Monday, August 10, 2009

Sound Off

Hold on, I'm gonna rant today. I have been keeping all of this in my head for weeks and it is starting to take it's toll on my poor husband.

In June I started researching the Army Reserves and by July had done and passed just about everything needed to join, including the awkward telling of all my family and friends who mostly either thought I was crazy or were brave enough to actually tell me so. In the past few weeks I have decided to scrap the Army because it would be very unfair to my children to leave them for 4 months of training and then likely be deployed for a year or more during my 6 year commitment. After all, it is not their fault they ended up with parents who learned the hard way how to handle money and now are swimming in a lack of it (let's call it what is it -big, stupid debt).

So now, like every other hard working person out there, I am on a job hunt. This makes me mad and I will tell ya why - I don't want to work. Now I am not saying I never want to work again, but for the time being I want to be home with my kids and helping out at their school until they are older and decide they don't need Mom anymore (pssh, like that could happen).

My youngest child is three and won't be four until December 19th... let me translate - the child is 18 days past the cut off for school. Frustrating? Sure - but what makes it worse is that she misses the deadline for the FREE MSRP program... a huge solution to the "working just to pay daycare" dilemma I am faced with, which also makes me mad.

Do you know that the Head Start people told me for my family of 5 we would need to make $25,000 a year or less to qualify for the program? Well, I didn't actually expect you would know that, but doesn't it fry you to think of it? $25,000 a year, really? We have fairly average expenses, one car and no house payment and barely make it on $31,000 a year.

So, my point is that in order to avoid an extreme like joining the Army (I would have had my student loans paid off and a $20,000 sign-on bonus) I need to pay someone else to care for my children 9 hours a day and still have enough left over to pay for gas and the second car we will need to acquire plus contribute to our spendable cash flow. **sigh** sounds easy enough... right?

What happened to the time when a family could live on one income? Why is it so difficult to find suitable childcare that doesn't suck a parent dry? Why aren't there more programs to help, rather than hinder, working parents? If ever this country needed to start an overhaul of a system I would say this is it. How the heck did our parents do it?

While I am mad - lets talk updating resumes of Stay-At-Home-Moms, shall we? I have a degree in Human Resources and worked in the field for about 10 years, and enjoyed it less each and every year. I want to help people and be involved in the work place but instead I was stuck behind my desk, with loads of paper work, delicately balancing the employers best interest with the needs of the employees. Guess who usually won out?

In the past three years I have had a smattering of odd jobs, only one of which I actually enjoyed but had to leave after only 9 months because we moved.

I spent last year substitute teaching and loved it, I met a lot of teachers and staff that I would not have normally and was able to get a glimpse in to my boys day. Does that pay well -nope, does it translate well on to a resume - nope, is it relevant to my prior work history - barely.

Rather than looking like the hard working person that I am in real life this single sheet of paper has me portrayed as a job hoping, gaps-in-employment explaining, removed from my line of work hopeful who wants to be your next employee. Promising, I know.

To sum it up - working Mom's need a break and stay-at-home Mom's need, well, a break too. The whole thing makes me mad {duh, you suppose} and so darn frustrated. When my daughter is finally old enough for 1st grade {read: whole day of school} this will all be a distant memory - partly due to the fact that I also suffer from "mommy brain," but that is a whole 'nother entry, that I'll probably forget to write {get it, cuz my memory is bad...}- and I will wonder why I was so fired up.

Thanks for sticking with me through this mammoth rant... I needed to get it out there. I love my husband and my kids and feel terrible each day that this consumes me and makes me a bear to live with. I absolutely take for granted all of the things that I do have and am trying to stay focused on those...

If you know of anyone looking to hire a SAHM and is paying, oh say, $100,000 a year to allow her to stay home feel free to pass along my name, 'kay? *wink*


  1. That really stinks! Having to pay for daycare and a car payment would really make it difficult to find a job earning enough to actually benefit from.

    I hope you find something soon! Good luck.

  2. I hear you completely Shelby. When I was teaching it paid the bills, and the kids were at a daycare provider that we really LOVED, but we both felt that our kids needed to be raised by their parents (ie US).
    It is all too unfortunate that the country we live in and love to live in, doesn't appreciate the value of raising children. I don't expect to be paid, but when I do choose to go back to work, I hope that my future employer understands that the reason for staying home was a valuable one that they can see in some way will be an assest to them. Good luck on your job hunting, daycare provider seeking, preschool searching adventures. The pieces will come together.
    ~ Jodi

  3. You summed up why I'm at home! I can't afford a car payment and daycare on what I will make...crazy world, isn't it?!

    Good luck with the job hunting! I'll keep you in my prayers that the perfect opportunity will come your way!

  4. Praying that things work out for the best!

    I admire you for even considering the Army!! That's very cool. :o)

  5. Shelby~ I know it can't be easy right now. Your kids are lucky to have you home with them(if even for now). I pray that when the right job comes along, God will open up the doors! :)

  6. Freakin' money. I hate it. Well, I mean, I might like it more if I had more of it. *ahem*

    I'm gonna add to your rant....It chaps my hide theat both Rob and I are working are collective tails off and we're making it by the skin of our teeth. Well, HA, I mean we still rob Peter to pay Paul but one of em gets paid every other month. It's ridiculous and I'm tired of busting my hump. I'm bitter, I'm exhausted and I think the whole thing stinks.

    In short, I'd like to just giv e abig ole "pppbbbtttthhhhhh" to the whole universe right now. Ya feel me?

  7. Shelby,
    I feel for you and hope you will find exactly what you are looking for and need right now in your life. It was nice to hear about your 9-month job that you enjoyed - I think it was about us. Seriously, give my comments in my last email some thought. You are very talented but just need to find the right person/job/company that needs you. I will keep my ears and eyes open for anything in your area. Be strong.

  8. We've discussed this a few times, but I did just see this blog post and wanted to let you know that when I did decide to re-enter the work force, and had interviews, when asked why I hadn't worked the last 2 years I came right out and said that I chose to stay home with my children. Not once did I get a negative comment or even so much as a blink. So, don't think that a gap in employment due to you making the decision you've made is going to make it harder for you to find a job. In my experience, so many of us moms have done that now- taken some time off to be with our families, then gone back later- that nobody thinks much of it anymore.

    Take care