I’m a stay at home mom. In fact, I’m a homeschooling stay at home mom. But there’s a deadline with that. My youngest will graduate from high school at the end of next year.
“What will you do?” “What will you do with all your time?” “Will you go back to work?”
These are the questions that people have begun asking me. These are indeed the questions I’ve begun asking myself. Along with the questions: “What am I doing now?” “What already takes up my time?” and most importantly… “Just because I don’t leave the house to garner a paycheck, does it mean that I”m not working?” (Honestly, sometimes I think that my husband, even though he knows better, believes that I sit around all day long reading tabloid magazines, soaking my feet in perfumed water, taking naps and nibbling bon bons. In other words, doing nothing.)
Which is the furthest thing from the truth.
Because I seem to have a problem sitting and doing nothing. Really. I have lists, you know. I even have lists of lists. I’m always doing something. I mean, even when I’m not doing anything, I’m doing something. For instance, when I recently watched a marathon of The Newsroom (which I frugally Tivo’ed during a free preview weekend), I clipped and organized coupons. Organized my oldest son’s graduation photos on my computer. Went over the budget and the bills. Plowed through my stack of magazines. Folded and ironed clothes.
And that’s just when I was doing nothing.
So I’m wondering how it is that I’ll turn that… nothing, into… something.
I already work. How come doing laundry, homeschooling, shopping, cooking, cleaning, gardening, home maintenance, sewing, organizing anything and everything, reading news and literature, brushing and bathing the dogs, weeding the flowerbeds, refilling the birdseed in the bird-feeder, clipping coupons, taking care of correspondence, and so much more isn’t considered work? Or, at the very least, the “right kind” of work?
This is what I”m wondering as I transition into this new phase of my life. Now please don’t get me wrong: I have no doubt that there are many, many women out there that work outside of the home, and then return to it, and work all over again. My hat is off to them! I don’t think that I could have done it very well. But then again, I hear all the time that Mrs. X could never have homeschooled her children.
We all do what we are called to do, or have to do, I guess.
And I do know, very much so, that we have been blessed beyond measure that not only have I been able to homeschool, but that I’ve been able to stay at home with my kids in order to homeschool. However, we have sacrificed numerous things so that I could stay home. My husband is still driving the same beat-up 16 year old truck that he’s been driving for 12 years. Vacations that haven’t involved our pop-up camper or a family event like a wedding or graduation have been few and far between. We eat out – using a Groupon discount – maybe once or twice every couple months. We go to the movies only a few times a year. I finally broke down and bought a new pair of running shoes after using the same pair for over 3 years. I more often than not buy “gently used” clothes from a resale shop. Well, you get the idea – we’re not rolling in the dough, but we are taking care of our most basic needs.
So it will be good for our retirement account when I’m not just a homeschooling stay-at-home mom anymore.
When I’m working at “real” work.
But I don’t exactly know how I feel about that.
Excited? Maybe, but not really.
I’d still like to find something I can do that allows me to “stay home.” I stayed home originally because I like my kids. (That, and the school system where we live truly and completely sucks.) But now I find that I’d like to stay home, well… because I really like my home.
Is that really so wrong?