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What to Do with Your New Free Time

Once upon a time, you had a career and a life outside the house. But when you started having children, you decided to stay home. Now time has flown by (what with potty training and play dates and all that). In fact seven years have snuck right by you, and it’s time for your kids to start school. Suddenly, for the first time in who knows how long, you have a chunk of time – say, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. – to call your own. Can you imagine what you’ll do with all that time? Here are a few inspired possibilities, just to get the ball rolling:

  • Have coffee with neighborood WAHMs. Find fellow work-at-home moms in your hood and organize a coffee gathering to discuss your emerging careers. There’s nothing like human contact to inspire creativity and productivity. WAHMs even have their own webzine. Check it out here.
  • Teach a class. Nothing says expert on a résumé like “teacher.” Cooking, web design, quilting, refinishing furniture, budgeting, growing vegetables, flower arranging — teach whatever you love and are good at.
  • Open an account on Networth IQ. Now that you have some extra time, figure out your personal net worth and find out what you can do to grow it. Check it out at http://www.networthiq.com.
  • Attend a webinar. It’s a convenient way to learn a useful skill that interests you (think Photoshop, Excel or Power Point) or to catch up on what’s new in the world of business and entrepreneurship, such as using social media to expand your business. All from the comfort of your own PC.
  • Exercise. Join a gym, learn to box, take a yoga or pilates class – or just turn on your iPod and get on the treadmill. Being physically active keeps you sane.
  • Turn a hobby into a money-maker. Take what you’re good at and make it work for you. If, for instance, you can speak a second language, walk dogs, write html, bake amazing cakes and pies, or play an instrument, then you can make money. As a piano or French teacher, as a techie or a dog walker, even as a dessert caterer. Before you know it, you’ll have your own part-time business.
  • Meditate. Spend fifteen minutes a day meditating. Relax. Close your eyes. Breathe slowly. Start your day peaceful and calm, not frazzled and disoriented. Click here for a few tips on getting started.
  • Volunteer. A few hours of volunteer work every week is a great use of your time. Help out an understaffed library. Plan fundraising events for your favorite local charity. Work at a soup kitchen or a shelter for homeless women and children. Not only will it make you feel warm and fuzzy all over, but it will also set a great example for your kids.

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