Many of my friends have children around the same age. As our youngest children begin Kindergarten, our daily schedule will change greatly, opening up a lot more time for us as individuals. I got together with two of my friends yesterday and we were talking about what this meant for us. We discussed working more, taking classes, exercising, and what we want to be now. Its a shift, and although I have been teaching three mornings a week, I have a lot more time I could work now. What I wanted to be before I had kids is not necessarily what I want to be now.
The arts have always been where my heart is. I always pursued acting, and did theatre for years. My first jobs were as an actress. My degree in college was theatre and education, I have a passion merging the arts with social change. Before I had kids I contemplated getting my masters, I worked with inner city kids to create pieces of theatre that reflected their lives. It has been almost ten years since I did anything like that though, and the idea of where to begin now is daunting.
My time up to now has been so precious to me. I have absolutely no regrets in choosing to be a stay at home parent (who never stays at home by the way) but now I am trying to figure out how to be more than a mother. While talking to my friends I found out they are struggling with this too. If you still want to be an involved parent and pick up you kid at school, do homework and make dinner, a full time job is challenging. Finding balance is a lifelong goal to strive for, and not necessarily obtainable all the time. Every parent has to make difficult decisions and has to make sacrifices. It is often hard for me to see the middle point between selfless and selfish.
As the new school year approaches, I have to be careful on that first day of school. My son will be starting his big new school, my daughter fourth grade and although I have contemplated going back to school myself I need to take my time. Time I have waited almost ten years for. I need to pace myself before making any big life decisions. I need to leave space to let that first week of school soak in for them. Once they are all settled in, I can feel out the work world again. Although a resume with ten year old credentials on it is not so attractive. There seems to be a class for everything these days, I wonder if I could find one for women who want to come back to work after ten years. If it doesn't exist perhaps that's my new business right there.