It Just Doesn’t Add Up

I’ve got good news and bad news.  I think I’ll start with the good news.

I’m a member of The Mom Pledge Blog whose mission is to “eradicate cyber bullying among moms.”  Apparently there are some mean mommies out there who take pleasure in criticizing, demeaning, and hassling their fellow moms.  As if being a mom isn’t hard enough without dealing with that kind of crap from somebody who should know better.  I’m not a “cause” kind of gal, but this is one I support wholeheartedly.  So I took The Pledge.  If you’re interested, click the link, take The Pledge, and grab a button to display on your blog.

The first weekend of every month, The Mom Pledge Blog hosts a Blog Hop.  Bloggers post links to their posts and everyone who posts visits each others blogs.  It’s a great way to meet other bloggers.  The remaining weekends of the month,  one of the links if highlighted.  This weekend, it’s mine!  So, go on over to The Mom Pledge Blog and check it out!

BWS tips button

Now, for the bad news.

Things are not going well.  In fact, things are sucking.  Big time. (Sorry for switching gears so fast)

Our house is on the verge of collapse.  Well, maybe that is an exaggeration, but that’s what it feels like.  We’ve been here 2 months and I’ve already had to pay a plumber to clear tree roots out of the pipes and an A/C guy to recharge the leaking central air unit.  The outdated electrical wiring has killed 3 refrigerators. (Well, the third one works (badly) sometimes.  I can’t store meat in the freezer because it quits working about 3 times a day.)  The lights dim whenever anything is turned on.  My coffee grinder dims the lights in the kitchen.  There is a leak of some sort that wets the carpet in front of the bathroom.  Today, our toilets burped water all over the bathrooms before completely emptying themselves of water.  And there was a really loud noise coming from the pipes–it sounded like the house was about to achieve lift-off.  It needs some serious paint.  I shudder to think what’s going to happen next.

http://morguefile.com/license/morguefile/My job, which I do like (the kids, the ladies I work with, the order of it) is costing us money.  The expenses of daycare, gas, and other minor work-related things per month is almost $250 more than I make a month.  Granted, we’ve saved more than that in other areas by moving, so our budget is about the same as before.  But, if I stayed home, we’d have extra money that we could be saving for a down payment on a home of our own.

We want our own house and we want to move back to the town we lived in before.  We are active in our church and we are 35 miles away.  We love our church family and need to be closer.

There’s also the issue of sick kids.  I worked 1 day and 2 hours this week because my daughter was sick.  She had strep throat and missed 2 days.  She went back to school and was only there for 2 hours before she vomited.  She wasn’t really sick.  Her antibiotic had upset her empty stomach, but there’s a 24 hour rule.  A student has to be vomit free for 24 hours before returning to school.  So I left work with her one day and missed the next day, as well.  I’ve been at work for just over a month and have already missed 3 1/2 days with sick children.  The flu season isn’t even here yet.

So, this whole thing isn’t working, but what am I supposed to do about it?  If I stop working, my kids won’t be able to go to the schools I want them to attend.  I do not want them going to the local schools.  I guess I could home school them, but we’ve tried that before.  It didn’t work out.  Of course, there wasn’t a real reason to do it then.  Now I have plenty of reasons–really good ones.  Like I tell them almost every day when they’re complaining about going to a school so far away, “It’s only 9 months.  We can do anything for 9 months.”  Does that include sending them to the local schools?  I’m so confused.

So, what do you think?  If you were in my place, what would you do?  I’m open to any suggestions here.  I need a different perspective.  Help me out?

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Don’t forget to go see my beautiful face over there on The Mom Pledge Blog!  🙂

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29 thoughts on “It Just Doesn’t Add Up

  1. I don’t have much advice to give, being a kid myself. But I can offer a different perspective! With your job – if it is *costing* you money, maybe it isn’t the best idea. Especially because then it wouldn’t be saving anything up for the kids’ education, so keeping it just to send them to a better school is maybe a mute point? The sick kids thing… that I know all about. I used to get sick without fail for a full week each semester. Luckily my mom could take me to my grandma’s house so she could still work but I would still be around people who cared about me. If you lived closer to your church community, would someone there want to watch over your kids when sick days came around? I know it’s a stretch, but you always speak so highly of your church that it was a thought. Lots of older women enjoy looking after the babies when they’re sick 🙂 As for the house, is it something that you’re stuck with because of a lease? I can say from a kid’s perspective that moving is tough but it’s also really exciting. One of my favorite memories is this year we spent flipping a house. First off, because the problems like pipes and a kitchen floor that fell through into the basement seemed fun and exciting to me (stressful to my mommy though!), and secondly because I got to meet a whole new slew of neighbors and ride a brand new bus. So if you had to move your kids again soon, I think you should remember they might not see it as such a horrible thing. You might just be providing them with awesome memories 🙂 But the job thing is really scary – I wish you the best of luck thinking it through.

    • Thanks, Emily. We are not bound to the house legally. It was my husband’s grandmother’s house. It I honestly don’t mind the moving part this time. Since the fire, we haven’t had time to collect all the stuff one usually has to go through when moving. Now is the time to do it. BEFORE that happens.

      I appreciate your “kid’s” perspective. More food for thought!

    • Are you sure it’s a list of your favorites? I notice the title says, “sucky bloggers.” Now, seeing that little “u” in favorite, I realize we are from different countries. Maybe “sucky” doesn’t mean the same thing where you are?

      I’ll check it out, but if this is a set-up, believe me, you’ll pay. 🙂

  2. Kids may complain for a minuite or two, but after being themost popular thing in school for a while after arriving after everyone else has settled in, they might just find some kool kids they will end up Hating to leave when you do move ~ Think back ~ when you were a kid – you moved when ? Not much difference- How did it feel ?
    And as far as Your Bathroom Burpig all over the place ~ No Thanks thees not many times I would care to clean up that mess, and is it possivble to put in a reverse flow stop valve on your sewage pipes? It may have just been sewer Gas forcing all that back up in your lines. and your Refrigerator. . . It might be cheaper to have an electrician run you a single service line for the Refrigerator. . otherwise get out of that house before you have another tragedy befall you !~
    Wiring is nothing to mess around with !! and especially if you have Gas applicances like Gas Fireplace and stove, dryer ( ? ) water heater, and leaking pipes, you have already lived in a house engulfed with mold. whats the harm in finding a house for rent, where you want to be, one you may want an option to buy ? Nows the time to buy so you can report a second income. but look within your means as YOU KNOW them to be.
    – Don’t throw your hands up – Stand up and make it happen – You’re in the Driver’s seat, You know whats best for you

  3. Ok what I want to say is Bless you for having this in your life right now. I think God is trying to teach you something. What in your life needs “fixing?” Just a thought. I pray you endure this and ask God to guide your life.

    • Ohhhh, I’ve had so much teaching lately! The old house problems, the old house burning down, the new house, the job, the school. Whatever the lesson, I’m obviously NOT getting it.

      Thank you for your comment. I know you’re right, but it doesn’t make it an easier.

  4. If you decide to do the Home Schooling thing, you might consider, and maybe this is the norm, that you actually hold the School/Classes at a different Parents House Each Day. Hmm, let me back up. Now that I think about it, you probably meant Just you Teaching your kid. Perhaps you should consider joining, or creating, a group of 4 or 5 Parents and their Kids, and then do as I mentioned above. Rotate whose house the School Work etc happens at. That way you don’t have to deal with doing it 5 days by yourself, I’m not even sure if all the Parent’s attend every day. Perhaps they just Attend when it’s being done at their house, which means you might be able to continue your job as well. Anyway, I’m sure you are not alone with this issue, and like I say breaking it into One Day instead of Five where you would teach these 4 or 5 kids, might allow for you to keep your job as well.

    • That is a really good idea! When I home schooled before we had a weekly meeting to do art and music with other home schooling parents. It was a nice break. But your idea is kind of genius. Thank you!

      • Np, My Brother and his Wife often talked about Home Schooling one of their Sons, but I don’t think they ever did it. I know my Mom would have probably liked to do that, but she was a Single Parent, so there was no way. But she really didn’t like Public School.

  5. Erin, i can’t believe the bad luck you alll are having.
    If the house is so bad i would get out, someone could get sick or hurt from it.
    If its costing you so much of YOUR OWN money to work why do it, that money could be saved.
    I would try and get back to where you were and get your lives back again as soon as possible, get back to normal.
    I don’t know about your schoold system but it seems you have to pay for it, maybe thats why you can’t leave your job, if it were me i would home school them and hope its not for a long time.
    But the kids will have to understand they are at school, then a food and play break and then school again.
    Can you not get some place to rent where you lived, and then save to buy
    All the best, Harry

    • We don’t pay for school, butwe do have to go where we live. The county we live in has pretty bad schools. So I work in another county, which allows my kids to go to school there instead. The good thing about living here is that we aren’t paying rent, which means we can save for a decent down payment on a house. The bad thing about where we lived before is that “rent is too d@#n high.” (Sorry, that quote is an actual platform of a crazy “politician” who thinks he can be president of the USA.)
      So, you see, our situation is a bit of a conundrum. I think the real question is, ” to home school or not?” Really, it’s not like the government is doing such a great job of it and parents used too be responsible for their kids education and kids were generally smarter for it. It’s just a matter of biting the bullet and doing it–correctly.

      • Not paying rent is a really big thing for you to get back on your feet again. We here can choose up tp 4 schools to go to and it depends on the headmaster who gets in.

        I think darkjade68 came up with a good idea a ( home schooling club ) i would ask about and if there were 4 or 5 mothers home schooling and they got together it means you could work 3 / 4 days a week and save money, no daycare.

  6. I’d say that if you are heavily involved in the Church and it’s one of the reasons for wanting to move that you should get them all involved.
    Get the pastor to read a notice to the congregation of your predicament and see if it’s possible for the whole congregation to come up with solutions, This is where the rubber needs to hit the road and people walk the walk and not just talk the talk, is it not?
    Maybe some people can help you work out housing, others can be part of the education and childcare solution, and you might even be able to continue working so that you can save for a deposit a.s.a.p. At the VERY least a backup network of Mama’s who can help with a sick kid should be do-able.
    Surely as a whole there might be enough people who can all help a little bit for it to all add up to everyone helping a whole lot?
    If they can manage it however you are clearly going to have to be “giving back” for an awfully long time, but that’s all part of Life’s adventures isn’t it too ?

    • That’s a good idea. I asked for prayer and any suggestions this morning. Believe me, if there’s anything they can do, they’ll do it. I have a great church family that has done so much for us already. We’ll figure this out. Thanks.

  7. This brings back memories of why I forgot to have a career! So many cut and paste jobs for peanuts wondering all the while how my more professional friends with children managed the full-time work business. They earned enough to pay other women to mind children and clean houses . . .fair crack to them, but, we all fretted about husbands, children and schooling. But this isn’t about me, it’s about you and your wanting to do the best for your family.
    Home-schooling could be so much fun. I have always loved the idea but I know I am not disciplined enough, but then how many hours in a day do you want to spend in a car? Groups of London parents are getting together and starting up their own schools.
    Good luck, children cope so well when they see their parents coping together. So I am told!
    BTW @Emily has some great suggestions!

  8. Gah, I’m behind on reading my favorite blogs because of a HUGE blogfest I decided to participate in, so I’m only just now reading this! I feel terrible . . .

    I hope you figure out what the best solution for you will be, and I really hope you get out of that house! Those wiring issues sound scary!

    On the topic of homeschooling, I am a homeschool graduate, and I wouldn’t trade the education I got to have at home with my mom and siblings for all the world! It wasn’t easy for her, I know that, but I appreciate it so much now. Not to mention, we were hardly ever sick because we weren’t around all those kids all day! 😉

    • No sick kids. A mother’s dream. Home school is an option, but what about band and stuff like that? We cannot afford private lessons and I’d hate for them to miss that kind of stuff.

      • You may just have to ask them if that’s even something they want to participate in. I never missed band, personally, but of course each kid will be different. But, I just googled ‘homeschool band georgia’, and you would be amazed by the number of results!

        Or perhaps you could work out a barter with someone in exchange for music lessons at some point? I’m sure your cakes must have some weight 😉

        • I think we’re going to stick it out. Honestly, I don’t think I have it in me to homeschool four children. My autistic son is the one in band and he loves it. I know band provides a big friend base and he needs that. I would also hate to upset his routine. Thanks for the advice, though. I know home school can be a wonderful thing, but it requires 100% commitment and I just don’t have that at this point.

  9. Point number 1 – your landlord must provide a livable house and it sounds like you need new wiring throughout! I’ll admit I’ve forgotten – I think you are living in a relative’s house? That can be difficult, I agree, but if you are not, don’t you have a tenancy tribunal you can go to? Here landlords HAVE to fix things like that under the law.

    As for the finances – that is precisely why my sister never worked for so many years – she would have been out-of-pocket, just as you are, with the extra expenses of working.

    I’m not a fan of home schooling, personally, if schools are close enough to attend. I think the social skills learned at school are invaluable. I was home schooled until I was 10 (not a school within cooee), so I’ve been down that path personally due to necessity of location.

    As I do not believe in gods, I don’t think god is trying to “teach” you anything, so if I were you, I’d put that out of your mind. I’m concerned if you do not, you’ll add additional stress to yourself trying to find what it is that you need this lesson about. But that is just my personal opinion. I know you are deeply religious and you may see that as a reason for your string of events. Sometimes life just sucks, for no reason other than co-incidence of events – or cause and effect. One thing leads to another……

    Can they really kick your kids out now they are in these schools? If so, that is amazing.

    I’d find out your rights as a tenant if you do not already know them. Then I’d look to moving. If, as you say, it is only nine months, how many months have you got to go? Perhaps you do just hang in there, but I would worry about the safety of a house that needs rewiring. You could end up with another house fire, so I’d be putting safety first.

    I am SO sad for you that you are going through this period in your life, but I don’t really know what to suggest as I do not know your laws and education policies.

    • Good news is that we had an electrician out and he said the wiring was old but not dangerous. As for the landlord thing, we don’t have one. We are staying in my husband’s grandmother’s house that has been on the market for a while. We do not pay rent and we are still “ahead” of where we were before in the finance department. If I didn’t work, we’d just be more ahead. Schools are done by county here. You go to school where you live. Working for another county’s school system enables my kids to attend a different county’s schools. If I quit work, they will have to go within their own district. I’d rather that not happen.

      I appreciate your advice and want you to know that everything is settling down now. We’ve come up with new arrangements for picking up the kids which keeps my car from running for 2 hours straight, thereby saving gas (and money.) As for the religion thing, we can happily agree to disagree, yes? I know sometimes life just sucks because it sucks. And sometimes, I’m not the one who needs “teaching.” It’s my husband. 🙂

      Seriously, I’m not stressed any more. I was just having a bad week. A new day brings new perspective and all that. Thanks for taking the time to read my vent and respond. Compared to your past troubles, mine aren’t too serious. I’m happy everything is going so well with you and your family!

      • I had a feeling you weren’t actually in the rental market as such, but couldn’t locate the right article to confirm! 🙂

        He he he – yes, we will agree to disagree! But glad you DO recognise that sometimes life just sucks ‘cos it sucks! 😆

        Glad there is no danger too – that is great news – you had me quite worried, especially given the other house burned down (did you ever find out why?).

        Yep, sometimes we feel more down over things than at other times and it is good when the cloud passes.

        I was reading one of Elizabeth’s articles about “quiet time” http://eof737.wordpress.com/2011/09/15/inspiration-where-do-you-go-for-quiet-time/ just a few minutes ago and I know (and was discussing with Mr O) that with a large family none of us get enough “quiet time” to just BE. With all your rushing around, you may be in a similar boat. Getting the kids collected to save you being on the road for 2 hours will help immensely, I am sure! Just driving is stressful by itself, let alone the gas costs!

  10. No advice on the mommy front. Have not been there or done that. Yet. I will be asking YOU for advice someday! 🙂 I hope things have settled down for you by now though! I’ve been out of the blogging loop. I am going to have to catch up on your blog as it is one of my favorites.

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