Monday, August 11, 2014

Hi-Ho, Back I Go

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.

 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.


  1. After reading this, I realize it sounds as if I'm against mom's working. I am not! It's just wasn't in OUR plans for mom to work. My kids were blessed to have me home 24/7 for so long, it's a huge adjustment.

  2. I completely understand your frustration and you didn't make it sound at all like you're against Moms working. I get that it just wasn't the plan you guys had for your family, and that's perfectly acceptable to be disappointed when things don't go the way we had envisioned (believe me, I get that! - we lived with my parents for almost three years for goodness' sakes!). ;)

    That being said, I'm sorry your kids are sad. However, I think that when they look back on this they'll see a few things that maybe they aren't seeing in the this-sucks-right-now moment. They'll see that Mom has something she loves doing...and she's doing it! She's taking some time (and getting paid for it!) to do something that brings her (and others!) joy. It's selfless on so many levels! They'll also see that when things get tough your family is one that works it out. You guys pull together and work as a team. You and Judd are partners and there's always give and take and when someone needs to step up and "take one for the team" and figure it out together and walk it out as a whole family.

    Also? That's awesome that she knew you by name and wanted you to start right away. You must have a great reputation there! That's awesome! :)

  3. Thank you, Karey, for saying JUST what I needed!

    You SO get me,

  4. Finding the balance is hard. I get it. I have never had the luxury of staying home FT (well except that 2 years I lived off my severance before the divorce) so my kids have always known me working. In fact it's weird now that I can manipulate my schedule and only have them go to camp 3 days in the summer and I can actually take school breaks off with them. Course, if truth be told, they sometimes would rather go to camp than stay home with Mom. :)

    Regardless... it's good to feel like you're making an impact on others. Go you!!

  5. This is awesome!
    Yeah, there are tradeoffs when Mom works, especially if it's not been the norm. But I am so glad the place you're working welcomed you back the way they did, it's obvious that you're gifted and compassionate. Sadly, that's in short supply most of the time.

    You being happy... doing something you love... that's important. And your children will appreciate that later if they don't now. My guess is that your kids actually do appreciate it and 'get' it more than you think.

    ((Hugs)) to you... so glad you're doing something that brings you joy.


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