This is a question I've just begun to ponder. First, some happen news that relates to my pondering: we're expecting a new baby in March! We're pretty excited, even though we expect to be pretty tired with three under four. (Though, honestly, I don't know if newborn tired really beats early pregnancy tired - ick.) But, it means that I have, theoretically, at least six more years of full-time child care ahead of me, before our youngest is in school.
So what happens after that? Assuming, of course, that there aren't more kiddoes by that point. I'm beginning to realize that going back to a 40-hour-a-week job isn't that appealing to me. I've been trying to figure out why that is, and what exactly it is I want to do instead.
Part of the reason - a big part - is that I want to be available to my kids should they need me, even though they'll be in school. If they're sick, I want to be able to come and pick them up. When I was in school, my parents both worked or went to school, but a lot of their work was from home, and we knew we could always get a hold of them if we needed to, which was very reassuring. Also, one of them was always home when we got home, which really made home home.
I'm not really pondering doing no work, but I'm beginning to think about doing something from home or with flexible hours, for the purpose of being available to my kids, and being home when they get home.
Then there's the second reason that a traditional 40-hour-a-week job doesn't sound attractive: because what I really want to do for money is to write. Preferably novels, but I like doing freelance articles too (and they're easier to get published).
So my current plan is to take these next six years as a time to slowly (during kids' naps, in the morning before they get up) write and submit and write and submit and work on becoming successful enough in my chosen field that when the kids go to school, I can legitimately take the extra time to write, knowing that I have the ability to make (at least a part-time) living from it.
At least, that's the plan I've come up with as I've tossing the title question around in my head. It also seems to have in its favor the fact that if working at it an hour or two a day for six years finds me largely unsuccessful, well, I'll know I need another plan. Seriously, being a SAHM seems an almost perfect proving ground for a writer. If I can do that while doing this, it means that I really want it. (And any success in the meantime sure helps the family budget. Though I took the profits from the articles I sold so far and used them to buy MS Word - the better to write and sell more articles, my dear.)
Of course, I'm sure that my plan isn't the only one out there, and I'm guessing there are other SAHM's out there looking at the same question. What's your take on the question? What are your ideas, your plans, your dreams? Are there things you're doing now to prepare for when the kids are gone for larger amounts of time? I bet there are a lot of people whose answer is: "I'm going to homeschool", but even then, what happens when they go off to college? Are you planning on taking some extra classes yourself while you teach your kids? Anyone gunning for a part-time masters degree?
Since I've only recently started thinking about this, I'm really interested in what other people think. In fact, if you have some great thoughts and want to write a guest blog, just let me know. :) Or just fill up the comments with great idea. :)
Thanks for your input!
peace of Christ to you,