Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Time Has Come, The Time Is Now...

Hillary Balsbaugh, will you please blog now? Ok, a little different than Dr. Suess and Marvin K. Mooney, but I can't get that phrase out of my head....ever. I love Dr. Suess...not in a mushy personal attachment sort of way, but the guy could rhyme! And I like rhyme. I can rhyme too. I think it makes up for my lack of rhythm.

Well, in my last oh-so-chipper blog, I alluded to some big stuff I've been thinking about blogging about. And I guess I'll give it a bit of a go.

On January 26th or 27th I went to an open house for a private Christian school we're interested in sending Megan to next year. It is like IMPOSSIBLE, but we're trying to put a bunch of puzzle pieces together to see if it can happen. Middle school in and of itself, whether private or public, presents a huge challenge for me. You all know I'm a single mom. And therein lies the complication. Our household = 1 adult, 2 kids. I report for work at 7:15. Right now the girls are in elementary and go to school where I teach so there are no complications. NEXT year Megan starts middle school (6th grade). Here in our school district, schools do not all start at the same time. MOST elementaries start at 7:15 like we do. MOST middle schools start at 9 or 9:15 (not sure exactly). That presents a problem. How do I get my child to school 2 hours after I report for work? I canNOT see sending an 11 year old to day care of a morning. Nor can I afford to do something like that. Some of those schools have before care, but I'm not sure they start early enough for me to get to school. And again, it's another bill to pay. Not room for more bills in my budget.

This private school I checked out is AWESOME. Love the curriculum. Love the atmosphere. Love the philosophies. Love it all. And it's across the street from the elementary school where I teach. Problems? Well there's the cost first. We're trying to get a government grant...which is possible because Florida has the voucher system where you can get X amount of dollars to pay for private if you so choose. We'll see. Then there's the fact that they don't start until 9. That's still almost two hours after I start work. Will my principal allow my child to be on campus with me until she needs to cross to the other school? Not sure. Not sure at all. Scared to even ask right now. ::sigh:: Then here's a hum dinger of a detail. The private school is THREE DAYS A WEEK. And gives two days of work at home. No night time homework, but two days of "school" to do at home, Tues. and Thurs. Ummm, probably don't have to outline the problem, huh? Well, the girls' dad says that his wife is trying to get a job there to help get a discount AND that if she does Meg could probably hang out with her on Tues and Thurs. I can't begin to say how badly I do NOT want that to happen. I don't want my daughter's early adolescent years to be a big bonding bonanza with her step-mom. *I* want that. I'm really sick of sharing my kids.

And at the same time, I see what a spectacular thing it could be for Meg to go to this school. I toured and saw the classes. It has Megan written all over it. (For a lot of reasons I won't bother going into because that's a WHOLE lot of typing.) To be honest, I'd love for BOTH girls to be there. But not with circumstances as they are.

So that all got me to thinking. And quite frankly I got rather disgusted with myself. For years I've talked about how I'm kind of stuck in teaching. I'm not enjoying it. I'm fed up with all the paper work and red tape and developmentally inappropriate standards. And I've wished for so long to be a stay-at-home mom and maybe even home school my girls...so they can still have the childhood that public schools wants to take away from them.

But I cling to "I'm stuck." I say there's nothing else I could do and make enough money, benefits, etc. to take care of my family. And obviously for the situation I'm looking at, taking another position somewhere else won't make me able to keep my daughter two days a week and get her to school at the right time without daycare or "before-care."

But I finally thought, What's my problem? Why do I cling to the "boo hoo I'm stuck" philosophy? I know I may be crazy considering the economy...which granted, is very scary right now. But I want so badly to defy my personality and my unambitious self and DO SOMETHING...FIND SOMETHING...to make being home for my girls a possibility...to make this 3/2 school day schedule possible. I just don't know where to start. And two weeks have passed and I haven't done anything. But I've GOT to try something. I've got to quit sitting back, unhappy with what I do for a living. My only alternative though has to be something I can do from home and you all know about how plentiful REAL careers from home can be. And by "REAL" I mean a means of bringing in enough income to pay the bills, medical insurance, etc.

What do you all think? Is there anything out there? Am I crazy to think I might find something else? I want to. I want to take life by the horns and quit feeling like I'm helpless about everything. "Stuck renting." "Stuck in my job." "Stuck in Florida." Do you sense a pattern here? I'm more than this. I KNOW I am. I'm not a victim. And I don't want to live like one.

There were days when I was a victim of abuse. But I didn't live like I was. I didn't take that mentality. I mean...I REALIZED, but I didn't pull it around me like a cloak, so to speak. And yet, all these years later, I act like I'm a victim of life. It's not right. And I want to make a change. I just have to find out where to start.

4 comments:

Mummy said...

(((HUGS))) Hill - that all sounds like a stressful time, with some hard decisions ahead. I totally understand the 'stuck' feeling and there are ways out. They're just not that obvious all the time. What do you think you would enjoy doing? Can you have a change completely and move nearer to family who could help out? Just keep rolling it all around in your head and see what answers you come up with.

Oh and I'm still stunned you start school so early!! All schools start at 9am here, or at least 99% of them do!

Hillary said...

I don't know what I'd enjoy doing. I enjoy clerical work...data entry...that sort of thing. I love writing. But what can I do with those to make the leap I need to make? I can't move nearer to family because of custody issues...without a heck of a fight...with no guarantee of an outcome in my favor. Too risky. (Hence the "stuck in Florida" syndrome.)

I'm still stunned on a daily basis at how early our school starts, too...and I've been doing it for over 6 years. LOL

Dee from Downunder said...

wow 7.15 am! My girls are lucky to be out of bed by then....

Gosh you have a hard decision ahead, I dont envy it. I procrastinate too much.

I can understand you not wanting the step mother bond fest though, maybe you could try to get a job at the new school... admin??

I could suggest lots of stuff, but I think your schools and work systems/benfits are just too different to over here, so probably best to say I hope something happens soon for you.

Hillary said...

Yeah, 7:15 really stinks. I don't like to get up at 7:15 SOMEWHERE at 7:15!

Thanks for the thoughts and suggestions I appreciate any help brainstorming!