Friday, August 10, 2012

I was visiting looking for some old information and thought I might make an addition to this ghost town of a blog....

Next week school will be starting up again and at the same time an era of my life will be ending.  My youngest, Cyrus, starts kindergarten and for the first time in 19 years I will not have a young child or baby at home to take care of.  This feels significant to me.  Almost as much as getting married or becoming a parent was.  As a SAHM I strongly identify myself as a caregiver of children, and now I will have 7 hours a day when I am not providing care for any children.  What does this mean as far as my perception of myself?  What choices should I make with that time?

I always figured that at some point I would have a career.  An actual fulfilling career, not just a job like my previous jobs all were.  But, what?  The option that appeals to me most right now is Child Life Specialist.  I first became aware of this option during undergrad, back when the field was still pretty young and the requirements less strict for certification.  They have gotten strict enough now that I would need additional education and an internship in a qualified program.  Unfortunately, the nearest opportunity to do so is quite a commute from here.  I've decided I need to stick around for my family too much for that option right now. 

The funny thing is, I don't think its going to feel like I suddenly have a windfall of time.  Although Cyrus has still been at home with me, its not like he's taken a huge amount of time to care for anymore.  I'd spend an hour to an 1 1/2 hrs each day doing preschool with him, and make him lunches and snacks, but pretty much the rest of the time he was self entertaining, playing with a playdate or hanging out helping me do my stuff. (That kid vacuums better than any of my other kids.)  I remember when it seemed like all I did was nurse, change diapers and laundry.  And it doesn't seem like it was very long ago.  All those Grandma's in the stores were right about enjoying it while I could because it "goes by so fast."

Friends have advised me to not jump into anything new right away.  To take some time for myself after so many years of always being on call for someone else.  That seems like reasonable advice.  Of course, my plannning side just can't leave it at that.  So, I'm reaching out to another aspect of my self identity: a homemaker.  I've made a plan to focus on 4 things this coming school year while the kids are in school:
1.  I am going to update 72 hr kits, food storage and otherwise get our family more prepared for an emergency. 
2.  I'm going to downsize and organize and simplify. 
3.  I am going to update and paint the house.  We will have room changing around when my son leaves for his mission and now that we are finally past the drawing on walls stage (knock on wood) its time.  I'm also hoping we can remodel my kitchen after Christmas.
4.  Create.  I want to finish the swing dress I cut out and other wise spend more time creating.

That all should keep me plenty busy, although the busiest time will happen once the kids start coming home.  We will have band, cross country, piano lessons, gymnastics and YW this fall and will be running a pretty tight schedule. Plus getting my son ready for his mission.  Which is why I'm also planning on fitting in a half hour nap after lunch every day.  Holy luxury!