Wednesday, February 3, 2010

How did I get here? Part 3

When reality hit at the beginning of my second year at home, we wondered how we could maintain our lifestyle. Cutting our expenses and simplifying our life didn't seem to be enough. There were too many unexpected financial burdens popping up. I put our worry on my prayer list. Then my husband and I considered another source of income. Should he get a second part-time job? Should I re-enter the work force?

Before we could solve the problem, my prayer request was answered. Enter: a long-lost friend from my distant past. She had discovered through a mutual friend that we were both now living in the same town. We grew up together in a town two hours away. My friend contacted me and wondered if I was interested in doing in-home day care. She and her husband weren't happy with the facility their children went to and were researching other options. She had heard through this mutual friend that I was now at home with my kids.

It was a solution that came out of the blue. I never considered myself to be babysitting material. As a young teenager, I spent one summer watching two little girls. When the parents asked me to do it again the next summer, I referred them to a friend. I had discovered I didn't have the good nature required to be a babysitter. As a youth, I found other means of income: from field labor to the food service industry to janitorial work. I preferred scraping gum off desks and cleaning toilets rather than watching other people's children. I never went back to babysitting again.

After a lot of debate, my husband and I decided it was worth a try. It would solve our income shortage and allow me to remain at home. My friend and I decided on a one-year trial.

That brings me to today. I'm in my second year of babysitting. I'm still not convinced I have the temperament for it, but I'm giving it my best shot. I've started this blog as a therapeutic coping mechanism. I've always kept a journal or diary in my private life, and in my former professional life I was a newspaper copy editor and columnist. I've decided to keep writing to save my sanity.

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