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My Big Career Transition

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Self-Employment

by Jen Creer  |  5631 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