Tiny Coconut

I have things.

Monday, September 08, 2003

I'm so on edge right now. It's funny, because overall things are better than they've been for years and years and years. But that gives me options. And I guess options make me edgy. Especially when those options aren't clear.

Clear? Did somebody say clear? I'm certainly not being clear.

Here we go. Clarity. Because G is working for the first time since we've met...you know, really working, as in making good money...I'm in a place where this going-into-work-four-days-a-week thing isn't about survival any more. My soul is seeing an open door, one leading to the life I've wanted to live since E was born, where I work at home, freelancing, and I'm there for the kids when they come home from school. (Even in my perfect world, I still send N to a preschool, for many reasons. So sue me.) And yet, that door is a bit of a mirage. G's work has no stability. He's week-to-week, day-to-day, job-to-job. Right now, it's unbelievable how much work he has, and how much money he's bringing in. We giggle a lot in our house these days when we talk about paying bills and such. Giggle. It's like a parallel universe from just six months ago. But we could be back on the other side of the looking glass at any time. Next week, next month. And then we're back to living on my salary, which doesn't cover our monthly nut, and so then we're back to depleting our savings, which we're just starting to get back to a comfort level (i.e., where we would be able to survive on just my salary for more than a year or two and still keep the house). So I can't quit, not yet.

Not to mention that G's work is all contract/freelance, so there's no health insurance, no 401K, no life insurance, no nothing. And my bennies? Unbelievable. Really. The best thing about this job is the benefits. And that's saying something, since I have a really great boss, and in general, when I'm not conflicted and angsty and all that, the work itself is interesting. I just know I couldn't live comfortably in my own skin without good health insurance. The way some people feel about daycare for their kids? That's how I feel about having children and going uninsured or underinsured. I just couldn't do it. And if I gave up my salary altogether, we'd have to do just that.

So, I have to stay. But I also have to address the angst. So I talked to my boss about expanding/changing my job responsibilities. And she was receptive, but nothing's really happened. And now I've got it in my head that I just *have* to switch around my hours, because I feel like I'm drowning, even just working 80 percent of the time. I hate not being there to pick E up after school except for Wednesdays, or to do homework with her, or to go to swim lessons or soccer practice or Brownies or...So I've come up with a schedule where I can be there when school gets out three days a week. Woohoo. Or half a woohoo. Because that schedule means potentially less time with N, who will have to go to daycare five days a week instead of three, since I will have to go into the office five sometimes-shorter days a week to make it work. Or, rather, for whom we will pay for daycare five days a week...truth is, we can always keep him out, or pick him up early. But will we? We'll see.

Sigh. Not clear. It's a complicated issue for me, and a very emotional one, but I'm having a hard time verbalizing it. Sorry 'bout that.

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