The Kids Are Back At School, Now What?

People aren’t usually forward enough to ask what I do when my oldest goes to school while my youngest is still at home. But they do often ask what my plan is when the kids are both in school full time. And the response in my head goes something like this:

“I dunno; sit around, eat bon-bons and watch BRAVO all day.”

While that may seem a little aggressive, I get tired of fielding the same question. I understand 99% of the time this question is just a way for anyone with a job to make conversation with me. However, I can’t help but feel like I have to defend my choice to be a stay at home mom while my kids-gasp!-aren’t always home. Maybe I’ll actually get to clean my house and then sit down, WHILE IT’S STILL CLEAN. Maybe I will drink hot coffee out of a REAL MUG! Maybe I will work out more than 2.5 times a week. Maybe if I’m feeling really naughty, I might even …dare I say it?… nap!

All kidding aside, those are things I will do when my kids are at school and I’m home. Just like a corporate job that sends you out of town, puts you up in a hotel and pays for you to eat out every meal, you don’t snub the opportunities that come with your day job. I don’t know anyone who would say “That’s alright, I’ll just stay in the Motel 6 and eat McDonalds and PB&J’s this trip.” Since my “job” allows me to watch Dr. Phil in the middle of the day, occasionally take a nap and drink coffee while it’s still hot, why wouldn’t I do that?

I often wonder if I will change my mind after a year or so of both kids being in school full time. Will I find being a stay at home mom as rewarding when I’m doing a lot less, well, mom-ing throughout the day?

That is a possibility I am conscious of. I am also aware of how privileged my position is. I do not have to work in order to make ends meet and I feel a sense of responsibility to make the most of my privilege. As a former teacher, I enjoy helping out at my son’s school. I’ve put in some serious work at our church. I’m not at the point where I’d like to be PTA president but I have spent quite a bit of time in the elementary school work room. I understand that as a non-working parent I am responsible for helping out as much as I can. Trunk or Treat and Book Fair don’t run themselves.

My dream “job” is volunteering at a place that fulfills me and right now that place is my home.

A part of me looks forward to the day when my second kiddo is in school full time. Maybe then I can be a more consistent volunteer in a more permanent situation. But then again, maybe not. Maybe when the kids are both in school, I’ll just go get a pedicure and run “errands” all day. Either way, I’m keeping plenty busy.


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