Growing up, I participated in Halloween. Every year, we donned our costumes, drove into town, and trick or treated until our little hearts were content. It was the one day out of the year when we could definitely count on both of our parents clearing their schedules, focusing large amounts of time on our costumes, and laughing and walking alongside us as we begged complete strangers for candy. My mom prepared for Halloween by digging out her scary goopy decorations and pairing them with her beautiful fall decorations. The neighborhoods we rode past on our way to school were filled with gignormous spider webs and life sized skeletons, Freddy scene remakes, and haunted houses that really, throughout the normal year, we all thought were haunted anyway. Though the decorations terrified me (I am easily scared), I LOVED the rush of some teenager jumping out of the pile of leaves next to his front door as we walked up to the doorbell. Though I grew up in the south, the buckle of the Bible belt, and had plenty of influential people all around me thumping out the message that Halloween is evil, I loved every scary second of it.
I have not always worked outside of the home. In fact, most of my adult life after the Marine Corps has been spent in my home, either working or volunteering, while simultaneously raising my three children and basically being the headquarters and support company for my little Marine family. Not all of that time was spent working in a paying position. In fact, a good chunk of that time, all I did was volunteer for various organizations or as an unpaid staff member. I suppose one might have referred to me as a stay at home mom.
Recently, I went back to work outside of the home. In addition to my position as the Editor-in-Chief of Many Kind Regards and as a volunteer for the non-profit organization In Gear Career, I am the Managing Editor of Publications for the Texas A&M Aggie Corps of Cadets Association. I get up every morning, get my kids fed and ready for school, get myself ready for work, take the kids to school, and then I go to the office, where I design, edit, and put together an entire magazine from start to finish. I don’t have an assistant, an editor-in-chief, a staff, or even a graphic designer. Oh yeah, and I’ve never worked with the software that we use to put a magazine together.
Suffice it to say, I work, and I work hard. And then I leave the office, pick up my kids from school, go home, make dinner while my husband oversees homework, get the kids ready and into bed, and then I sit down and work on Many Kind Regards until it’s nearly bedtime.
And I love every minute of it.
I wake up in the morning. I roll over and pick up my phone and mindlessly tap “I’m Awake” on my FitBit app. I fumble around for my glasses, smudging the lenses horribly, and shove them into my face. Muttering about morning being illegal, I sit up and listen for sounds of the kids. Nine times out of 10, they are up already, no doubt getting into something in the pantry they shouldn’t be eating (like bread smothered in chocolate syrup with marshmallows on top).
During those first one to one and a half minutes of waking up (and no, that is not an exaggeration of time), I’m processing everything around me that I possibly can- the level of light streaming through the single crack in my thermal curtains; the warmth of the house; I’m wondering if I completely missed my husband’s brief appearance at home between the gym and work (which happens for about an hour between 830 and 930 during this half of the summer) and what I will make for dinner; I’m contemplating my work load for the day (I work from home); I’m considering some new information I picked up from a historical fiction novel I am currently reading; I’m going over the “insights” I reviewed last night in my mind while I think of new ways to boost those numbers this morning before the day gets too crazy; I’m looking around for a missing sock (I’m sure I actually wore two to bed).
Katie Foley is the Editor-in-Chief at Many Kind Regards and the Creator of Highly Offensive Mom. An independent author, her work has appeared in multiple publications, both in print and online, and she has published two novels. Married to a US Marine, she is a mom to three kids, an author, a volunteer, and the 2014 & 2015 Independent and Reserve Installation Marine Corps Spouse of the Year. Additionally, she is the lead for the Bryan College Station chapter of In Gear Career. In her spare time she likes to breathe and draw up plans for the invasion of small countries. You can stalk her on Facebook and Twitter.