Member Articles

Write an article!

My Big Career Transition

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Self-Employment

by Jen Creer  |  4235 views  |  4 comments  |        Rate this now! 

For the first several years of my adulthood, I was a stay-at-home mother. I had been raised Mormon, and I felt it was very important to stay home with my children. However, as much as I adored my children and the time I spent with them, I was also isolated, frustrated, and a little bored. I decided to go to graduate school when my children were very young. It was 1996 when I made my decision to start school the next year: I planned to apply in 1997 for the 1998 school year. In the spring of 1997, I found myself unexpectedly pregnant with my third child. Graduate school was postponed, but only for one year.

I had three very young children (5, 2, and 1), and I was unhappy both with my own identity as a stay-at-home mother and as person. I was the most unhappy about my community (or lack thereof) of friends; my relationships were limited, at that time, to the community my geographical location (a small town in Northern Missouri) offered me. I was surrounded by mothers who were more interested in scrap-booking, cleaning their houses, and decorating than I was. I also had concerns (in hindsight, correctly so) about being completely financially dependent on my husband. I had a BA in creative writing, but what would I do if my marriage fell apart or something happened to my husband? How would I support three children?

Indeed, while I was in graduate school, my marriage began falling apart in earnest. My ex-husband had worried that this would happen. However, I have never viewed graduate school as the thing that ruined my marriage. Graduate school saved me. I certainly would not have been able to leave my husband and then support myself and three very young children if I had not gone to graduate school. Attending graduate school, while I was still in that marriage, certainly made the difficult years that followed easier than they would have been if I had been starting my newly single life without that graduate education.

I was fortunate that while I was in graduate school, I both attended and taught classes only twice a week. That was one of the perks of being married to a professor, and to having small children: I insisted that I be given a schedule that would give me maximum time at home with my children. When I left my husband at the end of January, right before my last semester of graduate school started, I moved in with a grad school friend who had two young daughters. She had been making a three-hour per day commute from Iowa, and it was easier for her and for me to share a rental house, costs, and childcare responsibilities while we finished our degrees.

About the Author

Jen Creer is a medical editor who has successfully run her own company, Edit Rx, LLC, for more than two years.

Read more by Jen Creer

4 comments so far...

  • Blessed by adversity! Wonderful!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Heather Cook (Writeonmama) on 3rd September 2007

  • Your story is inspirational and full of wonder! Thank you for taking the time to share it with us.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Daisy on 24th August 2007

  • Wow! How brave and amazing!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Linda on 18th August 2007

  • You are an inspiration! I'm turning in my notice this very minute!
    Well, maybe not...but I am going to reawaken my dream of working at home writing and editing health-related materials.
    Thank you for sharing your story!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by jps on 15th June 2007

Work Life Balance Stories

Check out our best tips for balancing work and home life.

Quick & Easy recipes

Browse our favorite quick and easy recipes, perfect for busy moms.

Ask & Answer Questions

What working moms are talking about on our question board!