Since moving to Regina, Noah and I have had our fair share of work/financial stresses. It took us each a month to find our first jobs there. Yes, we moved there without jobs. We moved for university and were told that Regina was the Land of Milk and Honey for jobs. “Regina is desperate for workers!” we were told. We thought it would be easy.
We moved at the beginning of July of last year. By the beginning of August, both of us were working full time and we had a couple teenagers looking after our children. Right when we arrived in Regina, I started looking for daycares. I called every. single. one. in the phone book and got put on many many waiting lists. September loomed closer and closer and our babysitters kind of put going to high school above babysitting for us. As they should. So, without childcare for Liliana, I had to quit my job. What else were we to do?
After trying and failing at a couple ideas I had, I opened a day home and provided childcare for two baby boys. I’d done a childcare swap with a friend of mine in Terrace and loved it. She had my one kid two days a week, and I had her two boys one day a week. I had a blast with them. I thought it would be the same in Regina.
Each of the boys SCREAMED for the WHOLE FIRST MONTH that they were with me. They were each about 10 months old when they started and hadn’t been away from their moms before. It was hell. It probably didn’t help that the antidepressant I was on at the time was giving me more tremors and panic attacks than I had when I wasn’t on it. Then, when I went off of it, I went through intense withdrawal. While looking after three young toddlers. Did I already mention that it was hell? I hated it. I hated every. single. minute. of it. I tried being positive. I’d do my best to shake off the awful day for the sake of the three people I lived with, and I’d wake up with the attitude that I can do this. It lasted less than an hour. All three kids would be crying or beating on each other and I’d lose it. By that I mean that I cried right along with them and counted down the NINE MORE HOURS until their moms came to get them. Ten hours is WAY TOO LONG to have someone else’s crying baby.
So, I hit the job boards again and found something that would work around Noah’s schedule. I worked nights, and he worked and went to school during the day. I felt bad for the parents of the boys that I was watching and gave them a whole month’s notice that I would be ending care. I still had them during the days when I was working nights. That was fun. We still hadn’t gotten a call back from any of the childcare centres, so my working night seemed to be our only choice. Let’s not even go to the place where I was completely paranoid to leave my children with anyone other than my husband and felt intense anxiety over dropping Kaylie off at school as well as every single play date that she went on. I never stopped her from going, as I didn’t want to be the parent that suffocated her child socially because of her own irrational issues. Her school and the teachers at it, as well as the parents of her friends, are amazing people and she was never in any sort of bad situation, but that didn’t seem to matter to me. Someone else had my child, and that someone else was not me. (Hi! I’m going insane.)
I was asleep on the couch one afternoon in January when Noah came home from work after being there for less than an hour. “I got fired,” he said to me. That fact was kind of true, but after I got the whole story, I learned that he’d been let go because the hotel he was working at wasn’t busy enough. He loved it there and his bosses really liked him because he’s a very hard worker. But, the higher-ups had to cut costs, and since Noah was one of the most-recently-hired employees, he was the first on the chopping block. He liked his job, it paid well, it fit perfectly schedule-wise with his schooling, and it had great benefits. In that instant, all of that disappeared. The recession had hit us. Personally. I think he was kind of in shock.
While searching for another job that fit with his schooling hours, Noah went on EI and I continued to work nights. It was working fine, and I was actually getting the sleep that I needed. When Noah finished his winter semester, he started working again. But, my job was not going well. The company I was working for was a bit sketchy and I felt that I could not keep my integrity if I stayed there. I felt like I spent the day (night) cheating people. I gave my notice, finished up my time there, and took off to BC to witness my baby sister’s graduation. I’d been applying online to everything that I could find that would work with Noah’s schedule and also contacted the temp agency that I had worked for in August. They called while I was in BC and I signed on to a 2-3 week contract as an assistant to nine executives. I started the day after we got back.
I loved it. It ended up being 8.5 weeks instead of 2-3, but I was grateful because I actually looked forward to going to work every day. I genuinely liked the people I worked for/with and the company as a whole. But, it came to an end and I didn’t hear back from the temp agency with more work. I’d called them a couple times, and was told that I was on the top of their list since the previous place had given me such a great review. Noah and I made the decision that I would go back to BC earlier than I was going to for my brother’s wedding. I put an ad out on Facebook and booked some photo sessions with my friends back home – that way I’d still be working even though I wasn’t working.
Here’s the situation now: Noah is going to be working nights and taking classes during the day. He can’t afford to lose sleep doing anything else. His education is our Number One priority. We still haven’t found childcare and may have to resort to a day home, even though I’d rather have Liliana in a centre. Either way, it’s INSANE EXPENSIVE and we don’t qualify for subsidy since we make “too much”. But, our budget just balances without paying for childcare. I’d have to have a really good job to be able to afford it. But, I don’t have a degree of any kind, only a bunch of mish-mash experience. Well-paying employers don’t like that very much.
I got a call last week, out of the blue, for My Dream Job. I don’t want to go into detail about it unless it actually happens, but there is a meeting on the 15th of September that will determine if it will happen or not. If it does, we still have to find childcare and some way to pay for it. If it doesn’t, I have to find something else. I’d LOVE to work from home, but I don’t know what to do. I have six years experience doing small-business bookkeeping, and have advertised online and in the local papers doing it out of my home, but so far have not gotten a response. I cannot do childcare again. It would not be good for my mental health and therefore would not be good for my family. I’m not Dooce and only make enough from this blog to cover the hosting fees – which is the only reason I have the ads in the first place. I don’t know what other kind of home business I can do, as those MLM things are NOT my kind of thing. I’m a service-oriented kind of person, not sales-oriented.
Here’s where you come in. Send me your advice. I don’t like un-solicited advice, but this time I’m asking for it.
Bring it on.