Sunday, April 8, 2012

Hello. Welcome to the Winter of My Discontent.

When the goin' gets tough... you still have to take care of your kids.  So you go out and get a job at the mall.  Like you did 10 years ago.  Because every other option is exhausted and you have to suck up your pride, stop acting like Winona Ryder in Reality Bites and STOP WHINING ALREADY.  Gah.

Sometimes it really sucks to be the grown-up.

I'm realizing just how- righteous?  Proud?  Insistent?  Hopeful?- I've become, and taking a job at the mall is stupidly humbling to say the least.  It feels like a step backward.  It's literally something I was doing 10 years ago.  It's a 60% pay cut from my previous career as a teacher.  And it's probably ultimately good for me.  But I can't say I love the idea of it.  Not yet.

The truth is, it's probably going to be awesome once I adjust to the idea of working with former students. (No literally, I am WORKING WITH A FORMER STUDENT.)  But the thing is, there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with getting a job at the mall.  Or working with a former student.  And retail can be totally bomb, yo.  I'm only pissed off because I feel like I was forced into a corner and I didn't get the jobs that I really wanted.  You know, the jobs that I'm actually completely unqualified for.  But I'm going to be working at a store that I actually really like.  I get a kick-ass discount.  I'll get to talk to other adults (!!!) about things other than poop or sleep (!!!) AND I'll get something that is all mine.  Something separate from "Mommy"... and that is something I've been craving.  And I'll probably get some new clothes out of the deal... once I get a few paychecks.

But.  But.  I can't get over the fact that I'm doing was I doing 10 years ago.  It feels... stagnant.  It feels out of place.  It feels anti-progressive.  But it's also necessary.  We're struggling.  My husband is a student at a private college and financial aid is getting harder and harder to come by.  I believe in what he's doing- what we're doing- and I believe in my choice to stay home rather than work exclusively to pay for day care.  Even if I'd never stopped teaching, we'd still be in the same position.  My salary wouldn't even have covered daycare for two little ones.  And I've always valued time with my children and my husband above money.  But.  But.  I'm tired of people telling me to deliver pizzas.  I'm tired of people thinking I'm slacking.  And I'm tired of being scared all the time.

So.  A job at the mall.

And also, as of yesterday, a job tutoring.  Which feels a little more my speed.  I'm attempting to do both for a while.  Which means I won't actually see my husband.  Ever.  We'll be communicating entirely through post-its.  Which sucks.  But... when the going gets tough... you still have to take care of your kids.  So, here goes.


  1. Don't think of it as going backwards...after all, you won't be spending this money on glittery nail polish and guess purses. Think of it as a different way to impact someone's life, as a job that gives you the opportunity to get out of the house for a few hours and be just an adult for a while instead of only mommy. And it's not forever, just for now, and you never know where this might lead. Good luck my friend, I'm guessing you will have a lot of opportunities to use the extreme patience you have developed over the last few years.

    1. Oh MAN, the patience. But you're right, there will be no glittery nail polish in my future. Although... I wouldn't mind glittery toes.

  2. Non-mommy time cannot be under-valued. I sometimes wonder if I know how to carry on regular conversations anymore. I've often considered taking a minimum wage job since quitting teaching to help ease the bills (I saw Bluebird Ice cream was hiring summer scoopers, and contemplated whether I could swallow my pride). I can't imagine the stress you must be under. Let me know if I can ever help out with childcare since I am home and all. Serious.

    1. What's a regular conversation? You mean, one that doesn't involve snack? Or the potty? Or diapers? Or laundry? Cause I'm still talking a LOT about laundry.
      Thank you for the offer to help with the babes. You are a kind soul. And if you're looking for a minimum wage job... my place is hiring! ;)