When many people are thinking about retiring, women who have been stay-at-home moms often find themselves in an awkward position. People who have worked outside the home sometimes assume the stay-at-home mom will go to college, open a business, or start a career after the children grow up and move out of the house.
Indeed, many people who have worked outside the home create a “second act” for their lives, after they retire from their day jobs. There are many options available to stay-at-home moms after the children become adults, including choosing to retire and not pursue a second act.
Saying, “No Thanks,” to a Second Act
You worked hard for 20 or 30 years or longer, raising a family. You did not get evenings or weekends off. Even when the family took a vacation, you were still “on duty,” organizing and watching over everyone. You faced less respect than you deserved during those years, and now you face another chapter of disrespect. Some people assume you do not deserve to retire because you never (in their minds) worked a “real job.”
Unfortunately, you will never convince those people you worked as hard as they did or harder and that you have earned the right to spend your time however you want now. You did not need their permission to be a stay-at-home mom, and you do not need their approval now.
Kicking Your Previous Career into High Gear
You might have worked outside the home before becoming a stay-at-home mom. If you enjoyed the type of work you did then, you might want to go back to it. You might need to take a couple of courses at your local community college to get some of your job skills, like using specific types of software. Without kids at home, you can devote as much time as you want without getting pulled in multiple directions.
Of course, if you hated the employment you had in the past or want to try something new, you can always explore a job field that sounds interesting to you. You likely have more freedom now than ever before, so this could be the ideal time to explore new things.
Let’s say that you have always wanted to live in a remote part of the world while helping people. The Peace Corps actively recruits people over 50 to serve a tour of duty.
Sometimes people do not get to choose who they help. Many people who are thinking about retiring find themselves serving as caregivers to elderly parents rather than sailing around the world.
Getting That College Degree
You might have started college but never completed the degree. Perhaps you earned your bachelor’s degree but now want to attend graduate school. On the other hand, life might have gotten in the way of you ever getting to start college. Many people choose to go back to school after they finish their child-raising careers.
Opening a Business
You might have a fantastic idea for a business you want to launch and run. There is no time like the present. With all of these options, the important thing is to make a decision. You do not want to have regrets one day when you look back on this opportunity. Do your research and then have fun with whatever you choose.
Huffpost “I Was A Stay-At-Home Mom For 22 Years. I Don’t Need A ‘Second Act’ To Feel Fulfilled.” (accessed December 12, 2019) https://www.huffpost.com/entry/stay-at-home-mom-after-50_n_5d812feae4b077dcbd6595ae