Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Battle Within

Today, if you're a stay-at-home-mom or have ever been one (or a SAHM in internet parlance), this post might feel so familiar to you that it's like you're in my kitchen, swapping stories about cleaning puke out of your carpet with Resolve. Or not.

The battle within Your Favorite Writer is one thing, the battle withOUT is another. There have been lots of recent changes at Casa de Sammo this winter, and most of them have been unpleasant or difficult. Sassy is at boot camp and I worry and miss her daily. Our brilliant dog of the huge horse tribe is gallivanting about in doggy heaven (which, thanks to the book Dog Heaven my kids now believe comes back and roams all invisible style around our house. I'm not sure that he *doesn't* but whatever.). Now, The Man is changing careers. And if you didn't get it by now (plus with my ninja-like ability to sneak up on you at any time with a new blog post) I stay home with the two Children of the Corn. (Also? It's such an encompassing term. The original Children of the Corn were all evil, crazy parent killers, I live in a state renowned for corn - such that we even have ads for things saying that "there's MORE than corn in Indiana - AND I listen to the BAND Korn, on occasion, so really it has it all.)

I'd always planned for the kids to *both* be in Princess's Special Fancy School before I tromped back to work, all Mommy Warrior style. Princess goes to half-day Kindergarten too, which means I'm shuttling her back and forth with only 3 hours in between trips. Casanova has issues separating himself from us for even the hour (A WHOLE HOUR THE HORROR!) of Sunday school. You can see my issues, logistical and otherwise, right?

If not, I will elaborate. How could I take Princess to her school (in the middle of BFE) and then the boy child to HIS hypothetical someone-strange-who-might-be-a-kidnapper-scary-place which no doubt is miles away from her school AND then get mahself to a hypothetical job type place - all by the bright hour of 8 am? Oh, and the paying for it all, of course, which is not insubstantial. I'd be paying for before-and-after care, extended day kindergarten AND then wherever I've stuck Casanova. Sighhhhhhhhhh....

Currently, I'm all snake-eating-my-tail obsessing around here. I don't know HOW I'd do any of it, but I'm afraid I may have to figure that out. But I don't *know* if I'll have to do that. It's weird, but I still can't see the future, no matter HOW MANY Sylvia Brown books I trudge through.

The sad, sad truth is that no matter how brilliant AND fancy my English degree is (impromptu lecture on literary themes in British literature anyone? No?), I will not make even HALF of The Man's salary for a long and painful time.

I saw TWO (it's so exciting because normally there aren't ANY) jobs recently online that not only wanted but REQUIRED my degree. I KNOW. It's like a sign. Seriously, it could be a sign. Someone go grab Sylvia Brown and see what she thinks.

One of them is an editing job, which, YES I can edit. Bitches, believe I can make your papers BLEED angry, red ink as I pen circles of derision around your badly used colons and improper word choice. It's what I *can* do, but not necessarily what I *want* to do. I've done it, and done it well - but I'm a writer, not an editor. Most good writers can edit, especially if they spent enough time writing and fixing papers for demanding professors. I can do it, but I also don't want to end up pigeon-holing myself as an editor when that's not really my undying passion.

The other job? Something involving "intelligence" - as in secret criminal info. Why, yes I *DO* have a criminal justice minor, thankyouverymuch! It is totally something I'm interested in, and I'm pretty sure "boring" wouldn't be involved. Also, I'd get a clippy-badge, which is always a perk for me.

I just don't know that this is the right time, the right thing. Neither job is going to make tons of cash, and/or enable me to get that sunset orange Nissan 350 Z anytime soon. Worst case? I'd end up working to pay for child care. THAT is why I've always stayed home - because I *AM* child care.

Well, that and I worked at a state licensed daycare. A daycare people happily dropped their kids off at, thinking they'd be fiiiine. None of us were CPR certified until a year after I started working there. Three workers were fired for getting high on their lunch break. Oh and I personally saw the owner mark children as present (when they were absent) to receive payment from the state since they were welfare kids. The list is long my friends, and I was determined to keep my kids OUT of a daycare.

Yes, there are good ones, but I still think I'm better for my kids.

(I promise I'm returning my soapbox to its upright position. You're welcome.)

I just don't know. And that crystal ball I had in college was stolen (probably by my evil landlord who poisoned my pet rat - but that's a different story), so, here we are.

Any mom who's been home long enough knows exactly what I mean. You've made a choice, a sacrifice, and for all the days you're glad you did, there are days you're chiseling your name in the drywall like a prisoner in cell block A.

Then again, depending on how Fate shakes things down for us, the choice might be made for me. And that? Not how I like to roll. I'm a DECIDER, dammit.

My inner jury is still out...

Comments, questions, what's your big dilemma?