Get a Job (Sha-na-na-na)

(Originally posted March 10, 2010)

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.

I repeat.

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.

So.

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.

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