Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Job Posting

The Partner is looking for a new job. A day job, that is. He's under contractual obligation to remain in his other position until death do us part.

I'm not sure if The Partner has an exalted idea of what he's worth or if he's truly underpaid, but the fact of the matter is that he has received several recent offers, and none of them are up to snuff.

If I worked outside the home, or more productively from home as a freelancer, it would be a different story. The Partner would not have to be as picky about landing a salary that allows a family of three to sit at the dinner table each day, clothed, under a non-leaky roof. For all intents and purposes, the burden of that responsibility is on him. Instead, the jobs for which he was so qualified and for which he was enthusiastically extended an offer will end up going to recent college grads of the single persuasion, or professionals with their own partners to share the burden of living in a state that dictates surging numbers of two-income families.

We do it because we're not the ones in charge; The Boss is. Her 18-year plan does not allow for outsourcing. We take care of each other--The Boss, The Partner, and me. In our small house, raising children is a family business. It's not a lucrative one. Our family will likely grow before our house does. The nice car I bought as a single woman will have to last for many, many years, or I'll be searching the classifieds for the least rusted out piece of metal going for $500 OBO. We eat out only on special occasions with friends. We do not go to the movies or rent them. We drink bottles of wine that cost $2.99 each (which are quite a tasty value, by the way. Try a Lost Vineyards red or rosé sometime). We transfer the balance on our credit cards to the next 0 %financing promotion and the cycle begins again.

It's stressful and sometimes alienating, but I guess that's what parenthood is. "Stay at home mom," "working mom," it doesn't matter. The circumstances aren't what's most important because, as much as each situation can differ, we're all in the same boat of cluelessness and hope. We're a bunch of wandering means justified by the same end.


Ruth Dynamite said...

It's family first, and as much as it's a struggle (and believe me, I know the struggle well), it's a struggle worth the struggle. I already see the difference in my kids, who've had me (for better or for worse) full time for the last five years. Money isn't everything, and, according to this Magic Hat beer bottle cap I love, it "can't buy poverty" either. I like that for you "raising children is a family business." So rare these days. Kudos to you!

jen said...

god, what a lovely post. it's a blessed struggle, and sometimes the achey goodness is in the journey. you have lots of achey goodness, and it's very nice to look at from over my way.

T. said...

You have such a lovely way of putting it.

I would have probably just whined about serving my kids mac and cheese three days a week.

I like your way better.

I'm in your boat too. It's not so bad when you have someone you love helping you with the oars, and the kids reading the compass..

Jenifer said...

I hear ya! Get this one.... when I was out on maternity leave I used my home equity loan to pay my mortgage.... kind of defeats the purpose don't you think?