Initially, it sounds like a dream come true…
All of your kids are finally in school. You’re FREE! You have the entire house to yourself for nearly eight whole hours. You can do whatever you’d like – take a morning yoga class, relax with a hot cup of coffee and a nice homemade breakfast, catch up on your soap operas, maybe finally organize those closets that have been bugging you for the last decade, take some time to meditate or simply go to Target by yourself. And in my case, write blog posts and try to build a business from home.
After having worked third shift for more than ten years with newborns to breastfeed, naptimes and mealtimes to navigate, and errands to run while trying to manage multiple kiddos, I was more than ready for the peace and quiet! I had visions of helping out at the kids’ school, going on field trips, lunching with friends all while building a successful home-based business.
Then, reality set in. And honestly, a good portion of the day went as I expected, and was damn near heavenly if I do say so myself.
Exercising and coming home to a hot cup of coffee and homemade breakfast? AMAZING!
Running errands without kids melting down or nagging me to buy them something? SPECTACULAR!
Watching a little Days of Our Lives without having to pause it every thirty seconds to answer a question or break up a fight? UNBELIEVABLE!
As for the rest of my plans?
Organizing? Truthfully, my home is pretty organized already. And those areas that are bugging me (Yes, even organized people have junk drawers!), never bugged me enough to waste a day of my precious time. I’d much rather wait and make one of the kids do it.
Field trips with the kids? This was a big one. I had always wanted to be able to chaperone a field trip, and never had the chance since I always had a little one at home to worry about. I was able to go on two, one with each of my littlest. And what did I learn? I learned that while I loved spending time with my kiddo, I was annoyed by many other children. My hat truly goes off to those that take care of other people’s kids and take joy in it. I could not do it. There are moments I can barely stand my own kids, and I love them.
Helping out in the classroom? Obviously, I never got that far based on my field trip experiences. Clearly, I will never be the Pinterest mom bringing poop emoji cupcakes (peanut free, gluten free, dairy free, and soy free of course) to school for all her kid’s classmates.
Lunching with friends? Turns out most people work during the day, go figure! And those that stay at home typically still have littles and are only getting together with other moms of littles. Unfortunately, it seems much of the mommy support in existence leaves once all the kids are in school. Or maybe it’s just that we don’t reach out to one another anymore. We’ve suddenly lost that thing that links us together, and we no longer want to put in the effort.
As for my home-based business? I truly enjoy writing and sharing blog posts, and I love to get feedback from people whose lives I’ve touched. However, I found that in order to promote myself, I needed to spend a lot of time on social media. I really wanted to strike a balance between sharing but not annoying anyone. I wanted to keep things light and hopefully help others in the process. But, as the social media environment became divided and often hostile, I found myself getting angry and depressed as I scrolled through my newsfeed. I needed to get away.
I chose to once again take on a full-time job for many reasons. Money, of course, was one of them. But mostly, I missed human interaction. I missed the day-to-day banter with coworkers, the feeling of waking up with a purpose beyond motherhood, and getting positive recognition without feeling like you’re begging for it.
Over the course of the last thirteen plus years, I feel like I’ve done it all. I’ve worked part-time and been a stay-at-home mom from one kid to four kids. I’ve worked from home with one kid, then four kids (summer), then no kids. And now I’ve had a taste of what it’s like to work full-time with four kids in school. Truthfully, none of it is easy. Every which way you slice it, there are drawbacks. It is so easy to judge other moms on their career choices, but really all of it is hard. We have to choose the path that is most right for us and our family. I believe I have done that. Kudos to every mom out there that is doing it their own way for their family.