I know there are people who can do it all. They stay home and take care of the family. They homeschool. And they have a business or a part time job or contracts. How do they do it??? I need to make some extra money, at the very least until our lease is up and we can move some place cheaper.
We picked this house with this ridiculous rent because we were desperate. The baby had serious asthma and I wanted hardwood floors so, well, she could breathe! I wanted somewhere closer to their grandparents, for emergencies (ours OR theirs -- my dad's diabetic and has a bad back), and because I want my kids to know them. We lived right down the street from a recycling plant, and I don't think that black dust that kept getting stuck to everything was healthy for anyone. The house was not well-maintained, and my infant was starting to eat everything. We knew the house had lead paint, but I didn't trust the owners enough to think they had taken care of it. And my son was going to be Kindergarten aged soon, so we needed to be in the right neighborhood with the right school before registration time.
Well, things have changed. Thanks to leaving the old place and pulling them out of daycare, the baby's health is perfect now, even if she is super cranky with teething (she getting her four canines and four molars all at once! Oh the joy we have here, folks). The neighborhood is gorgeous. We can walk to two parks, the library, a few restaurants, a sewing store, Michaels', and the grandparent's house! We have a small yard, big enough that we can get some energy out without having to leave home. But one tiny thing is wrong -- the rent is so high, my husband's paycheck barely covers it, and there's still the rising costs of gas, food, and electricity to think about!
We knew we were going to be losing money (even with my paycheck too) for a few months, until our son was out of daycare and in Kindergarten. I figured it was okay, our savings were good, and it was more important to get a good school. There are no "medium" schools. Around here, it's basically a very good school or a school where most of the classes are ESL because the majority of the kids do not speak english well. It's not hyperbole, either, you can see it all on greatschools.net.
Anyway, I've told my story already of deciding to homeschool, quitting my job, pulling them from daycare and so forth. But the one problem is, I never had a plan for how to pay for it. Now, in a combination of luck and quite honestly my abilitty to save money away in places where we forget it is so we don't spend it, plus all my stock options from eight years in Silicon Valley, all my vacation time I never could take because work was too busy (I think I had six weeks?!) plus our savings, and various other things, we've been able to hold out for eight months already! But I think the magic money I pull out of nowhere is going to end soon, and I need a plan. Plus it would be nice to eventually buy a house, and all the money we've been living on was being saved for a down payment. Oh well, I guess some things are more important than a house. But I do understand it's going to make our future all that much harder.
I don't know where to find the time. I have a very hyper five year old who is very social and needs to talk and move non-stop. My daughter is one, and I don't think you can do much with a one year old around. After they are asleep at night, I'm exhausted. I've been working through my own health issues that I ignored for so long because there wasn't time for me -- it's actually another reason I gave up and quit. I didn't think I could last much longer. I've had my wisdom teeth out, at 31, and finally I feel some relief there. But it's been six more months of horrible, draining (figuratively, and unfortunately not literally!) sinus pain, and migranes. I think they may finally be worked out! I'm feeling better!
But I still have no time.
Also, I feel like I'm out of touch already. Now, my job wasn't that glamorous, but in a lot of ways my skills were, for the job, pretty cutting edge. And that edge dies quickly if you don't do the constant work to sharpen them. But I don't have time to keep them up! I don't even have time to use the skills I have much less get new ones! So it has me paniced. What if I need to get a job and I have nothing to offer anyone? I actually gave up an amazing job offer that came looking for me, once people heard I'd left my old job. But I love my family more.
Sorry I'm rambling. I guess I have a lot to let out. I think I'm partly feeling the same sadness I felt leaving grad school. I did that for my family too. But it's hard not to just feel like a failure. I feel like grad school, and work, just asked for too much of me. They wanted me to sacrifice everything for them. Even if it meant being in the lab all night, or leaving my kids in daycare all day. And I'm not willing to do it! But a little part of me has died each time. Leaving grad school, even though it was nine years ago, it still hurts. I still have trouble reading about science, because I feel the pain of a lost love. A lost passion. And now I feel the same way about writing, about coding.
I would never choose anything over my family, though. I won't be a scientist if it means losing my husband. (And no, he made no demands of me, it was my own choice, because of the conflict in me). And I will not neglect my kids to make some stupid thing for a corporation that doesn't even know who I am. But they are still parts of me, and I've had to cast them off.
I just wish I could find a tiny, tiny, tiny job to make the money we need to get by, to keep my skills at least somewhat up to date, and to make me feel like those little tiny parts of me are kindled like tiny pilot lights, waiting for the chance to burst out again, even if they have to wait another 9 years.
But I don't have the time, or the energy. And I will not sacrifice my family.