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.