Is WOTHM the proper acronym for a working parent these days? I have always fit an acronym and now I am not sure I have the correct one. Oh well, I don't need an acronym.
If you have been following this blog since inception, you know it started as a little hobby and turned into a business. Hence, I went from SAHM to WAHM. It was perfect for my family. I have always been driven to work and the extra income has been nice. [And, I am not trying to start a debate here like being a SAHM is not work so don't even go there - I'm perfectly aware of all that it entails. I use the term "work" to mean I do a job and make an income from that job and have to pay taxes - that's how I am using the word work.] Now that I have that out of the way - I have always wanted to work and have created situations for me to work while I was home with my children. I have tutored for years in the evenings, on Sundays. I have done some freelance web stuff. I have taught college courses part time. Heck, in NC some of my friends paid me to make bread dough for them! Now, starting tomorrow, it's getting real. I will have an office, at a company, doing a job. A W-2 people.
When I was younger, I dreamed of my cute little family that I now have. We have an adorable yellow house with a fence and swingset with 2 dogs frolicking around and my kids creating memories on their bikes on our street. It's pretty freakin' fantastic and my husband and I are very lucky. We came from different perspectives though. Growing up, my mother stayed home with us and although when I (the youngest) got older, she did have part-time jobs, her primary job was us and our home. She claims that I complained that I wanted to go to camp "like all of the other kids" instead of the swim club with her every day in the summer but I look back on it like I was the most fortunate person to have my mother there at all times. My husband's parents both worked and my husband had after school care and babysitters. Both of us turned out swell. When we got married, I just knew I wanted to be just like my mom and stay home with the kids. Soon after being home with my infant son, it became evident to me that the idea of being a SAHM was and is something I want but the actual life as a SAHM was not what I needed. I want to want to stay home. Does that make sense? I know people that parent successfully in all different fashions and I thought being a SAHM would be for me, but it never was. Don't get my wrong - I wasn't unhappy, something just wasn't right. So, I started creating jobs for myself and I have lived 6.5 years in a balancing act trying to fulfill all of little check boxes on a list of things that I think are going to make me truly happy. And, for 6.5 years, it has been dandy.
For 6.5 years I have enjoyed creating a business and watching it grow while making play doh hamburgers in our PJs on a Tuesday afternoon. I have reveled in the hikes through parks all over here and in NC (our previous home) and many morning play dates while scheduling tutoring clients for weekends and evenings. I have caught every moment on video or in pictures of preschool field trips, three day weekends, weekday trips to museums just because we could, morning story time, coffee shop meetings with a client and my daughter (and her toy horses), afternoon music class and all of those gifts that I was given in the 6.5 years I have spent as a SAHM/WAHM. It has been amazing and a gift. I wanted that time with my children and I was able to do it because of my husband and his hard work and acknowledgement that it was very important to me. But today, I am typing this knowing that this part of my life is over. It's not that I mourn it, but it is sad. I will miss it like I miss any other phase in my life that has come and gone. But I need change - there's a part of me that needs to thrive that has been hampered. I'm just not built to live this phase for any longer and to stay at home just because of that idea I have, that I should want to stay home, that it should be perfect for me -that's a disservice to my family. I truly think that going back to work will bring a balance that will make me a better mom because the career goals I have for myself, I can check that box on my happiness to-do list and see if there are any new boxes I need to create. I start a full-time job tomorrow with Integrated Media Corp managing one of their publications - be excited, you'll love it!
SAHM to WAHM to....next chapter. Don't worry about LouFamFun. This blog you frequent isn't going to change a bit. If you haven't noticed - it's a team effort and that trusted team wants what's best for this website and our readers. To my husband, thank you and you can start another income line item in the family spreadsheet like you've dreamed for the past few years. And, to my kids - yes, we'll still go to the zoo and on long hikes, just on the weekends :)