Tag Archives: family

Bringing home the bacon

I can’t help but feel I’m not living up to my potential. At least my financial potential. Come on,  I have a college degree (that I still owe mountains of cash for in student loans).

I have been using the bad economy for an excuse. No one is able to find a job these days, especially writers. But honestly, I don’t know if I want to get a full-time job.

Part of me does. I can picture myself wearing fashionable semi-professional clothes, carrying my commuter cup and sporting a really cool hair style. I’d be walking downtown Chicago to some hip office. After work I would meet up with my like-minded, extremely creative and fun coworkers for a couple drinks before catching the South Shore train home. People would appreciate how witty I was and they would swear they couldn’t believe that I was turning 40 on my next birthday.

But really how likely is that scenario.

I’m trying to find that perfect balance between work, family and passion….the topic that countless theses have been based on.

I love being with my son, especially at this age when he still wants to spend time with his mom. And I appreciate being able to spend time with my own mom, who has always been a good friend. So now I just have to figure out how to fit making money into my life too. I work a part-time retail job and I’m even trying my hand at selling Tupperware (which will probably just mean that we have some new shinny kitchen containers and gadgets). As far as freelance writing, I just have to start writing. I need to send out those all important and intimidating query letters. The ideas are flowing but translating them into nice pitch letters is another thing.

Eventually, my husband and I want to open a Bed and Breakfast on a small farm where we will grow heirloom vegetables and beautiful flowers. We will have classes on home-brewing and crafting.

But until then…

It pays real money at least

The alarm clock rudely wakes me at 3:15 a.m. I lay catatonic for at least ten more minutes before I stumble through the dark trying to be as quiet as I can. I grab the crumbled t-shirt off my dresser.

I can hear my dad in the bathroom so I rush down to the basement to avoid a loud conversation with him (see One Day at a Time).

I really don’t know what I was thinking getting a job that starts at 4 in the morning. Four or five months ago it seemed like a luxury after getting up at 2 in the morning to deliver newspapers. But, now it just seems crazy.

I work in the backroom of a popular department store several blocks from my house. I won’t tell which store except that it is not the evil Walmart. I was excited when I first got the job. “Hey I love shopping there it should be fun to work there. And I’m sure I’ll get an awesome discount.” I told my husband.

Well, it is as far from fun as a stroll through the Sahara Desert…barefoot. It is definitely not the cool job I had in college working in the stockroom of the campus bookstore.

Now that I’m starring down 40 years old this year, working in the backroom stocking toothbrushes and baby bottles is just not a great reality.  And the discount is only a measly 10 percent and that is if you pay with cash (like that ever happens) or you charge your purchase on their high interest store card.

I really can’t complain. I’m off early enough to do some writing before I go get my son from preschool. And it is a real job that pays real money.  Unlike the play money I get paid when my son and I play store or the check for a freelance project I finished months ago that I just know has to be in the mail.

Winnie the Pooh is gone

My son broke his Winnie the Pooh bowl today. He wasn’t sad about it, but I was.

The days of Winnie the Pooh dishware, brightly-colored plastic spoons and Sesame Street seem to be over. I beg him to watch Word World or Wow Wow Wubzy but he insists on Iron Man and Spider Man (which includes the countless ads for AirHogs and Bendaroos). I know it is clique to write about, but really, where has the last four and a half years gone?

I look through pictures and short movies of him on my computer. God, he was such a cutie.


I used to hold him while he napped. I insisted that that is the only way he would sleep and if I put him in his crib he would wake up immediately. I really don’t know if that is true because I never tried. I knew that nap time would be over soon and he was just so precious.

Last week was momentous for my son and for myself. He slept through the night in his own bed. The WHOLE night! This is big, really BIG. For his entire life he has come into our bed. Sometimes it would be 5 in the morning, but usually it was 1 a.m. or 2 a.m. He and I would share a pillow and needless to say I didn’t get the greatest shut eye.

But we enacted a star reward system, tied to exciting prizes and he has been staying in his room! I used to lay down with him and then sneak out after he went to sleep. Now I sit  on his bed for ten minutes and then go out. It is truly amazing.

And it is hard. Hard to walk out and know that he is getting bigger and bigger. And the driver’s permit is just around the corner.

Just like holding on to him (literally) when he was a baby sleeping,  I realize that each stage needs to be treasured. Everyday he makes me laugh. Whether it is him acting out a scene from Kung Fu Panda or if it is a long thesis about the origins of Optimus Prime. And he is becoming a real person concerned about others. The other day he said he wanted to give some of his money to people who were hungry. (I couldn’t resist a little bragging…sorry.)

I guess I’m okay with throwing out his Winnie the Pooh dish. And honestly, I don’t think he ever really liked it. However, neither him nor I are ready to give away the extra small Spiderman underroo shirt though.