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Stay-At-Home Moms: Maximize Your Potential
by Jennifer James
When women decide to be full-time mothers, much consideration must be given to the time factor. Not simply the wonderful times and the precious moments that you will spend with your children, but also the free time that you will eventually realize that you have after perfecting the stay-at-home mom routine. I, along with moms across the country, realized that I did have extra time on my hands and I sought to do something with it.

After being a stay-at-home mother for four years, entirely dedicating my time and efforts to my family, I eventually grew to realize that I had to do something to exercise my brain. I read often, becoming a veritable expert on a variety of issues, but I was still missing something along the way and that was interaction with other mothers and a stimulation of the things that interested me as a mother and as a woman.

As most stay-at-home mothers know, being a full-time caregiver is not only a fulfilling and wonderful job, it can also prove to be a bit isolating and mind-numbing for some. Given that, however, everything that is worth doing has its rewards and its drawbacks, but being a stay-at-home mother can become a fulfilling job in all respects where everyone in your family benefits. That is why it is essential to stimulate your interests and find something valuable that you would like to organize, assist with or manage, and that can mean any of a million things.

Before I began searching out endeavors that I could become a part of that allowed me to be available for my children without compromise, home school them, as well as do something for me, I had to do some brainstorming. It was essential to develop a plan that allowed me to access ideas, develop them and see them through to an effective outcome. Essentially, I had to figure out exactly what it was that I enjoyed doing. I knew that I enjoyed reading and education. I knew that I loved every aspect and the entire concept of home education and I loved the Internet. The best fit for me would result in what has become my passion for nearly seven months now.

Along with my husband, I laid the framework for the National African-American Homeschoolers Alliance, an online information portal and networking tool for African-American, international Black and other diverse home schooling families. Simply by following my desire to help others, learn more about home schooling and learn the ins and outs about the Internet, I have since been able to stay at home with my children full time while also directing a national organization.

The crux of the issue and the prevailing theme here is to maximize your potential by laying down an idea that you can see through to completion and that will essentially give you immense joy and satisfaction at the end of the day. I have found that being actively involved in my own pursuits has made me a more well-rounded person because I feel useful to not only my family, but to others as well.

In summary, being a stay-at-home mother does not mean that as a woman, you must lose your drive for self-improvement and even career advancement. I feel wholly satisfied with my ability to direct my own future, meet interesting and committed mothers, and be intellectually challenged and stimulated each day, while also consistently and constantly being available for my family. I have learned that life does not have to end when you become a stay-at-home mother. Truly, it can become the beginning of new endeavors if you focus your energies on everyone in your home, including you.

About the Author:
Jennifer James, a writer and home school mother of 2, is the Director of the National African-American Homeschoolers Alliance. She has been featured on Fox News.com and BET Nightly News. In her role as a home school leader and advocate, Jennifer has also been interviewed by Reuters, Newsday, The Christian Science Monitor, and the Monthly Magazine World Report.

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