I never thought I'd want to raise my own kids. I mean, other people's kids always drove me crazy. I had no idea I'd fall in love with my kids. I thought I'd have no problem putting them in day care so I could work. I actually used to say that I'd go nuts if I had to stay home with my kids. That's before I gave birth. I'd been a step mom for several years prior to having my own children, but that role did not ask me to make a decision about whether or not to work. Once I had my son, Porter, I knew that working from home was the right decision for us. It would allow me to work, which I loved, but also be present and raise my child myself. Maternity leave? Nope! I was back to work a week after giving birth, and Porter came with me (my husband did, too, so we could document Porter's first "job").
Before you think I'm an awful mother for just throwing him blindly into the workforce, please know that he'd had some prior experience at home.
He continued to go on pet sitting visits with me. At first he would sit in his car seat carrier and snooze away, but he later became more involved.
So we gave him some more in-depth training at home.
Porter basically went everywhere with me, and has a love and respect for animals to show for it. When my daughter, Campbell, came along two years later, it was definitely more challenging. Toting a toddler and a newborn to every job was not easy, so I relied more on a wonderful pet sitter I'd hired (she's still with us and still fantastic) and some scheduling magic. And, of course, since Campbell is my second child, I have no pictures to document her early pet sitting adventures.
At first I was hesitant that I'd appear unprofessional to clients if my kids accompanied me on visits, but then I realized that by owning my own business, I got to make the rules, and in order for it to work for me, it had to be a family affair. The animals loved it, the kids loved it, and I loved it. And we still do! During every initial consultation, I ask how the client's pets do with children. Almost always, clients are excited about the idea that their pets get a three-for-one deal, and I must say, my kids can wear out the animals even better than I can. Both Porter and Campbell go on jobs with me on a daily basis. They know how to care for animals, and even more importantly, they have learned how to care about animals.
Tail pullers, they are not.