What It’s Really Like to Work From Home (With a Toddler)

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When I bought my doula business back in October, I thought I had it all figured out: I’d work while my daughter (then 18 months) played; we’d still go on adventures, and I’d be providing financial support to my family while fulfilling my own ambitions.

HA.

That’s not to say that I don’t still get those things, but let’s be clear: Working from home is, first and foremost, WORK. And if you’ve never tried to do your job WHILE maintaining safety and security for a bundle of energy with dirt on it (see also: toddler), then let me tell you, it’s a LOT. There are days when I just throw in the towel and we watch Frozen while I work on my laptop on the couch.

A majority of the work I do involves client relations; that is, calling potential and current clients, maintaining client records, and keeping up on client invoices. This is the type of work that can really be done anywhere, but definitely is best done while sitting down at my computer in a (relatively) quiet room. Thankfully, my clients are people who are expecting babies (and some already have other children), so they are pretty understanding when my daughter suddenly yells about her trains or comes begging for help with dressing her baby dolls.

Owning a doula agency is a dream fulfilled for me, one I didn’t discover until after my daughter was born, and I LOVE that I can work and be with her, all while showing her how awesome her #momboss is. I have my office in a corner of her playroom, which means we get to work together. She is there, listening as I talk with clients, learning how my job works.

We still have lots of time to go on adventures: Use our zoo pass, check out new parks, play with friends. My work happens whenever, wherever, so I get to make my own schedule (sometimes – babies come whenever they want!) and determine when and how I’m going to work.

Some days are better than others; sometimes I get a bunch of work done, we play, and somehow, miraculously, the house stays relatively clean. Those are the days when I know I’ve made the best decision for me and my family by following my dreams while being with my daughter.

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Emily was born in Cincinnati but transplanted to rural Michigan as a toddler with her parents. She moved back while in high school and has been here since. She met her husband, Eric, while completing her undergrad in education at Miami University. Two master's degrees, a house, and a dog later, they decided to expand their family. Their daughter Piper was born in April 2017. Emily spent 18 months as a stay-at-home-mom before taking a GIANT leap and becoming a doula. Shortly thereafter, she was approached by the owner of a local agency about taking over the business. She now works from home running Tender Beginnings while sharing adventures with her daughter.

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