I was 31 years-old and about three months away from my wedding day, when I was offered a part-time marketing position at a dental office. At the time, I had a few marketing clients of my own, and thought that the additional income would help offset the cost of our wedding.
The small office began to expand, and before I knew it, I was the full-time Director of Marketing, in charge of three Los Angeles offices.
The pay did not reflect the amount of work that went into running a successful marketing department for three offices. However, my employers were always flexible and understanding of my ever-changing personal life and schedule.
Within a year’s time, I was married and pregnant with my first-born baby boy. In that first trimester, I was constantly sick and visiting the doctor often. The flexibility granted to me by my employers was imperative. So was the medical insurance!
I loved my job, my co-workers, and my employers. But after I had my baby, it was unimaginable to leave him to go back to work.
I hated leaving him every day. Unfortunately, there was no way for us to live on one income, with the added expense of a new baby. My mommy brain was so busy all the time, I simply could not see past the moment. I could not think of anything else to do, or another way to make money.
I was lucky, my mother volunteered to watch him while my husband and I were at work. The fact that someone who loved my baby as much as my hubby and I did, helped soften the blow of having to leave him. Still, for months, I drove home in traffic on my lunch breaks, just to get a glimpse of him napping and to get a whiff of his baby sent.
A few years later, hubby and I had baby boy number two. It was not as hard this time around. I was an experienced mom, who somewhat knew what to expect. So, while I was on my maternity leave, I began to brainstorm.
I decided that I was going to go back to work, however, I was also going to take on a few marketing clients of my own. I designed a website, I made a few calls, and voilà, I had enough clients to pay for a few of our bills. The most important thing was, having these clients made it possible for me to go back to work part-time. Less, time away from my babies!
I was back at work for a few hours every day. I felt productive, it felt good to socialize with my co-workers (adult interaction is so important to new moms), and I was able to be home with my boys, by the time they work up from their afternoon naps.
Everything was great for the first 6 months or so, or until the boys started catching colds, one after the other, inevitably passing them to me. I took time off to tend to the boys, I took time off to tend to my own colds, I took time off for doctors’ visits, and every time that my mom could not watch my boys. My flexible employers continued to be understanding, as they to had kids. But, the reality of it was, the time spent away from work, begun to take its toll on my productivity.
One day, one of my employers pulled me aside and asked if I would feel more productive working from home. This meant, I could work while the boys are sick. I would also work from the comfort of my cozy bed, whenever I was sick. YES!!! This was the answer to all of my problems. My employer became my client.
The transition was not that simple. While this would solve all of my problems, I was still losing a steady income. If the dental group had no business for me at times, I would not be making any money. Uncertainty plagued my head. I wrecked my brain with a million “what ifs”. But, the support of my husband gave me the courage that I needed to break away from the nine to five world, and begin working from home.
Working from home has afforded me time to spend with my children, as well as pursue passion projects that have opened up a world of fun and adventure for our family.
It’s not easy, balancing work and kids. Negotiations between my children and myself take place daily. “Mommy has to work for a couple of hours, then we can play or go somewhere fun”, is a staple conversation.
When hubby, who is President/CEO of his own successful security firm, is home, communication is key. There is an art to the “switch”. While papa works, mama plays or takes the boys on walks. There has to be a few minutes spent as a family, before mama can go up to the office to work, while papa plays and takes care of the children.
Working from home and becoming an entrepreneur as a parent, requires a sort of cohesive team effort. But when done right, it is undeniably rewarding.
So, be brave millennial mommies, your switch from working a full-time job, does not have to be sudden and abrupt. It can be a journey of small steps towards the world of entrepreneurship and independence.