I have a life before kids - it involved frequent travels, extended trips, lots of dining out, going to parties, lots of shopping - well, most of you probably know what I am talking about. It also involved a career. A career I really enjoyed for a company that I adored. Being that I came into the company when it was very young and I had a great relationship with the President and also the CEO, I was kind of spoiled there. I knew it and I was ok with that. Really, who wouldn't be?
Once I had my first child (who is now 13 yrs. old), things started to change. The travels slowed down, we didn't eat out as much, the parties became less important. I don't think I shopped less, though. My career suddenly wasn't as important. In fact, I gave up my full time career for a part-time position at the company. Then I decided that wasn't good enough either. I needed full control of my schedule. I needed to work when I wanted and could and be home when I needed to be home. So I quit. I walked away from a career and a company that offered many rewards. My husband thankfully has a job that allowed us to do this financially and I took full advantage of that with 100% of his support.
I knew in order to have that dream job, that job where I had full control of my schedule, I would have to choose another career. So I went to massage therapy school and became a licensed massage therapist. I worked on and off from the time I was licensed (2000) until recently (2008). Mostly it was off. Having babies, having surgeries, moving out of state for three years, taking care of kids put a dent in my "on" working years. Well, you get the picture.
In 2008, an opportunity arose and I hopped on it. I've been a "working" mom ever since. I use the term "working" loosely. I started working only 3 hours a week. Yes, 3 hours. After all, this is the career I chose to let me work what I could and my plan was working beautifully! When CJ went off to kindergarten in 2009, I bumped up to a whopping 6 hours. My mom friends who work FT outside the home jobs make fun of me (and that's ok!), but my plan was still working out just as I wanted. CJ started 1st grade this year and my plan was to double my hours again, to 12 hours! Twelve whole hours! I was thrilled. Then the Great BlogHer Wipeout of 2010 happened.
I've never been the wife who felt "guilty" about not making money. I always felt my job at home was so very important that no amount of money into our family budget would be worth me going back to work. "His" money is OUR money and we have lived happily like that for many years.
Thanks to the above mentioned wipeout, things have taken an unexpected turn and I am now home sans kids. It's a totally different feel than being home with kids! I feel like I should be working. I don't make a lot of money as a massage therapist compared to my previous career. But my few hours of work provides us with some extra spending money or unexpected bills money. But here I sit. My days consist of physical therapy and trying to keep busy. Busy with what? Some days it's productive stuff, like volunteering at school or grocery shopping or straightening the house. I even steam cleaned the carpet using my good arm to push and pull the steam cleaner. Other days, it's reading and napping once I get everyone off to school.
It just feels weird. I will be happy when I can return to work outside of the home! As long as it's on my schedule, of course. Thankfully, my employer is OK with that!!! My plan is working beautifully.