It's 11:15 am, and I'm in my pajamas. I'm sipping my coffee and watching Martha Stewart. She packs each individual article of clothing in a zip-loc bag with a piece of tissue. Really, Martha? My daughter is napping- sort of- and I'm trying to decide what I'll do today, other than play knock-down-the stack-of-blocks and what's-in-the-purse.
Like many of you, I am thrilled with this life. I feel blessed to be a stay at home parent, (yes, parent- not just Mom. S'up, Tom?) and I'm able to laugh at how much my life has changed. The problem- like for many of you- is that we do not have enough money.
We. Do. Not. Have. Enough. Money.
When we decided to start the adoption process in May of 2008, we were doing pretty well. My husband had a stable well-paying job, and I was teaching at a local college. We were doing well enough, in fact, that when we got approved for adoption and were officially "waiting," we decided I would stay home. Our wait wasn't long- a few months later the gorgeous, outgoing, 12-day-old Lily came into our lives.
Then the bottom dropped out of the economy my husband lost his job I got a part time job then I lost that part time job then he got a new job and he takes on freelance clients but in 2009 we made fifty-eight thousand dollars less that's right fifty-eight thousand dollars less than we made in 2008 and it's just not enough.
I know what you're thinking.
Get a job.
That's a great idea. I'll get a job.
I started with that local college. The one where I used to work. Their enrollment is down, so even though I was only taking a maternity leave I was back to low woman on the totem pole, so there was no room for me.
Great. So I'll find a new job. Are you hiring? Here are my requirements:
1. I need to make at least $30 an hour. Sounds high, right? OK let's do the math. The other day someone offered me a job for $20 an hour. A generous offer, for sure. Babysitting is $10 an hour, and I have to pay the babysitter at least two hours longer than I actually work. (travel) It costs $4.50 round-trip on the subway, and my net is $15.50 for the day. To be away from my baby girl for six hours. So, my $30 an hour pay requirement stays.
2. I have been teaching music for ten years, I have two masters degrees, and I founded and now operate- with my best friend- an Off-off-Broadway theatre company that has skyrocketed to success in just eighteen months. It hurts my soul to be quiet when I think I have a good idea. If I think there's room for improvement, I will tell you.
3. I have been so fully involved in teaching music theatre for ten years that I have no experience in any other field. At all.
4. Because of my theatre company, my church, and my love for my family and friends, I'll have a lot of schedule conflicts.
Am I hired?
OK, you've stayed with me for this long, and I can only imagine it's to see if I have a point. Unless you just genuinely enjoy self-indulgent whining. So here's my point.
I am one highly-educated stay at home parent among millions. We're doing the best we can with what we have. We can't just get a job, and furthermore, we don't really want to. We have long-term plans that involve continuing our careers (yes, Dad, I have a plan.) But for now, this is what we're doing. Be patient with us?
Now if you'll excuse me, Dragon Tales is on.