From the time I was a kid I knew that I would go to college and have a career, but as soon as I had children I would do anything to be able to stay home with them. For the past seventeen years I’ve been lucky enough to do that.
For the most part I loved being a stay at home mom. It wasn’t until my youngest began school nine years ago that I really felt I needed something for myself. Suddenly I longed for something more than shopping, lunching with friends, running errands and volunteering. I knew I wanted to go back to work, but I also knew I still wanted to volunteer at school, drop off and pick up my children from school and be available at the drop of a hat. A typical 9-5 office job or even a part-time job in retail was not going to work. I wanted complete control over my time. I wanted to work from 8:00 am until 2:30 pm while my children were busy at school. I still wanted to pick them up from school, water polo practice, theatre or guitar lessons and hear about their day on our drive back home. Where in the world was I going to find a job like that? Since I had been an elementary teacher before my children were born I would occasionally substitute at the elementary school my children attended. That was easy to fit into my schedule because we could all go to school together and come home together and often I was subbing in their classrooms. Being a substitute proved to be more difficult once my son entered middle school. With a husband who travels a lot for work I didn’t have help getting the kids to and from school. The subbing slowly faded because I had to turn down too many jobs due to scheduling conflicts.
In the meantime I continued to search for my “perfect” job. Four years ago an old friend contacted me and told me she wanted to share what she was doing now for work. She thought it might be just what I was looking for. She couldn’t have been more right! I could set my own hours (hooray I could work while the kids were at school) and work from home, plus I was still educating, but now instead of 5-11 year olds I was educating families how to have wellness on a budget. With every passing year as my children become more independent I’m able to extend the hours I’m able to work. Our son is entering his final year of high school which means college is on the horizon. I’m thankful I won’t miss one minute of his senior year and I’ll be able to help pay for college.
Allison has been an educator for the past twenty years. She graduated from San Diego State University with a B.A. in Liberal Studies and then earned her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. As an elementary school teacher for Long Beach Unified School District she taught for seven years before deciding to become a full time mom.