Thursday, October 2, 2014

More Than A Hobby?

I already know this post is going to be scattered, because that is the best description of my thoughts lately. I feel like I'm at a crossroads and trying to figure out what my next step is. Before I became a stay at home mom, I didn't have time to daydream. I woke up, went to work, came home, worked some more, went to bed. Repeat. Of course, after Jackson was born I came home, played with Jack, worked some more, and went to bed.

Now that I'm home, I find myself fantasizing about so many different things. Strangely, none of them have a thing to do with the classroom. Can I turn interests into income? What do I really want to do? It's not that I'm bored or feel like something is lacking. I'm really enjoying this stage of life and motherhood. But that doesn't stop me from dreaming.

Here's a list of things I love and what I've considered doing about it:

I am 99% confident that I do not want to turn this hobby into any form of profit. The idea that I could come into anyone's home and capture these magical photographs does not interest me. However, I really, really like taking pictures. I've looked at photography courses at the local community college but I can't justify the money. Still, I think I could have potential to take some beautiful photographs if I knew a bit lot more. I also looked at entering photo contests, but most of the pictures I take are with my cell phone and those don't really belong in photo competitions.

Pregnancy and Birth
Ever since my pregnancy with Jackson, I've become fascinated with all things related to pregnancy, labor, delivery, and postpartum care. Every article I read only furthers my amazement of a woman's body. Every few months over the past three years I have gone through phases where I want to be a doula or a Bradley Method instructor. I have seriously looked into the certification process for both but I never feel confident in spending upfront costs or attending out-of-state conferences and workshops. I enjoyed pregnancy so much I've extensively researched surrogacy, but I'm not a desirable candidate since I've had a c-section and am currently uninsured.

Early Childhood Education
I never, ever expected to enjoy raising young children. I know that sounds terrible, but I was never fond of such needy children. When I student taught kindergarten, I remember getting so frustrated that I spent my entire lunch opening milk cartons, bathroom breaks zipping pants, and recess buttoning coats. Now that I am surrounded by toddlers, I frequently think about having an in-home daycare. Realistically, I know I'm not very marketable considering I already have four young children. I would have never considered allowing a mother of four children (ages 3 and under) to care for Jackson. I think most of my interest in an in-home daycare stems from the fact that I won't have any more children. We don't have the physical space or money to have more children, but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy coming up with activities for young children to do. I think I would be perfectly happy taking children to the library, park, and museum for the next decade.

When I'm not convincing myself to become a doula or daycare provider, I am researching home-based food business. I've read the files so often that they are bookmarked under my favorite links. I'm too paranoid to sell cakes and other desserts without a license. Jackson's preschool is having a "Vendor Blender" fundraiser in their gym. They asked the parents for names of sellers who would be willing to donate 20% of sales to the school. I would love to have a professional bake sale and advertise to parents, but the last thing I need to do is promote illegal activity.

I keep going back and forth about who my audience is and what my purpose is in blogging. I frequently consider allowing ads and making the blog more professional. I even research search engine optimization. Then I feel guilty that I would ever try to sell my family. Blogging is time consuming, though. I spend a considerable amount of time each day taking, editing, and uploading pictures, then providing commentary. I could easily adapt the blog content to emphasize activities, tips, and general feelings on raising multiples or being a mother to four.

So...all these ramblings and daydreams do little more than keep my up at night. I think the only result in all these interests is perpetual insomnia. My mind never rests! Maybe I should just return to teaching already so my mental energy could be focused into productive work. Or perhaps I should take some risks and actually turn one of these hobbies into something more.

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