Today is Penny's first day of her second year of preschool. She goes to Montessori school, which typically goes three years with the final year counting as kindergarten. But at this point, we're expecting to send her to public school next year since it's free!!!! So, we're right in the middle of her preschool experience. It has been wonderful and an important transition. Penny and I were particularly attached in her early years because we had trauma occur in the family around her birth as well as she had some developmental stuff going on. So it was a really big deal a year ago for her to start school and begin the separation process for both of us. She went two days a week last year and this year, it's every single day! Just the morning, but still. Big deal. What's fun is she's totally ready and I actually feel totally ready as well. I'll miss the kids while they're in school but I've been a working-at-home mom for 9 and a half years. I've always thought and even stated aloud that once my youngest starts full-time school, it's my time! My time to shine, my time to invest in myself, my time to lean into my career, etc. Even though she's only in part-time school, going every morning is jump-starting this process of independence for both of us.
It can be difficult to straddle the line of being home and earning an income. There have been phases of family life where I was too overwhelmed to work my business at all (yet I've been paid EVERY MONTH for the 12 years I've had my business!) and phases where I wished my kiddos would give me some space because I genuinely wanted to work in a more focused, efficient way. I was reminded this morning at drop off that I have always been in full control of this process and that is really a privilege. There were lots of parents talking about juggling full-time work with preschool drop offs, classroom expectations, making dinner, extra-curriculars, etc. It was just this beautiful moment of sympathy and gratitude for me. I totally respect the process that working parents go through and recognize the value working parents bring to society. And I respect parents who don't bring in an income as well, focusing full-time on their family. I've always been in the privileged middle position where I can and do work as much or as little as I want, giving us the extra money we need to do things like Montessori school and theater classes and family vacations while still being able to be my kids primary caregiver. I get to work around their activities and provide that stability to the family unit. And my income has grown in a way where I'm a full partner in our finances and planning. This truly isn't a side income even though I'm working side hours. What a huge gift!
I'm so thrilled for Penny that she's growing in community and independence. It's developmentally appropriate and good for her. And I'm happy for myself to be in the midst of this transition in my parenting and work balance. I could not be more grateful that I've had the choice to pace us in this process as I've seen fit without suffering financially or personally in my professional development. If anyone reading this is looking for the kind of privilege I've been given in my business, part of my job is to share it and train others to do it. I'd love to give you an opportunity to live this kind of freedom and privilege if you determine it's right for you and your family. This could certainly be a lucrative side hustle but it's also a real career opportunity to grow as a person and to grow a residual income source that you own and can pass on to your kids. Give me a shout if you want me to run through it with you! You can contact me in the "work with me" section of my website or if we're Facebook friends, feel free to PM me.