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All Or Nothin’


Goodbye diapers.  Adios, spilt milk.  Peace out temper tantrums and soiled linens.  You will not be missed!  Welcome acne and blemishes.  Oh hello, cellulite and pores.  It is so nice to see you dark circles and sun spots!

I cannot wait to get my hands on a face.

Five months ago I left my life as a stay-at-home mom to pursue my passion of skin care.  And now I sit here just one week shy of graduating from the school where I found my new love – esthetics.

It seems unreal.

Before school began I requested an orientation.  It was the very first step of putting my foot in the door.  I needed to bring in my application, take a school tour, and possibly put down my very first payment.  But I couldn’t even find a babysitter.  My husband and I had just moved across the country three months prior; asking family wasn’t an option and we didn’t know anyone.  After weeks of searching, finding a sitter seemed impossible.  I had been on the waitlist for day care for months. (I am still on that waiting list).

What the hell was I going to do?  I couldn’t find someone to watch my children for two hours.  How on earth was I supposed to go back to school FULL time?!

And then my sister-in-law showed up like an angel at my doorstep.  She moved in to watch my little ones full time so I could focus on my education.  She is simply amazing!  She dropped everything she had, moved across the entire country to watch my two crazy kids all day, five days a week, for free!  She has never lost the smile on her face and she truly has more patience than anyone I have ever seen.  Everything she does comes from a place of love and guidance.  She is extremely selfless and I am forever grateful.  Sometimes it feels like a dream – Please don’t pinch me!

Fast forward to my very first day; I couldn’t contain myself.  I was unbelievably anxious to get out of the house.  I woke up two hours early and eagerly got ready for school.  I did my hair, put on make-up, and threw on my brand new uniform.  My friends were posting pictures of their children on Facebook– missing front teeth, stats on a chalkboard, shiny new lunch boxes– and here I was standing in the rain on my front porch with my umbrella in hand and my back pack securely fastened, begging my sister-in-law to take the perfect “first day” photo.  I was thrilled to finally be investing in myself again.


I was in college when I got pregnant with my son and shortly after we found out, I dropped out.  My husband and I decided that “stay at home mom” was the perfect situation for us at the time.  But after three years (and our second child) I needed a change.  I didn’t want my education to end.  I didn’t want to leave my kids but I wanted more for myself.  I needed more for myself.  I spent about a year going back and forth deciding whether school was really worth it.  Emotionally, could I handle leaving my children?  Mentally, could I handle staying home?

I knew it would take all of my time and energy but skin care was a passion of mine, so I took the plunge.

For years I have been intrigued by skin care.  Why do I break out?  What products do I really need?  How do I put on make-up?  What does this angle brush even do?  Is that Google search really accurate?  Why do I need to wear sunscreen everyday?  I have always had SO MANY questions.  But everywhere I turned for answers I was the target of a sale.  Instead of investing money to do “trial & error” I wanted to invest my money and get the answers myself.  I loved the idea of esthetics.  I can help friends, family and myself feel great about our skin.

I am able to give the gift of confidence. How exhilarating!

The first six weeks of school were strictly textbook.  Everyday we spent about eight hours reviewing.  The first six weeks, for me, were the most challenging.  I like to call my school the “Harvard of Esthetics”.  Graduating from our academy is extremely rewarding.  People recognize our school as an elite education as far as esthetics goes in this state.

So, yeah…it was pretty difficult.

Every day there was a test.  Every night there was a chapter to read, review questions to answer and index cards to fill out.  Every evening I would come home, cook dinner, put my children to bed and stay up until midnight or later reading and studying.  Now, to some that sounds easy.  But, when you are learning an entirely new spectrum of knowledge… yikes.  Every ounce of anatomy from the arms up; bones, muscles, and nerves.  Every single skin care ingredient.  Every single reaction.  Every skin disorder.  It was impossible to keep up.

Failure was not an option.

Every single day I had to pass my tests.  Not passing or simply not doing my homework would be a complete let down for my children.  They don’t understand where I am going every day.  They don’t understand that I am laying down the foundation for a career so I can better support them.  They don’t understand that school makes me happy.

All they see is that mommy is gone.

I know it is hard for them.  They have acted out.  They have cried.  My son tells me to stay home.  But I won’t quit school.  If I failed, I would be breaking their hearts for nothing.  If I don’t ace my tests, then what is the point?  It wouldn’t be fair to them if I stopped.

My husband and I have put all of our chips into this educational “pot”.  Financially and emotionally we have invested an enormous amount of our energy so I could go to school.  My husband grew up in a traditional home and originally we saw the same future for our family; he would work while I stayed home with the children. I would clean and cook and support my man.  I was completely on board for that arrangement.  Until one day I wasn’t.  I wanted to contribute and (although wary at first) my husband was thrilled.  He knew it would make me happy and he loved the idea.  Now I don’t even know where this man has come from: He helps make dinner, he helps to clean, and we take turns sleeping in. Swoon!

Everyday I go to school I am amazed at what I am comfortable with.  Extractions, vajacials (yes, vagina facials are a real thing), brazilians, body scrubs, lymphatic drainage, and skin in general.  After dedicating every single day to studying skin – the largest organ in the body – I am amazed at my abilities.  I am amazed at my confidence.  I love helping people feel GREAT.  I give results.  I have taken clients who have rated their skin a 2 and leave them feeling like a 10!  There is no better feeling.

Five months ago I quit my job as a full time mom.  I dedicated every free minute to studying.  It has been stressful.  I have missed my free days with my kids.  I have cried.  I have considered quitting.  But five months ago I started to focus on myself again.  I decided that I am important.  I decided to become a working woman, and I can’t wait to see where the field of esthetics takes me.


Artwork:  Minas Halaj


  1. Tara Tona says

    A beautiful piece by a beautiful woman!! Love this SO much. So glad you shared this story. And even more glad that you’re DOING this. Yes!!!


  2. Hey Kristin. I just have to say, Bravo! I knew that you were a great mother, I never knew that you were also a wonderful writer. I know how hard it is to leave behind the babies for a bit and take care of yourself. I miss Emma every day that I’m away from her. But you are so right, we are worth more than just taking care of our babies (who are not always going to be babies)! Bravo, for having the courage to embrace your passion and make something of it!


  3. LauraB says

    Congratulations KristinT!!! The best is yet to come for you, and happy people never work a day in their life. 😊


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