I had planned on being a career woman (if I ever figured out what my career should be), but that changed when I finally brought my first healthy baby home from the hospital after a NICU stay plus losing my first four babies. How could I ever leave this precious little baby with a stranger?
It was vital for my mental health to spend that first year at home with Eric. I was a nervous mommy with a hypersensitive baby who would scream for hours at the slightest irritation. With that unexpected NICU stay, we missed out on that precious recovery room bonding. We needed time to be together and learn how to be a mommy/baby team; it certainly didn’t come naturally to me. I needed to trust that Eric was here to stay because I was so sure we were going to lose him too. Staying home with him enabled us to learn and grow together, for me to gain confidence, and for us to fall in love—and it definitely happened!
By the time Eric was a year old, I had started Pen-Parents (for bereaved parents) and I was pregnant again. This pregnancy was more complicated, I lost one of the twins and I was on bedrest for most of the pregnancy. Eric was 19 months when Chad came into our lives and with two under two and a non-profit organization to manage, I didn’t have the time or the desire to work outside the home. Luckily, I didn’t have to at that time. I was able to be with my little men and see every one of their milestones.
As the boys got older, I was thankful I had Pen-Parents to manage. It gave my brain a challenge, and I knew in my heart that the boys were on loan to me. Someday they’d grow up, and I didn’t want to be like my mom and mother-in-law who had absolutely nothing to do once their kids left the nest. I needed something to call my own whether it was a career or a pet project. I was a volunteer at the boys’ school but that’s still something that revolved around them, rather than me.
As our finances changed, it became necessary for me to find paid work rather than my volunteer work for Pen-Parents. Luckily, I was hired by Prodigy to write a Grief, Loss and Recovery webpage which lead to a job as their medical support bb leader and the health bb leader. This lead to other online jobs and finally to going off on my own as Prodigy Classic followed by Prodigy Internet closed.
I am so grateful that when it was necessary for me to go back to work, I was able to do so from my home and work my schedule around my boys. It takes discipline to be a work at home mom and I’ve never been particularly disciplined but somehow over the years, we’ve made it work. I was always home when they got out of school and we ended up being the house that my boys and their friends congregated at. Sometimes I was working into the wee hours of the morning because of the boys’ schedules. But it balanced out and honestly, I’m better suited to a different schedule everyday than an 8-5 Monday through Friday kind of thing. I know my path wouldn’t suit a lot of women, but it turned out to be exactly what I needed – a stimulus for my brain, something to call my own, and still be at home with my boys.
The way I “fell” into the Prodigy job which led to this and that and then starting StorkNet still surprises and delights me. I’m so grateful to Prodigy and to Nancy Eggleston for recommending me.
Here’s to work-at-home moms! It’s an adventure but for me, it has been a privilege, and I’m so grateful!