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Having children saved my life

I didn’t care about prestige. All I cared about was my little girl.

Having children saved my life

Before kids, my career was on the up and up. I was making healthy six figures working in creative direction and social media at a major Hollywood studio. I thought so highly of myself and my abilities, over-estimating my talent and value. I changed companies every year, always looking for the next big opportunity. I worked 70+ hour weeks, but always felt that I was in over my head. But I kept promising myself I could fake it til I made it.


Then my first child came.

Everything went haywire. Because I was new I couldn't take any time off. My wife was taking on 95% of the workload that comes with a baby. I was getting requests from work at 11 p.m. that were due by 8 a.m., I was working until 2 a.m. every night and starting in again at 6 a.m. most days, including weekends. I was ducking out in the middle of church to handle requests.

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The dream of a big shot Hollywood job had become an absolute nightmare because of this adorable little girl. This adorable little girl who made me realize how miserable I was in my glamorous job, how incredibly unimportant my work was with David Fincher's 30th revision to move copy 1 pixel to the right on our Twitter profile skin for “Gone Girl,” a script I actually despised so much that I never even watched the movie.

This little adorable baby girl absolutely decimated my career. I couldn't stay focused, I was dolling out excuses for lack of performance constantly, I wasn't attentive on conference calls and would get caught ignoring conversations red-handed constantly. I was exhausted. I was failing my employer and failing my wife even worse. My life was a disaster and I was missing out on all of my daughter's firsts.

Then I got fired.

Well, laid off gently and very courteously with a far-too-generous severance.

It was the best thing that ever happened to me. Now that I had this magical human being in my care, all I cared about was her. And I had 3 months of living expenses to figure life out. My friend Jake Larsens business he started was taking off. He seemed happy and free. I wanted that freedom more than anything. I read the $100 Start-Up and realized I didn’t need to start some massive company with investment money in order to provide for this little priceless treasure of a daughter.

I started an agency. I started calling everyone I knew offering anything that I thought they might want. Three months went by, my nest egg disappeared, I maxed out my credit card in month four when I got a client for a three month campaign.

It was a miracle.

Then a month later another one. It was as if everyone in my professional network was waiting to see whether or not I would tank. Then another client, then another, and at the end of year one, we made good revenue, and it was just me full-time and a couple partners moonlighting outside of their day jobs. It was working, but they wouldn't make the jump, so we split.

I hired a guy. And another guy. Year two we did even better revenue and were on a rocket-ship, doubling revenue quarter over quarter. Our work was getting featured on Mashable, Buzzfeed, Adweek, Forbes, I was speaking at events, this thing was actually working. I couldn’t believe it. Work was coming out of nowhere from the most unforeseen of places.

And the best part? I didnt CARE about prestige anymore!

I didn't care about my importance, my relevance, my title, my pedigree, all I cared about was providing for my sweet girl and making her happy, and that complete paradigm shift generated abundance and prestige that I never would have achieved in another decade of my glam Hollywood job.

In most of that time, yes I was frantic, but I rarely worked more than 50 hours a week. I took my little Princess to the pool every day, I gave my wife a break to pursue her hobbies, we went to Europe for two weeks, we went to the Oregon coast, we went to Europe again, we went to Hawaii, we went to Disneyland almost every week. I became an actual decent friend and extended family member. I took my Dad and brother to Death Valley.

Having children (temporarily) destroyed my career.

Having children SAVED MY LIFE.

This gorgeous, hilarious, magical, mystical little treasure saved my life. She brought fullness, fulfillment—she was this giant wrecking ball that decimated the skyscraper that was my life and reformed it into a magical village full of abundance, friends, family, good health and tranquility.

If you think maybe it’s time you destroy your career and save your life, maybe have a kid? Lolz.


Travis Chambers is a husband and father of two, Jax age 1 and Rylee age 3. He lives in Boise, Idaho and owns Chamber.Media, an agency that makes large-scale video productions for brands on YouTube and Facebook.

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    These challenges from Nike PLAYlist are exactly what my child needs to stay active

    Plus a fall family bucket list to keep everyone moving all season long.

    While it's hard to name anything that the pandemic hasn't affected, one thing that is constantly on my mind is how to keep my family active despite spending more time indoors. Normally, this time of year would be spent at dance and gymnastics lessons, meeting up with friends for games and field trips, and long afternoon playdates where we can all let off a little steam. Instead, we find ourselves inside more often than ever before—and facing down a long winter of a lot more of the same.

    I started to search for an outlet that would get my girls moving safely while we social distance, but at first I didn't find a lot of solutions. Online videos either weren't terribly engaging for my active kids, or the messaging wasn't as positive around the power of movement as I would like. Then I found the Nike PLAYlist.

    I always knew that Nike could get me moving, but I was so impressed to discover this simple resource for parents. PLAYlist is an episodic sports show on YouTube that's made for kids and designed to teach them the power of expressing themselves through movement. The enthusiastic kid hosts immediately captured my daughter's attention, and I love how the physical activity is organically incorporated in fun activities without ever being specifically called out as anything other than play. For example, this segment where the kids turn yoga into a game of Paper Scissors Rock? Totally genius. The challenges from #TheReplays even get my husband and me moving more when our daughter turns it into a friendly family competition. (Plus, I love the play-inspired sportswear made just for kids!)

    My daughter loves the simple Shake Ups at the beginning of the episode and is usually hopping off the couch to jump, dance and play within seconds. One of her favorites is this Sock Flinger Shake Up activity from the Nike PLAYlist that's easy for me to get in on too. Even after we've put away the tablet, the show inspires her to create her own challenges throughout the day.

    The best part? The episodes are all under 5 minutes, so they're easy to sprinkle throughout the day whenever we need to work out some wiggles (without adding a lot of screen time to our schedule).

    Whether you're looking for simple alternatives to P.E. and sports or simply need fun ways to help your child burn off energy after a day of socially distanced school, Nike's PLAYlist is a fun, kid-friendly way to get everyone moving.

    Need more movement inspiration for fall? Here are 5 ways my family is getting up and getting active this season:

    1. Go apple picking.

    Truly, it doesn't really feel like fall until we've picked our first apple. (Or had our first bite of apple cider donut!) Need to burn off that extra cinnamon-sugar energy? Declare a quick relay race up the orchard aisle—winner gets first to pick of apples at home.

    To wear: These Printed Training Tights are perfect for when even a casual walk turns into a race (and they help my daughter scurry up a branch for the big apples).

    2. Visit a pumpkin patch.

    We love to pick up a few locally grown pumpkins to decorate or cook with each year. Challenge your child to a "strongman" contest and see who can lift the heaviest pumpkin while you're there.

    To wear: Suit up your little one in comfort with this Baby Full Zip Coverall so you're ready for whatever adventures the day brings.

    3. Have a nature scavenger hunt.

    Scavenger hunts are one of my favorite ways to keep my daughter preoccupied all year long. We love to get outside and search for acorns, leaves and pinecones as part of our homeschool, but it's also just a great way to get her exercising those gross motor skills whenever the wiggles start to build up.

    To wear: It's not truly fall until you break out a hoodie. This cozy Therma Elite Kids Hoodie features a mesh overlay to release heat while your child plays.

    4. Have a touch-football game.

    Tip for parents with very little kids: It doesn't have to last as long as a real football game. 😂 In fact, staging our own mini-games is one of our favorite ways to get everyone up and moving in between quarters during Sunday football, and I promise we all sleep better that night.

    To wear: From impromptu games of tag to running through our favorite trails, these kids' Nike Air Zoom Speed running shoes are made to cover ground all season long.

    5. Create an indoor obstacle course.

    Pretending the floor is lava was just the beginning. See how elaborate your personal course can get, from jumping on the couch to rolling under the coffee table to hopping down the hallway on one foot.

    To wear: These ready-for-any-activity Dri-FIT Tempo Shorts are perfect for crawling, hopping and racing—and cuddling up when it's time to rest.

    This article was sponsored by Nike. Thank you for supporting the brands that supporting Motherly and mamas.

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    [Editor's note: Motherly is committed to covering all relevant presidential candidate plans as we approach the 2020 election. We are making efforts to get information from all candidates. Motherly does not endorse any political party or candidate. We stand with and for mothers and advocate for solutions that will reduce maternal stress and benefit women, families and the country. This essay reflects the views of one mother—we invite you to also read As a mother, I'm voting for Joe Biden.]

    Confession #1: I didn't vote for Trump the first time.

    Confession #2: I'm old enough to remember what our country went through during the sexual scandal of President Clinton. So in 2016, in the spirit of not repeating history (coupled with a multitude of other reasons why I was not a Hilary fan), I couldn't vote for Clinton. But, it also didn't seem right to vote for a self-proclaimed "p***y-grabbing" Tweet-assailer. I was told he was the epitome of all that is evil in the world and would be the reason for the premature ending of the world. Ultimately, I voted Independent.

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    But the 2016 election nevertheless served as a significant turning point for me as it was for many others. I felt the need to dig deeper.

    Let's back up. Had I read the 2016 Republican Platform before casting my ballot? Sadly, no. But as Maya Angelou wrote—and as I now regularly tell my kids—"When you know better you do better." So this year, I decided I would do better; to delve into learning what each candidate believes in, why they do and what the best and worst possible outcomes are.

    Have I now read the 2020 platforms of both candidates (Republican and Democrat) this time around? You better believe it.

    Moms want to leave a better world behind for our kids. I do, and I bet you do, too. I believe the Trump-Pence administration will continue to do exactly that. They stand for the parts of American culture that has set America apart from every other country of the world: the American Dream; American exceptionalism; that the Declaration of Independence affirms the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all; that government must be limited in its power; that we as Americans seek friendship with all nations, but we also recognize that evil exists in this world, and we will defend against it; that freedom is an essential ingredient in every area of our lives.

    Regardless of where you stand on the political spectrum, I hope you'll read this with an open mind. I also hope that the Biden supporters reading this who have somewhere along the line conflated all Republicans to be racist-climate-change-denying-xenophobes, will feel the twinge of some ice melt between our parties, however small.

    I'll go first with an olive branch: The Democrat Party for this election did an impressively thorough job outlining solutions to end homelessness. Will Democratic and Republican mayors and governors take the ball and run? I would love to see that happen. Further, I believe there are countless ideals the Democratic party stands behind that, in theory, sound absolutely amazing: free college and free health care. Played out, I see these things chipping away at other peoples' freedoms, but I agree that in a "perfect world" we could both give away things for free and keep our cherished freedom.

    But I digress; back to why I'm voting for our president. In the spirit of four more years, here are four reasons why as a mom, I am voting for Donald Trump.

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