Clickin' Moms

My Post Stay At Home Mom Career

10616187_10154475194665705_8856139318839240024_nI graduated college right before I turned 23. I started working in a job having nothing to do with my major soon after. I got married later that year and then had my first baby in 2004. I quit my job a little bit before he was born as I had always dreamed of being a stay at home mom. It wasn’t so much that I didn’t want a career; it is that I wanted to do that before I did anything else.

I am now 35 and am not longer a stay at home mom. I work from home so I get to see a lot of my children but I am not longer their main caretaker. It is now time for me to start working on my career, whatever that is going to be.

I feel like I do have a lot of choices to make. I have different directions I can go. I am just not sure how it is all going to work out.

I have friends that started a career right after college and waited to have kids. They might be a stay at home mom now but they haven’t always been that way. Some are taking a few years off, others are home for longer.

I started to wonder if I did it wrong. Should I have started my career first? Should I have worked towards something I could have done part-time all these years? Should I have even stayed home as long as I did?

It is hard to answer those questions.

I do feel very lucky that I had almost 10 years as a stay at home mom. I got to do so much with them. Even when my huband was gone and I was playing the part of mom and dad, I was thankful I could be home with them.

However, I do feel a little behind on my career. I am not a teacher or a nurse or someone who has years of career experience behind them. But maybe that doesn’t matter. Careers can happen at different times during our lives. Some careers come from a love or desire to do something different. Other comes from a dream or an experience someone had. As for me? I am a blogger, Scentsy consultant who loves photography. There are ways to make money doing all of those things. So does it matter that I don’t have a traditional career? That I am not really using my major like I could have? Maybe it doesn’t. Maybe this is my path based on my desires of motherhood mixed with a husband who was in the Army. Maybe my career is going to be customized to me and what works for our family. And I think I am okay with that.

What about you? Are you a stay at home mom wondering what to do later on? Are you a working mom who is glad you made that choice?

Summer At The Waterpark

Growing up we had a waterpark in our city that we usually got season passes too. It was so much fun. It was a good size park with a lot of slides, a lazy river and a wave pool.

We don’t have anything like that too close to us although there is a park in Nashville. We do have Tiebreaker which is the smallest waterpark I have ever seen but it works well for our kids right now. They have a small lazy river, two slides, a water playground and pool. We thought we might get season passes but at $60 a person, we thought that was too much. Instead, we took advantage of their buy one get one free Mondays and used coupons.

We ended up making it there about five times during the summer which was great. It was a lot of fun to spend some time in the water, go on the slides and just have some fun as a family, especially since I was working a lot this summer.

As our children get older, I know they will want a bigger waterpark to play in but for now, this works.

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Does your family like to go to waterparks?

Watching Them Grow

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As I sit and watch my boys play at the end of this summer of 9, 7 and 3 I can’t help but think about how much they are growing up.

Each summer they are a bit older and we are doing something new. Each summer is somehow a reminder of the years passing and watching them grow.

This summer I have seen some big changes in my oldest who will be 10 in September. He is more responsible and is able to do more around the house. We set up a new chore system for him and it seems to be working well.

My middle son is 7 and the one with Asperger’s. This summer has been better than I would have thought for him. He has had his frustrations but we are seeing more and more how he is figuring out what is expected of him. This is huge and I hope carries over into the school year.

Our three year old has been potty training and growing into a little boy. He cracks me up with some of the silly things he says. He tries to keep up with his brothers and wants to do what they are doing, which is understandable.

In the last year we have stopped using a crib, any type of special chair at the table and sippy cups. I need to go through toys again and get rid of some of the more toddler like ones. It’s Legos 90% of the time in this house.

I went to a few yard sales this past weekend and realized how many things we simply don’t need to look at anymore. From bouncy chairs to ride along toys. My boys are all too big for those.

As I think about this and how the baby stage is pretty much behind us, I feel pretty happy about it. Don’t get me wrong. I loved having little babies. Even though you don’t sleep, you are always tired and they depend on you so much, I cherished that time.

But we are moving on. I have always tried to enjoy the stage we were in as much as possible. Some stages have been difficult and that was hard. Others have passed us by without much thought.

Having a 6 year age group between #1 and #3 meant that while our oldest was in school, our youngest was still a baby. But that is changing. As we enter this post baby season I am excited about what it brings and how it will change things.

Daniel will be a teenager in just about three years and I know the time between then and now will go fast. Before I know it he will be asking to take driving lessons and then wanting to borrow the car.

As I look back over the years I am not sure what we have done right, what we have done wrong or if we will ever really know. We did our best through the baby years and I am sure it will be the same in the future.

Ten years ago this summer I was hot and pregnant with Daniel. I didn’t know what it meant to be a mother. I didn’t know what parenthood was really like. And here we are a decade later…still trying to figure it all out.

Anyone else leaving the baby stage forever? How are you feeling about it?

 

Camping With Kids

The last weekend in June we went camping at the Land Between The Lakes with our kids and dog for the first time. I grew up camping. We went to Yosemite, Big Bear and other random spots in Southern California. I was a Girl Scout for 12 years so that also included a lot of camping. We also went a couple of times as a couple before we had kids.

Camping With Children

Man, camping with kids and a dog is something else.

We stayed for two nights although we were going to stay for three. We ended up going home early because it was rather stressful and it was so hot that second day. I am used to camping in the mountains of California where it gets warm but not humid hot like that. It also rained on us on Sunday morning. At first that was frustrating but it actually cooled down the day and we got used to it.

Overall it was a good little trip. Stressful yes, but I am glad we did it. It has taken us all this time to go camping with the kids. Partly because of deployments and partly because of being worried about camping with small children.

I think if I didn’t like camping already, I never would have wanted to try it.

Camping at Piney Campground

We are probably going to wait until next year to go again. Probably in May before it gets too hot.

We need to get a tarp to put over the eating area. That would have made things easier with the rain. And here, there is always going to be a chance of some rain.

We bought a new tent because our other one was too small for all of us. We still had a stove and other random items from our pre-kid camping trips. The boys loved the smores and swimming in the lake. Drew had a hard time with the whole idea of it. On Sunday morning he was ready to go home. “Awe, this was fun but I am done now. I want my own bed.”

 

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Next time I would like to find a campground that is more spread out. We went to Piney and I was impressed with it. Everything was nice, bathrooms were clean but the camp sites seemed really small and close to me. I guess I am used to have more space. I think I would like a campsite that was a little bigger, had more room for the kids to play and was a little further away from other sites. It might just have been where we were located within Piney. I did love the view we had of the lake. That was nice to wake up to.

Camping at Land Between The Lakes

Camping at piney campground

Have you been camping with your children yet?

 

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