or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Stay at Home Parents › What is your plan for when all your children are in school?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

What is your plan for when all your children are in school?

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 

If you're not planning to homeschool, of course winky.gif.  My youngest will be starting kindergarten in August (Illinois, so full day) and I'm kind of paralyzed thinking about my future.  That will be 7 hours with no children to play with, care for, feed, etc.  Do I go back to work?  Can I even get a job since I haven't been in my field since 2002?  Do I volunteer?  Do I go to the gym every day and get super buff ROTFLMAO.gif?!  What is your plan?  And if you've already passed the point where all your children are in school, what did you do, how did you make the decision, and do you wish you'd done anything differently?  The most important thing to me is being at home when they get out of school, so that rules out a "career" type job...  Ack!  I'm just feeling lost.

post #2 of 38

My youngest started school this year.  While I certainly have more free-time than I had in prior years, you may be shocked to learn how much time having a child in school uses up.  For our family, that includes the driving to and from school, packing lunches and cleaning the lunch boxes, volunteering in the classroom, attending class parties and events, making sure the kids have everything they need for school (clean uniforms, supplies, random weird stuff the teacher requests), half days of school, and sick days.  Plus once I leave to pick up the kids, my afternoon until late that night is completely taken up with homework, after school activities, checking their backpacks and signing their planners, preparing dinner, dishes, reading and bedtime routines, washing thermoses, etc.  It's kind of crazy how much time I spend with nothing tangible to show for it (the whole "Groundhog's Day" going on).

 

I do work part-time and volunteer, both at school and in the community.  

post #3 of 38

My line of work involves me being a freelancer, so it's a little different for me, I guess.  I've been doing a VERY small amount of freelancing while staying at home with my girls (a few hours a week), in an attempt to keep enough of my career going that when they get to be school-age (still pretty far away for me) I can move back towards something like full-time... maybe 25-30 hours a week or so. That's the plan right now... we'll see how it goes once my 7-month-old gets to kindergarten.  (Wait, she's going to be a kindergartener?  I'm not sure I'm ready for that!)

post #4 of 38

I have an only child who started first grade last fall, and right now I SAH.  It's important for me to be able to take him to and from school, so full time work is out for me too.  I was signed up for a teacher cert. program, but backed out because of the time commitment.  Honestly, that was a great decision.  I volunteer at my local food coop about 5 hours per week(split between 2 mornings), One morning a week I volunteer in my son's classroom, and I also help out in the library one afternoon a week.  I scour the thrift shops in my "spare" time to find really great quality clothes and items for the family, which makes it possible for me to stay home.  I also cook most of the meals, and try to have something ready every night. I organize and clean the house, because I like it clean...and we have a lot of pets.  My sister just moved here, and I spent the months since September getting her house ready for her (painting, repairs, etc.).  She is partially disabled, so now some of my time will be spent helping her out...shoveling the walk, doing minor work on the home, helping with groceries, etc.  My afternoons/evenings are basically just like a pp mentioned.  My son has homework, piano, taekwondo, etc...so we always have something to do.

 

In a few years when he is older and such, I will probably work at least part time.  Right now it is working great for our family for me to stay at home.  My DH loves that we have healthy meals everyday, and so do I.  We have a special diet (I eat paleo, and we all have food allergies), so it's especially important that we eat well.  I just love having the time to improve our quality of life...sounds kind of weird, but it is working great for us. 

post #5 of 38

I only have one child (and am really hoping to keep it that way) who is 13 months old.  I am going back to school starting this summer for a nursing degree, and plan to have it completed by the time ds begins kindergarten, at which point I will be ready to begin my new career.  I love working and am very exited!

post #6 of 38

I have one, presently he's in preschool 5 mornings per week, and I do use that time to go to the gym (LU-HUV IT!!!)  I left my job in October and as much as I love the gym, I do miss the day-to-day chatter and camaraderie of the office and I miss the better-defined "time off."  When I was working just weekends I had a better sense of "whoa, I'm so lucky to have this life, that I get M-F free" but now that I have Sun thru Sat free, I feel like I'm not cherishing it enough, I so easily started to take it for granted.  In the end I could see it going either way, either I get involved with the school and activities, or I get a low-stress PT job.

post #7 of 38

I definitely plan on going to work part-time.  I would be ok with my kids going to after-school care a couple times a week.  I can't wait to get back to working!!  When my oldest turned 3 I finally finished my degree and haven't worked in that field yet, so I'm excited to start down the career path.  I really miss adult conversation and using my brain to do things that are not kid-related.

post #8 of 38

My youngest will start school in a year and a half (not that I'm counting)Sheepish.gif. I am really hoping to go back to school and get my degree.

post #9 of 38

All of my kids are in school now (though, my youngest is about to turn 4, and is in a 5-day a week half-day Montessori program).  Next year he'll go all day, which will make my job as a full-time student even easier.  So, that's what I'm doing; going back to school to finish a degree... with plans to continue on to grad school.  I imagine I'll have a good career in about 5 years - when I'm 36 years old.  After being a SAHM with four kids for a decade, it's nice to do something for me.  :)

post #10 of 38

I'm just getting back into going back to school for myself this semester and once my littlest go into kindergarten (they are almost 4 now) I will have maybe a year or so left of full time school, then I'll hopefully begin my new career once I graduate.  I honestly didn't have much of a career before I started staying home (did accounts payable for an O&G company) and have tried to find work since then but after more than a few years out of the field I believe I'm considered to be slightly washed up LOL.  The main reason I will be going back to work is that we're sort of stretching it for me to be a SAHM but if we didn't financially need it, I'd probably stay home while they were in school.

 

I do the gym thing with the kiddos now, they love the kid care and I like the quiet exercise time.  I could definitely see how you could fill up your days as a schooler SAHM because I watch my neighbor trot off to the school each morning to volunteer for this or that (she has 2 in elementary and 1 in JH).   She stays very busy and enjoys having a part in all of the activities.

post #11 of 38

Once all the kids are in school, I'll get a PT low stress job and go back to school, probably part time online. It will be important to me to be home when the kids get home and to be available to them during the day should they need me. The plan is that once I finish my degree (in goodness only knows what...) the kids will all be old enough to not need me immediately after school so I can start a career path. Course, since #3 isn't even born yet, this is all pretty hypothetical and subject to change!!

post #12 of 38

I want to go back to work. I really miss working, and I get worried that so much time out of the job market will make it hard for me to go back.  I started a Master's program, which I'm doing very part time right now, and I hope that will help.  I want to have 2-3 more children and stay at home with them at least until preschool, so I will be at home for a while longer.  But I am so looking forward to getting back to work!

post #13 of 38

When all of my children are finally in school, I'm going to leisurely drink morning coffee..... I'm going to go to the bathroom without anyone fighting the minute my derriere hits the seat..... I'm going to exercise regularly because I will actually be able to take a shower afterward.  If I'm still looking anywhere on the internet, I will be able to post something without being interrupted and having my train of thought blown.

 

I will be able to find ME again.  I will read a book that actually might have content, that isn't a board book or has to do with dinosaurs.  I'll start to listen to music again, after a period of sitting and enjoying complete silence.  I'll get outside and go into the garden and get my hands dirty for hours..... pull weeds, prune, even just sit and look around.  I may even be able to finally go through and organize my house.  Get rid of enough junk in the garage to pull out my painting stuff and paint again.  

 

Of course, right now, that is my plan, which feels more like a fantasy.  It won't happen for 3 more years.......  

post #14 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by FAmom View Post

When all of my children are finally in school, I'm going to leisurely drink morning coffee..... I'm going to go to the bathroom without anyone fighting the minute my derriere hits the seat..... I'm going to exercise regularly because I will actually be able to take a shower afterward.  If I'm still looking anywhere on the internet, I will be able to post something without being interrupted and having my train of thought blown.

 

I will be able to find ME again.  I will read a book that actually might have content, that isn't a board book or has to do with dinosaurs.  I'll start to listen to music again, after a period of sitting and enjoying complete silence.  I'll get outside and go into the garden and get my hands dirty for hours..... pull weeds, prune, even just sit and look around.  I may even be able to finally go through and organize my house.  Get rid of enough junk in the garage to pull out my painting stuff and paint again.  

 

Of course, right now, that is my plan, which feels more like a fantasy.  It won't happen for 3 more years.......  

WELL SAID!!!clap.gif

It's not fantasy mama! It will happen! (although, feels like just a memory since my kids have been home all week with the flu!)

post #15 of 38

Yes FAmom!!!!!! Me too!!

 

My youngest started pre-school this year, 3 days a week for 3 hours a day. I was panicking at first, thinking what am I going to do the 3 hours?!?!? OMG, I love it! Now I'm counting down the time until he's in full-time school. 

 

Now, I'm not saying that is how it will be forever, but I do definitely plan on spending time with myself for a couple of years. If I get bored, then I'll re-assess. 

post #16 of 38

Nice to see this thread, as I am trying to figure it out too. Youngest is in school < 3 hrs three days a week now, and will be in for 3.5 hours 5 days a week next year. I used to think I would jump right back into the work force, but am finding the time I do have with DS more precious since he's been away at school for 6.5 hours per day and feeling the time slip by faster than I used to. And the last couple years have been super fun. So now, just when we were planning on getting my income back I am stalling. I definitely want a career/ professional identity back, but am less in a hurry about it then I thought I'd be now that I have the SAHM thing down.

 

Options I am tossing around now:

grad school/ retrain for new career

preschool teacher (puts me working less hours than my kids are in school so I can still regroup/ exercise/ volunteer and have summers off)

get knocked up and start all over so I don't have to figure it out for 6 more years

attempt to break into freelance writing

reopen home daycare very part time

pull the kids out of public school and try homeschooling

 

post #17 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtbuko View Post


get knocked up and start all over so I don't have to figure it out for 6 more years



 This is what I've been trying to do!  biglaugh.gif

post #18 of 38

Well, we homeschool, but I'm finally getting to the point of not having a *baby* around.  I have *kids* now.  I am finding that I now have some time to explore things I'd like to do, and actually have time while my kids are doing their schoolwork, playing together, playing with friends, etc.  I ordered my first cheese making supplies to try my hand at that.  We raise bees and I'd like to start actually using the beeswax!  Oh, the possibilities are endless!!  My garden should rock this year, and I should be able to concentrate on finally getting a website up about our rabbits (I've been asked and asked and asked where my webpage is.....).

post #19 of 38

I have three kids:  one in 3rd grade, two in 2nd.  I too went through the zOMG MUST HAVE BABY I ONLY KNOW HOW TO DO THAT!!! freakout when the boys went into 1st grade.  (Perhaps I felt that even more intensely because all those year of 3 kids in less than 2 years lead to a very intense young parenting experience)  A very very VERY wise friend of mine urged me to sit on that for a year.  I'm so glad I did so--if I'd been pregnant while adjusting to my kids being away all day at the same time, I would have been a mess, and would have really stressed my partner AND my kids out, not to mention making a pretty major decision while in a full fledge fear reaction.  Dunno about you, but I have never made the best decision when I was totally reactive and in panic mode.

 

However.  As a BTDT, you will not believe this but I can't stress to you enough about how little free time you have even if you SAH with kids in school (I do, and don't at this point have any desire or need to go back to paid employment under someone else), esp. if you get involved with their education (something I highly recommend).  I find i have to zealously guard my time in order to have SOME time at home and for ME--otherwise literally I would be going/doing for someone else every minute of the day.  In many respects I feel I am far busier now than I ever was when I had 3 kids under the age of 2 in my home, or three preschoolers.

 

As far a personal long range plan--I love pottery and clay sculpture and plan on persuing that more (in fact, am doing so currently).  If I sell some works here and there, great.  It's kind of odd, I always thought of myself as a writer (and I enjoy that too) but now I see myself more of a clay artist.  Very slowly I am setting up a home studio as time permits me to work on it (I have access to a lot of open studio time elsewhere).  But I also *like* being a homemaker.  I am more of a homemaker now than I ever was as a mother of very young children, which is how it should be IMO.  When your children are very young you should really concentrate on them.  Now I have time to actually do stuff around the house without A) my horde instantly destroying it, I get to enjoy it for a few hours, and B) feeling guilty about the time it takes away from my partner and kids and C) feeling cranky and powerless as I never accomplished anything because of the previous two things.

 

Of course, I was content with my life before kids.  I accomplished everything I wanted to academically, so the thought of going back to school is just yuck to me.  I would want to take a bunch of remedial stuff (I graduated with my degree in 96, I don't remember anything from calculus or physics or stuff like that) why?  The thought of grad school gives me the willies.  I am smart, but Academia just ain't my thing.  I hate cubicle employment.  I really enjoyed corrections and working with homeless folks, but I can have more fun (and only marginally less pay, ha ha) as a volunteer working with my folks.  Once i am done with some school (my kids school) obligations I may persue some wildlife rehabilitation work (first as a volunteer, maybe professionally later, if it's not too much of a bother).

 

I can see how this lifestyle might not appeal to everyone, but I've always been kind of a weird person so...it works for me.  :)

post #20 of 38

Hey Tigerchild, Thanks for the post. It is a good perspective for me to consider!

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Stay at Home Parents
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Stay at Home Parents › What is your plan for when all your children are in school?