Monday, August 27, 2007

Another School Year Begins...

It's happened. The boys first day back to school. See their expressions? That's about how I feel. I go from being as blah and unenthusiastic as Kaleb looks, to being as optimistically goofy at the prospect of a new school year as Jacob seems to be. On the one I sit, all alone. I'll be by myself for about 8 1/2 hours a day. Five days a week. Week after week after week. On the other hand, here I sit, all alone. I'll be by myself for about 8 1/2 hours a day. Five days a week. Week after week after week. Should I be sad? Should I be happy? I just can't figure it out!

My problem is figuring out if solitude is a good thing these days. I used to think it was, now I'm not so sure. What am I going to do all day? I think I'm having an identity crisis. 'Lo these many years, I've only worked when we absolutely needed the money. Otherwise, I stayed home. But now the kids are older. They don't really need me to be at home for them. Nor do we absolutely need the money we'd get if I worked. So where does that leave me? What good am I? What am I worth? I don't feel like I'm contributing much by hanging out at the house all day - it's not like I'm baking up a storm or spending hours cleaning the baseboards with a toothbrush or anything even close. But what skills do I have to bring to the workplace? All my skills are outdated or rusty. What could I put on a resume'? I know I haven't spent the last 18 years sitting around eating bon-bons and watching soap opera's but how do I translate what I have been doing into marketable skills? I'm lost between The World of Stay At Home Mom and The World of the Giant Empty Nest. It seems like Randey's spent our marriage working towards a specific long-term employment goal and I've spent it doing the things that got us through the day to day issues with no thought to what changes the future would require. Randey's still working (and doing quite well in his job - I'm so proud of him), 2 of our kids are grown and living outside our home, the youngest 2 are both less than 3 years away from being legal adults and I'm...well, I'm still at the same spot I was all those years ago except the little people who needed me have become big people who don't. Oh I know they love me and, in some cases, they do still need me, but they don't need me like they used to. And that's a good thing, I know it is. I just wish I'd thought a little more about what my purpose should be after I've fulfilled the Mommy phase of life. How do I get to the next phase? How do I keep from disappearing from the landscape? I want to matter and I want to do things that matter. I've just got to re-learn my life and look past being a mother and look further into being a person. A person who is seperate from her kids because I know that's the way it's supposed to be. Kids grow up, start their own families and their parents become...well, really - just "relatives". See - that's the problem with being a good stay at home mom...eventually, you work yourself right out of a job. lol And then what? What do you do then to fill your days and make your life important?

Hello, World. My name is Kari and I'm looking for a purpose. Anybody willing to hire someone like me?


  1. You've just said all the things that have been going through my mind. Let me know if you figure something out because I don't seem to be thinking of anything on my own!

  2. Boy! Can I RELATE! I often wonder what I am going to do with myself after my children grow up and move away. When I had my "oops, love my baby" a few years ago, I called her "job security". I now have another guaranteed 15 years of homeschooling (what was I thinking!?) Somedays I wonder what skills I can bring to the table after the children are grown and I often feel jealous of my husband who is doing EVERYTHING I dreamed of doing (including a trip to Europe this fall for business without me!). So not fair (yes, love my hubby, but still a bit jealous, ya know).

    BTW - the picture of your boys makes me smile - it reminds me of my boys - one very serious and would rather die than smile in a picture and the other very goofy and always has a smile.

  3. Shhhh - don't tell...but the 2 wild things I have done in my 45th year of life are :
    1. get my belly button pierced!
    2. I took a 2 day credited coarse on how to drive a motorcycle!...and LOVED it!!!

  4. Kari,
    Very well written. I think you'll find alot of women who will relate to this. I know I felt this same way 10 years ago when my youngest was 16 and driving and didn't need me anymore. So I went back to school. You don't have to do that, but do something you like and enjoy yourself. Being a stay at home mom is the best job you'll ever do and you'll never regret it. Now enjoy this time for yourself. :-)

  5. Kari, Kari, Kari...
    I too was forced into early retirement about 3 or 4 years ago...I didn't much care for being ousted from my job...but well, it wasn't my choice...upper management (the kids grew up) told me it was to happen and I needed to learn to deal with the beginning I did alright b/c they were in college and next came planning the I stayed relatively busy...but now...weddings are over, kids are on their own w/their loving others...AND still no grandchildren (now that might help keep me busy again)...So, I've just kind of started to try and do some things I never had time to do before, I took a crochet class (by the way I suck at crochet...but I'm still trying), a flower class for doing the wedding ministry, gonna take a couple of computer classes so I can figure all this "technical" stuff out and I want to take guitar or piano lessons ( b/c I don't have a piano I think I'll try guitar) I have always wanted to speak a foreign language and pig latin doesn't count, so I am looking into lessons for that...I have looked into volunteering (something I did a lot of when the kids were in school)...I want to do something that I love, but also will be of great benefit to others...I have just about figured out one of my volunteering avenues...the school I helped my friend set up her classroom in...has absolutely no kids were so lucky...they both came from schools that had people waiting in line to volunteer...but b/c this school is from a very low income area...and a lot of the parents just don't have the time or experience to volunteer...this school is really needing extras to step up to the plate... once I get the approval (yea their checking my criminal record, even though I've worked in the district before...they can't be too careful) I will probably volunteer at this school a couple of times a month sometimes more...It really does make me feel good...I'm like piddly income wouldn't do much around I will just volunteer my time...then I can be my own boss in a sense...and not feel tied down...Also, local hospitals are always needing volunteers...if you love could volunteer to be a baby holder at a hospital near you...OR if you knit or crochet...there are hospitals that collect blankets and caps for newborns b/c they will not have the means to get these things at home...there is a place where I took crochet lessons that collects these and then gives them to the hospitals in need (they didn't use any of mine..hmmph..wonder why?)...let me know if you want the name of that place...

    Give yourself some time to let this all settle in...take some much needed "me" time...think about what you want to do...Shoot you could write a book...I would buy it!! Maybe we should all compile a chapter about "odd things" that have happened to us over the years...OR funny things our children did to embarass us...I have a lot of those stories...then you could edit the chapters and turn it into a book...and we would all become overnight sensations...make oodles and oodles of some really awesome say...oh I don't know...Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Sean Connery, or maybe even Brian Denehey (that was for SusieQ)...cos you know these guys are just sitting around waiting and wanting for someone like us to write these things they can live through us...I mean these are topics all of these folks will be interested in...RIGHT??? Then of course they would want to do a movie of our lives on LIFETIME TV about how we all came together over the internet, they would want to know the how & why's of how we got to the point of the book and so on...Gorgeous women like Halle Berry, Nicole Kidman, Jaclyn Smith (I think she's a classic...I want her to play me...I said it first!!) Sandra Bullock, Salma Hajek, Penelope Cruz could all play our parts...of course the television company would let us have a cameo somewhere in the movie with the above mentioned males in that cameo with us...AND of course total creative control...whew!! Ok...I woke up...smelled the coffee...but you know what I'm sayin...we have talents...lets figure out what they are...and USE EM'!!

    You'll figure something out...just don't beat yourself are valuable...whether it is as a mom, wife, sister, cousin, friend or just another bon-bon eating soap oprea watching stay at home homemaker that is trying to find so many of the rest of are important!!


  6. Oh Kari...we DO have so much in common! This is EXACTLY the way I feel! I think we should all ban together and start our own business...or write a book. I like that second bit a lot!

    Hey me sometime. We really ARE in the same mind meld..or does that scare ya? *laugh*


  7. For GOD'S SAKE! You knew you weren't going to get away with this one, little girl. That's the menopause talking, it's got you wallowing and you need to get up. Write a book, (notice I didn't say read one)VOLUNTEER at the Red Cross or a kindergarten, there is so much out there that you are needed for. Whew...a job would tie you down, volunteer work gives you leeway and a purpose. Volunteer at a Battered Women's shelter (you'd really be good there). I love you. Don't allow yourself to get down, you have to just pull yourself back up. Oh yes, and Sophie Honeysuckle has been trying to leave you messages and for some reason your comment box won't open for in case you haven't read my blog and comments today, I'm passing it on!
    Aunt Sandi

  8. Okay, Aunt Sandi and T seem to have the situation well in hand. But I wanted to let you know that I know where you are. I'm there, too. I woke up the other day and realized that I've got two more years of being a homeschool-mom, and then WHAT???? I have some ideas, but deep down I'm really scared. Here's the thing, and please don't think I'm weird. There's a book I just discovered by the guy who did "The Prayer of Jabez" -- Bruce Wilkinson The book is called "The Dream Giver". It's a simple read, a couple three hours and I had read it cover to cover. But it's spot-on for giving me a road map. I'm still scared, but I know better where I'm going with this life-after-children syndrome.

    Oh, and here's a hug from me.


  9. Wow what a problem. Haven't got to the don't need to work stage, mostly cause I used up my not working when my daughter was little and stayed home. Have you thought of taking some courses yourself at a community college? You write so well perhaps creative writing or photography, you have a gift in both.

  10. Darling.....write a book,your humour kills me.....
    I wish my boys were back at school,we've almost 2 weeks to go yet,I loved having my mum at home when I got in from school,it made me feel safe and loved.
    I bet your guys would never believe how you feel.
    I will post your CD tomorrow as it was a public holiday here today and there were no POs open.
    Kat xxxx

  11. I am there w/ you but since I am coming off a 3 year job I am enjoying the view for a bit and still on a nasty recovery from much more than I thought of a knee surgery. I am beginning to wonder about my DR, Anyway, I have always done lots of volunteer work at church and PTO and still do and I do love it.I also have to help care for my Mom daily, Help w/ a sister w/ needs and a special needs Daughter who is somewhat independent but still at home and will probably always will be so no rush to a job...but working is a bit of a respite at times too:>

  12. Oh how I wished we lived close. We are to much alike! My name used to be Rian,April and Chanceys mom. Know one knew who the heck I was. My husband worked and made the living. I started my life as a mom at 19. There was nothing more in life i wanted than a family.I cleaned until I couldn't clean anymore. I thought I was the new Betty Crocker. My kids loved walking in the door and smelling what mom had been doing all day. Then just like you all the sudden they knew it all and didn't need me. Oh yea they needed their clothes washed and food, but the days of crawling up in my bed and having long talks were over. It hurt so bad. My husband stayed off working the kids were staying out late and working and I was wonder WHO AM I? For all thse years I have been thebest house wife and mom I knew to be and felt so used and forgot. Rian went off to school. April married.Chance became a dad and they all started their own lives. My husband still wasn't home and when he was I didn't really know him because all our married life our trips,vacations and where we ate revolved around the kids. I had never worked. I stayed at the school when the kids were young to be close to them, but my resume was blank. this year I hit a breaking point when my oldest son joined the AF and got sent overseas. I laid here and depression set in big time. I worried so much. I knew I had to get out or go nuts. I looked in the mirror one day and said I have to have a gift. God didn't make me without giving me something im good at. I prayed and prayed. One night I got on the net and looked for things in my area. I found a place called"Home Instead seniorcare" I knew I loved elderly..and I knew that if I gave to others I wouldn't worry about my son so much. I called and they had me come in. You can work as few hours as you like. We take people to shop,hair appoinments,just what they need to stay home and not go to a nursing home.I even cook for some.I started to love it.Making them happy feeled me with joy. I WAS needed.It filled avoid and i realized im worth something.A month ago I got regonized by our home paper and then the national office called to use my story. I got my first award last month also. I guess I told you the story to say God made you secial at something.Search your heart. If you think you may like helping others a few hours and making alittle money look up Home Instead. They are all over the world now and started just because of a lonley lady that needed someone to care.
    Kari you are SPECIAL! your friend in Mississippi.

  13. Wish I had some great words of wisdom for you. Sucks, doesn't it?

    You've been tagged my dear...head on over to my place and read the rules. Come on..don't just sit there...get crackin'!

  14. Kari
    I don't know if I can help I always worked as we needed the money so retirement for me was a pleasure to anticipate and I love it.I just know that the skills that you have gained from being a mother, cook, bottlewasher, nurse, homework helper, husband supporter, gardener, clothes mender and all the other numerous tasks that mothers do make you SPECIAL. Dont work if you feel thats not right for Try volunteering, studying some thing you always wanted to do,write a book about the funny things that have happened when your children were small. I can give you an example of when mine were little. I had left for work about 6.30am and Simon was taking Sarah to school and others to childminder As he was trying to get Sarah into school quickly as he was running late (you remember the panic to get everyone where they should be on time or is that just me !!) she refused saying "Daddy I can't go to school I have no knickers on" He had rushed them so much! Now that might be a good title for a book I do hope you feel better soon. Best wishes from cloudy Uk Mary

  15. My mom is in the same place, with my youngest sister a senior in high school this year. But mom has really thrown herself into painting again, has her own studio and we can’t get her to come out of it. Maybe you should consider opening up an antique booth as a hobby and see where it takes you?

    On the other hand, if you’re just looking for something to do to get out of the house, I would recommend looking for a part time secretary job at a local university. I work in administration at a university (great time off... you never have to worry about working holidays b/c the whole place closes down), and the happiest people on campus are the part time department secretaries. They come in at 8 and skip out of here to go antiquing around noon or 1. It seems like the life to me!

  16. Yay- I have disabled my pop-up blocker and now I can leave you a comment!! Took me days to figure that out!!!
    Kari-you are such a good, humourous writer, I also think you should write a book!! You make me laugh every time I read your post,and it looks everyone else agrees with me!! Or how about writing a travel book, you could visit the U.K. purely for research purposes of course...

  17. You'll figure it out. Maybe you could volunteer at the elementary schools? They always need help.
    Or you could do what I do with extra

  18. Your guys went back a week before the kids here. Love your pics of the furniture and shops!


  19. Hi Kari! I could relate to this about 10 years ago. I'd been a stay at home mom for about 12 years prior to that. Do you have a passion? Do you like to read? Cook? Find what you are passionate about and work there! (I once held a part time job at a bookstore because I love to read but never have time) it didn't pay well (don't think about that part yet) but it got me out of the house a few hours here and there. I eventually got up the courage to do other things but you have to start small....somewhere! Good Luck!

  20. I can RELATE! Even though my youngest is still just 7 years old, last year was his first year of full day school and I thought I would go crazy while he was gone! I had no idea what to do with myself!

    Why couldn't I just learn to knit or start painting furniture? No! I started a business (decorating), built a website, joined a marathon walking group (EEK!) and then started to blog!

    Now I am SO busy I could SCREAM! People want to hire me and sometimes I just want to go shopping for myself!

    Enjoy your freedom, girl! Run like the wind from responsibilities and just have fun!


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