I’m starting to hear the occasional comment from people I know asking how I’m going to cope next year when my youngest hits kindergarten. Somehow, even some of the people who know I work from home can’t imagine that I’ll know what to do when I no longer have a small child in the house all day.
I know exactly what I’ll do. I’ll keep working from home, just with more time to work during the day. Sounds awesome to me.
I think this comes from people assuming that my day must center around the kids and only the kids. It’s how a lot of people view stay at home moms. And maybe that’s true for some, but it isn’t true for all stay at home moms. Lots of moms keep that balance where they maintain their own interests, even their careers, while being home with the kids.
That’s what I’ll be doing when my youngest goes to kindergarten next fall. I’ll be taking advantage of the time she’s in school to work on improving my income.
This is why I think it’s important for at home moms to keep up with their own interests. You’re still a person, and you’re a more interesting mom if you’re an interesting person aside from being a mom. Being mom is just one part of your life – a huge, vitally important part of your life few moms would care to part with, but nonetheless, only one part of your life.
My preference is to earn money because it can become so important to your life if things go wrong. My income was vital when my husband was laid off. Even now it’s pretty important – my husband works for the state, and despite what some people think, most state employees don’t earn all that spectacular an income. Things get pretty tight at times, mostly due to old credit card debts we’re steadily paying down – remnants of tighter times. It would take even longer if I didn’t work from home.
But if working from home isn’t your thing, if you feel that secure from the death, divorce, disability or unemployment of whoever earns the income in your family, keep up with some other interest of your own. You’ll feel better and more relaxed when you take a bit of time here and there to be you, not just Mom.
How much time you need is up to you. It depends on your needs and your family’s needs. Some need more, some need less. But even if you have a special needs child who takes up large amounts of time out of sheer necessity, find a way to have some time for yourself, even if it’s only when your kids are asleep.
My point is that you shouldn’t ever have to wonder what you’ll do with yourself as your children move on through different parts of their lives. Be their mom, be there for them, but be there for yourself too.