I Went From Stay-At-Home Mom To Retired

And now what?

It didn’t really hit me last year when my youngest started university because he was attending school while living at home. It was still a normal day, he would leave in the morning but be home for dinner. If he was going to be late, he would send me a text message, but most days he was home for supper.

This year is different though; last weekend we drove middle child and the teenage boy to another province for their return to university. There are no lunches to be made, no parent-teacher conferences, no afterschool sports. There is nothing.

The eldest is home, but at twenty-four, a college graduate and working, I can’t really say I am a stay-at-home-mom for her, so I am retired.

Over the weekend, I met another mom who also went from stay-at-home-mom to retired. Now, there are women out there who would argue that she should go out to work, citing the identity argument. How can you have an identity if you have no career and why would anyone want to go from SAHM to retired? They do just fine living on her husband’s income, so moneywise, there is no need for her to work. Which brings another argument: Why wouldn’t you want your own money? For some, like myself, my husband’s paycheque is the family’s paycheque. What does she do with her time then? Once or twice a week, she volunteers at a seniors home and you know what, it’s enough. She is happy with her life, no longer a stay-at-home-mom but retired.

Note: I haven’t been able to work for quite a few years now, but it has always been easier to say I am a stay-at-home-mom.

Mother of three young adults. Our eldest, recently moved out. Middle daughter, graduated from university, and is just finishing graduate school. The youngest is in his third year of university in another province.

I love camping in the wilderness of Algonquin Provincial Park which always includes one portage. I have a wonderful, patient husband who will carry all the gear and do most of the paddling. I also love cooking and spending time with our beagle Cocoa and middle child's dog Bear, who also lives with us.

More about me: 1st accident April 27th, 1979, five cars hit the city bus I am on. 2nd accident May 6th, 1979, city bus smashes into truck (I am on the bus). 3rd accident May 6th, 1983, car coming towards us, totals drivers side of car. Years of physiotherapy and massage therapy ensue. Pain meds, muscle relaxants, etc. 4th accident, May 1989, I am seven months pregnant when we are rear ended. 1st back surgery at age 40; 2nd back surgery, two years later. Both are failures. As of 2006, I am permanently disabled and unable to work. I suffer from chronic pain and chronic muscle spasms (I fall a lot), permanent numbness and tingling from the waist down caused by damaged nerves in back, sitting is extremely painful, add in degenerative disc disease, arthritis in all my joints & back, fibromyalgia, myofascial pain, three bulging discs in my neck.

I am thankful for a very patient husband, and three kids who will do anything for me.

Life does go on, it is just altered.

I was born a redhead, but now I have to pay for it. My mind still works but my body hates me.