by listening to some great podcasts like Women Inspiring Women, Making A Business, Being Boss, Often Ambitious, and RISE podcast, and download some great books on my iPad. I’ll sit on the couch and read them, while my daughter watches Barbie Dreamhouse Adventures for the thousandth time (and try not to feel guilty that I’m not reading to her instead) sip on my homemade, Dunkin Donuts Vanilla coffee in my Starbucks mug, and read what other amazing women have to say about life as a career woman. I’ll let the mom guilt do her thing on the couch next to me, because apparently she won’t leave, and I’ll enjoy the unemployed life while I’m there. Because you never know, career woman may be on call soon enough, and I won’t get another chance to fully relax again.

In case you were wondering, here are the books I added to my To-Read list:

  1. Work Party: How to Create and Cultivate The Career of your Dreams.
  2. Own It: The Power of Women at Work.
  3. Radical Candor: Be a Kickass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity.
  4. Business Boutique: A Woman’s Guide for Making Money Doing What She Loves.
  5. How to be a Bawse: A Guide to Surviving Conquering Life.
  6. Dr_p the Ball: Achieving More by Doing Less.
  7. Boss Bitch: A Simple 12-step Plan to Take Charge of Your Career.
  8. The Big Life: Embrace the mess, Work Your Side Hustle, Find a Monumental Relationship, and Become the Badass Babe You Were Meant to Be.
  9. Women & Money: Be Strong, Be Smart, Be Secure.
  10. Becoming by Michelle Obama
  11. Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals.
  12. Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be.
  13. You are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth.
  14. You are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life.
  15. She Means Business: Turn Your Ideas Into Reality and Become a Wildly Successful Entrepreneur.

What are your must-reads and go-to podcasts? Leave me a comment below and I’ll add them to my list!