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Cool, MP! I did not have years in the workforce, before staying home, but I went through all the motions of preparing for a high-powered career, and I have always worked, ever since I could babysit in middle school. I don't know if I am a type A, but I think I must be close.

Since I have been at home, I have always had at least one project going on. We have transferred a lot for DH's career, so quite often one of those projects was getting the family settled, or learning a new language. But I have also taken a lot of arts and crafts classes, volunteered at schools and elsewhere, renovated our current home, and worked part-time from home ever since my oldest was about three. At times, I was only working a few hours a week, but the money was always helpful, and it was good for me, too.

Nowadays, I work about 10-15 hours per week from home, and starting around the beginning of the next school year, I am planning to drop most of my clients and look for employment outside the home about 20-25 hours per week. I'm just ready to get out of the house, that's all. While I won't have the resume that I would have had if I hadn't stayed home, my freelance work does give me something to put on it, and I can truthfully say that I have been in the workforce for the last ten years. I feel pretty up to date on Office applications and so on, and I'm not worried about my ability to function in the workplace (though I definitely need a new wardrobe!)

So, my advice to you would be--don't go cold turkey! If you like to work, then work, just don't work full time, that's all. You didn't mention what your area of expertise is, but with all your experience, I am sure there is some way you can offer services to the business community. You might not make as much money as you were before, but there could be a lot of satisfaction in running your own shop and setting your own schedule.

There's also unpaid work--for example, all the hardcore PTA moms at my kids' schools are definitely type As! There are several charitable thrift stores in my area that are run by volunteers. All the museums in the DC area use volunteers as do the zoos, if you like animals. Those classes that are taught at the community centers and so on are taught by virtual volunteers--the pay is so little as to not be worth mentioning, but the teachers always seem to enjoy what they are doing. If you love books, you could work part-time in a library--again, pays practically nothing, but seems like a pleasant environment.

Finally, I want to mention that I have a GREAT relationship with my teenage daughter, and I think that is due in large part to having spent so much time with her, and knowing what's going on in her life. I wouldn't trade that for any amount of money, and I think you'll be very happy with your decision to invest your time in your daughter for the next few years.

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