When my second child was born, I was working for a boutique government relations firm in Washington, DC. I was luckier than most of my mommy peers in that I was able to take 12 weeks off for maternity leave - half of that was even covered by vacation leave and short term disability. I had my own office with a door that shut so that I could pump in privacy and brought in a mini-fridge to store the bottles. I did the daycare drop off and my husband picked up. On paper, this was a pretty sweet setup. In reality, the second child nearly broke me.
The partners in my firm did not have children, did not desire to have children, and frankly thought it was weird that anyone would prefer to pay for daycare rather than a cruise on the QEII. There was no working from home option. Working from home on evenings and weekends was expected but weekdays I was expected to be at my desk. Everyone who has ever had a child knows that they get sick a lot that first year - even more so in a daycare setting. My baby had colic. He wouldn't nap at daycare or without being held. My baby blues turned into full blown postpartum depression. I was being disciplined at work for my absences and my mommy mush brain. I hate to admit that this continued for over a year. I don't remember a lot from that year, to be honest, just that it was horrible. My baby grew and eventually overcame the colic and at 15 months began napping without being held so he finally napped in daycare. He became pleasant to be around.
Things at work did not improve and I questioned my choice of career, wondered where I should go, and eventually had my AHA moment. I desperately needed a drop in daycare and we didn't have any near us. I would open one! I could be my own boss. I could take my children to work. I could help other moms who were in my same position! Thus, my small business journey began...