Sometimes the earth turns too fast, sometimes too slow

career doll1Often it feels like I am stuck in two gears: one wants to speed things up and the other wants to slow things down.

When I think about security and when I wonder about what is going to happen to our family next I get ill. I want to speed this part up and get to the next phase. How many chapters of limbo are there in this book? And on days when it feels like we are doing EVERYTHING to find stability just underneath that is the anxiety wondering if we are not doing enough.

As would be expected Mother and I can have emotional flair ups at each other. We are both just so stressed and we process very differently. She retreats and I need to, nay, MUST externalize. She spends pretty much 7-9 hours a day looking for jobs, applying for jobs, networking, researching, praying, and probably a zillion other things. At the end of the day, every day, she is zonked emotionally. It is soul sucking to spend so many hours of every day stretching your eager hand up to the hiring powers that be and pleading, “pick me!!!” And then I come along wanting to talk about the million and one variables and what if’s.

Being on the sidelines of the job search is a different kind of hard. While I certainly like to make lists I like to achieve the thrill of crossing things off the list even more. (which is why I put things like “wake up” on my todo lists…) I don’t know how Mother turns the page every morning and starts all over again. And I want to help. So so so so badly. I pour over, literally, dozens of job sites a day, getting frustrated that by the time a job shows up on a list it is most likely weeks old and filled. When she gets called for phone interviews I help her prep and get us all excited about the position.

(Don’t even get me started on how I got us psyched for a job in Oklahoma. She had a phone interview on the day the abortion bill news broke and somehow I managed to turn AHHHH!!! Oklahoma!!!! EW!! Into: Well clearly I would have work for me there to be a part of change.)

career doll2

We are not sit back and relax kind of people. We like to work. We like to contribute. And lawd, wouldn’t it be great to earn a living. I look at our life right now and feel so beyond thankful that we have a roof over our heads (but also feel massive guilt daily in fear that we are overstaying). I am thankful that we all (for the time being) have health insurance and a bit of food stamps. I am thankful that a company runs ads on my sidebars so that I can purchase things like laundry detergent and generic infant motrin. I am thankful for friends that welcome me into their homes and families when I need a safe place to just BE. I am thankful for all of ya’ll putting up with my constant posts of angst.

But I wonder when this will all dry up. Where will we be then?

Then W wakes up from one of his rare daytime naps and he takes my breath away. Every time he wakes up I feel like he is changed- and he most likely is. Yesterday he woke up and I could honestly tell that he was taller than he was just a few hours earlier. He tries so hard to communicate his needs now- pointing, nodding, bouncing a YES! He has jokes and comic routines. He thinks the cats and the dog are the best things EVER. He studies everything and flirts with everyone. He falls down, bonks his head, and just keeps on moving. He sways and dances and jives to music. He could spend the entire day in the bath- whether there is water in it or not.

W and the Great Outdoors

And I know that tomorrow, next week, next month- he will be a different boy. It is beautiful and amazing and breathtaking and holy hell am I lucky, lucky, lucky that he is in my life.

And I am lucky that he really has no clue how freaked out I am about everything else in our world. How my face turns bright red when I pull out my food stamps card. How I panic at the sight of every pothole between here and the post office because omg we would be so so so screwed if something happened to the car. I mean there is plenty to be freaked out about in actuality, but just for extra fun I imagine all the OTHER things out there.

I just don’t know what to do to get the pendulum swinging out in a better direction. All we need is a job. A job to get us back on our feet. A job to restore our self worth, our dignity, our sanity. Please pick us!

EDITED TO ADD: There is a response to the, “why aren’t you getting/looking for a job?” question in the comments.

Comments

  1. says

    I’m so greatful for having a place to stay right now, as well. I wish a job would land in my lap, our house would finally sell, and this land of what if would end.

  2. Lisa says

    I so wish I could do something to help. I am praying and hoping with all my heart that things turn around for you guys soon.

  3. says

    This may be a totally rude and inappropriate question and I apologize in advance if it offends you. But the same question turns over in my head frequently when I read your blog so I am just going to ask – Are you looking for a job? We hear lots about Mother’s job search, but nothing about yours. And if you are not looking for a job, why not given your difficult situation?

    I will keep your family in my prayers and I hope that something happens soon for you all. These are scary times, but the times that teach us lessons and build character.

    • says

      Karen- It is not an inappropriate question at all. I may not be very eloquent in my explanation and it makes me all kinds of emotional, but here I go…(& know that I am literally crying as I write this because until we found ourselves in this position I had NO idea how shitty things could be. I never would have understood how complicated and hard and rage at the universe it is.)

      We have looked at my getting a job thoroughly and the crazy mixed up reality is that we can’t afford for me to get a job.

      With my getting a job (& Mother not) I would lose my & W’s healthcare and have no funds (or way with our preexisting conditions) to replace it. I cringe to write that, but right now we are both absolutely dependent on state coverage.

      There are many factors at play here: lack of affordable childcare (Mother taking care of W for 8+ hours a day, 5 days a week is just not realistic for us), lack of transportation, lack of jobs that would pay someone that has been out of the workforce for years a decent wage. I worked for nearly 7 years 24/7 as my Grandmother’s caregiver and while I most likely will extend those skills into getting a job as an elder care sitter- I know that won’t cover the expenses that would incur with my actually working outside of the home.

      I know that many will look at my situation and not full understand my explanation and I guess I would be open to further questions and suggestions.

      • says

        it’s amazing and infuriating how the cost of childcare makes working at many jobs either financially ruinous or only worth it if you love the job, since you’ll only break even with daycare costs. obviously i think childcare (and other undervalued jobs that tend — coincidence! — to be dominated by women) ought to command a reasonable wage, but it’s still a horrible catch-22. especially once insurance is part of the equation. ugh^3.

        thanks for addressing this question, though, despite the tears.

      • says

        If anyone is curious how much an elder care sitter makes- I did that as a second job when I worked in group homes. With a BA degree, I earned $8/hr at an agency, and $10/hr freelancing (where I would have to pay taxes and SS on my own). When I worked in group homes, I earned $10/hr. It’s very important and difficult work- however, it is traditional women’s work and does not pay squat. The women I worked with who had kids only were able to survive because they had free family child care. Many still worked 60-80 hours a week and still couldn’t pay the heat bill. I literally had $10/week for groceries during those years.

      • Michelle says

        Calliope, I really do wish your family well and hope that this job deal works out in your favore….sooon. I have followed you while I was too dealing with my infertility and your W is close in age to my L. I understand the problem with you getting something. Trust me….I get it. And healthcare is truly a b*^*^*. Do you think that you would lose healthcare if you got a part time job in the evenings. You still wouldnt’ earn much, but it might help out while you are in limbo. Your mom would still be able to look during the day and you could work a couple of hours at night while she kept W. Maybe at Barnes and Noble or something. That way….you have a way to take care of things….like the tire you are going to have to replace when you finally hit that pothole. My sisters daughter has state healthcare and she works. So the only danger really is you not having coverage. Still scary I know. Again, just a suggestion that perhaps may help out. I am sure you have thought of it….but wanted to throw it out there. Michelle

  4. says

    Sending all good thoughts and prayers in your direction for good news soon.
    W. is cuter than cute and that picture made me smile, thanks for sharing!

  5. says

    I’m sure you’ve talked about this somewhere – would it be beneficial for you to job search as well? So you could both look for something and then you’ll be doubling your chances and the other could stay home with W?

  6. Shu says

    It is impossible to convey to anyone adequately about the character-building challenges we’ve experienced over the last years.

    As we headed into caring for GM over 7 years ago, we had NO comprehension of the twisting, dark, rocky, heartbreaking road that living amid Alzheimer’s would be. Even telling brief moments of it, as Calliope has shared here, does not come close to the depths and darkness living it was and the sorrow it brought to all 3 of us as GM’s decline pushed unstoppably on.

    Likewise, “this job thing” is something I could never imagine understanding – or surviving. It has made NO sense to me: we are good people, from amazing parents/ grandparents/ above; we have worked hard giving loyalty, devotion, and excellence at our jobs (Calliope doesn’t talk here about the long stint of major work she did, and gave up to become primary at-home with GM, but she was amazing and had a career that would have gone on and on if she’d ignored her family); we don’t do bad things, or get in trouble, or slack off, or stir up drama, or or or or… fill in the blanks.

    We do not understand how “this” has happened to us, why I am not finding A/The job, why my credentials, abilities, experience, compassion, work ethic are not finding a slot to drop into. It is a ***** mystery to me, and drives me into wrenching tears in the dark of night. But I must start each new day with the hope and faith that I am going to crack this nut before every last remnant of “me” and “us” is shredded away.

    Calliope works so very hard; she can not give herself the credit she deserves. She keeps us centered and held together, while cooking, cleaning, caring, and encouraging us non-stop. She prevents me from retreating to my anchorite position enough to keep me going and trying. She cares for W like the young prince he is. She worries about what is happening to us, which leads her to ever more creative ways to keep floating a little longer.

    It is unfortunate that at this point any position she would be able to take would not cover the cost of W’s care (I would like nothing more than to play with him all day, but that doesn’t find jobs for me), and would lose them other hard-won rocks to cling to in the rapids.

    We have a plan for her and what she can and will do once we FIND our place, my employment, a home again for us. She is amazing, creative, loving, caring, SO smart, and the best friend anyone could dream of. It kills her to not be in a position to add to the coins we scrape up at this point, but the work she would find now (and the loss to me of ‘the car’ we must share) would take coins out of the pot instead.

    This is a crazy, terrifying, unbelievable state we find ourselves in. No one could ever have been able to describe what it feels like to exist in this darkness, and so far only falling through deeper and deeper holes further on into the abyss. A year ago, as we thought things were the ‘worst ever’, I could not have comprehended what living in our “now” would be like. I keep asking the universe, can it possibly get darker than this, and then it does!

    We both work so hard at finding the way up and out and back into a world we know and can manage in. We want to again be the people who reach out and help others every way we can. It is humbling to be the ones who need the help.

    Where’s a ladder out of this hole???? I don’t want a good life handed to me, I want to earn it, as I’ve earned for decades (but maybe with more security and safety!!) :-)

    Please know that as you may have questions about why we can’t solve our situation, we have spent the tear-fraught, 2 AM crisis-talking, humiliating/ bruising/ bare-souled honesty zillion hours over the last well-over a year trying to find the solution. There is probably little you may question that we haven’t already beat our heads on a rock about many times.

    HOWEVER, any suggestions, especially of a practical nature, are so, so very welcome. So, PLEASE, ideas of specificity, PLEASE.

    Thanks for caring about my girl. She deserves so much love and respect. She should never have to be going through what our life is now, the fear, and I grieve that she is because she gave up so much to care for GM and also me.

    • says

      I, too, know how it feels not to be able to find work that provides a subsistence, and those were dark times indeed.

      Suggestions….
      Would Callie be able to do in-home child care for 1 or 2 children even on a part-time basis? I don’t know if that would be allowed at your current home, but most moms charge 30-50 a day in my area. Some people are open to you providing care in their home as well. Some families are cool with hiring a nanny who brings her own child- I know Mr S and I were. My friend Devon nannied J for the first month I went back to work, and I loved that she had a son the same age.

      When I worked doing elder care freelance, most of the families I worked with needed a few hours a week either in the evenings or weekends. You can advertise on Care.com, I believe, and craigslist. I found my first client with a flier I hung up, and the rest by word of mouth after that. Could Mother watch W for 2-4 hours a couple evenings a week? Most agencies charge 15-18/hr, so you could price yourself around 10/hr if necessary. I also did sleepovers a couple times. Basically, I would sleep over from 10pm to 7am and charge $50 for the night. Generally just there for safety, as I did not agree to sleepovers with folks who wandered a lot or had complicated needs, as I was not an RN at the time. There is quite a demand for this. The most I ever did was get someone a glass of water. I got a background check ($10-35 at most police stations) and provided a copy. I am also CPR certified.

      Have you thought of going back to school? Nursing school maybe :). Going back to school for nursing changed my life. Nursing is NOT for everyone, but after 7 years taking care of grandmother, I think you could fit in well. Many states offer nursing student grants, and hospitals will sometimes pay tuition if you agree to work for them for 2 years after graduation. My school in Cincinnati did so.

      Is your mother able to teach? My friend’s mother is an attorney who was laid off almost 2 years ago now, and she is president of her local town council, and teaches at a local college’s paralegal program. Not sure if that avenue has been tried. Other than that, I have no helpful advice :(.

    • Michelle says

      Shu–What is your actual career or what are you looking for. I may not be able to help….but maybe putting it to us (actually people who care instead of a computer that reads your resume) could help. I for example work in DC and work at a major university. I would be more than willing to look around here for you if I knew what you did. I am sure the same is true for others here. Sorry for all you are going through. I know I can’t imagine it either. I am so sorry. M.

  7. says

    My practical suggestion, and you may have already thought about this, is perhaps trying to do childcare in someone’s home where you could also bring W. I’m sure you could get lots of references from your friends (heck, we’d provide a ref for you) and there seem to be so many people looking for such a thing…a nanny-share of sorts. Care.com is a good place to start if you’re at all interested. xo

  8. Clara says

    Ohmyword. I had a sense that your mom was amazing from reading the references to her but her comments here have elevated her to a whole new level. What an amazing mother you have. To Calli’s mother, what an amazing child you raised. And, with all that amazingness combined in the same house, one need only sit back and watch what amazingness will come forth from your wonderful son.
    I cannot imagine your predicament and I thank you for being so candid in answering that question.
    What might be helpful is if you could give specifics about the kinds of jobs you would both be interested in i.e. full time or will you consider part time. I know your mom is in the legal profession but I don’t know what exactly she does. That would be helpful info and if you don’t want to post details on the blog please tell me how to send you my email addy. I’m a lawyer in Canada but I worked in NY about 6 years ago and stay in touch with some of my former colleagues. If we can somehow coordinate so I can get your mom’s resume, I’ll send it to the people I have stayed in touch with but most are still in NY so I don’t know if that works location wise. That said, two of my former colleagues have moved into government and are in DC so that may work better.
    I pray that everything in the universe will begin to collaborate to bring you the breakthrough you need and deserve. I also pray that within the next 6mths we will be reading your reflections on how you got out of this dark place. If you could live through (& with) infertility and be experiencing W’s love now, you know that miracles happen and there is no reason to believe that the universe got out of the miracle business since your W arrived so keep the faith.

  9. says

    I can vouch that Callie’s mom does indeed rock and would be a stellar find for any employer. This whole deal isn’t something any of them take lightly. Not that Callie and Shu need defending, nor that anyone’s even attacking – I just had to pop in and say that these women bust their asses day in and day out. I’m just lucky I’ve even gotten a taste of what life is like with them around.

  10. says

    have you thought about going to nursing school? given your hands on experience with grandmother, would that even be something that interests you?

    you should be able to get a stipend or loans for school, as well as student health insurance, and possibly even some housing assistance depending on where you are going to school. of course, this is a longer term solution (clearly it would take you 4 years or so to get your nursing degree), but in the long run, its a good career option.

  11. says

    The cost of daycare, I understand. But there’s that healthcare thing again — ugh. I pray that things get better for you soon. (((hugs)))

  12. says

    Your Mom Rocks! and so do you!
    Do not feel guilty for looking closely at your situation and realizing that the answer is not you rushing out to find a job.

    I don’t know when they will arrive but good things are on the way for you, mother and W.

  13. says

    My heart (and tears) go out to you. We’re living in nearly the same boat, except it’s my husband who has the PhD and cannot find a job and has been unemployed for four years. His self-esteem is shot, his feelings of responsibility toward his family is heartbreaking and he feels a failure at every turn. Our four kids are clothed, though usually we take hand-me-downs for that. I am able to at least earn enough to pay for our home, food, electricity, etc. but we have no health insurance, either. And although we’re not taking care of an Alzheimer’s patient, we are helping to care for my MIL, who goes for her second pacemaker surgery next week. She’s retired and is able to support herself with her pension & social security – but, we are still the ones who have to take care of the 21 acres we live on, handle her heavy yard work and make sure we’re available if she needs us. I know where you are. I’m living it, too. I have had ya’ll on my prayer list for a long time and will continue to pray for you. It’s really nice, though, to see you both able to “talk it out” – instead of losing yourselves in your pain. Kudos.

  14. says

    Wow. What an amazingly honest post that was. And I can’t even get into the comments. People here said it better before me…you and your mother are amazing people. And I too scratch my head in wonder at how the universe could land such two amazing people in this predicament. I am on the other side of the country but I SO wish I could lend a hand. I could give mother some work as a bookkeeper, I feel like I could help out in some way. Surely the answer is out there and surely it will come to you both soon.

    One thing is for sure. You were meant to me a mother to W. Having a mother as amazing as yours as a role model just proves that you NEED to pass it on. You NEED to pay it forward as a mother. Because all of you are amazing. And one day in the very distant future W will look at you and say, “Wow. I didn’t know all of that was going on…I was just a happy little dude.” And you will know you have done more than you thought you could. Hugs.

  15. says

    I keep hoping every day that something will come along and turn all of this around for all of you. I can’t imagine what it’s like to live with the daily stress and fear that you are living in. And to Caliope’s mom, what a beautiful and eloquent response. Hugs to all of you.

  16. says

    just sending big love to the three of you.
    if only that’s all it took to keep you afloat, you’d be soaring.
    xo

  17. says

    Wow. I am speechless. I had no idea. You will make it through. I konw how it feels to be stuck in that limbo. I lost my job a bit over a year ago. Luckily and throuhg networking a got a job that wasn’t even there. But being in limbo for about half a year before I knew, I had a new job was horrible. I feel for you. And I know that you will make it through and things will look up. Sending all my love.

  18. says

    Whilst I can’t give any specific practical advise (cos I love on a whole other continent) I can say that something WILL give in this situation. it’s just GOT to. And I think the focus and perserverance that you BOTH are showing in getting yourselves out of this situation is telling and will be the “straw that breaks the camels back” so to speak.

    Shu – you are amazing. You’ve got to be cos you made an amazing girl.

    Thinking of you both and praying that this situation resolves sooner rather than later.

    Much love and hugs.

    xxx

  19. says

    Wow, you and your mom are amazing, strong women. I can sense how much your *temporary* reliance on assistance is causing you so much angst. But it shouldn’t. You are in a tight spot right now, not of your own doing. You are exactly who these programs were designed to aid! Good people down on their luck who need a temporary helping hand. Unfortunately, people who milk the system give it a bad name or stigma. Hold your heads up high, you are amazing. Soon, all of your hard work will pay off and you will shine.

    And that boy is freakin’ adorable. And, I never mentioned this, but I adore your header – so beautiful.

  20. Betty M says

    I am so impressed by both of you. Unfortunately there is little practical assistance I can give being a continent away but I hope that the job shows up soon.

  21. Care says

    Cali, you and your Mom are both holding up so well under theses circumstances – and I am sorry that the job search has drug on so long and been such an emotional roller coaster. I know it must be tough if you are even considering positions in OK (although hey – I do live in OK – and would love company!) I really hope things turn around for both of you very soon.

  22. says

    I think about you and your family every day. I know what it is like to be at the bottom, scraping the barrel so to speak. If I’m right about what I think your mother does, I’ve kept my eye on a few places here in Texas. I suppose it’s small consolation when you’ve been struggling for so long, but just know that I’m trying to help in the only way I can think of.

    You and your mother are strong, brilliant women. You have a huge network of support and love that spans the globe. There are all of these arms and all of this love bolstering your family, we’ll keep holding until you find your own footing.

  23. Melissia says

    Cal, you have a job, and that is as W’s mom. These first years you will never get back and I say this as a mom who did both, worked and went to school while my kids were young because I wanted to and because I felt the need to for my mental health.
    But I second the suggestion about nursing school if you feel the calling, I think that you would be amazing, and there are excellent associate degree programs that will qualify you for a registered nurse that takes will take two years. I was an RN for 15 years, before I retired and my daughter in law is currently in an associates degree program that is paying all of her tuition, books, expenses plus a living stipend.
    There are some courses that you need to take before hand , so if have an interest check with you local community college as many of these you can take at night and you can apply for financial aid, I am sure that you would qualify and many community colleges may have day care co-ops as part of their early childhood education.
    I used the co-op when I was in nursing school and my guys loved it and we were all on campus together, I was very lucky.
    Nurses are in great demand currently and my hope is that if this is something that you could see yourself doing in the future there are many tuition programs out there that will pay for a full education.

  24. Salome says

    I wish your mom had a job. It would make your life much easier. But since she doesn’t, it may help to remind yourself how fortunate you are to have your mom with you. Mine died shortly after I graduated from college. You have the beautiful baby that you longed for and you get to spend all day and night with him. That is huge. I have a colleague who has twins conceived through IVF. She and her husband are both lawyers and she would love to stay at home with her daughters but she can’t afford to and still pay her medical bills and law school loans and mortgage and car payments and on and on. Her babies are with a sitter who comes to her house and she doesn’t get much time with them. She worries that they rely on the sitter more than they do on her. Her greatest wish is to be home with them but there is no way that can happen right now.
    Everything is temporary. Someday this part of your life will be over and you’ll look back with nostalgia. That’s just the nature of things. You have sufficient to get by. It’s human nature to want more but as you well know, there are hundreds of infertile women out there who would trade places with you in a heartbeat.
    I don’t mean to make you feel ungrateful but sometimes some input from a more or less disinterested observer helps put things in perspective.

  25. says

    Surely you’ll be getting a good push up from the bottom soon? The fact that you both still keep at it is awe inspiring. What love you must have for each other.
    Practical suggestions? Calli, have you considered proofreading work? It’d be online and at home.
    Love to you from us.

  26. Kimmyann says

    You might have said this before and I just missed it but what type or position of job is your mother looking for?

  27. Kat says

    I echo the comments of the others above, but as you know, sometimes life is not fair, often without reason. The frustrating, ineffable thing is that some things are beyond our control.

    I’m sure you have both been nauseatingly comprehensive in your searches, but since I come from more of a culture of academia I’m wondering if you have fully considered this angle. I’m not sure what part of the state you are in or Mother’s specific field of expertise, but here are a few academia-related ideas. First, individual colleges and universities don’t often advertise openings on the standard big job sites, and some only advertise on their own site. Universities often maintain their own general counsel, and many (particularly in your area) have law schools and other law-related endeavors. Community colleges often have openings that can be for a semester only – she could teach temporarily (or not-so temporarily). Second, there are the academia-specific job sites such as higheredjobs.com and http://chronicle.com/ which do amass a variety of jobs at colleges and universities. Third, there is volunteer or near-volunteer work. This may sound like it’s heading in the wrong direction, but an appropriate volunteer position can serve to keep her resume “warm”, make connections in the area, and provide another avenue for networking as many job openings aren’t advertised. One such possibility is university ethics boards (IRBs), which often have both community members and members with legal expertise. Another is non-profits; look at http://www.idealist.com or look at specific NPOs in your area (I would think there are lots). I know when I was out of work how low my self-esteem became; it’s hard to feel you’re worth something when the offers don’t come in. Stretching your professional muscles until a full-time, more permanent position comes along may serve as a reminder of how great she is at what she does (and contribute to all of the resume-warming and connection-building at the same time).
    None of the above ideas may be new to you. I know how looking for a job becomes a job in itself and you are two very resourceful women so you may have considered all of these angles already. I’ll keep your family in my prayers and hope that this is soon behind you. xoxo

  28. Jennette says

    I don’t know what to say. I just want to give you and your mother big hugs.

    I wish that the Job Fairy would just wave her magic wand and the most perfect job come up for mother.

    As the wage earner in our family supporting a young child, and a partner that is mostly bedridden and receiving no govt benefits, I can understand the pressures and worries upon you and your mother. I am so thankful that for the moment i have a decent job that almost covers all our expenses. I pay out of my wage $320 per month for private health insurance to cover the three of us, abut much of my partner’s medical expenses and extensive alternative therapies are not covered (as was a large portion of the 2 two surgeries I had last year). I have no idea of what would happen to us if I lost this job. I wonder if I would be as positive and as proactive as your mother? I can image just curling up in a ball and giving up – although obviously that is not an option for either of our families. You and i both fought so hard to become mothers, we must do whatever we can to keep them happy and safe. But it’s hard I know.

    Give yourself credit Cali, you are doing so well in holding it together and counting your blessings – the walk and wildflower photographs in your next blog entry show that. Even when life keeps giving you lemons, you show that it’s possible to make a little lemonade….even if it’s missing enough sugar ;)

    GM would be so proud of you two. And so tickled to see W growing into such a funny and sweet little boy.

    HUGS

  29. says

    I hope your mom gets a job soon. I do. I also want to second the idea that Strawberry suggested. I actually know a woman who lived in Manhattan (MANHATTAN!!), a single mom, who was a nanny for another family with the understanding that her daughter would also be with them all day. Not that I would ever suggest you evade taxes or anything. But since such work would be under the table, you wouldn’t lose your health care. Just a thought! But I do feel for the both of you. Your mom has been working it. I hope she comes out employed on the other side soon. She’s a lawyer, right? Has she thought about doing independent practice type work while she’s looking for a permanent position. I have more than one lawyer friend out of a job, who are doing some independent work to hold things together until they can get a job with a firm or company. It doesn’t pay extremely well, but it does pay.

  30. mommietopearl says

    I just stumbled across your blog from SingleMommyHood. Saw your comment about being raised by a single mom and now being a single mom yourself. You are incredibly strong… I have only read a few posts and your background but you seem very similar to me.

    I too have been looking for work for almost 2 years now. I graduated from college in 2008 and 5 weeks later I found out my precious “pearl” aka M would be joining me in my journey. I had a career lined up which involved moving a state away and a terrible pay but it was a “resume builder” for my future career path. After a long summer of tough decisions my life changed. I made a new future plan. I turned down the job, became entwined in my soon to be daughters life and made myself a better person doing so. I have raised her on my own(with support from family and friends) since the first positive on a HPT.

    I searched for a few months during my pregnancy for jobs and found no one wanted a “temporary” professional… they felt I would leave once baby was born. Or the positions would not support the two of us for health insurance, child care, expenses, etcc. So I found some part time work unitl M was born because of my health. Worked until I couldn’t anymore. March 4, 2009 M was born and with such a spunky personality… Took the first 6 months of M’s life to get back my health(the pregnancy took a big toll on my health) and forged ahead to look for work. Applying to anything and everything. No responses no follow ups. I decided in the Fall of 2009 that I would go back to school. Applying for Fall 2010 admissions. Worked on my essay, references, tests for placement. Applied almost 5 months ago still waiting on acceptance.

    In the mean time M and I have been on state assistance for health insurance, WIC, food stamps and cash. These are the reasons it is here all of my family told me. They said I have been working my toushie off to find something and haven’t and urged me to apply for the programs to help us get on our feet. And it has been doing that ever since.

    Today… I am still actively looking at jobs. Anxiously awaiting that letter for Graduate School in hopes to begin my first semester in a Masters Degree of School Counseling…. If not. I make a new plan.

    Through this all I have come to see my once Type A personality has changed so dramatically. I fully thank and credit my daughter M for that. If it wasn’t for her I would be in a very bad place and possibly not here at all. She changed me so much.

    Advice for you for job searching…. Keep on keeping on… I am sure you know this.. It is tough out there. I used to to think I was making excuses by saying that. But it really is. The positions you are qualified for someone who may have one more year experience has applied, the ones you are over qualified for well employers tell you that you are too qualified. I wish I had more suggestions…. Something will give.

  31. says

    I really like what Luna said. I hope something comes along for your mom soon — wouldn’t that be wonderful Mother’s Day gift? I wish the choices didn’t have to be so hard…

  32. says

    OMFREAKINGOODNESS. Calli, I’m so glad that you removed that comment. I was seriously sitting here getting ready to crack open a queen-sized can of sitahgurl whoopass, complete with neck rolling and finger wagging. YOU DO YOU, Calli and Shu, and don’t for a moment let anyone make you feel like anything less than the brilliant, genuine people that you are. Love you.

  33. says

    Sorry I’ve been such a lousy commenter. So many others have expressed my thoughts so well. Hang in there, girlfriend. You are an awesome team, and you’ll get through this.

    Wish I lived closer so I could take you both out for Mother’s Day. xoxo

  34. says

    Sending you guys love, and wishing that the universe would hurry up and move this big boulder of crap that is blocking your progress.

  35. nancy in ak says

    My suggestion is – Calliope should write a memoir. Seriously. A lot of great bloggers have turned their blogs into books – janette fulda at Losing Half of Me (or something like that) and Crazy Aunt Perl and others. You are a great writer and you have a very interesting story. you should draft a first chapter and a pitch letter and send it to agents in NY.

    My other suggestion is – your mom could volunteer at Legal Aid – sometimes that could lead to a job. It would help her learn a new field – such as family law or disability law and then she could just start her own solo law practice. Or partner up with a very small firm or solo practioner and share space. I think (correct me if I’m wrong) that your Mom is some sort of corporate or real estate attorney. Those type of lawyers always need to find a job – with a big company or the govt or a large law firm. To start a solo practice, you need to focus on family law, criminal law, disability law, etc., small potatoes type stuff. or maybe she can go into elder law. I’m sure you learned a lot while caring for GM – about medicaid, etc.

    another question – will you inherit anything? do you have any relatives who could help you out?

Talk to the plaid: