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Working as a mother

As I was going to college, I worked at a treadmill factory. It was a good job for me, I paid my bills, my college tuition, and I could still go out and do what young adults do. I worked there for almost five years before I got married, and shortly after I celebrated my five year anniversary at that company I became pregnant with my first child. I was no longer going to college. I was taking the notorious “break”. I enjoyed what I did, but I knew I couldn’t do it forever. It was one of those jobs you do when your either young, or just can’t do anything else. I left that full time job for a slightly less paying part time job at a bank, something I had been wanting to do. Unfortunately, the bank I worked at wasn’t located in the greatest part of town, and it didn’t help my nerves that I was very pregnant at this point either. I ended up working there for only a couple more months after I had my first child.

I accepted a position at a much larger bank, where I worked the main office and did just office work, data entry and filing. I really found comfort in that job. I enjoyed it a lot, and considered going back to school to further my career within that company. I started there as a temporary employee, and was offered a full time position within months of starting there. A few months after that, I broke the news that I was expecting my second child. All continued going well. As I gained more experience I was given more opportunities.

I had only been back to work from maternity leave for three months when, once again, I had broke the news I was expecting my third child. That’s when things started downward spiraling. Child care was reasonable for my two children, but to add a third would be almost my whole paycheck, and honestly I was starting to struggle a little bit. My husband was already working two part time jobs himself, hoping one of those jobs would offer him a full time position. I had to tell my babysitter, before I had my third child, that I couldn’t afford to pay her anymore.

When I returned back to work from maternity leave with my third child, I tried juggling my kids between my parents, my husbands parents, my sister, and my husbands sisters. Eventually, everyone was getting wore out, and I was forced to quit. My husband was finally offered a full time position at one of his jobs too, so even though he could finally work only one job, it didn’t pay enough to allow for me to stay home. With the help from friend, I got a job at a casino. It worked out almost perfectly. I could be home during the day with my kids, and when my husband came home, I would leave for work. It was a very rough start, since I was a new employee I had to work the shifts no one wanted, like the nine p.m to five a.m shifts. Those are very rough when you have three children all barely three years old and younger. Not even to mention, it was probably the worse job I ever had, and I held on to it for five years because like I mentioned earlier, it just worked out perfectly, especially when I was able to have an earlier shift.

I was there for five years, my youngest child was five and getting ready to start kindergarten. I broke the news I was expecting my fourth child. Working at the casino, I was always on my feet, and constantly around people smoking. It was the “slow season” too, so I wasn’t making as much money as I would normally, and the bigger I got, the more uncomfortable I was, so I was always offering to go home if they didn’t need people. I began looking for another job.

It wasn’t long after I had started applying to a few companies that I got a call back from one. It was a full time day job, so I would have to arrange for someone to watch my three kids from the time they got off the bus to the time my husband got home, which was rather easy. I really liked this company! It was a great company to work for even though I was only there a short time. I was only there three months to the day when I had my fourth child. I hadn’t been employed there long enough to have any sort of paid maternity leave, so I had to take the minimum six weeks unpaid. My fourth child was born with down syndrome, and I hadn’t known until she was born. I spent three weeks of my maternity leave at the hospital with her and finding a daycare specializing in children with special needs, that were reasonable. I had no such luck. My daughter was finally released from the hospital, but still needed oxygen. I interviewed a few people who ran daycares out of their home, but none left me feeling comfortable leaving my daughter with special needs, in their care.

My six weeks was up, and my boss had began calling to see when I was returning so she could get things ready. I was trying to prolong giving her an answer because as much as I wanted to go back, I didn’t have a babysitter for my infant, or anyone who could take my daughter to all her doctor appointments she had, her therapy, or her specialist appointments. I didn’t even have anyone to watch my other three for when school let out for summer.

My husband and I finally decided the best thing to do was to let me stay home. I really love being home with my kids and being a housewife, but I miss working too. I miss having my own money and not being so dependent on my husband. I know it is more stressful for him as well. I still continue to look for work, just ones that I can do from home.

Living with Down Syndrome

My daughter with down syndrome is only five months old.  I can’t even begin to explain all of the emotions I have felt these past five months, and I can’t even to begin to explain all of the emotions I fear for in the future.

I didn’t know my daughter had down syndrome until I held her, after she had gotten cleaned up, weighed, etc. The shock was unreal. It literally felt like I was having a nightmare. Here I was expecting a normal healthy, and quick labor, and in reality it was a long and complicated with heart breaking news.

Even thought it was so heart breaking to hear she had down syndrome, at first, I did feel very lucky it wasn’t severe. Apparently there are several degrees of down syndrome and at least three different kinds of down syndrome. Most babies that are born with down syndrome, I found, have to have some sort of surgery right after birth. Whether because of the common heart defects that are associated with down syndrome, or stomach issues that are also associated. Luckily my daughter did not have stomach or intestinal issues, however, she did have ASD (Atrial Septum Defect, a little hole in her heart).

I feel incredibly lucky that my daughter is so healthy considering she does have down syndrome. I mean the biggest concern for my daughter when she was released from the hospital, was that she needed oxygen, and not even a lot, barely anything, but the doctor seemed to think it was her ASD, she had that was causing her to need the oxygen. Less than a month after she was released her pulmonary specialist took her off of it. As far as her ASD, we don’t know anything, Her cardiologist seemed pretty confident that it was small enough to close on its own. She is suppose to see him in November, so we will see how that is going.

Sometimes I feel bad for having a daughter with down syndrome, who is so healthy, and she is always surprising her therapists, who say she is right where she is suppose to be, considering she does have down syndrome. Her low muscle tone, seems to be what is holding her back in some areas. Overall I am happy and lucky to have her, down syndrome and all. I just can’t help finding myself wonder and worry about her quality of life. As much as I love her, it always makes me sad to think that she didn’t  ask for this. I just have to hope for the best, and so far, like I have said before isn’t so bad. I am very lucky and blessed!

I read this article, 7 reasons why having a child with special needs makes life better, and reason number six is, “Every Milestone is a Big Party”. That could not be more true! Earlier this month, my daughters therapist was working with her on rolling over. Later that afternoon, my daughter had rolled over all by herself. I was so excited, I sent a text to her therapist and told her! A long with anyone else I wanted to share that with. It is a really good article for those who are interested! You can find it on https://drexelle.com/7-reasons-why-raising-a-special-needs-down-syndrome-child-makes-life-better/

Back to School

Back to school is quickly approaching! My kids only have 10 more days left of summer. I am kind of relieved and kind of sad. They are such a handful at times!! Every summer I hope to give them a great summer, but it doesn’t always turn out the way I plan. Mostly because I am not working and I am still learning how to budget on one income that barely covers everything a family of six needs.

It’s hard to believe I have a fourth, third and first grader! I considered home schooling them this year only because of all the problems they were having with other students both at school and on the bus. They were looking forward to it, as was I actually, but after they had meet the teacher day, they all changed their minds. It is probably for the best considering I have the baby, and honestly, I have yet to figure out how I was going to school three kids in three different grades without losing my sanity and staying focused. Plus I  am still working on going back to school myself.

My husband had me convinced that the common core just is not a good thing. I want my children to have a good education, not just learn the basics to get by. To be honest I don’t even fully understand what exactly the common core is, I just know it isn’t the greatest thing. Our school district, however, just voted against using the common core, so we will see.

Another thing I fear is the exposure to all the other children. I know it is a good thing for them. I guess I am just trying to hold on to their youth and innocence for as long as I can.

Our school district always starts early, but the kids get a lot of time off for spring, winter, and fall break. Plus they get out early, as long as we don’t have bad winters. This past winter was the worse winter we have had in a very long time. They were off for a whole week because of the weather! I live in Missouri so our crazy weather is normal. One thing is for sure, I will miss the screaming, chaotic days when my monsters go back to school!!

 

 

Our Camping Adventures

My husband is becoming notorious for his last minute adventures. Two  summers ago, on the kids last day of school, he called me to tell me that everyone needed to be packed up and ready to go when he got home  because we were going to go camping and floating. This would be our kids first time both camping and floating. They were very excited!! I was nervous at how well they were going to sleep being out in the woods in complete darkness all night with the bathrooms a good distance away.

The camp ground was only a couple hours away, so when we got there the first thing we did was teach them how to set up everything. The first thing they wanted to do, however, was jump in the river! They finally got to play in the river while my husband and I prepared their first campfire dinner that consisted of brats, shells and cheese, and of course smores for dessert because it wouldn’t be a normal camping trip for us with out the smores!

My kids (I only had three at this time) survived the night and went right in to the lake as soon as they woke up! My husband and I prepared their first campfire breakfast, and we got packed up to go on our four hour float before heading back home. It was pretty hot out so naturally the whole float all the kids did was jump in the river. They did enjoy the peacefulness of the float trip. I think the four hour trip was a little much for them, especially with it being so hot.

Our camping trip this year, was another spontaneous, last minute trip. We took the kids to a different place. The camp site was still only a couple hours away, but this one had caves we could get a tour through too. Plus, we were right by a river. A win-win situation with the kiddos!! We now had the baby too, which made things a little more difficult. I couldn’t do as much as I would have liked to, but that’s all a part of being a parent. As chaotic as that trip ended up being, the kids still had fun, and that is what is all about!

 

 

Hello world!

This is my first blog on Blogjob.  I have blogged a couple times before. I am starting again to help figure out life. To start out, I am 33 years old, I have been married for ten years, I have four kids. I am in the processing of registering for college for the fifth time since I graduated high school. It’s sad, I know. I always begin with full intentions of succeeding with a degree, but half way through I decide that maybe that career isn’t for me. I quit or take a break until I find something else that interests me enough to pursue.

My first attempt, like I mentioned, was when I finished high school and it was for an associates in graphic design. I was half way done when my husband and I bought our first house, and got married. I couldn’t afford the “out of district” tuition so rather than transferring I just took the notorious break that everyone warns you not to take when you are in college because they know you will not go back. My “break” was five years long. In that time span I had three kids,  and trade a really good job for a night job that would allow me to stay home with my children.  That brings me to my second attempt, which purpose was to earn the missing credits I needed in order to get into the University I was trying to get into. Which was my third attempt, a bachelor’s degree in Clinical Research Management. I was there for three semesters before my husband and I moved our family out west. The move had made the commute to school harder to handle with traffic, the classes I needed to take were at a time that was too early for me to be able to make it, and I was beginning to question whether I wanted to continue my education in Clinical Research Management.

I enrolled in to the community college where my journey and professional student career had began to just take some classes while I tried to figure out what I was going to do, and to be honest, I wasn’t ready to start paying back my student loans. I thought about becoming a nurse, but the more I thought about it, and actually saw how long the waiting list was just to take classes, I decided against it. I just ended up taking some biology classes. The “in district” tuition was raised, causing me to take yet another “break”.

So fast forwarding to the present, I still have my student loans to worry about. I have had them deferred twice, and like I said I am in the process of once again enrolling in to a college I have previously visited, in hopes that maybe, just maybe I have found my calling. Something I will successfully finish and gain a success career from. I am hoping I am success this time. I want and need to feel like I have accomplished something in my life. I also want to be a role model for my children, and to help my husband out financially.