Many adults find it difficult to balance work and raising a family, but Maisie Knowles says that managing her own company has actually allowed her more time to devote to being a mom.
The 26 year-old Colorado native co-founded the company FreeShipping.org with her husband, Luke, in December 2007.‚ The company is the web’s premiere destination for online shoppers to find free shipping deals offered by more than 850 retailers.
Because their venture is a home-based business, Luke and Maisie Knowles have more time for themselves and to spend with their new daughter Isabelle.
“Typically, one spouse remains at home with the child while the other works long hours and doesn’t spend as much time with the family as he or she would like,” Maisie said. “I am able to continue working while caring for Isabelle, and Luke is able to spend more time with us.”
Maisie was able to take a longer maternity leave because she is her own boss.‚ She stopped working three weeks before her daughter’s birth and was able to take off 10 weeks after.‚ This is the type of flexibility, she pointed out, that is not typically offered in traditional office jobs.
Even as a new mom, Maisie is still able to devote the same time and energy to her business by setting her own flexible hours.
“I work when (Isabelle) is napping,” she explained. “To maintain productivity, I get as much done as possible in nap times and after she is in bed. … It’s a rewarding feeling because I feel like a productive part of our business, and at the same time I feel content knowing that I am there for Isabelle.”
There are other, finance-related, benefits of working from home.‚ Luke and Maisie do not spend any time commuting to and from another building.‚ ‚ With the high cost of gas, working from home also saves the couple money.‚ ‚ Maisie’s flexible schedule of switching between work and parenting also means the couple does not have to pay for child care.
“I belong to moms groups and they tell me I’m lucky because I’m able to help with the business and give Isabelle the attention and care she needs,” Maisie added. “Most mothers who go back to work after having a baby don’t get to see their newborn as much.”
Maisie acknowledges the risk that comes along with starting one’s own business, but says that for her it’s been worth it.
“If you don’t take the leap and devote the time to build your business, you’re not going to succeed for the long-term,” she said.
The gamble has paid off, creating the ideal work/parenting situation for Maisie, where she welcomes the opportunity to work as both an entrepreneur and a full-time mom.