When I graduated high school and went off to go

to college, I promised myself never to go back to live with my parents.

Upon graduating from college my then-boyfriend and I decided to get

married, and we moved back to our home state. And though our first years of

marriage was spent close to our parents, we only visited once in a while.

Truthfully I didn’t have anything against them I just wanted to make it on my own, to finally make decisions for myself and be an adult.

I needed my independence and in those first years of our marriage we

enjoyed our freedom to the max. Going out together, meeting new friends, and

creating memories and new experiences.

This was all fine until we started talking about starting our family.

At the time I was working a retail job, and we were living in a pretty average income

in a very expensive city. Which wasn’t a problem when it was just us.

But bringing up a baby in our situation wouldn’t have been ideal.

Within that time my dad asked to have lunch with me.

My dad has owned his business since before I was born. I have seen

the triumphs and successes as well as the losses and difficulties that comes

with owning a business.

He had seen my situation and we spoke about growing my family. So he

offered me to come work with him on his business.

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I was extremely hesitant about it, for several reasons, the main being that as much as I wanted to believe that work would be just work,

at some point it would become very personal.

At the time I thought this would be something negative, however, I

could’ve never imagined how positive and helpful this would be for my life and

my family’s.

Several months after starting my new job I found out I was

pregnant. It was a joyous day, and my family was ecstatic.

They were extremely supportive throughout my pregnancy. During

the first trimester I was really sick, and they were so understanding of the

days when I couldn’t come to work, but also pushed me to get my work done on

the days I was able to.

They also gave me the opportunity to work from home after my baby

was born so I could be home with her those first few months.

Now I know this also sounds like the perfect scenario, and though

for me it is, it also hasn’t been easy to work with family.

At times things do get personal, and feeling can easily be hurt.

Because though they love me the most, they also know me the most. And they push

me in ways I wish they wouldn’t.

I am sometimes a lot more aware of family issues that at times I

wish I didn’t know.

It’s also difficult to let go, because I also want their businesses

to succeed and help them in any way I can.

It does get personal. Because they will always be my family.

But within all of the challenges, the biggest reward has been to see

my daughter bond with my family. To grow and learn from them.

To see her love them and learn from everything they teach her. To

see them care for her and for our family. And also for me to spend more time

with them and talk to them more often.

It’s pushed us to be in each other’s lives through the good and

through the bad.

This work arrangement is not perfect, but it’s been the greatest opportunity I’ve ever had.

Because when it is all said and done, family will be all I have

left. And that is my biggest reward.

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