In 1983, when I became a sales consultant for a company similar to Pure Romance, I was similar to most of the other women in my neighborhood. I was a mother (to the four most beautiful children in the world – no, I’m not biased), living in a nice middle class neighborhood, surrounded by strollers and slip-n-slides. I had the picture-perfect life and was proud of it (insert Olan Mills family portrait 😉 ).
Before I go too far with this perfect life everyone thought I had, let me give you a little background information. I started having children at a very young age. I was 19 when I had my son, Chris. I was married to the man who I thought would love me for the rest of my life; I followed him and his career to Chicago, leaving my home and family back in Cincinnati.
From Chicago we headed to Baltimore, again following my husband’s career. When Chris was one and a half, I became pregnant with my second son, Nick. As if having a one-year old scooting around the house sticking his fingers in every electrical socket and pregnant again wasn’t difficult enough, I had a husband who was a workaholic. But who was I to complain, he gave me a great life with all the necessities to raise a family.
I thought I had it all!
However, my life wasn’t as golden as I thought. It wasn’t long after that my husband walked out on me and my children explaining to me that he wanted to be with someone who would someday be ‘successful’. I remember that feeling of shock, horror, confusion, sadness, anger; you name it, I felt it.
It was at that point that the cliché phrase that I heard so many times became my mission and I lived for it…just 10 basic words – ‘If it is to be, it is up to me!’.
Fortunately (if there was an upside to this part of my life), we had moved back to Cincinnati a few months prior, so I had my friends around to support me. It wasn’t long after; desperate for help and attention I met my second husband. He loved my children as much as I did and helped around the house; he had everything I needed to have a stable home and someone to help me raise my kids. Two more wonderful children later (Matt and Lauren) and we were living that picture-perfect life I mentioned earlier. Or so it always seems to everyone on the outside.
It wasn’t long after my fourth child was born, my daughter Lauren, that I was on leave again from my job as a nurse to four pediatricians. Lauren was taking a nap and I just happened to turn on the Phil Donahue show. He had a panel of women who all did home parties and sold …sex toys. WHAT?!?
I was fascinated and needless to say it struck a chord. I was intrigued by how empowered these women were and could certainly relate to their desire for financial independence. I was tired of being owned by corporate America. These women had the chance to spend quality time with their families. They worked the days that they wanted to and could make as much money as they wanted depending on the number of parties they held. WOW!
I called the number on the TV that day and ordered a Kit. Unbeknownst to my husband (or myself for that matter) I was about to embark on a new journey. One about me and my future; one that would lead me to where I am today. Educating and empowering women to take control of their lives. To not settle for less than they deserve, to dream big and to share the opportunity with as many women as possible.
Through my parties I had the opportunity to speak with women one-on-one in the ordering room. These women confided in me and told me about issues they were experiencing in their relationships; from lack of communication to the challenge of balancing work, children, and sexual intimacy.
I, too, have had personal challenges to overcome within my relationships and I found that sharing my experience may help others when it comes to their own. After 14 years, my husband and I felt it was best to go our separate ways, but I am happy to say we still have an amicable relationship.
When writing my book, I shared many of these experiences and life lessons that I have learned both at my parties and as well as working with doctors and therapists. My goal is to capture real life and approach it with a no-nonsense approach to improving women’s health, intimate lives, and ultimately give women the courage to work toward more fulfilling relationships.