Step Parenting

New Beginnings

I set out this year with a number of goals – one being to regularly blog twice per week. It seemed easy and achievable, but, you know, life happened and it quickly got pushed down my list of priorities until I no longer was blogging.

I missed my blog – a lot. I’m pretty sure it had an issue and was offline for three months without me even knowing it. There were so many things that came up that I wanted to write about, but simply couldn’t find the time.

Things changed, however, when I was laid off from my job a few weeks ago. I was completely blindsided and it took me a few days to figure out a plan. At first, I panicked. I haven’t applied for a job since I graduated from college. With all the new talent out there, I really was concerned that I was out of touch with how things operated outside of my company. Additionally, I’m from Cary, North Carolina. Most of the jobs in television require you to move to Los Angeles or New York City. With two kids at home though, I just can’t make a move like that.

The next question became childcare. In fact, this has been the biggest question. We have our four-year-old in a full-time daycare, where he is currently in Pre-K on track to start Kindergarten next year. This costs us just over $1000 per month. It is a no brainer when it comes to saving money that taking him out of daycare would be the greatest expense saved. But, I just couldn’t do that.

First and foremost, I didn’t want him missing out on the structured learning opportunities and time to socialize with other kids. Secondly, not having him in daycare meant having him at home with me. While I love spending time with him and would love more of it, I’m just not that person that can be a stay-at-home mom. I applaud the women that can, but I just need to get out of the house and do something for me. I put too much into my education and career to just sit at home. I knew with him at home though that I wouldn’t be able to make time to really job search and also wouldn’t be able to provide him the constant learning opportunities that he gets in daycare.

I went back and forth on what to do. Ultimately, we decided to keep him in daycare as taking him out of schooling would only be doing a disservice to him and it’s not his fault that I lost my job.

The second piece to this puzzle though was my stepdaughter. She started up school a week after I lost my job. She used to go to an after school where I could pick her up after work, which was extremely convenient. But, by me picking her up from school, it would save us about $250 per month so in the short term that’s what we decided to do. I had a lot of unexpected pressure from her though in regards to my job. I don’t think any of it was intentional, but it was definitely there (perhaps in my head).

My stepdaughter’s biological mom had always been a stay-at-home mom. That’s what my stepdaughter was used to, so she was hoping that I too would have a job that I could work from home, be able to pick her up from school, and volunteer at her school. It was an added pressure to find this perfect flexible job. At this point, finding any job felt like pressure enough. We agreed though that I would pick her up in carpool as long as she was good at finishing her homework without any serious meltdowns. Hopefully, this is only a short term solution until I can find a job.

Amongst all the stress and anxiety, it was somewhat of a relief to all of a sudden have more hours in the day. I can sleep in all of a sudden, which gives me far more energy for the day. My boyfriend and I now start the day off with smoothies and I have time to try out new recipes for dinner. Sometimes I am guilty of binge watching Netflix, but the added time also allows me to read a book or work on scrapbooking. Also, I was able to refocus and now have time for getting back to stuff I love: like blogging!

So, I’m back for now and hope to get back in the habit of writing blog posts more often. I’m not sure where the wind will take me next, but I’m up for whichever way it chooses to go.

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