vintage laundrytwo

It’s mid April, and I’m still an unemployed graphic designer. Money is tight, but not unbearable yet. My kids are finishing up their school year; they only have about 4 weeks left. I’ve been home for over 4 months now, and you know what?

I absolutely love it.

I have always been envious of stay at home mothers. Days filled with household chores, picking up children, maybe a hobby or two…it’s a vacation compared to having to head into an office day after day. My job was creative, at least I had that – I can only imagine what it’s like to just type or file all day. The day would drag on and on. the 8 hour day felt like 12…or 13.

Now, I get to be a house mom for the first time in my life outside of maternity leave. The day goes by very quickly. I’m surprised at just how swiftly 3 and 4 o’clock rolls around. I drive my girls to school each day, and before the bus drops them off (if I don’t pick them up, that is) I have cleaned, shopped, gardened, and exercised. I barely watch TV anymore. I learned my lesson with my “Weeds” obsession.

I love being home for my kids. If they forget something, I can bring it to them. If there’s a class trip, I can go without having to jump through a bunch of scheduling hoops to take a day off. I didn’t have to worry at all when schools were closed for snow, or President’s Day. And when they get off the bus, I’m there to make them a snack, and take my oldest out for a driving lesson, and any and all things that I could never do before because I was stuck at work until 5.

Now that I’ve turned the TV off, I try to fill my day doing stuff that will improve my little home. I put in a woodland path behind our garage using pine logs that were stacked, unused as we don’t have a fireplace or fire pit. It also gave us a small flower bed which I quickly planted with some berry bushes and even tried some veggies that thrive in clay soil…broccoli and cabbage.

Old logs and Elbow Grease

Old logs and Elbow Grease

I’ve been scratching at the barren spots in our front yard and planting grass seed. I’ve been raking the masses of oak leaves that find a home each and every fall on the strip of land next to our driveway. Eventually, I’m going to attack our front deck which badly needs to be scrubbed, sanded and painted.

That is, unless I go back to work. Then my hours will be filled with who knows what kind of tasks. It’s becoming glaringly evident to me that unless I go back to school and get some web design skills I can kiss my career good-bye. Most job postings I see require some web experience, and I have almost none.

I can try to do some freelance, but it may take me a while to build a steady client base. For example, I was able to gain two new clients for a least a little work, but they are so busy right now that we haven’t had time to actually start the projects they want me to do. I know I need to get my name out there, and I have an idea for a postcard, I just have to sit my ass down and make it.

My other option is to just work doing anything – anything that will bring home some dough. Something mindless. I can be creative any time I want, I don’t necessarily need to earn a living at it. Except I won’t really be earning a living. I’ll be earning enough to keep our bills paid. After that there will be little left for extras like movies or shopping. Summer is right around the corner. The girls are going to want to do stuff.

Meh, I don’t want to go back to the 9-5 world! I love my days being my own!

Now I have to finish my laundry and clean my house. Then, I’ll watch the episode of “Project Runway” on my DVR. By then it should be time to pick up the kids at school – I give them a break from the school bus on Fridays – it’s a perk of mom being home.

Sounds like a perfect day to me.