Back-to-School Plan for the Stay-at-Home Mom

Back-to-School Plan for the Stay-at-Home Mom

When school starts at the end of August, I will officially enter the Gwyneth Paltrow realm of "STFU, lady. You are so out of touch, you don't even know it."

Because when school starts this year, both of my kids will be going. All day.

Boy Child will be in first grade, and the girl one will be attending all-day pre-school, because her school is starting a new curriculum. Also, she hasn't napped in a year and girl needs to get out of the house and away from the sweet, sweet lure of Curious George.

So, what do I do?

I had my first taste of freedom yesterday, since the kids are in a morning camp together this week. They were gone from nine to noon. I revised the first four scenes of the novel I'm working on. I made some lists. I folded some laundry. And, after all that, it was time to pick them up again.

But when fall comes, I will need to fill seven hours a day, five days a week.

I have my novels to work on, so that's something. Hopefully the first one will sell and then I'll definitely have an excuse to stay home all day. "I'm going to be a published author. I need to revise and daydream and drink my strong, black coffee from my French press all day long and sometimes watch Food Network Star. I'd be more productive, but I'm waiting for notes from my editor. My editor." Then I'd roll over and continue rewatching The Comeback.

But if that novel doesn't sell (hell, even if it does, especially if it does), I'll really need to get cracking on the other books, revising the ones that already exist and writing the ones that have been bouncing around in my head. But can I write for seven hours a day? Not every day.

There's a long list of stuff I need to do around the house: Clean the garage, clean out the back porch, paint the back door, paint the bathroom and the hallway, etc. etc. etc. Plus, there's all the day-to-day stuff that adds up, as well as the cooking and the grocery shopping and the laundry. But what about when all the big stuff is done? What then?

I need a plan. I took a year off from teaching back before I had kids. My plan was nebulous. "To write," was all I intended to do. I ended up playing The Sims for six months.

That was a horrible plan.

Lists are good. Goals are good. I'll compose an über list of everything that needs to be done around the house. I'll make myself a smaller to-do list every morning. I'll make a writing goal to reach every day (2k words or so), revising that if it seems too easy. Maybe if I find myself with loads of time, I'll take on more shifts at work (I'm also a Weight Watchers leader). But for right now, I'm just going to enjoy this bit of freedom.

After six years of playing cruise director and complaining about not having enough time, I think I've earned it.

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