• Amanda

Alexandra Mom/Career Woman

We all have seen those women who seem like they have 40 hours in a 24-hour day. She has a career, family, hair always done, nails done, and she looks like she can take on the world. They always seem to do this with such ease and style. I wanted to look into the life of a woman who has been faced with adversities but never let that stop her from manifesting her goals.

Alexandra Sanchez is a 31-year-old mother of three. She is happily married with 3 boys. Her parents raised her, has two brothers, and one sister. She went to school and became an LVN by trade, but recently jumped ship in her career. We meet up at a local restaurant, with a cute little outdoor patio. We ordered a drink, and an appetizer caught up on old times like who we still talk to from high/middle school. I wanted Alex to feel comfortable sharing her story. She was a young teenage mother as well as a mother of a child with special needs. I felt her story was one that other women and mothers would appreciate hearing. There is always another person out there going through similar struggles and all it takes is one person to share their story to realize they aren’t alone.

Let first talk about your career. Tell me a little about being an LVN and why you choose to leave it?

I no longer am doing nursing, I would have never seen that coming. God always has different plans I say. Now I am able to be home with my kids. Pick them up from school, take them to school. My work schedule is super flexible. I make my own schedule. Nursing I was working crazy hours, I would do 24 hours on-call very often. The last night I was on call I was so mad. I had just gotten home around 10pm. Put the kids to bed and sure enough my phone rings about 11pm. I had it. I loved nursing because I love taking care of people, but sometimes we got called in for crap calls. So I went in got there about 11:30pm, was there till about 3am. Didn’t get home till 4am, and I was crying because I had to leave my kids.

Was your older son watching the kids?

Yes, actually he wasn’t even home, he was at my parents. I had to call them, tell them to bring him back home. Then head to work, so he stayed home and watched the little ones. After that I just started thinking what the heck am I doing. I am always at work and never home. Yeah, I am making all this money. However, we weren’t doing anything with the money, we were just spending more money.

So now at this point you feel you are ready for a change?

Yeah, so I just kind of threw it out there in the Universe and I’m like big on law of attraction. So, every day on the way to work I would be like there has to be something out there and I started listening to a lot of podcasts too. There are a lot of these young people doing all these things, making all this money. I am just like what the heck am I doing. Then out of nowhere my cousin was like, “Hey can you come in and help me with this appointment I’m with a financial firm”. I had no idea what she was talking about, but I said yeah okay sure. Finally, I went in and was like oh my gosh what are these people doing, everyone has nice cars and a nice office. So, I meet with one of the advisors and he invited me back to a mixer. He also told me to follow certain people on social media and podcast. When I left the office, I turn my podcast on, the guy is interviewing the field chairman of our company. To me that was a sign, I was connecting the dots. I went the next day, and I loved it!!! After that it was game over. I stayed at my job about 2 months, but the energy wasn’t the same.

You weren’t happy there anymore…

I felt unfulfilled. I had all these dreams and goals, but I wasn’t doing anything to reach them. There is only so much I can do there. So, I told my manager that I would be leaving.

So they knew that you weren’t happy, and that you wanted to leave?

Originally, they knew I wanted to go back to do my RN. So, they knew at some point I would leave, but for school. Now everyone is asking me when I’m going back but I don’t honestly know if I am going back.

Got it, can you go into an explanation of what exactly you do now in this finance position?

We sit with families and we teach them basics of money. Like for instance myself when I went in, I wasn’t the most knowledgeable when it came to finances. Yeah, I made money, had a bank account, and my 401k. I had no clue about the other things out there, or how my 401k even works, or life insurance. I didn’t know how to properly protect my family if anything ever happened to me. We teach families the basic of money and what I loved about this company is that we don’t just cater to the wealthy like some of the other companies out there.

I know you said you just recently jumped over to this.. Was it scary to switch over knowing that you have a family at home to take care of?

I don’t think it really scared me, I seen it as a sign. I’m thankful for my husband because he does still work, so it allows me to do this. So, I was not scared, but more excited.

Oh okay..

To be honest, I have gotten myself out of my comfort zone being in this industry. I have had to speak on stage and do things that I have never done. These things used to scare me.

I have seen that, and that’s when I was like what is it she is doing that she is on stage??

I became one of the top persons bringing in other people. I get to speak and be part of production. So, the more that I learn, the more I can teach. I say at least let me teach you, I’m not trying to sell them anything. I never saw myself in sales; so what I like about this is we take more of an educated approach. I can teach people how they can get themselves to a good retirement. A lot of people don’t know anything about that or have nothing in place for their retirement. It’s like what are you going to do work till you’re 80??? No one wants to do that.

Do you find that you have more people from the Black and Brown communities that come in and have little knowledge of their financial situations?

Definitely. Especially our community the Hispanic community, it’s really bad. In our culture and I know in my family we didn’t really know this stuff.

I know for me I was fortunate my parents taught me early about credit and stuff. I know in a lot of Hispanic families we aren’t taught about it. A lot of the Latina events I go to there are groups there specifically for Latinas to teach them about money. A lot of times they don’t get taught about it at home, or we still get taught the old fashion oh you will marry a man that will make the money.

Yay, and not even that. That man might not even know what to do with their money either.

They might be hard working and bringing in the money but they might not know how to invest or what to do with it. It’s really big right now educating younger Latinas how to be smart with their money.

That is awesome. I would love to be involved in something like that.

So I wanted to ask a little more about your experiences both in the industry you are in now and as an LVN. Did you come across any diversity that you had to overcome? Could be sexism, racism, ageism, anything that has been an obstacle in that way.

With my coworkers no. The only diversity I have come across is with my own family. They couldn’t understand that I was leaving my LVN job for this. A lot of my family is very unsupportive.

I could see that though with our community, nursing to them is a stable, secure job. So they would be like why would you leave that job. But if you aren’t happy, why stay???

Not only not being happy. We are taught that you get a job no matter what, which yes great get a job. For me though I always knew I wanted my own business I just never knew how to go about doing it. It’s not even about the money because what I love to is that I could make nothing and love it just as much.

That is important. If you can do something that you are legit happy with, then yay that’s amazing.

It’s everything. I spent years not really being happy. I was never fulfilled.

Going back to the question I am happy for you, that you have not faced any diversity. I know you said it’s not completely sales, but I am sure there is some sales involved, and in sales I have seen firsthand how a young female can get treated.

Yay so far, I have not had any issues with it. I am barley going through a lot of the processes with it to become independent.

That is awesome though. I have some girlfriends that struggle with it. They are too opinionated or “aggressive” for a woman. They just can’t understand why they get treated the way they do.

Yeah, I have not experienced it yet.

That’s great. Now let’s talk about the other side of you. First, I want to explain this theory we have in sociology called the Second Shift.. Have you heard of it??

No but I am guessing from that name I know what it is about.

I am sure you can. The second shift is normally what a woman experiences when they are a working mom. They go to work which is their first shift, come home to housework and take care of the kids, which is the second shift. In general women still do the majority of the housework, which is how they get the second shift. You are a working mom of 3. Do you ever experience this second shift?

Oh yeah, but I am very lucky because my husband is very hands on. He will make dinner does laundry, cleans, he does it all.

So you have a very good support system from him.

Yes, like right now I am not there so he will make dinner. Whoever gets home first makes dinner. We work together.

It sounds like you two have a good 50/50 relationship. Do you think that’s important for the modern-day relationships?

For sure. You know I grew up the very old traditional way. My dad worked and my mom took care of the house stuff. My husband though grew up different; he grew up helping his mom with things. We grew up different and you know the Hispanic culture traditionally men do the work and women take care of things.

Yeah that was very traditional. Times are changing though; do you and your husband try to display the 50/50 example for your sons?

Yes. My older son helps a lot. He does dishes or will help me with dinner. I defiantly want him to be a husband that helps.

That’s great. Now on top of all this, your youngest son was born with Down Syndrome. Can you tell us a little bit about his condition?

He is very high functioning down syndrome. So, what is crazy is when I was pregnant with him every single day. I felt something wasn’t right. I am very intuitive. I knew, no clue what it was, but I knew. Every checkup I had everything was fine. I didn’t get tested, but it wouldn’t have made a difference to me like I would’ve just be stressed out the whole time.

True if they were to tell you, you would have just been worried the whole time.

Yeah, I was like no I am fine. I never would have thought in a million years that it was what it is. When he was born, he did have a little bit of breathing issues, but that was it. Two days later the doctor comes to discharge me, she was looking at the baby and I could tell something wasn’t right. She cleared the room. Then she tells us I don’t know for sure because you can’t tell by just looking at him, but his reflexes are showing signs of down syndrome. I just started crying. I leave to go get my tubes tied and I am freaking out. As they are wheeling me out, I see a little 4-year-old down syndrome boy.

There are your signs again…

Yes, it's crazy. She said she couldn’t tell by just looking at him so they would have to run a ton of blood work. We had to stay another night for them to run test. I was just thinking what if he has a heart problem or other medical conditions. So, I got my tubes tied and they were like okay you can go back to your room as soon as you can feel your legs. I am sitting there freaking out saying I can feel them now. They take me back and I am just staring at the baby. I started to do research like all the different signs.

Did that make the concern worse??

It made it worse I couldn’t stop crying. He has all the little signs I found in the research. His pinky bends in, his ears fold over. He didn’t have the simian line, which most down syndrome kids have. He did have the “sandal toe, ” which means his toe spreads apart from the big toe. I was just like oh that’s it he has it. We didn’t get the test results back for two weeks.

That had to be the longest two weeks of your life.

It was long, but I knew. My husband didn’t know. Because Jax you couldn’t really tell immediately by just looking at him. I would stare at him and I just knew. After the two weeks and we found out, I cried, and I couldn’t eat. I wasn’t really depressed as I was more worried. You know what if he has health problems, and we are really blessed he doesn’t.

Sometimes that comes with down syndrome right, some sort of health issue??

Yeah, I would say about 80% of kids born with down syndrome are born with a congenital problem. Sometimes they also develop as they get older.

When you found it out, I am sure it was emotional for you, how did you deal with it. I feel like right now for what I can see you have had your acceptance with it.

It took a huge emotional toll on me. Like I said, for two weeks I cried and just couldn’t stop crying. I just accepted it. I grew such an amazing bond with him. Sometimes I even forget, not that I forget he has it but there is so much more to him than his condition. He has his own little personality; he is such an amazing kid. I accepted it, and I did a lot of research. I also meet with a lot of moms who have kids with down syndrome. I network on social media with down syndrome moms. We did the down syndrome walk for him. Another thing is I became really big on breast feeding. Not that I didn’t with my other two, but I breast feed him for 2 years. I wanted to find ways to build his immunity.

Did you find research that breast feeding helps, or did you just feel that it did?

I mean I know they say breast milk helps for immunity, so I just did my own little trail. Knock on wood he didn’t really get sick. He is high functioning. When he went through the whole process with schooling to see if he needed to be in special ed, they determined he belongs in general ed. He isn’t as communicative as we want him to be, but he is very smart. They say the DHA in the milk is really good for the brain. Did it really help I don’t know?

For you though you felt like you did what you can to help.

Exactly because what if I didn’t and he would have had other issues? I don’t know, but I know I did my part. I would of probably keep pumping out milk for him if I wasn’t back at work, it was just getting too hard.

At any point did you ever feel self-blame? Personally, I know moms who went through a point where they felt like they did something wrong, or what did their body do to their kid.

I didn’t because I did my research on it. Okay wait I will say I thought it at first, then I did my research. There is nothing I could have done to prevent this. One in six hundred kids are born with it, and that is just what it is.

That is awesome that you have that outlook on it. I know moms that struggle with it; they think did I eat something wrong or did I do this wrong. Most of the conditions it‘s nothing the mom does.

It’s all about the mindset. I just always have tried telling myself positive things. There are things that could cause issues, yeah if I was on pain pills or something my whole pregnancy.

Someone that does that though I knowingly putting the baby in danger.

Yeah, exactly. I didn’t think there was anything I could have done different. I just did my research.

What were some of the challenges you’ve had with Jax that might have been different then with your other sons?

As he gets older, we are finding more and more. He doesn’t talk a lot. He can say things like mom, dad, grandma, papa, but he can’t really communicate what he wants. He gets very frustrated, so that right now is our biggest struggle. I will pick him up and take him around.

Trying to get him to show you what he wants?

Yeah but he can’t express himself and I can tell that it bothers him so much. So yeah that is the biggest struggle, but aside from that I would say potty training. He is going to be 4, and we been trying. He is just not connecting the two yet 100%. Even if we sit him on the toilet every two hours, as soon as he gets off that’s when he goes in his pull-ups.

Is that normally something that takes longer?

Yes. They say they have delays in so many things. Typically, they don’t walk till about 2, but he started walking at 12 months. He was advanced, because I didn’t expect him to be walking that soon.

I feel like that is even early for some kids who don’t have Down Syndrome.

Oh yeah. So, I thought potty training wouldn’t be as hard. He has done everything as far as all the milestones just as any other child would have. Except for potty training. I am not too worried though I know he will get it.

Is there something you would want to share with the readers, that you feel like the general public is just not educated on when it comes to Down Syndrome?

To be honest, the thing that would make me cry a lot. I don’t want him to ever walk into a place a people stare. He looks different. That still makes me cry and emotional because I don’t want that. I think it has gotten better over time. I have been to places though where people just stare. I feel like people could be friendlier and not make them feel different.

Do you have any words for other moms who are just starting their journey with a child with Down Syndrome?

Yeah, just accept it. Don’t dwell on things like what did I do wrong. Have a positive outlook. Don’t beat yourself up if their milestones aren’t where you want them to be, they move at their own pace. So, don’t feel bad if your child isn’t walking at a certain age or crawling. Give them that extra attention. Also protect them, their immune system isn’t as strong as other kids.

I would have never thought their immune system might be different.

Yeah and Jax has a narrow airway. So sometimes they can have trouble breathing. When he was little and it was cold, he would get croup a lot. I had to take him in a lot but all they would say is take him outside to open up his airway. I would just say though do your research, see what can help them.

I can’t remember exactly when but at one point you shared yours and his story on social media. Was that scary, because social media could be an ugly place?

I am super positive person, so I never really thought about the negative. I have seen negative stuff not towards him but in other situations. Social media can be an ugly world. I have not encountered anything negative with Jax.

That is awesome. I know other moms have shared their stories and they get attacked about how they are raising their kid and other stuff.

I have not experienced anything like that at all. I did encounter that more though with my older son. I was a young mom, so I got a lot of people putting their two sense in.

How did you deal with that?

That was tough. Might be tougher than anything I am going through now. I had zero business being a mom, I was 16. No 16-year-old should put themselves in that position. My family though put their two sense in how I was raising my child. Obviously, I did my best to give him a great life. I love my son and because of him I am a stronger person. My parents did help, and I lived with my grandma for a bit. At 18 though I got my own place with a friend. I meet my husband around 17 and he has also been supportive and took on that role.

I wanted to interview you because of a few reasons. One from what I can see you are out here being a mom but also killing it in living your life too. You have your career, being a mom, having fun, and just look like you are living this positive and happy life. To me that’s the embodiment of FemPower. I ask all the ladies I interview this same question.. What does FemPower mean to you?

Being a strong woman. Even if you’re not the most confident just believe in yourself. Maintaining a positive outlook and always being grateful no matter where you are in life. An attitude of gratitude is big for me. I have struggled and have times when I am down, then I try to think what am I grateful for right now. That always helps me, I really try to keep myself out of negative energy.

If if you would like to follow Alex and her story head over to Instagram @alexandrasanch_1111

I want to thank Alex for coming and sharing her story with me. I know these aren’t always the easiest subjects to want to share with the world. They are personal and emotional, so thank you for being the strong woman you are and sharing your journey with us.


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