Tuesday, June 17, 2008

An explanation of yesterdays malaise

How do people do it? How do you stay home with your children and survive on one income? I want to stay at home with Madeline but it is getting harder and harder. I don't want her being cared for by a substitute me at a day care center that smells of hand sanitizer and spit up.

We don't have expensive stuff. The only clothes I have bought for myself in the last year are all from Target and were on sale or clearance. Madeline's wardrobe is almost entirely hand me downs at this point. (Thanks to her very stylish and generous cousins Mia and Maz.) Our only luxuries are cable TV and our cell phones. Kevin and I have been out to dinner once in the last 5 months and we went to Jimmy Johns. I mean really, that isn't much of an extravagance.

It breaks my heart to think about going back to work full time. But I don't feel like I am left with many choices. I have sent out a few resumes and had one interview and to be honest I am sort of glad I haven't heard back from most of them. I'm torn of course. On the one hand I want to know I am good enough to be hired by these employers. On the other hand I don't want to face the reality of going back to a 5+ day a week job.

I mentioned a few posts ago that I have been working for the local PBS station doing some part time work. Unfortunately this work is only during their quarterly pledge drives so after this weekend I will be unemployed again. (That is until September if I choose to do it again.) Ideally I would find more part time work. Either a couple of days a week or nights and weekends, but I haven't had much luck locating this in my field. (If you are a hiring manager who just stumbled upon my blog I have a masters in Communication and have experience in special events planning, children's program development and marketing. Hire me.)

If you are a stay at home mom out there please tell me how you do it! Kevin and I both want to have more children but how do you make ends meet? I know we can't continue on this financial path forever. What about our next home? Pre-School? Sports fees? A must have Christmas gift? First bikes? Prom dresses? College tuition? Not to mention our retirement?!?!?! I wish I could figure all this out so that I could have what I wanted, a happy and financially stable family. It's not that I don't want to work, it is that I don't want my children to be primarily cared for by someone else.

I guess you could say I am a little stressed out. HELP!



Ms. Bethie said...

I'm not a stay at home mom like you but I'm staying at home not working and share your discomfort in finding a part time job. I admire you staying at home - I really do. So from my stay at home experience I can share somewhat in your discomfort and frustration. You'll find that perfect part time job - just when is the question. Miss you and love you guys! Pictures are adorable and makes me miss the three of you a lot!!! Say hi to Kevin and Madeline for me. Best of luck in your choices - you'll find the best fit and answers out there. I can feel it.

eich0113 said...


If you want my advice I think you should strongly consider some side work doing photography. The startup cost might require a loan, but you're 1) a really good photographer, 2) good with kids, and 3) not a big scary chain photography outlet.

The person who took Gabe and Isaac's pictures a month ago had a couple backdrops, some good, professional flashes, a decent camera and some toys all in her basement. Because she isn't some big chain she was able to simply sell us an hour photo session and the original digital copies of the pictures on a CD.

She only charged $75, but I think a person could easily get twice that.

Fern said...

I've had this post in my Bloglines waiting to write you back... because I don't have any wisdom but I can completely relate.

The first thing that comes to my mind is producing some sort of local tv show. You have a really diverse background so there is a lot open to you... but part time is when it gets tricky. And it is very hard to find a nice daycare, so I can relate to you there too.

My husband was previously working on a women's talk show, and there was at least one part-time producer. She worked 2 days a week, booked people for the show and went on the shoots, and the rest of the time she is able to be home with her little girl. It's probably hard to find something like that though.

One thing I've found in my years of financial instability is that there are always ways to shave a little money off the grocery bill or somewhere. It never seems like it, but somehow that canned food in the back of the pantry turns into 3-4 days of meals. Then with a few more store items, you can make another 3-4 days of meals out of the rest of the pantry stuff. It's never enticing or exciting, but it fills bellies and stretches the grocery money.

I hope none of this comes across as condescending, because we have often struggled with money and it sucks to have someone tell you the money is there when you know it's just not. I just want to encourage you, that it'll all work out. It will. Keep your chin up! :)