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You’re Not A SAHM, Think Of Yourself As “Semi-Retired”

housewifeTanya, John, and their 4 year old daughter Daphne just moved to Calgary.

Tanya had to give up her job in Vancouver when John was let go from his and moved here to be an executive. Tanya won’t be looking for work, right away, she’ll be staying home and discovering her new hometown with their daughter.

I asked her how she felt about staying home after having worked, and she quickly corrected me. “I’m not a stay-at-home mom,” she jokingly scolded. “I’m semi-retired.”

Tanya doesn’t look at her time in Calgary as being permanent. To her it’s just a means to an end of getting back home. Her husband took the job because it was well-paying enough that she didn’t have to work. It was a leap of faith in the family to pick up and move away from Vancouver, the only city she has ever called home.

Since staying at home, out of the workforce, is a temporary thing, she calls it “semi-retirement” – she’s not done working, she just done working for now. And it’s not like she has her feet up doing nothing. She still runs her 4 year old around to ballet, and preschool, and activities while being CEO of the household.

I wonder if that’s an interesting mind shift for some parents to have when they choose to stay home with young children. It’s a temporary career interruption, not a full stop to it. My mom had a period of “semi-retirement”. She had a nursing career that took breaks when we were all younger, and then, when we were old enough to be self-sufficient latchkey kids, she went back to work.

How do you view your time at home with your kids? Is it a wholesale career change from the ratrace to the homefront, or is it just a time of “semi-retirement”?

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