I started my second career by accident. My daughter was due around the start of 2012, and we were relocating to another state in May of that year. I thought it unfair to my employer to take two months maternity leave, come back for two months, then leave for good. But I also couldn’t fathom not working. Or life without my paycheck. So with a hope and a prayer and a nervous quiver in my voice, I asked my boss if I could work from home and bring the baby to the office when needed until I moved. Amazingly, he said yes.
In my naive, pre-baby head, I would work while my sweet newborn slept to her heart’s content. In reality, working from home turned into working when my husband got home and clocking in office hours from 6pm-midnight. It was crazy. It was exhausting. It was the best experience I’ve ever had.
I always imagined in those months of working from home, I would also be looking for work in our new city. I’d be researching daycares and interviewing potential caregivers on a weekly basis until I found the perfect one. I had spent four years accruing a network of business professionals, and I planned to utilize it to get my foot in the door in Nashville. But as the move date got closer, my thoughts began to change.
Surprisingly, I actually enjoyed the “home” part of working from home. I fell in love with having My Girl as my constant sidekick, relishing every sing-along and snuggle. And I had the best of both worlds – professional fulfillment and intense quality time with my baby. I became spoiled. And I would not have it any other way.
I interviewed here in Nashville but quickly realized the work-from-home option usually only occurs once you’ve proved yourself and earned some street credit from a current employer. But spending 40+ hours away from my baby simply was not an option anymore. My priorities had shifted.
Had I not had that work-from-home experience, I can confidently say I would not be where I am today. The thought of not working outside the home would simply have never crossed my mind. I had a working mother, and I just assumed that would be the path for me. But I did have that experience. And I did have some amazing moments to cross my mind.
And nearly a year later, here I am. I am living the life of the one thing I said I could never become: a stay at home mom. And I love it.