This is my third attempt at this post.
First, I went into too much detail about my husband's job and the crappy pay, but that made him sound pathetic and that is the LAST thing I want to do. He works hard, his job just doesn't pay well.
Then, I went in too much detail about our bills. We have some, not as many as some people, but we do have them. But, really? Its not important what we pay to whom.
The bottom line is: We poor. Four children and a mortgage will do that to ya.
I quit working at the assisted living home in Oct of last year, not because we were so rich but because of management and schedules and my income was "cushion".
Since then, I've actually been going in and volunteering. Basically, I was doing many of the things I did when I was employed there, for free. Yup. For. Free.
I can't really put in words what draws me to taking care of the elderly. But, I am thankful that my past job helped me discover a gift I didn't know I had.
Volunteering gave me the best of both worlds--I could choose when I went and for how long, I got to love on my residents and my kids didn't have to miss me, I often times took one or two kids with me.
Meanwhile, management changed and ex co-workers started messaging me that I could probably come back and get my desired part time schedule.
Meanwhile, our mortgage went up by $300 (long story!!) and our kids kept growing and eating everything in sight.
My husband and I decided we needed extra income. I answered a Craigslist ad for a helper two times a week. Turns out, it was a 65 year old man with dementia. Both of which I have experience with but this would've been me and him alone, in his home. My husband, and myself, were not comfortable with that.
I filled out a few other applications at other facilities, with no responses.
We finally decided perhaps I would give my old facility a second chance.
I went in, asked for the (new) manager. I asked her for an employment app, explaining that I had worked there in the recent past.
She told me they weren't really hiring but I could fill out an app and they'd keep it on file.
Feeling very discouraged, I filled it out there, sitting in the lobby, getting interrupted by passing residents that wanted to chit-chat.
Finally I had filled it all out and walked it back to the manager. She looked at it.
She gave a "Whoop!!" and exclaimed "You're THAT Jackie?!"
When I said "Ummmmm...yes?" , she quickly explained they could rush my background check and when did I want to start?
I admit, it felt wonderful after being turned down other places.
It felt even better when I started, a week later, and upon entering residents' rooms, in obviously not volunteer uniform, there were many more "Whoops!! " and open arms. To say I was welcomed back would be an understatement. It made my heart swell.
However, it felt horrible, so horrible, to tell my kids I was going back to work. They cried. I cried. Their dad and I both felt like we had let them down.
But, it's only a couple days a week. And frankly, MY parents both worked. My husband's parents worked. And, we survived. No, it's not our ideal plan. But, eating and electricity are sorta important.
And, I enjoy it. So, even when we get "caught up" (hahahahahaha! Ever??) I will still probably work in some sort of caregiving position. Hopefully, my children will not be resentful.
Hopefully they will be proud.