≡ Menu

so here’s the thing

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.

It wasn’t.

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.

It wasn’t.

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.

Categories: anxiety/depression

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Teresa Thursday, August 13, 2009, 1:53 pm

    Move to Vancouver! You can rent our basement suite :)

    Umm, no, really though? I dont think I have any advice. But, I hope the ‘Dream Job’ works out!! Can you email me all about it? Sounds great!! We’ll be praying..
    .-= Teresa´s last blog ..Plum tuckered =-.

  • Chelsey Thursday, August 13, 2009, 2:39 pm

    yikes, sounds stressful! hope your job works itself out. You have got lots of photoshoots lined up for terrace? are you doing brandons wedding? ill be in terrace next weekend if you feel like a chat :) see you then!
    .-= Chelsey´s last blog ..whats in a name? =-.

  • Amanda Brown Thursday, August 13, 2009, 3:19 pm

    Quite the tale, Jen. You guys have been though the ringer and you can rest assured knowing that you’ve both gone above and beyond in providing for your family. It’s so hard to find a viable option when childcare is so expensive, but here’s hoping you wow the Dream Job Givers and good things start rolling in. You’ve earned it. :)
    .-= Amanda Brown´s last blog ..I’d Buy It =-.

  • Laurie Thursday, August 13, 2009, 3:41 pm

    Oh, Jen. I feel for you as I know you’ve had such a tough year. I too will pray that your dream job will come through.
    What about the U of R daycare for Lilliana? I’ve heard they’re fantastic and do you get any pull for attending the U of R?
    Just think of all the good stories of survival you’ll have to tell when your “ship comes in”.
    .-= Laurie´s last blog ..Beach Day =-.

  • Elizabeth Thursday, August 13, 2009, 4:35 pm

    Yes, that sounds pretty rough. I truly hope that the dream job works out for you. Child care is so expensive. The hard part that I have is that I want the best care for my kids, but do I really have to pay that much for it… ya know? Anyhow, so frustrating. If you are a service-oriented person, why not think of services that you can offer? While I know that having your own business can be stressful, it could take some of the edge off the bills. Photography? What other skills do you want to share with those around you?
    .-= Elizabeth´s last blog ..Four Online or My Blog-iversary =-.

  • Meg Thursday, August 13, 2009, 7:03 pm

    Oh man…that’s a toughy :( is the DJ full-time? Flexible hours at all? is it in regina? is there anyone you can do child-sharing with again? anyone at all? I know it’s hard for you to leave your babies with someone else…but maybe for the next 10 months or so, it’ll have to work?
    .-= Meg´s last blog ..Pride Recap =-.

  • Angella Thursday, August 13, 2009, 10:22 pm

    Oy, I don;t even know…

    I’m rooting for you on your Dream Job, though!
    .-= Angella´s last blog ..Raging In Portland =-.

  • bethany actually Friday, August 14, 2009, 12:15 am

    Honestly, my first thought is that if the Dream Job doesn’t pan out, and your budget balances without child care, maybe you should just take a hiatus from working (aside from whatever photoshoots you can rustle up) till something GREAT comes along that will put you ahead. If you’re going to be breaking even either way (you not working and no daycare, or you working and paying for daycare) then you might as well have the extra time to spend with your girls while they’re little! Also, if you’re not working, then when that fantastic job does come along the way will be clear for you to take it!

    I’ll keep you in my prayers, babe. :-)
    .-= bethany actually´s last blog ..an evening photowalk with my girl =-.

  • mamatucci Friday, August 14, 2009, 1:55 am

    wish I was closer. I would have watched her till you found something. If I hear or see any great jobs I will let you know! Job hunting sucks,but I am sure their is a great one out there for you1

  • joanne Friday, August 14, 2009, 6:40 am

    these things are supposed to build character and make you strong….in which case you are both very strong!
    some thoughts:
    – can you exchange childcare for another service with a home daycare/daycare centre provider ie: doing their books? or books for their company? cleaning the daycare centre? to cut costs…….
    – does the University have anything available on a subsidy basis
    – can you totally trim your budget and manage on only Noah’s income and your photography shoots
    – can you take Lili along to the Dream Job – do they have a childcare centre for employees children?
    – are there any university students whose schedules would allow them to babysit, and the cost would be cheaper than a full time daycare
    – are there any people in your church community that may assist with some answers to the above questions
    – can you get part time childcare and could your inlaws assist part time?
    – are there some part time jobs available like cleaning an office for example that you could do while Noah is home in the evening?

    leaving your kids is real hard, but as Lili is now talking she will be able to tell you is things are ‘not right’ during the day – when choosing a daycare provided, drop in several times unexpectedly to see what is happening and what the atmosphere is like – you’ll quickly get a sense of good or bad – most providers welcome you to do that as they should understand that you need to feel good……

    good luck with it all – and sometimes it just happens to come together with no fuss, no muss…….

  • Katie Friday, August 14, 2009, 8:23 am

    I kind of agree with Bethany… Nothing is better than being able to spend whatever time you have with your kids. My husband got laid off in March and still isn’t back to work (now he’s finally looking for a new job and giving up on the old one) and I’ve had to work full time (retail so crazy hours). I miss spending time with my family that I used to have. I miss all of it.. the good and the bad. If your budget works out now (even though I know it isn’t perfect or ideal) then don’t worry over it all.

    I know this isn’t what you wanted to hear but things could be worse. At least your budget balances out. So very many peoples (mine included) don’t balance and it stinks. Be thankful for that and try to worry less (ha pot calling kettle?? yes?? I worry enough for ten hundred people) and remember that God will take care of you even if it isn’t exactly what you thought it would be.

    (But I really do hope that dream job ends up working out just because it would be good for you!)
    .-= Katie´s last blog ..phone photos =-.

  • Joanne Saturday, August 15, 2009, 6:57 am

    Jen, just a thought – could you manage with daycare say before and after school with school age kids the same age as Kaylie – or a year or two younger, so Kaylie is the big kid – babies are a lot more work and stress than school age kids and if you could possibly trim the budget and bring in a little bit of cash – would that work??? J

  • Melissa Monday, August 17, 2009, 10:47 pm

    Oh Jen, I wish I had some great ideas for you but I just don’t. I will say a few prayers that your Dream job comes though and that even if it doesn’t, you will come across something that works for your family. Best of luck to you/

  • mamalang Tuesday, August 18, 2009, 9:32 am

    If it is meant to be, all will work out. I know that doesn’t stop the worrying, and it’s hard to remember that in the moment. I’m one of the worst offenders of worrying. But I have learned that we really do go through most things for a reason, and while it’s okay to work at something, if you are constantly having to literally fight to make it work, then it’s not what you’re supposed to be doing.

    Good luck. I’ve waited to post to see if I had any brilliant ideas. None.
    .-= mamalang´s last blog ..Swaparooni update =-.