A major life change has been tossed our way: I am going back to work next spring. Our original plan was for me to be a stay-at-home-mom until our youngest was in school, at which time I would pursue part-time work. I never really planned on being a driven career woman; I still want to be home when the kids get home from school, watch their soccer games, and be around for play dates to make sure they aren’t getting into unnecessary mischief. 

However, an exciting opportunity has arisen and we both feel it’s too good to pass up. A great friend of mine is a successful real estate agent in our town and she has asked me to partner with her! So, I am presently working my way through the Real Estate course and plan to start working once I get my license this spring. 
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The timing is a little crazy, but I am excited. Finding time to do my course work and reading is proving to be a challenge, but it feels good to use the academic side of my brain that’s been collecting dust. 
I am torn about the time I’ll be spending away from our kids, but maybe I’ll be one of those women who is a better mom since she works outside of the home and has a life outside of her children that makes her appreciate her time with them even more. Or something.
Everyone I know is struggling to find balance between work and life and marriage and kids and household responsibilities and health and friends. And I know full well that one can stay home full-time with her kids and not be all that engaged in the day-to-day stuff of life. 
There are many unknowns that lie ahead for us as we try this new path, but it’s worth taking nonetheless. If it turns out to be a poor fit, or if our family is suffering, we will (of course) re-evaluate. 
I’m curious, though: did your plans for work change and shift as your family grew? Or are you sticking to the original plan? If you work outside of the home, are you pleased with the situation? Any tips for making it a positive, balanced lifestyle for your family?
  • http://betweenthebigstuff.wordpress.com Lisa

    Oh SWEET! Now when I convince my bf to (marry me), Emmigrate to Canada and buy a farm in the Okanagan, I know who to call!

  • http://www.ourfamilystone.org Ashley

    I always planned on being a SAHM, I wanted to be full time mommy, and wife. That however wasn’t in the plans for us. I’ve been working 3 days a week since Bethany was 8 months old. I have the best of both worlds, I’m still a full time mommy, I just do it 3 days a week in my office. And while it’s so much better than leaving them in daycare it’s also at times so hard (I won’t say harder, each of us faces our own circumstances differently and hard is measured by the person), it takes me 3 times as long to accomplish what I would normally do in a breeze with the kids there. A portion of my day is spent running traffic control and another portion is spent wiping rear ends….I’d totally pass on that job if I could :)
    The best “advice” I can float your way, is cut yourself some slack. There are days that you just heat up whatever is frozen and simple, or left over and not moldy for dinner because you’ve worked late. Sometimes things get neglected because you are exhausted after work, let them be you’ll get to them tomorrow, sit down and watch ANTM because your brain needs to take a chill pill.
    You’ll do great! We’re super excited for you!

  • Lana

    I have worked very part time since my daughter was one and don’t tell anyone, but I love it! I enjoy being at home with her, don’t get me wrong, but I love going to work on Thursdays and Fridays. I’m a grade one-two teacher to a very needy group of kids, but I am mysteriously less tired after a day teaching than meeting the (often irrational) demands of my three year old! I feel very blessed to be able to have the best of both worlds,!
    Good luck with your studies – you will make a great real estate agent!

  • kakaty

    I never ever wanted to quit working. I started earning my own income at age 12 and was financially independent at 18 so just thinking of not earning an actual paycheck gives me a panic attack. I always knew that I would work after having kids and with the first one it was pretty easy – my job was pretty flexible and juggling the responsibilities of a job and a baby aren’t too hard.
    Now with 2 kids (ages 4 and 6 months) I would LOVE to go to part-time but that not just feasible in this new, less flexible but much higher paying job or economy. And juggling the responsibilities of a job and an active preschooler is much, much harder. Add the baby to the mix and we are on the run all the time.
    But, honestly it does make our time together that much better. I’m more relaxed and have much more patience. There have been times when I’ve been off work and home with the kid(s) for extended times (a week or 2) and I become a shrieky, awful person – I’m not the wife or mother I want to be during those times. Work gives me my outlet – something that is 100% mine and I HAVE to be there – so no getting pushed aside like a hobby can. It does help that I like my job. And the extra income means we can hire out the chores we hate (weekly housecleaners are a non-negotioable budget item).
    You’ll find your balance, but it will take some time. You’re going to feel torn in 8000 directions for awhile. But, if you like what you’re doing you’ll find your stride eventually.

  • http://jandtwedding;blogspot.com jill

    As i commute home from my full time job with my 38 1/2 week preggo belly to play with my one-year old, cook supper, tidy up and do laundry, I long for the days of either full time kidless work or full time Momma work. Perhaps this stint of full time is a bit more then I can chew. I think I’d prefer some degree of part time. I LOVE my job. I LOVE my family. I hate that they compete with each other.
    Good luck to you!

  • http://heymrswilson.net Mrs. Wilson

    The best advice I can give you is to find someone you trust 100% to look after your girls. It’s MUCH easier to be at work when you don’t have to worry if they’re getting properly cared for or not.
    I definitely agree that time away from your children makes you appreciate them more. And makes you refreshed. As long as you enjoy what you’re doing when you’re away from them!
    Good luck!!

  • Laurie

    Before I had kids, I always wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. Then I had a child and once he started tearing around and the money stopped coming in, back to work I went. Surprisingly, I loved it!
    Granted I only work mornings and have summers off so really a dreamy lifestyle. What surprised me though is what a wonderful experience it’s been having Reid in daycare. So fabulous for our family that we’ve kept him there (four mornings a week) even though I’m on Mat. leave #2. The fact that he gets to play with others, eat different things, follow different routines, obey different rules is enriching his life.
    People are very surprised to hear that I’ll be heading back to work when the twins are 16 months but I’m looking forward to it. Up and out the door in the morning and lazy, snugly afternoons. I always have time to make a family meal before we start heading out to our evening activities. And the nice paycheck at the end of the month is an added (and much needed) bonus. Perfect for our family!
    Everybody has to do what’s best for their family. I really like what Danica said. Do well at what you do and make adjustments to make that happen.
    I think you’ll do great. However, after just buying/selling our house and bugging our realtor at all hours of the day and night, you’re going to have some crazee hours!

  • Jen

    Before I got married and had children, I thought it was ridiculous to be a stay at home mom. ha! I wanted to be an investigative journalist who travelled the world and took on life changing assignments, a la Lisa Ling. Look at me now. I’m about as stay at home mom as they get and love it. ;)
    I think you are going to be an awesome realtor!

  • http://www.dankasworld.com Danica Grunert

    That’s great. You’ll do wonderfully. As for me, every plan I’ve ever made has wound up changing.
    I’m beginning to think there is no such thing as ‘balance.’ Just do well whatever you decide to do. Parenting, working, or both. I know you will.

  • Abbey Kehler

    I had always hoped that I would be able to be a stay at home Mom one day. I just never imagined that it would be to 5 kids!! However, I love being home when they get home from school. My Mom had to work when I was young, and I always wished that I could just go home after school and not to a babysitters. I’m glad that I can be there for my kids. That being said, there’s definitely many days that I wish I had a job that pulled me away from the house once in a while. To be able to speak to other adults on a regular basis would be nice. :)

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