A friend of mine recently started a blog “The Accidental Stay at Home Mom” detailing her adventures going from a working mother to a stay at home mom. I went through this transition in Summer 2009 and still feel a bit out of sorts with where I fit or how I define myself.
Her recent post “So what do YOU do?” really resonated with me. I have been in this type of conversation socially more than once and still describe myself as a former working parent who is now home, as if I need to apologize for it. That I’m not measuring up since I haven’t gone back to work full-time.
I like to think that I’m a hybrid – a new crossover incorporating being home with my kids and freelancing when I can. Where does this fit on a resume? Or in society for that matter?
I am acquiring leadership roles like room mom and girl scout brownie leader. I volunteer at nonprofits donating my time through marketing, public relations and fundraising. I utilize negotiation skills with my kids daily. I multitask on the fly and stay organized with my old school Retro Mama calendar in the kitchen.
And best of all, I am spending more quality time with my children. They come home after school and can relax. They have not been sick as often. Dinner time is more pleasant since we are all not arriving home at the same time and tired after a long 9-10 hour day elsewhere. The list goes on.
All moms work and there is guilt on either side – I have been on both. Unfortunately, there are perceptions on each side about the other.
I hope that this divide, this wall will crumble and that we realize that it’s not a title or occupation that defines us.
I am researching things to do that are low or no-cost in North Atlanta. I will share the places I find and hope it helps you add to your summer adventures. I live in Forsyth County, GA so this will focus on this area for the most part. I will also update this as I go. Happy trails! Update: As a result of this extremely popular post, I created Forsyth for Families, a local blog chronicling free and cheap things to do for families in and around Cumming, GA.
Forsyth County Parks – we are fortunate to have a wealth of parks available for our leisure. Here is a list with plenty of resources. Central Park is a favorite hangout. Coal Mountain Park has a great shaded playground. Poole’s Mill has a wonderful creek and shady playground. Fowler Park is Forsyth County’s newest park. It is located on the greenway and is about the size of Central Park.
Lake Lanier parks and campgrounds – Shady Grove campground opens March 28, signaling the new Spring season for camping, hiking, playing and visiting all of the wonderful parks on the lake. Here is a list of parks on Lake Lanier and what they offer.
Movies 400 – free summer movies in Cumming, GA on Tuesday and Thursdays at 10:00 am. The concession stand offers a special size $1.00 Popcorn and $1.00 Soda for these showings only. Join us this summer for free movies. Bring a can of food to support our can food drive and receive a free popcorn! (Free Family Film Festival Size only, Limit One Per Customer) See my post on the other movie theaters offering free and dollar movies.
Forsyth County Public Library – activities, puppet shows and a calendar for story time keep the library a fresh fun place to go. Plus checking out books keeps our reading library replenished at no cost!
Cumming City Park Pool and playground – Hours: May 30-Aug 6, Mon-Sun 1pm–5pm; Adult Lap Swim: Mon-Thu 5:30pm-7:30pm; Call for lesson schedule. Cost: $3; lesson prices separate.
Catch Air – a cool and spacious jumpy place with weekly specials. They have a new magic wall and a preschooler area. They are adding neat things and keep it fun for the kids. One of our favorite places to go. Follow on FB or sign up for the newsletter for deals.
Adventure Kids – the newest jumpy place with a sand area. Find refuge on a rainy day here.
Chick-Fil-A – Tuesday night is family night at The Avenues in Cumming, GA and also Lanier Crossing. Balloons, face painting and special meal deals. Sign up for email newsletter local events and deals. Check out their FB page and sign up for text alerts for special promotions!
Barnes & Noble at The Avenues – story time and other fun events at the B&N in Cumming, GA.
Michaels – arts and crafts classes are offered at the Michael’s in Cumming, GA off Market Place Blvd.
Lowe’s – offers kids classes to build all kinds of fun things. Lowe’s in Cumming, GA off Market Place Blvd.
Home Depot offers craft workshops on the first Saturday of each month. Located off of Market Place Boulevard.
Rainbow Ranch Trout Farm – try something new and take your children fishing in this trout farm next to the Chattahoochee River. There is also a picnic area and pavilion for group outings.
The Ice – New ice skating rink in Cumming, GA. Dress warmly and learn to skate a figure eight!
Cumming Playhouse – offering plays, musicals, concerts, and catered fine dining on select performances.
Kinsey Family Farm – pumpkin season starts September 25, hay rides, nursery, apple cannon, fun!
Nearby Activities in Surrounding Counties
Waterparks around Atlanta – I just learned of the one, Bogan, near Mall of Georgia. Great list here and although there is a cost, some like Bogan are real deals.
Fountains of Atlanta – we love to pack a lunch and visit the fountains within 30 minutes of our house in the heat of summer for a cool treat.
Autrey Mill Nature Preserve and Heritage Center
Autrey Mill, located in Alpharetta, has miles of walking trails, a Heritage Village with original buildings and artifacts from the mid-1800s to the mid-1900s, animal exhibits and replicas of Native American dwellings. All activities on the grounds are free.
9770 Autrey Mill Road, Johns Creek, GA 30022.
Chattahoochee Nature Center – walking trails and educational sessions with a low cost admission is fun for the whole family.
Wills Park Wacky World and Disc Golf is a 110-acre park featuring baseball fields, a disc golf course, lighted tennis courts, picnic pavilions, walking trails and two large playgrounds, including “Wacky World,” a unique kingdom that kids rave about. Situated at the edge of the park is the Alpharetta city pool, which has a diving well with three boards, a shaded kiddie, shaded and open deck areas and a concession stand.
Suwanee Town Center Park and Playtown Suwanee – a little bit further away but adventure awaits with an interactive fountain, lots of greenspace and a great playground.
North Georgia Premium Outlets – playground, food court and outdoor shops for window shopping and enjoying the outdoors.
My kindergartener found a handwritten note on the floor of her school bus and put it in her school bag. I found it and opened it up and started reading it. At first, it read like any other note from a girl to another in high school. The bus is shared between HS, middle and elementary school so that made sense.
But as I read it, every parent’s nightmare was listed in the note. Jail time, teen pregnancy, you name it. The question is, now what do we do with it? We are going to turn it into the Principal. Thank goodness my daughter can’t read it, but what if a 3rd or 5th grader read it? Oh the horror. I typed it out into a word document as a reminder as well and I vow to be sure we are active in our child’s life so that this isn’t the path that she takes. I feel that the parents need to know what is going on with these kids and that is the least we can do. I will have nightmares tonight!
What would you do?