Submitted by Laura Schreiber
I started down the path to become a working parent the week I turned 19 while I was a student at Barnard College. One of my sorority sisters set me up with my future husband. Even though that was back in April of 1996, it feels like Harlan picked me up in my dorm room yesterday. And changed my world. He was sweet, positively brilliant, and like no one else I had ever met.
Around that time I also started thinking about a career in voiceover. Everywhere I went, people commented on my voice. It’s high and quite unique. But I was a serious student, and the field of voiceover was very different than it is today. It required in-person auditions, and, with my academic commitments, that wouldn't have been possible. So instead, I continued my studies and stayed in New York City to attend graduate school at Columbia.
Harlan and I are blessed to have twins, Emma and Jack. All kids are expensive, and, from the beginning, these twins, who are more precious than you can possibly imagine, were also more expensive than we ever anticipated. From speech and occupational therapy to tutors, they needed a lot of support, which we gave them with smiles, hugs, and hope. Early on, I stayed home with them, but when they both needed to attend a private school that specialized in helping kids with language-based learning differences, it became clear that we'd needed two incomes to swing it.
even though I loved every day that I had spent in the classroom as a History teacher before they were born, the demands of two kids and a dog, coupled with Harlan’s daily commute into NYC, and his grueling hours as a law firm partner, made me question returning to the rigors of a teaching schedule. Instead, the idea of a voiceover career that I could manage from home seemed to make a lot of sense.
As a young girl, I had been afraid to change my path and pursue a creative, but uncertain, career as a solopreneur. Yet, as an adult, with a lot depending on me, I found myself to be so full of passion. I felt a relentless drive to succeed because I needed this to work for my kids and my family.
It was a real adjustment at first. Basic family tasks, like the hours that I used to savor at Target every week, seemed to disappear and were replaced with on-line shopping. But now we are finding a rhythm that works really well for our family. The extra income is enabling us to give our kids a great start in life and the flexibility enables me to set my own schedule so I can drive the kids to school, take care of them if they get sick, and attend special events like science fairs. It enables me to provide a listening ear after school too. Yes, some days are brutal for sure, and I never, ever finish everything on my “to do” list. Still, I am so thankful that I took the leap of faith and invested in myself.
The thing is, it took being a mom and a wife to give me the confidence to do it!