I passed my national certification exam (WHEW!! that thing is NO JOKE, mamas!!) in February but have not paid for my license yet because I'm not practicing.
I have an almost 3 year old and went to school with the same ideas about massage you have-- not too many hours, good money, flexible schedule.
Well, I have not pursued it because we can't take the financial start-out risk right now, and in this economy, I just don't know if "pampering" -- even though massage is so, SO much more than that-- is a great industry to be in. Also, I realized that I'd be kind of at the mercy of my clients starting out when it comes to scheduling... so much for flexibility. I only tell you this because I have considered different scenarios to make it work as well, and I haven't come up with anything compelling enough for me to take the leap, even though I'm cleared for takeoff, so to speak.
BUT. I LOVED school, learned so much about taking care of myself and my family, and really enjoyed the work. I guess what I'm trying to say is that my idea of massage being a really great solution for me as a career changed between the first day I walked in the classroom door to the day I graduated. And honestly? I love giving massage and I LOVE receiving massage (the best part of massage school!!) but I don't know if I want to do it all the time. I spent 100 hours in our student clinic, and that was more education than anything for me. I loved it, but I didn't feel like I had found my home. That lesson just happened to come after almost 2 years of working toward it.
Before you do anything, set up appointments to talk with a few therapists in different settings-- spa, independent practice, booth rental, cooperative practice. See what they say about the business climate in your area-- how hard is it to start out, what do you REALLY make (the money looks so great hourly, but you don't have your hands actually ON bodies for those 4 hours... 4 massages is more like 6 or more hours of work, depending on how staggered your schedule is. You may have 90 minutes between appointments, and that's probably not paid time... make sense?)
Good luck to you-- I know people that absolutely love practicing massage and it's a great fit for them. Just my experience, hope it helps you!
Mother, Wife, Worker Bee. Mama to Clara (10/05) and Ophelia (12/09)