Monday, March 11, 2013

An evolving vision for my future

"What are you going to do when your kids move out of the house?"

It's a logical question to ask a stay at home parent, and one most SAHPs will want to consider. Even if the family has lived comfortably on one income during the kid years, it's good to have an idea of how to spend your time.

My answer has changed over the years. For many years, money was much tighter than it is now. I have assumed that I would need to go back to full time employment when my kids were adults. In fact, there were times when I felt blessed to have eaked out the homeschooling this far.

My husband has often said over the years that I seem to view the kids becoming adults as like a "second graduation", and there's a lot of truth to that.
I have toyed with so many different options. Many have involved going back to school-to get a degree in child development, to fulfill my life long dream of being a paleontologist, to become a children's librarian (I often am told I would be great at this!), to study theology. I love ALL those ideas- perhaps so much that I could never choose.
Or, work at Starbucks, because the perks are so awesome.

Lately I have been considering a different vision. There are varied reasons. One, when people ask what I want to do with my post-full-time-parenting life, I realise I already AM doing it. I LOVE my job in my church nursery. I LOVE that people will pay me to knit, and that time is my only limiting factor in how much money I can make doing so. I  love the idea of expanding both those things, combining added nursery duties (perhaps at more than one church; I work two mornings a week at another church for their MOPS group now) with many more hours of knitting for money; maybe even open that Etsy shop people think I should open. I'd love it if in addition, I could make enough blogging to help supplement that. I would love to do enough of the things I love doing now to make as much money as one full time job.
Another reason? I have loved being a fulltime mom so much that I have always harbored a dream of spending some more years as a full time grandma. While I would love there to be some number of years between my youngest leaving the house and the grandchildren arriving (especially since the youngest is the only one currently sure he wants kids), I would not want to invest time and money in an education, just to have the opportunity to be a full time grandma present itself.
Lastly, we have been ENTIRELY debt free for the last year- no car payments, no mortgage. I love the feeling. It's incredibly freeing. While I know I could get grants for college, I'd have to proceed at a snail's pace to not accrue debt. I'm not willing to take on that debt.

 Since I hope nothing happens to my husband between now and at least the time I would qualify for Medicare, the insurance issue would not be a big deal. And hey, if it became an issue? I'd do the Starbucks thing.


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