When I was in high school, I met a woman named Marsha* who changed my entire conception of how I could balance motherhood and work.
Marsha was my grandmother’s next-door neighbor. A mother of two, she ran a small accounting business out of her home—carefully balancing clients and projects with diapers and play dates.
To me, she had it all: time with her kids. meaningful work and the freedom to schedule her life the way she wanted.
Marsha hired me to babysit for her kids one summer, and I was thrilled to peek into the inner workings of her life. As a high-schooler, I didn’t know exactly what career path I would head down, but I knew that by the time I had kids, I wanted to live like Marsha.
So, when I got engaged to my husband three years ago, I told him of my intended plans. I told him I wanted to stay at home with our future children for at least the first two to three years of their lives (maybe longer, depending on life circumstances), while holding down my own small business doing financial planning that I could scale based on my family’s needs.
Of course, I knew that my desire to stay at home wasn’t the only solution. Both my and my husband’s mother worked full time and raised well-adjusted children. Plus, in these economic times, having two steady incomes makes life much easier. Was it really necessary for me to ditch a traditional career to spend extra time with my children?
For me, that answer was yes.
With the work world becoming more flexible, I believe that it’s possible to have a fulfilling career that supports, rather than detracts, from motherhood. And I’m crazy enough to think I can engineer that life for myself … if I start working on it now.
Always supportive and practical, my husband asked me what we needed to do to make my vision happen.
Here’s what we’re doing.