What to do When the Kids are in School

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My friend’s youngest kid was entering Jr. High and her adult siblings began giving her grief. They kept asking:

mom-activities-kids-in-schoolWhy aren’t you finding a job?
What are you DOing all day?
How do you justify staying home?

Her answer:

If I were to go out and get a part time job (during school hours) then still had all the crazy running around once they’re out of school each day… ?
When exactly would I get the laundry done, the groceries shopped, and the broccoli chopped? Who would clean the house, water the garden and find time to make cupcakes for scouts? I pick up the kids from school and then zoom off in 3 different directions for after school events, often leaving again after dinner, not getting home til 10PM.

She argued she was saving money staying home, as they would need to eat out more, pay for household services and save less on things like cutting coupons and shopping sales. Soon her family fostered and then adopted 2 younger children. And I’m quite certain her sisters didn’t ask any more questions!

Last year was my first year firmly planted in the mom-world of big kiddos. And I started getting those same questions. Wow, what are you going to do now? The thing is, I’m still doing all the things I’ve already been doing for years. I just have a little bit more time to do more of those same things.

Get Fit. Bumper sticker: “A Fit Mom is a Powerful Mom”. I totally agree. Join a running club, find a walking/hiking partner or start attending a gym. Set meaningful goals for yourself. Be realistic and work towards your new powerful self!

Foster Care really is a fabulous idea for a family with older kids. There are several ways to get involved, not just full time care! There’s respite care and short term care and they always need clothing and baby supplies. Check your local Foster Care Foundation to learn more.

Another great way to keep your SAHM cap on, is through any number of multiple volunteer organizations. Get creative! What do you love? Help at school, become a reader, find a women’s shelter or teen support program, check out your church’s services. Often these organizations only need a few hours of your time once a week or once a month.

Is there a special cause or campaign that speaks to you on a personal/family level? Maybe you can get involved in a grass roots advocacy. My husband is a Type I Diabetic and each year we find different ways to get involved with the annual Walk a Thon. Get your whole family involved!

Have you ever wanted to create your own business or write a novel? What better time? Social Media is a fabulous way to get out there and market yourself. Start making money from your hobbies. (Basically for free.) There are various ecommerce options for a mom with a ‘puter. Get organized and set aside time each day, use a blog format or even the notes section of your Facebook account.

Knowing you must get the mom tasks done each day, and knowing after school the focus will be on the chaos of your family: What types of things will start making sense for you as a mom with older children in school? What will add to your family values without taking more Mom time away than you can handle?

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