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After 8 Years, I'm Ready to Return to Work

Photograph by Getty Images

Years before I was a mom, I knew that if I had children, I wanted to be home with them for the first five years of their lives. When my son was born eight years ago and diagnosed with Down syndrome, I was determined to be with him every day as his primary caregiver. It was a very difficult and costly decision, but I had to find a way to make money from home.

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The first several years were like being on a roller coaster. Any mom can attest to the rigors of motherhood, and for me, parenting a child with Down was like being on a roller coaster with no brakes—and in the rain. There was no time for a full-time job between doctors appointments, therapy sessions and managing my sadness and confusion. Not to mention the divorce.

I'm nearly busting at the seams to get myself out in the world on a daily basis.

Being at home gave me an opportunity to get to know my son and determine what he will need to thrive. In the last couple of years I’ve gotten really clear about his strengths and challenges. And while working from home has been a tremendous gift, the organization it takes to manage motherhood and a home-based employment is no small task. Each week I create a calendar that includes everything my son and I need to accomplish down to meals and bath time. Following the schedule to a tee determines when checks come in and when bills get paid. Everything is up to me.

It's been overwhelming lately, and I decided I was ready to return to work in order to create some space in my head. So several months ago I started a real estate program in anticipation of returning to work.

I have always said that moms have to choose what's best for their families as it pertains to working in or out of the house. I also believe that more often than not, our children benefit from being with us in the early years of their lives. I know that not every mom can afford this choice, and every mom doesn't want this choice even if the economics fit.

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In the next few weeks I will take my real estate exam and return to work in an entirely new field. I'm nearly busting at the seams to get myself out in the world on a daily basis. I feel good about my decision, and I know it's good for my family as well. There's one thing I believe to be true, and that is working out of the home is much easier than working in the home. I'm going to work so I can get some much-needed rest.

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