Time-off for a stay-at-home Chicago mom? The nerve!


By Kari Wagner

Member of the Chicago Parent Blog Network

I have a little secret.

Monday through Friday, I have three hours and thirty-five minutes to myself.

Five days a week.


I am not bragging, I am simply amazed by it all.

For years I have had "no time" for myself.

Constantly wiping noses, cleaning up messes, dragging one child or another with me to my OBGYN.

I don't go to my OBGYN constantly.

Once a year just feels like it is.

And as of this past August, I am finding myself at a crossroads.

Asking myself, "Am I still a stay-at-home mom if my children aren't even here for part of the day??"

I have been a stay-at-home mom for five and a half years.

Well, I was a stay-at-home mom when my oldest was little but then I went back to school and held a part-time job before my youngest came along.

So officially, I have been a stay-at-home mom for many years but for five and a half years consecutively.

I have only had this three hour and thirty-five minute break for exactly eight weeks and the "questions" are already starting to roll in:

"What do you do while they are gone?"

"Do you plan to go back to work??"

"Do you love having ALL that time to yourself???"

I even have fun excuses to give to anyone who asks why I am not "working":

"But my love for daytime television far exceeds my desire to pay for the upgraded cell phone package!"

"I really do love the calluses that clipping coupons gives me!"

"I am furiously working on a paleo version of Bon Bons!"

For the record, three hours and thirty-five minutes isn't a huge chunk of time in the grand scheme.

But it is indeed "time."

And because it isn't filled with jobs that I need to complete a W-2 form for, it is in question - by those outside of my home.

But for those that live inside my home, I am still mom.

I am still keeping the family on schedule, doing all the laundry, volunteering at school, still driving to the practices, coaching teams and making dinner each night.

I haven't once had any person under my roof ask me, "so what do you do all day?"

Because they know.

And they like that I am "here."

So I am good with that.

Now where did I put the remote control . . .


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