Before kids, I really admired the idea of those who volunteered. Then I had kids and the idea seemed completely foreign. How on earth was I supposed to be a good mommy, do the housewife thing and have the energy or desire to do anything else? I did not know. Then I tried to get a job. Truth be told we need a new car in the worst way. When I go out of town, I have an army of relations demanding I rent a vehicle before making any such trip. It’s not even registered in state and we’ve been in Texas 3 years now. Of course, I should go back to work. I had never had any trouble getting a job before. So I walked in, resume in hand and every person in my path wanted to know what I had been up to lately.
I don’t undestand how employers do not see mother/housewife as actual position. I put in roughly 12 hours days/7 days a week. If you’re reading my blog, I imagine you know exactly what I’m doing. No, the question is how are you advancing your skills and your professional career? While I’m thinking networking, efficiency, time management, patience and organization, I know they have no idea. You really don’t know until you’ve been a stay at home parent. Then there is my favorite question, what was your salary. Well, I’ve saved our household hundreds of thousands of dollars by not sending my kids to preschool; by cooking, cleaning, finding all the cool guy free things to do in town. Can you see how this is frustrating?
Thankfully, my husband was hired on full time and received a raise in the mix. I am simply worth more in my house than I am answering your phone and running your errands. My daughter will be going to kindergarten this year. I was asked what I planned to do with my free time. My husband then reminded me that I still didn’t need to work if I didn’t want to. I began to consider what I wanted and how I could best spend my time after my son went off the following year.
I knew I had better finish up school. I began to think back to myself and who I was before kids again. Going to school and helping to place abandoned animals in safe homes through the Animal Welfare League. My now husband and I talked about building houses for Habitat for Humanity. I thought about mentoring. Then I realized, I had effectively come full circle. In 18 months I will be without children for 4 hours a day possibly more and I would be a student again able to lend a hand. Better yet, these things actually carry some weight when I do finally go back to work. Every resume template I’ve seen has a place for extra-curriculars and volunteer opportunities. As if I needed I needed a bigger sign, the morning show did a piece advising those out of work to pursue the same path.
That is what I encourage you to do. If you are out of work and don’t need the money, go volunteer. So many charities are in need of so many things right now. Helping out is practically free and extremely doable. It might not help you out right this moment but to my non-professional mommies and daddies especially, it’s a great way to get your foot in the door. I’ve even found you the links 🙂 Let me know how it goes and I will do the same.