Stay at Home Mom

I have been separated from my ex for a year now. We have two young children together and prior to me leaving him, I was mostly a stay at home work/worked part time for the 5 years prior. Now, I have chosen to move in with my parents and I ended up quitting my full-time job in October 2019 due to stress, a long commute, and the well-being of my children suffering. Prior to the separation, I was basically the sole caretaker of the kids, as their dad travelled a lot for work and worked long hours. Now that we are separated, he has demanded a nearly 50/50 shared parenting arrangement, which we have been doing for the last year. Since I have quit my job, my kids and I are much happier and I have been working on courses on the weekends because I want to own my own business. However, the money is running out at a rapid pace. I spent a lot in legal fees over the last year and my ex and I still do not have anything sorted with the separation. He claims he is flat broke and doesn’t have any money and there is no money to be had for child support or spousal support. I know this is not true but the process of uncovering the truth about his income has been a long and expensive process with the lawyers. I have even fired my original lawyer and basically started over with a new one.
My question is this: I really want to spend my parenting time with the kids not working and caring for them until they are both in full time school (about 2.5 more years). However, since money is running out I am thinking it of course would make more sense to work full time and put them back in daycare. This would mean I’d be able to save up to eventually move out (even with working full-time this would likely take at least 3 years). I am really struggling with the thought of being away from my kids. It has been an incredibly difficult adjustment to go from full-time mom to part-time mom and the thought of seeing them even less because of work is really heart-breaking to me. I have a niece and nephew who are only 2 and 3 years old and they go to daycare full time without any issue. I know intellectually they will be fine but I can’t help but feel like I want and need to be the one raising my own kids. Their dad is also extremely narcissistic and I worry a lot about the effect he is having/will have on them long term and I feel like the more exposure to me, the better. Am I completely wrong about this?? Is it absolutely silly to think that I should be able to be a stay at home mom while they are young?
I had the thought process back in October that I would finish my courses by the summertime and then be able to start my own business (this is how I justified quitting my job). However, I really can’t afford to continue going into debt until then. I’ve thought about only working 2 days per week in order to get some income. But then that is two days less per week that I have to work on my studies/business and then what time is really left over once you add in all the child-care hours? My other hesitance with working full-time is that I have had many jobs in my life and I really want to start my own business and feel full-filled and passionate about what I am doing. It is tough for me to work full-time and wish the entire time that I was with the kids instead. Are these just the consequences of divorce? I have been thinking abundantly in the last few months about having what I want but seeing the money dwindle despite sticking to a tight budget and living for free has me discouraged. i have also been relying on the thought that my ex will eventually have to pay me child support and buy me out of the house that we both own but I no longer live in…but there is the chance that he completely lies and gets out of paying me anything. I also do want to financially take care of myself and children but I don’t even know where to start. My main priority has always been investing in the kids and their mental and emotional needs. Maybe this needs to change…Thank you.