I was 17 when I got pregnant with my first child. What an opener, eh? But there's no point in sugarcoating the truth. Obviously, it wasn’t planned, at least not by me. But God always has His own plan, and I thank Him every day for it.
The abrupt turn in direction didn’t make life easy, though. Suddenly I had responsibilities and someone else to take care of and support. This meant I had to earn money and figure out how to do that while still caring for my son.
Thankfully, at the time my aunt ran her own cleaning business and I’d already been working with her to earn some part-time money. She allowed me to begin working for her full-time after my baby was born, and I was permitted to take him to work with me, which I did often. I was also gifted with a great family who all pitched in to help care for him when I needed, which was a lifesaver.
Even then, I knew I wanted to work doing something I loved that didn’t require me to be absent from my kid’s life. I didn’t want a career that forced me to put my kids in day care and miss out on all their big moments.
I tried putting my son in a day care facility for a week, and we both hated it. I swore to do it never again, and from that point on did all I could to make sure my kids were either with me or close family members when I couldn’t be there.
Not really sure what I wanted to do with my life, I attended college for a while and the extra loan money in between my house cleaning duties helped us out financially. My second son was born four years later, and things got a little harder financially. But still we survived, thanks in large part to family.
Fast forward a few years, and I still hadn’t found that job I felt I was meant to do. I’d done a few odd jobs here and there in-between working for my aunt, but ultimately working for my aunt afforded me the flexibility I wanted in my schedule, and nothing else I’d tried had offered the same.
I’d been doing some stuff online here and there, and looking for ways to make money from home. I knew there had to be ways to do it that weren’t scams -- I just had to find them. One day, I finally did. I began freelance writing for clients in 2008, working at first for peanuts, and then steadily increasing my rates as I gained more experience and clients. I learned how to run a business from home, and to use social media to market myself. I began my own business blog, sharing my thoughts, experiences, successes, and failures.
It was great for a while, but I soon grew tired of writing for clients all the time. I wanted to begin writing for myself, and still earn while doing it. Enter the world of fiction. I came across a group of fiction authors who spurred me to try my hand at writing stories and self-publishing, and I haven’t looked back. These days I only focus on a handful of writing clients, while devoting the rest of my attention to my stories and my family.
The ability to work from home doing something I love has been a godsend, and I wouldn’t trade it for any other job. It’s funny how our lives can go in a direction we least expect, yet wind up being perfect for us when all is said and done.