When Life Gives You Lemons…they’re yellow, round and bouncy. Play tennis.

We’re almost caught up, I promise.

I’ve been living on a serious budget since March. I’ve saved enough money for 3 rounds of clinic-conducted Intra-Uterine Insemination. I’ve almost gotten the hang of having no credit cards and living off just the money I have right now. It’s scary, but it’s working.

During my period of increased risk-taking, I had to make the decision once again, about what kind of job I wanted if I was going to be a single mother. Being a career woman, in a 9-to-5 salaried position was pretty damned tempting. Benefits, PTO, retirement. That all sounded awesome….but that little voice in the back of my head, from way back when I was a kiddo said…”If you’re at work all the time, how are you actually going to be a present parent.”

I confessed my fear to my mom. I was up for a full-time position at the company I was at. It was nearly guaranteed that I’d get the job. My degree, for the first time in my life, was actually going to help me by increasing my starting salary. All I had to do was apply and interview with a team of people that already liked me. I was at a company that housed one of my roommates and three good friends. It seemed, at least on the surface, like the right thing to do…but something just didn’t feel right.

Honestly, it felt a lot like being a therapist. I was good at it, but was I really happy? Was I really improving my life, or just taking the secure path?

I had no idea how to answer that. So I started reviewing what it was I really wanted. I wanted to be able to be with my newborn, which either means bringing a newborn to an office, or working from home. I couldn’t afford to take unpaid maternity leave and, even if I got the salaried position, it would be a while before I’d been there long enough to qualify for paid maternity leave.

And then what? 6 weeks later I’m back to work and my baby is…where? I couldn’t afford child care, in-home or at a center. We have a great one in my little town but I’d have to sell half my internal organs to afford it.

And for the first time in 3 years, a little voice said: “What if you were self-employed?” Now, my first reaction was, fuck no. I’d been a terrible self-employer before and had no interest in making that worse. But, my little voice had a point. If I had more control over my work day, I could actually be the kind of mother I wanted to be.

It was at that point that I realized my place of privilege in coming from a home with two small business owners. My parents were at every softball game, went to every meeting, doctors appointment…all because they were small business owners. They as business people and parents decided to put me at the head of their ship and work their asses off in the background  so they could be there for me. They worked 50, 60, 70 and 80 hour weeks, from their car in the parking lots of tournaments, on their cell phones in the middle of the night, on weekends, holidays and birthdays, all they could be there for me, afford the softball equipment, get me to the schools I wanted to go to…that was the beauty of being a small business owner. And that’s what I wanted for myself.

It had been staring me in the face for 15 years. What do I want to be when I grow up? A small business owner. Why? So I can work hard to create and support the life I want to live. And what do you want your business to be?

Well, I hadn’t really figured that one out yet, but I’d made plenty of progress so far, I was pretty sure the rest would shake itself out.

And it did, I opened my mind up to new or revisited possibilities. I told my Mom I wasn’t sure I wanted to be a corporate career woman…and my mom, brilliant beautiful genius she is said:

“Well, I don’t know how you feel about bookkeeping, but I’ve got a business that has supported this family for 20 years, and I have no interest in working forever….”

Well damn. There it is. I am the daughter of two small business owners, both my parents are at a retirement age. And they’ll have two options very soon: 1) Sell or 2) Transition those businesses to me.

And that was my answer. What do I want my small business to be? How about the two businesses that made our entire family lifestyle possible?

Sounds like a plan to me.

In March, I transitioned into my dad’s business so he could better attend to his health. IN August I left the software company to work in my parents’ office full time. Two weeks ago, I  was put on salary for both businesses. My financial situation is slowly improving and will continue to do so as I pay things off. In October of 2017, I’ll have paid off my credit card loan and shortly after that, I’ll be done with my truck payment. I’ll have made that much more progress on my IRS debt and the only thing that will linger in perpetuity is my student loan debt. But that’s another story.

So, I’ve picked out my cryobank, picked my donor and a back-up donor….actually there’s a lot more of this that’s worth telling.

Let’s start with that. How did I pick a cryobank? It’s actually a lot like shopping for a car…

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