I'm a working person now.  I work.  I have a job.  

I was really nervous about getting a job after being a stay-at-home mom for 11 years.  I was anxious about what it would do to our family's schedule, and what it would mean for my creative pursuits.  I was extremely self conscious about filling out job applications and not being able to list any work experience (working as a waitress 13 years ago just didn't seem relevant).  It also stirred up some lingering insecurities about never having finished college.  The whole process was more emotional than I would have expected. 

But I tried to put my fears aside, and I filled out a few applications around town.  I also started to answer ads for after-school childcare.  I ended up finding a family to babysit for after school, and getting a call from Paper Source.  Of all the places within walking distance to our apartment, Paper Source was my number one choice for a possible workplace.  So I was pretty happy when they called me, and very excited when I aced the interview and got hired.

Working has been good.  I like feeling like I am contributing financially, even if it's just a little.  I like getting out of the house and interacting with a variety of people.  I like my coworkers and my manager.  I like choosing work outfits and doing my hair and makeup.  I like coming home and telling the boys and Nate about my weirdest/nicest/funniest/rudest customer of the day.  Paper Source is a fun place to work because my crafting skills and creativity are valuable.  Sometimes it's hard to get into sales-lady mode, to talk about "product stories", or ask every customer to add their email to our list without feeling silly.  But the things that are hard or awkward are far outweighed by the things I love.  I'm really happy and thankful for this job.

I like my babysitting job too.  The kids are very sweet.  They love the boys and the boys enjoy having them around.

I definitely feel busier.  Housework is tricky.  Laundry mostly gets done on the weekend now instead of daily, for example, and we have a backlog like we never had before.  Life has a new rhythm and we are doing our best to adapt. 

I do think my quilt output will slow down in the coming year, but not by much.  I still have a couple days to myself per week, and I try hard to use them productively.  I love my days off more than I can say.  I think about before I was working, but both boys were in school, and how every day was a day off, but I couldn't appreciate them as much.  It was like too much of a good thing;  it was saccharine sweet.  Now I can fully value my time off and make the most of it.  Don't get me wrong, I still have days when I get caught up in stupid tv and internet rabbit holes and accomplish absolutely nothing.  But they don't happen as often. 

Time does seem to pass faster now that I am working.  I feel somewhat mournful over that.  Summers will be slightly different, now that I will have to fit in my adventuring with the boys around my work schedule.  It's a little harder to be spontaneous, and I will miss that.  Some things about working are hard, but overall I am pleased with the change.  I did a lot of worrying about this transition before it happened.  Now that I am here, I'm happy, and proud of us all for adjusting like champs.