The Stay-At-Home Mom Midlife Crisis
You mean I have to do something else now?
I've been in my pajamas all morning. They double as yoga pants. It's how I roll most mornings.
One thing I have learned this summer is that mornings are good for nothing . Please do not ask me to do anything that requires anything before 10 AM because it is seriously like mobilizing a revolution to get out of the house before then.
There's a reason for this. We have a routine, believe it or not. We get up, we come downstairs, Lola requires breakfast immediately after she rolls out of bed. I brush my son's teeth and give him his water and breakfast while I drink coffee, blog snoop, and catch up on emails.
I really don't want to change this way of life when my son starts full day kindergarten in a month and begins his school day at frickin' 7:40 in the morning! (Why? Why is 7:40 AM necessary at all?)
Things are going to have to change. All kinds of things.
I've been a loosely based stay-at-home mom for the past four years. I say "loosely based" because I did work from home for about six months, which proved to be super chaotic and ridiculous, believe it or not. So I made child and husband rearing (Husband rearing? I'm not touching that one) my full time job.
love staying home with the kids. Of course, I have my typical stay-at-home mom problems like having to do the dishes every day, never completely finishing the laundry, sticky substances everywhere, and daily stand offs and meltdowns from a certain three-year-old bossy pants that lives here. I make dinner every night and do football practice runs. It's all very suburban.
But the time has come. I'm thinking....of...going...I'll just say it really fast...backtowork.
I'm just thinking about it right now. My soon to be five-year-old is starting full day kindergarten in a month at that magical 7:40 AM start time. And I've noticed that Lola really needs something more. She loves going to the gym child watch, she loves being around other kids and she's soaking up learning right now. I think she might need a little classroom time a few days a week.
So what happens to mom? You mean I can't just have alone time and go shopping and lunch with friends, and get my nails done, and nap? No? What do you mean I'm not a Real Housewife of Orange County?
That all sounds fun for, like, a day. But I've been toying with the idea of maaaaaybe getting a part time job. I really don't know what that will look like and the idea of getting out of the house and having conversations with adults is exciting. But it's also scary.
I mean, I have this degree that should maybe get some use again someday. And I think I know how to write a resume, but are resumes even sent anymore? I feel like I don't even know how to apply for a job. And what do I even want to do? Do I want responsibility? Or do I want to go work somewhere with zero attachment and commitment in case I have to stay home with a sick child?
I'm already not awesome at keeping the house tidy and clean. So what will happen if I work? Husband offers to help and that's cute and all but, seriously, the pots and pans don't wash themselves. So will working outside of the home and still having responsibilities inside the home be even more work? (The answer is always yes.)
The extra money is always, always, ALWAYS welcome. But if we have extra money will we spend extra money? If I'm totally honest with you, which I always will be, we make the least amount collectively that we've ever made between us in the time of our relationship and we're doing the best we've ever done. How does that even make sense? And can we still hold true to that if we're bringing in more? Or will we get super excited about extra money and become Spendy McGhee's.
And what if I apply and they don't want me? I've been out of the work force. There was no advancement or promotion in Stay-At-Home-Mom-Land. Do all my accomplishments on Pinterest count? Because if so, I'm totally in. Jeez, what happened to all the job confidence I had in my twenties?
But the kids...should I stay home full time just a little bit longer so I can soak up the last year or so before Lola goes off to kindergarten? Should I rush this? She is my baby. My last one. And what if my son has a medical crisis and I have to quit anyway and we're already used to the extra income?
And for holidays and breaks, who watches the kids when they're out of school? Not just anyone can watch my son who has special needs. There is no "drop in" place for him and I'm not sure I'd utilize one if it existed.
This is what a friend of mine referred to as The Stay-At-Home Mom Midlife Crisis.
We're not by any means considered "midlife" (at least I hope not) but "midlife" is indicative of transition. It fits.
It's when the kids are finally going to school and you don't know what to do with yourself and there's all this pressure to find something and explain your existence. The questions start coming from well meaning individuals: So what are you going to do now that the kids are in school?
Oh, so, you mean I have to do something different? Well, I guess so since there are no kids here to take care of anymore.
It is hard to transition out of taking care of your family, yoga pants routines, and pretty much creating your own schedule to answering to someone else and having to be somewhere at a certain time every day. I mean, I guess it's not that hard in terms of true difficulty. But changing your whole way of thinking and doing is what's happening here.
What I need is something super flexible that will basically pay me to be on Facebook and Pinterest and gossip with co-workers but also pays me when I have to be home with the kids or when I want to take a trip to Mexico. That job totally exists and will be super easy to land. I just know it.
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