Are You A SAHM Whose Youngest Is Entering Kindergarten? How Will Your Life Change?

Mothers with one or more children often face a life change when their youngest heads off to kindergarten for a full day. They feel restless unless they are a working mother because their daily routines suddenly change. They are open to new opportunities but aren't sure how to focus their energies. It seems to be helpful to know you are not alone with this new development and have many options.
08/24/2016 11:19 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Mothers with one or more children often face a life change when their youngest heads off to kindergarten for a full day. They feel restless unless they are a working mother because their daily routines suddenly change. They are open to new opportunities but aren't sure how to focus their energies. It seems to be helpful to know you are not alone with this new development and have many options.

7 Options to Consider When You No Longer Have Kids at Home All Day

1. You can survey your particular interests that don't center around child care.
2. You can reconsider previous pursuits you had before you had kids.
3. You can decide on a new pursuit and look into going back to school for a new full blown career.
4. You can consider being more involved in school life with PTA's and other school functions taking a leadership role.
5. You can launch into more recreational activities such as sports and become adept in athletics.
6. You can take an active interest in reorganizing your household that you've been looking forward to for years but haven't had time to focus on such as redoing a kitchen, redecorating your living areas, or attending to landscaping your property.
7. You can volunteer for a cause you are passionate about. Dedicate yourself to learn about it more intensely and move into a leadership position that you can be proud of.

Taking Stock Of Yourself

All of these options lend themselves to thinking deeply about what would make you feel accomplished and satisfied with your productivity. It's time to take the opportunity to reevaluate your self-image and make decisions to explore new avenues that you have only briefly thought about. Feeling positive about your motherhood continues to be a goal, but now you have the chance to increase your sense of who you are and who you want to become.

These are not easy decisions and shouldn't be taken lightly. It's time to experiment and adventure out of your comfort zone. Being a mother takes a lot of skill and raising well-adjusted children is a mighty responsibility. If, however, it is not satisfying enough for you, then take the plunge on learning even more in new ways that complement or diversify your current accomplishments.

While going through this journey it is imperative that you don't lessen your view about all you've been doing as a mother. This takes a great deal of patience, learning about child development, empathy and nurturance, fascination with the stages your kids go through, and endurance when a child's emotions can be overwhelming and hard to understand.

It's important while you're looking beyond motherhood not to diminish all you have done thus far. Raising emotionally healthy children is a feat that should build your confidence. Hold on to the belief in yourself as someone who has the skills for organization, protecting growing minds, stimulating the learning of your children, and providing a household that makes them safe and secure. Giving yourself credit for all you've done as a devoted caretaker can give you the courage to continue to expand your horizons. As your kids take on new challenges, so can you. They will respect your example and want to follow in your footsteps.

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Laurie Hollman, Ph.D., is a psychoanalyst and author of Unlocking Parental Intelligence: Finding Meaning in Your Child's Behavior found on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Familius and wherever books are sold.