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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Agree To Give Me Money! For I Am Super-Fantastic!

Been putting my resume and a cover letter together. What a strange business that is! As someone brought up constantly cautioned against the evils of thinking too highly of oneself, it is hard to brag about how amazing I am, especially to perfect strangers.

I seriously dislike this whole application process. The Viking seems to enjoy it, but then he is one of those people who shine in an interview. I wind up saying something dorky and knocking over a cup full of pencils. But anyway...

We've decided it is time. I need to get a part-time job.

When Redheaded Snippet was born (nearly 15 years ago), we made a commitment to being a one-income family. It was of vital importance to us for me to be home with her and any subsequent children we may have. We agreed to go without much less important things, like new cars, annual vacations, fancy clothes, nifty gadgets or savings accounts in order to invest in the most important things, like security, trust, guidance, supervision, and joy to name a few.

It has been difficult the entire time and extremely difficult at certain times. We were homeless and living in my parents basement (with an infant) at one point. For quite a while I was housebound because we only had one car and The Viking drove it to work each day. Most of my clothes have been hand-me-downs or thrift store or clearance rack purchases. All of our kids' clothes are from consignment shops or are hand-me-downs. I have learned to do my own facials, manicures and pedicures, cut The Viking's and Man-Cub's hair myself and I go to the local beauty school to have cosmetology students cut or streak my hair. Vacations consist of visits to family or friends and are what my mother used to call, "El Cheapo Deluxe". We've struggled with debt, driven old cars, embarrassed our children and learned to delight in the little things. Like The Viking walking in the door last night with $2 ice creams for everyone. You would have thought he had Disney tickets in his hands.

I guess I can't say I've been a full-time stay-at-home-mom the entire 15 years because I have gone out of the house to teach piano lessons from time to time. When Redheaded Snippet was two, I had all my lessons scheduled on one day. Mom would pick me up so I could drop her and my Snippet off at her house then use her car (this was when we only had one) to go to all my lessons one after the other. Then The Viking would meet me back at Mom's to take us home. That was only one day a week but I made all of our grocery money each week.

When the kids were older (and there were two of them) and we had a piano in our home, I had the students come to me. I still kept it to one day and my children would stay in the dining room or kitchen doing their homework while I taught the lessons in the living room. The Viking would come home at some point before I was finished and take care of dinner so I could keep teaching. Again, one day a week and just enough money to keep the edge off things.

Once, when Redheaded Snippet was five (and before Man-Cub was born), I took a temporary baby-sitting job just so I could save enough money for us to go to Hershey Park for three days. I stayed with a pair of elementary-school-aged brothers whose parents both left the house before they were awake. I made sure they got up on time, had breakfast, got dressed properly and were ready at the bus stop on time. I also drove them to school when they missed the bus, reminded them to wear socks and feed the dog, and once had to break up a fight between them. I had to be there terribly early in the morning, but as Redheaded Snippet wasn't in school yet I could easily take her with me. I would bundle her into the car, still asleep, and once we got there she would lie on the couch with her blankie while I supervised breakfast and got the boys out of the house. We were always done by 8:00 and made great ceremony of taking a nap together in my big bed when we got home. It was kind of a bonding experience and I was able to pay for our entire trip (tolls, gas, hotel, park admission and meals) with cash.

But the time has come for measures beyond the reach of a few piano lessons one day a week or a few morning hours' worth of babysitting. You see, we are seriously considering making the change from public to private school for Man-Cub. While I used to be a staunch public school defender, I have begun to see an alarming change in our once-loved, dear, little school. The administration has shown itself to be much more concerned with money and covering its bottom than with the welfare and education of the students in its care. They cater to a small group of students at the expense of all others and all because of money. I know the economy is hitting school districts hard; budgets throughout this area are being tightened, sometimes in drastic ways. But the changes in our school had begun before all that; I can only imagine it's going to get much worse now.

In addition, The Viking and I have come to believe that Man-Cub is exceptionally intelligent and do not feel the school is offering him enough of a challenge. He gets good grades, he says he likes most of his classes, but he is also very bored. We feel he is capable of much more than his classes are demanding of him but we know the school does not have the resources for or the interest in meeting the needs of students like him.

So, our options are a) to move, b) home school, or c) find a private school. We looked into option a) and have decided it's not viable as we don't want to yank Redheaded Snippet out of the high school and we would like for Man-Cub to go there. That means we would need to move elsewhere within the regional district and we can't afford the houses (or taxes) there.

Option b) is also not an option because if my poor Man-Cub was taught by his cotton-headed-ninny-muggins of a mother, he'd be a blithering idiot. I have no Bachelor's degree, let alone any kind of teaching qualifications and I do not think being taught in the secluded bubble of our home would be at all good for someone like Man-Cub. I am not trying to knock homeschooling for anyone else who has done it! I know plenty of people who do or have homeschooled with great success! I am merely saying you have to know your limitations and it would not be a good option for me. Even those who love me agree.

That leaves option c), the one to which I have been most inclined from the start. Private school. Which brings me to the title of this post and my reason for dusting off my resume. Private school is expensive. And we can't afford it on our current income. The Viking and I talked it over and decided this is something we feel is important enough for me to get a part-time job. I'm home by myself seven hours a day as it is, I'm bored out of my skull when the kids aren't home, and The Viking isn't able to do as many handyman side jobs as he once could because of his back.

So, I'm putting the word out. Mom has always told me she would help with picking children up and dropping them off if I had to work a few days a week and Redheaded Snippet is more than capable of picking up a little slack. I know it will probably be stressful and I will hate it at times, but sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do. Even if that means trying to convince someone to give you money by telling them how amazing you are.

Right. I gotta go check the want ads and send that resume out. I'll keep you posted.

1 comment:

Jane said...

Good Luck to you! I am sorry that you don't have a better elementary school for Man Cub. With your design skills I would look for freelance work setting up homes, patios, decks, etc. for weddings or graduations. I have hired people to do that for me. It's worth a try. At least for summer it would give you some cash while you look for more. Also, try finding work as a para/educational assistant at the private school. You would keep the same hours as your son and could maybe get a break on the tuition. Just a thought.

Jane