Poll - Should I go back to work?

snookumsFebruary 15, 2006

A little bit of background: Before my 2nd child was born I worked as an elementary school teacher. When she was born I took a two-year leave of absence and then subsequently resigned to become a stay-at-home mom. At the same time I was working on my masters degree in education (never had the time or energy to do it while I was working). I completed that last spring. Over the summer, some of you may remember, my dh lost his job, which was a pretty good paying job at Disney, and about a month later started a new WONDERFUL job that he loves, but was a significant pay cut.

Looking at our finances, we break even minus about $400 a month, if we were to live as frugally as possible AND I up my ebay sales (I resell the kids' old clothes, esp, my daughter's, for a pretty good turnover). We have the liquid cash to make up that money until my dh moves to a better paying job or gets enough increases to cover it. We also have a good amount of savings via retirement plans and mutual funds and regular savings so we are by no means "in the hole," but we definitely aren't living within our means. Having to pull cash out of the bank for living expenses every month just doesn't seem kosher to us.

Having me at home with the kids is very important to us. Dh has a side consulting business but hasn't done much with it lately, and I just put out some ads for it. If I were to go back to work, I'd make way more than we need, and my concern is that we will adjust to that income and never be able to go back. If I were to return to my previous district with my new masters degree in tow, I'd make around 70k. We really only need about 5 or 6k more a year to put ourselves back in the black. While that may seem like a small amount, it's a huge amount when you don't have it. I really do feel that our income, and not our savings, should cover it. Particularly after what happened last summer - I'm really weird about having money stashed away now. But my kids aren't getting any younger.

If I were to go back to work, my dd will be in first grade next year and would have to go to after school care for a couple of hours, and I'd make it home right at about the same time as my son would from middle school (6th grade next year). But he'd be home alone in the am and responsible for getting himself to the bus, or we'd have to pay for childcare for him at the middle school (they do have it), but only because the child cannot get himself moving independently in the morning.

Whether I even WANT to return to the classroom is up for discussion. I don't. I dread it. While I enjoyed teaching tremendously, I didn't enjoy the 5 am alarm, the paperwork to the ceiling, the impossible to please principals, the waking my child up at the crack of dawn and be at daycare before sunlight thing, the fatigue, the colds, etc etc etc. And now with two kids I'm sure all of that will be magnified. I was a full-time working mom for one year and I HATED it. As you all know, when mom isn't happy, nobody's happy. I'm not so sure it would be good for my family. But I feel like I'm kidding myself - some level of guilt is telling me that it's the responsible thing to do.

My credential is current but come 2008 I will have had to work 90 days or let it expire. If I don't return to work I won't have those 90 days (I've already done the professional growth hours via my masters classes). CA lets you let your credential expire once and they'll let you return to work as long as you complete the requirements within 2 years. So that's always an option for the future if I do want to return later but not now.

The other consideration is that my previous district may not take me back at all - I'm no longer young and inexpensive like I was when I was a new teacher at 23. I'm now almost 37 with a lot of years and a lot of units under my belt. Not as cheap to hire. Since I resigned I'd probably have to apply just like everyone else. I may have trouble getting a job anywhere.

Subbing isn't worth my time. It's still $100 a day after all these years and after you subtract taxes, the 8% STRS deduction, and childcare - forget it.

Dh is slowly and discreetly getting the word out that he may be looking to move elsewhere. But that's hard to do without risking your current job in a small industry and we certainly don't want to walk down that road again. He loves his new job.

I'd love any thoughts, words of wisdom, and your opinion!

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    Bookmark   February 15, 2006 at 1:22PM
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So many people suggest that, but with two active kids in the house, it would be impossible to accomplish. If I did do something "on the side," it would have be be while they are at school.

Dh suggested last night that I could sell apples on the street corner and thought he was sooooo funny...

    Bookmark   February 15, 2006 at 1:26PM
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Most districts have "some students at home" for illness, suspensions what ever. You could tutor them during the school hours. Not sure if you are elementary or secondary if the latter what the subject area is but there are certainly many students that could use help preparing for SAT's or math/science help. ?? I really do commend you for wanting to be a SAHM! Whenever it is possible I think it is wonderful.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2006 at 1:40PM
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snookums, what about part time teaching? There are several p/t teachers at ds' elementary school. I would imagine it would be even easier at the HS level. And school districts love it, because they don't have to give you benefits.

Have you started looking, for kicks, on websites like careerbuilder.com and monster.com? I'll be they advertise teaching jobs.

Another thing you could do is apply to work at a children's museum running programs, or for a non-profit organization.

If all you need is $400/month, I'll bet there is something out there for you.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2006 at 1:46PM
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What about college teaching? I have a friend who is an administrator at a community college and she has offered me opportunities to teach classes in Computer Science, English or Word Processing. They have a real shortage of teaching at the community college level where they are currently training a lot of nurses. A few years ago, I became a cash or nothing person and I know what you mean about taking cash out of your savings account. After I save towards a goal, I find myself liking the account balance rather than actually buying the item I saved for.

You could work as a part time instructor in a community college (many times you get the hours the tenured or long term professors don't want) and a fixed salary for a fixed number of weeks.

My local community college offered me about $7000/semester and I only have a BS.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 15, 2006 at 1:57PM
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Your DH is so lucky to have you, snookums- a devoted mother and a supportive, realistic partner. You're creative and industrious- you'll think of something that will work.

Whatever you do, DON'T do something you'll dread every morning when you open your eyes. That's not the way to live life and it would diminish the other joys in your world.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2006 at 1:58PM
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First - congratulations on getting your masters - that is no easy task even when not working.

This may sound strange - but it works for my cousin. She is also a teacher with two kids.

She works in retail and loves it!!! No stress - you don't take the job home with you. Depending on what is going on in her life - she works where she wants the discount. She has worked at Restoration Hardware, Crate and Barrel, and currently Bloomingdales. I know it sounds funny but she loves it! Childcare is not an issue because of her hours.
No the money is not great - but it is just enough to make up what they need (and believe it or not it is not horrible either) and I am telling you - she loves it. Good Luck.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2006 at 2:17PM
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I like Maggie's idea. Since you don't need to make nearly as much money as fulltime teaching would pay - and since you dread the thought of going back to it - why not try to find something else with the right hours that you might really like though it pays at a lower rate.

A friend of mine who has been home with her kids for 17 years is gradually getting back into the workforce doing some kind of merchandising - independent contract type work on her own schedule. Though she has a degree in business and interior design, she's not willing to work the type of hours those jobs demand since she still has school age kids.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2006 at 2:30PM
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There are also lots of home-school folks that need professional help with certain subjects -- special ed. in particular. I know several home-school moms that do the social studies, science, art and life-skills themselves, but have professional teachers teach their kids reading and math.

I do agree that going back to 'regular' teaching -- if you're dreading it -- would be a mistake.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2006 at 2:33PM
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Can you teach where your little one goes to school?

    Bookmark   February 15, 2006 at 3:08PM
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oooh, I like Sweeby's idea! The others are great, too, but I'll bet you could have a pretty flexible schedule as a homeschool teacher.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2006 at 3:19PM
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Homeschoolers are a GOLD MINE. I homeschooled for 3 years. We plugged into several programs to really experience a different kind of learning. We attended (and paid for) some of the following classes, taught by degreed and professional instructors, and usually held at a community center or a church:


If there would be any way for you to teach a class maybe once or twice a week....at a cost of about 10-20 per child like we used to pay, it may be a way to blend your schedule with your experience.

Every class I had my kids in was FULL of homeschooled students whose parents wanted them in a more traditional setting for certain subjects. There was always a minimum of about 15 students.

Might be something to consider.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2006 at 3:36PM
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How about a job at a Professional Tutoring Center (or Learning Center)? A lot of the students around my neighborhood attend these extra learning classes at private learning centers - Sylvan and Huntington are names I remember from TV ads - there are several (for Math, Science, Geometry, Languages, SAT prep etc) as I hear. The local centers around here are open all day and in the evenings and weekends (upto 8:00 PM). You could call one of them and check out the details. Good luck.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2006 at 3:49PM
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Wow, what wonderful ideas. I did actually teach part time for three years (job shared/shared a contract) before I quit. However, in just about all districts, you have to be tenured to do so. Since I resigned I lost my tenure, and it takes 3 years to earn it back. So it would have to be full-time.

That homeschooling concept is a great idea. I'm not sure how skilled I'd be teaching something like music, but maybe one-on-one reading instruction? Math? Art classes I might even be able to pull off using a Meet the Masters program or something. And it would be during school hours. Any ideas on how I could reach out to these folks?

I've also seriously considered retail. Heck I did it before I taught and loved it, I'm sure I would now too. My kids are out at 2 though so I'd have to be out the door by 1:30 or so so it would have to be a pretty flexible employer. My fear is though that I'd spend all of my earnings on "stuff" since I'd spend my time around it, wanting it.

Evening community college...I have no idea what I'd teach? Teachers in training are graduate students at 4-year universities and you've got to have a doctorate or one in process to teach at that level. At a community college - I don't know. Computer skills, stuff like that, I'm horrible at myself. When the internet goes down my 10 year old fixes it for me!

I could teach (if they'd take me) where my dd goes to school but it wouldn't change much as far as the teaching circumstances go. It's a hard school to "get" for teachers as its a GATE magnet school and all the teachers want to teach there. Plus, my background is with the Hispanic community and that's where I'd be most useful. That gives me a thought - I could teach ESL at a community college....? I'd have to think about whether teaching adults is something I'd even want to do. Plus childcare is an issue as my dh doesn't get home until 7 most nights.

I just don't know if doing nothing is the right thing to do. It's what one side of my conscience is telling me to do - the other side is telling me to go to work. If he could just make a little more money, all would be solved. But he's only been there a few months.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2006 at 3:59PM
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Community college has daytime hours too--not just night classes. Summer classes are big at the community colleges here because students from the large colleges take their hardest subjects at community college since the credit transfers but not the grade. Maybe you could enroll the kids in some type of summer camp program and just work during the summers at cc.


    Bookmark   February 15, 2006 at 4:14PM
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I agree with you that relying on savings is not a great place to be. Not only are you putting a hole in your present savings, but your kids are not going to be getting cheaper - only more expensive. And you do want to be well set for their college education as well as your own retirement down the road, not to mention that if you're dipping into savings on a regular basis what chance of that lasting when the floor drops out from under you - as you mentioned, loss of a job is a real thing we all have to prepare for these days.

On that note, i'm truly glad your DH has a job that he loves. That is SO important - even more so than the money.

I would surely suggest going back to work. Yes, because based on what you write, I'll argue that you do need the money even if its not a contingency right away. However, where you work should depend on not just what will fill your needs now but where you see yourself growing into down the road. You have a master's in education - presumably you like and are motivated by teaching? But probably a little bit gun-shy about going up in front of students again? If its only fear holding you back, well, don't give into it. Does it give you a sense of purpose? You've listed the "hassles" - bringing work back etc. but you know what, anytime, anywhere you have a job you like, you'll be bringing work back, I'm sorry to say! ;-)

Regarding retail - had you a degree in sales, I'd say that you have an inclination or an interest in this field and say go for it. BUT, your degrees are in another department. Still, that doesn't mean that you can't go in this direction but again, if you do, do so because you can see a growth path for yourself here. Can you see establishing a business at some point? Even a kitchen planning or some such business? If so, I think getting a job in retail is an excellent idea but even then do it from a very directed view point about honing some particular skills you'll need when you start your own establishment, use it to learn how to talk to customers, or learn customer psychology, or how to keep up with the competetion, what else might the customer need that you can pre-empt and thus keep 'em coming back to you, etc.

Bottom line is: I'll strongly recommend going back in some way shape or form but do so by first identifying what you want to be 5 years from now and then find a job or fill an opening that will get you there. Form a mission plan, if you will, and then figure out what to do so you can get there.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2006 at 5:03PM
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It sounds like you do not have to work full time. I would not go back to work full time given your experience with working full time with young kids as you have described it (basically--misery for all). I know what you mean--been there, done that.

You only need a few more K to get to where you need to be. Find something part time and enjoy life as you have been doing.

As far as losing your credentials--been there, done that. I have a MS in Public Health Nursing and gave up my certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner when I quit work because I was unable to meet the practice requirements and the CEU requirements because I wasn't willing to work even part time after I had my twins.

I had a Dr. friend who was willing to lie for me about employment, but I decided it wasn't worth my integrity to keep my certification.

It bothers me that I lost my certification--at times a LOT. But, it is something I just have to live with. You will have to make that choice as well, it sounds like. Not an easy choice.

Good luck. These choices are not easy for us gals. It is not really that easy to "have it all", as many of us have come to believe.

Oh yes, BIG congrats on finishing that master's degree. Be proud of yourself--that is not an easy feat to accomplish.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2006 at 6:13PM
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What about virtual - internet schools. Do you have those in California? We have Virtual High school in Florida and they are looking for teachers for all subjects. You do not even need to leave home to teach there?

    Bookmark   February 15, 2006 at 6:15PM
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Snookums - I just had another thought since you mentioned that you sell personal items on ebay. My neighbor started a business selling items on ebay for people. She photographs them, monitors the auction, ships - the whole thing. Truthfully, I don't know how she markets herself but I always see her with a ton of packages. I think there would be a big market for people that don't really know how to ebay, or don't have digital cameras, or the time to monitor auctions.

blsdgal - you are so right. I once heard this and I will never forget it "WE CAN HAVE IT ALL, JUST NOT AT THE SAME TIME".

    Bookmark   February 15, 2006 at 6:32PM
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LOL - I seriously feel like I'm sitting here trying to decide what I want to be when I grow up. Every day I have a new idea. What do I REALLY want to do? Nothing different, really - I want things to stay as they are, I want to keep being a full-time stay-at-home mom. I want my dh to make more money. I am still so ANGRY at what went down with Disney that it's hard for me to even talk about it.

When he took this job it was with a paycut, yes, but with promises that they will make it worth his while. But I just don't know how long we can wait for that. Or, exactly what that means. There is also a possibility that the current CEO could leave as he mentions not staying there forever all the time...which would give my dh the opportunity for CEO (he's currently COO), but again, we don't know how much money that is. It's a small credit union and the pay isn't great compared to similar positions in other, larger credit unions. The kicker is that if he starts looking around for other positions, everybody knows everybody in this industry and it will surely get back to his boss. But it can be a benefit too - when he lost his job (he worked for one of Disney's credit unions), it was the everybody knows everybody concept that got him this new job and fairly quickly too (3 weeks).

BTW - college is taken care of - both of my kids were left trust funds by my grandfather. Thank goodness. Retirement is in good standing now, but we are not contributing to our 401K at all - two reasons - he hasn't been at his job a year (a requirement to have the account) and we can't afford to right now. So it's growing, but not because of contributions. His year anniversary when he can start his new 401K is in September and I have no idea if we'll be able to contribute then. I sure hope so. We have considerable equity in our home (value has tripled in 6 years), so our plan B, if the ground did ever fall out from under us, would be to sell and buy a house for cash elsewhere in the country where the cost of living is a lot cheaper. (We live in South Orange County, CA.) That was our plan B if dh didn't get a new job - but he did.

So I'm rambling. I'm sorry. My heart, the emotional side of me, is telling me that I was hoping that one of you would say that it's ok to dip into savings a bit for a little while for the benefit of my kids and family, but no one has said that. A lot can change in 6 months to a year (good or bad, as we've learned). I LIKE not working. I've never been the type to need a career to fulfill myself. I really only went to college because my parents told me to, and I really only got my masters because I wanted something to do with my evenings! That probably sounds so pathetic. My mind, the sensible side of me, is telling me that I need to start bringing in some dough if dh doesn't bring in more.


    Bookmark   February 15, 2006 at 9:53PM
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Ok snookums, I'll say it- It's totally fine to dip into your savings for a couple of years in order for you to stay home with the kids. When I first read your posting and your replies , I though "Why in the world go back to work?" You don't want to, your kids don't certainly won't benefit, and you're fine financially. Isn't that why we save money, so that it's there when we need it?
I think going back part-time in retail is a bad idea. But since your avaliabilty is so limited, you'd probably not find a job anyway. You'd end up hiring a sitter so you can work (eating up what little money you can earn).
BTW, I think that $100 a day for sub work may seem like a pittiance, but work just 5 days a month and you're out of the hole (including taxes). But of course, you'll still need a sitter for a couple of hours.
Even if you continue to dip into your liquid cash for 3 yrs, you've only spent 15K dollars. Can you afford that? If so, then stay home! Enjoy the kids. When it's time, you can go back to work and pay the money back in a few months.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2006 at 10:52PM
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I think the other thing to consider, which no one has discussed, is how your husband feels about it. Does he want you to stay home? Has he hinted that he would like you to get a job? Could he be feeling lots of pressure to bring in more money, rather than being able to enjoy the job he has without worrying? Is he working so hard to move up the ladder that he doesn't have much time with the kids? These are all important considerations.

If he is feeling lots of pressure over that extra bit of money every month, then imo it makes sense for you to work part-time while the kids are in school. That way he doesn't have to rush off to the next better paying job that comes along, even if he doesn't like it as much. And maybe he won't have to work longer hours in order to climb the ladder faster, thus missing his own time with the kids.

Not intending to offend, but as the sole breadwinner in my family (I'm a single parent), I know I would resent it if I had a partner who could work while the kids are in school, but chose not to, even though it would relieve some of the pressure on me. While I might put on a happy face, the underlying resentment would certainly be unhealthy. If this is not your situation at all, then forgive me for bringing it up.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2006 at 11:22PM
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Great ideas here. You will figure out something.

It does not at all sound like diving back into fulltime teaching would be good for you or your family. My situation was similar and DH stopped me in my tracks (re: going back full time to an awful job) by saying simply, "I don't think I ever want to live with that woman again."

Your shortfall does not require you to be full time. And even without any work, you can get through the next few years. This is not a crisis.

This is a great time for you to try something new - like the ESL courses, or interpreting perhaps? Or maybe selling others' things on eBay for a cut. You could start with some of mine!!

    Bookmark   February 15, 2006 at 11:29PM
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Celticmoon - I think the ESL courses might actually be a viable possibility. Many districts actually have classes for the parents during the school day to learn English. I could easily do that, and the pay would probably be pretty good as well. Interpreting isn't an option as I don't speak Spanish all that well - I do know how to teach English as a second language very well though. (I have a supplemental credential for it as well.) I've only done it with little kids though! My dh said something similar as yours about not wanting to live with the woman that is the full-time working mom. I am much happier at a slower pace. I mean, tomorrow my schedule during the day entails pulling weeds and going to Trader Joe's. In the afternoon it will be supervising homework, going to dd's ballet class, and cooking dinner, hopefully something yummy from Trader Joe's. I don't need anything more than that. No stress.

Paigect - my husband supports me staying home 110%. I think for him being the sole breadwinner gives him a sense of accomplishment, and if we were to depend on my salary again, he'd have a sense of failure. We both come from very traditional families. When I brought up the possibility this week of going back to work, he absolutely freaked out, spending the rest of the day crunching numbers with me. When we first got married it was always in our grand plan for me to stay home with the kids. This was far fetched at the time considering I was teaching and he was a bank teller making a little over minimum wage. It wasn't until our son was born and I quickly fizzled out that he started kicking open doors for himself, and we at that time set a 5 year goal for me to be home full-time. I quit my job about 4 months before my ds's 5th birthday.

angc - 15k, no we could not afford today. But over time, with pay increases (which he'd BETTER get), tax refunds, bonuses, etc...and hopefully consulting, I can predict that we could do it...but we've learned in the past year that the future is never totally predictable, and that's what scares me. I feel like we're whittling away at our security.

punamytsike - any idea how to find out about virtual schools? Do you have a link to the ones in FL?

As far as worry about returning to the classroom, I could do that in a heartbeat (I taught elementary, btw - K, 2nd, and 4th). Between the work I did for the masters program and helping in my kids' classrooms, I think I'm pretty much on the up and up about what's going on these days. It's just all the other baggage that comes along with working that I dread. Today I spent an hour in my dd's kindergarten classroom helping them with their journal writing and I was definitely in my element. That hasn't left me. What has left me are the priorities I would need to be a really good teacher. When I first started I was a teacher from the moment I woke up to the moment I went to bed - that's not me anymore. I have two kids that are far more important to me now.

You guys all have some really sound advice and ideas - I love this forum!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2006 at 1:48AM
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Interesting honest discussion -- I am really impressed by the hard thinking everyone --not only snookums--has done here. As a latecomer to the thread, it has the feeling of real progress being made. Snookums, sounds like you have reached some important conclusions.

Questions: is the trust fund generous enough to give you some security if you borrowed against it in the short term? You just threw that out that trust fund in passing but it might really be the key. Only you know the answer.

On the other hand, the goal of 6 K a year is not unreachable in other ways. (or 3K from savings and 3 K from work.) ESL may be a good solution in any case.

But I am hearing how much you were "in your element" as a volunteer in your DD's classroom. That's golden! You threw out sharing a contract (lucky you -- that is really that way all classrooms should be staffed IMHO) and the problem with giving up tenure. Too bad. Tenure should be tenure. Is that three-year rule so hard and fast that you can't find a way around it?

In my experience if someone good shows up, principals work hard to keep them around in some capacity. Mentoring new teachers? Coaching (the buzzword in NYC) literacy? Filling in with a special skill (in NY it is called an F slot). It takes some energy to find the ideal situation -- going to professional meetings,networking, keeping in touch with old colleagues.

My gut feel as I swept through this thread was that the money anxiety/DH's job anxiety/MA work all conspired to sap your energy. You need a break and to gather your thoughts (as in this thread) and stake out some new turf. It doesn't sound to me like you are ready to abandon classroom teaching and kids' learning. ( How about children's museum teaching? Curriculum development? Free lance text book editing?)

None of these suggestions will fall into your lap But your posts sounds to me like despite saying " I really only went to college because my parents told me to, and I really only got my masters because I wanted something to do with my evenings!" that something else pushed you forward to get where you are now, being in your element helping kids with their journals. (For sure you could have figured out something to do with your evenings to pass the time other than an MA).

Why your post interests me is that this balancing act of working/not working gets harder and harder for women. The details are different but you could be my DD writing here. I'm moved by your thoughtfulness.

Good luck. No one ever said these choices are easy.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2006 at 3:55AM
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I typed in to google "California Virtual School" and one of the links to come up was that:
There were more links. I think this is worth at least a little digging from your part.
Since I had my boys, I have never worked outside of our home. I work from my home office. We did rent office pace once and it lasted only couple of months. It was surprising, that all us missed me being at home. I work long hours but I am always available for my kids when they need it. I would not trade this for anything. We are still very close and they still like me ;) They are 21 and 15, so it really means something to me.

Here is a link that might be useful: Florida Virtual School

    Bookmark   February 16, 2006 at 8:12AM
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Snookums, it is absolutely OK for you to borrow a little so you can be home with your children.

You need what, $400/mo? Whatever you make, figure forking over a large chunk to Uncle Sam, some child care costs, working wardrobe, gas cost and commute time and more takeout meals than usual. I can't see where this could possibly put you far enough ahead moneywise to balance out stresswise.

You have a job. It's the most important one in the world. You know it, DH knows it and your kiddos know it. You took a $400 'cut in pay' this year, but that doesn't diminish the importance of your full-time SAHM job, you and DH are in agreement there.

IMHO, ride it out 6 months, enjoy your time being at home with your kids and see what happens this summer.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2006 at 9:08AM
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snookums - it looks like you've gotten some great ideas, and the talent to make some of them work.
My DIL's sister is big time into home schooling, and has said before that it's a HUGE network of people and resources. (We're in No. CA) In fact, she's being sent aboroad somewhere to take a seminar on home schooling that she will pass on to others when she returns. I know there are websites devoted to home schooling as well.

This seems like a tremendous, emerging market to me, with the potential to become even bigger. With your credentials, I think that you could start teaching home school classes for folks, and then develop materials that you could sell on line. Something that is compatable with state requriements, and helps parents home school their kids in a creatively fun way.

Your credentials as a teacher, your own experience as a parent, and (hopefully) experience you gain teaching home schooled kids would make your materials a logical choice for others to try. You could end up staying at home and making very good money via the internet selling your materials at the same time. It seems like it might be a good fit for what you want to do.

A gentle word of caution about the savings depletion..it's the gift that keeps on giving. About 12 years ago, my DH had to stop working due to 20 year old back injuries that had gotten prgressively worse to the point he could no longer do his job. We applied for social security disability - a process that took 2 years, during which time he earned zero and our only source of income was my salary, which wasn't very big. We used our savings at the time, and went through $45K in two years, because that was all that we could do. Properly invested, that $45K would be close to $100K today, so if there is a way to not spend the savings that would be great, as it will net you so much more in the long run than what you are pulling out today. People tend to not think about that part, you know? Even getting a part time temp job with a temp agency would net you $400/month.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2006 at 9:43AM
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Snookums, if you do want to venture into the homeschool arena, do a search for homeschool support groups in your area. In our area, they meet once a month, and you can offer to do a presentation at their next meeting.

One thing the homeschool families REALLLLLLY liked in our area is when classes are offered for a "family rate". I don't know about other areas, but there sure were a lot of homeschool families with 5 or more children. So if they could have all 5 in an art class for $65/month family rate, rather than say, $20/child, they were all over that!

I found the homeschool kids to be some of the very best to work with. They were across the board polite, kind, respectful, eager, and responsible.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2006 at 9:57AM
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I agree with what Pecan said, that delving into savings to stay home with your young children is a perfectly acceptable way to spend that money. You are investing in the emotional well-being of your children and your marriage. That is priceless, ask any family with serious problems between parents or with the children and my guess is that they would gladly give hundreds a month to make things better. You will never regret staying home with your children.

I often feel sorry for the wonderful teachers in our private school whose own little ones must get shortchanged since they give so tirelessly to the children of others. I wonder, what energy can those teacher-moms possibly have left for their own family after eight demanding hours with countless children seeking their help and guidance?

These years are irreplaceable and so is your nurturing presence in your family's life. Give yourself and your children the best shot at creating the most happy and loving home life that you can. In ten years or so, this chapter of your life will be closed forever. You can work then, guilt-free.

I speak from experience, someone who has made many sacrifices in order to stay home with my own children. My teenagers, more than my little ones, need me to be emotionally available to them. The on-going intimacy you establish by packing their lunches, driving them half-way across the world every afternoon, helping with homework, listening to then talk at the end of the day, etc. will give your children the emotional stability they need to achieve happiness for the rest of their lives. It will show them that human relationships are more important than stuff. I know that your children are of the foremost importance to you, or you wouldn't be asking the question in the first place.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2006 at 10:13AM
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Seeing as I'm not a parent, I'm going to offer advice from the other side of the coin--the financial side, as in how to make money and how to save money.

On making money: I agree with others that working in your area of expertise, such as tutoring or teaching, will give you the most bang for the buck. But there may be other things you can do without leaving the house. Have you thought about taking in latch-key children? Walking dogs during the day when your children are in school (or otherwise working for a pet sitting/housesitting service)? Transporting disabled or elderly folks to appointments (I think some of them will pay for this)? Starting a child or adult daycare (would probably require licensing of some kind I imagine)? Raising flowers or herbs and selling them? Doing gardening in your neighborhood? I could go on, but I'm sure you get my point. You need to think "outside the box" as they say and consider how to turn something you like to do into more money. And if you already have a thing going selling clothes, it may be easiest to just expand on that.

On saving money: Have you really really considered every way to "live as frugally as possible"? What about those ballet lessons? Are you members of any kind of club that you don't go to (gym, tennis, etc.)? Do you consolidate trips in the car to save gas (and are your vehicles tuned up)? Are you paying on a timeshare that you never use? Are you buying a lot of packaged and prepared food? Do you go to restaurants a lot? Do you smoke or drink? Use expensive cosmetics? Get your hair colored or permed? Buy gifts for extended family members for every occasion? I'm just thinking out loud here. I'm sure you've thought about most or all of these things.

While I'm not a proponent of dipping into savings every month if you can avoid it, I also think that it would be OK to do so for a short time. That's probably why you saved money in the first place--in case you needed it.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2006 at 10:45AM
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This is a topic so near and dear to my heart -- I feel I just have to chime in !! The time raising children goes so very fast -- too fast !! (I'm in the "waiting for the mail to see what college acceptances come in" stage, and I wonder where the years went !! ) My take on this is for you to stay home with your kids, and dip into your savings for awhile -- monitor the situation to make sure you don't get into a danger zone, which it sounds like you won't. Enjoy your kids without having to worry about sharing your time doing lesson plans, grading papers, etc. etc. - Enjoy your kids without worrying about looking for a job. When you say you dread the thought of returning to the classroom, that speaks volumes !!!! When you talk about going to Trader Joe's, working in the garden, then helping with homework, and that you don't need much more than that, that also speaks volumes !!! When you said that if you went back to work, that your DS would be at home in the morning by himself and have to get himself to school -- oh gosh, that seems really sad if it's not a necessity !! And being home for kids when they get home from school - I think it's just so important -- at any age !! People often told me that when DS got into high school, that I'd probably want to work, that he wouldn't need me so much anymore -- that he could fend for himself after school. -- I find that the time immediately after school is when DS is the most talkative -- comes in and literally dumps the backpack, and everything else from the day !! Sits down at the bar, grabs some food, and just talks !! I am REALLY thankful for this, and so thankful that I am home. Otherwise, I'd be missing out on some really special times, and he would too. (There are also the days when he just comes in, kind of gives a non-verbal greeting, goes to his room, and unwinds -- but those are times when I know it's important for me to be here, too ) I would like to think that the way DS has turned out is due partially, at least, to the fact that I've been home for him. He's a really good kid, hasn't caused us any grief, has his priorities straight. I've always been here for him, and always stopped what I was doing to listen to him and talk with him. (Exception being lately -- don't anybody talk to me during Dancing with the Stars !! or the Bachelor !
Pathetic, I know !!)

I've always figured that the time would come too soon, (and it almost has !!) that the child-rearing days as I always knew it would come to an end, and DS would be on his way out the door to the next phase of his life. I absolutely treasure all my "being a mom" years -- the best job I've ever had !! I've given him roots, now the next step is wings -- Not sure if I'm quite ready for that, but I'll do it. I've never been the kind of mom to stand with the front door open, ready to kick them out --

I know there are situations where some women have to work, and situations where some women work because it fulfills a part of them and makes them a better mom, and I totally respect and admire these moms for wearing several hats !! Not easy !!! Being a mom is the most important, wonderful job in the world. The fact that you want to stay home with your kids, that your husband is behind that 110%, that you do have savings that you can dip into for awhile, that your kids college $$ is taken care of, that you have some retirement funds . . . . . -- I say, stay at home !!

The years really will pass so quickly, and before you know it .. you'll be the one checking the mailbox for college acceptances !!!


    Bookmark   February 16, 2006 at 11:05AM
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You actually have a lot of choices. If you decide to dip into savings, make a plan. For example, if youre not in the black in 18 months, youÂll go back to work. You can go back to work in some capacity to make up all or part of the shortfall. Tutoring and ESL are both good options because a night a week would probably net you enough money. You might be able to find some work with one of the companies that create or administer the big tests all students have to take.

Another option is to take a short term position like filling in for a teacher on maternity leave. You could make enough in a few weeks to cover your monthly shortfall for quite a while, and may even get the 90 days you need to keep your certification current.

Working at all is not an ideal solution because you have the life you want. If your money situation is truly bothering you, it may be worthwhile to do something part time and/or temporary for peace of mind. If you decide to work, do something sooner rather than later. Once schoolÂs out for the summer, all of the teachers and students will be looking for work. Your chances are better now.

My older daughter is five, and at long last IÂm planning to hand in my notice soon to be a SAHM. IÂll probably have to do some contract work here and there, but IÂve had enough of the working mom treadmill.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2006 at 12:35PM
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Elizabeth - I couldn't borrow against the trust funds even if I wanted to - they are 100% my childrens' funds. I serve as custodian to the account (to make sure they don't go withdraw it and spend it on something stupid) until the age of 21 and my dad, bless his heart, enjoys managing them and doing all the necessary taxes for them. I don't know what he does - moves things back and forth between this and that, but they are doing well. Even if I could borrow against them, I wouldn't.

The three years until tenure is set in stone and is state-wide. Principals and districts have no way around them. If Schwarzenegger gets his way, it will be 5 years.

The MA just seemed like the logical next step! I had already planned to do it all along, but never got the motivation to get it started until I was a stay-at-home mom. It wasn't that hard - I actually really enjoyed it. It got me out of the house and spending time with adults.

punamytsike - thank you for that link - I'm going to go check it out. What do you do out of your home office, if you don't mind me asking?

Pecanpie - actually the cut in pay was a lot more - more to the tune of around 18k - but we were living a lot more comfortably until the Walt Disney Company upturned our lives. >:( We even entered into a contract for a pool (a pool!) shortly before he lost his job. We were able to get them to delay it until he was employed again and cut a LOT out of the project, but now it's finished and we're hoping we can even afford to use it this summer. The $400 is just what we'd be short now if we lived as frugally as possible. That is going to be hard for both of us to do, but we're both very motivated to try.

uxorial - what great questions. I think I've thought about most of that. I have thought seriously about the latch-key children thing/homework club thing. My Explorer has a third row seat and I could pick up 4 more kids in addition to my own. Take them to my house, give them a snack, and do homework. The thing that stumps me is that my kids have so many activities that they'd have to give up, or drag six kids along. Daycare for real little ones - no - I'd rather teach full-time! With the rest, we're pretty frugal as it is. While I drive an SUV it's only around town with me and the kids, and my dh has a Prius (a hybrid electric car) that we take everywhere else. Ballet, baseball, stuff like that, I'm not willing to take away from the kids. There's no point in me being home if they aren't allowed to do anything that they enjoy. No club or gym - we have a treadmill here at home, no expensive cosmetics (I buy Cover Girl and Maybelline), very few pre-packaged foods unless I get it on sale. We do eat out more than we should and that is something we are going to severely cut down. I don't color my hair, no grey yet, but I imagine I will when that grey starts showing up. I'm not a "highlight" gal though - so I could probably even do that at home. Dh used to color my hair for me when we were teenagers (don't laugh, he did!) and I'm sure he could do it again! I'm not a gift-giver for extended family, but Christmas does make a huge dent every year. Not just the gifts, but the huge meal I cook for 20 every year. Every year I try to get out of it but I always lose that battle.

reno fan - I'm definitely going to go check out those homeschooling sites and see what the story is there. I think I could definitely do that. Where do they usually hold these classes? In their home?

kitchencrazychris - I totally hear ya. My son turning 10 this year was a huge wakeup call for us. Our kids aren't getting any younger, and we decided right then to live for the here and now rather than always putting things off until tomorrow.

I feel like I have a lot of choices, but I don't know exactly how, or if I even want to, pursue them. The reason why I brought up returning to teaching now is because now is the time of year that districts start compiling applications and placements for teachers for the next school year. If I wait say beyond March, it'll probably be too late for me. After that it would be openings for just unexpected positions and enrollment growth.

I think looking into this ESL and homeschooling thing is worth it. If I don't explore what opportunities are out there, I may never know if it's easy and/or good money. I think I'd be doing myself a disservice if I didn't look into it. But I think, 90% maybe, that I've come to the conclusion that I'm going to table the full-time teaching idea for now. At least until this time next year, when I'll look at the option again. Hopefully I won't have to.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2006 at 1:49PM
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If your husband is totally on board with you not working outside the home, and you don't want to work outside the home, then borrowing $400 from savings for a year or so should not be the factor driving you back to work. If hubby doesn't get his dream-job or dream-raise, then you can reconsider. Otherwise, if you're both basically happy, I would stick it out.

But I still think the homeschooling thing is a great idea, amd maybe worth investigating in the meantime! I'll bet you could do it on a very, very part time basis.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2006 at 2:21PM
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Snookums, the classes we attended were always held at civic centers, community centers, or churches.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2006 at 2:25PM
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Snookums - in your last message there it sounds like you are honing in on what you want to do - and that is remain with the status quo. You mention that you do have a lot of choices but not really sure if you want to pursue any of them. I think you may be getting close to your answer. You want to continue to be a full-time SAHM and not add the stress and complexity that even part-time work would add to your life. And since you've cut down as much as possible on your expenditures, it sounds like you'll need to continue to draw down your savings until DH's income rises to the level you require to maintain your current lifestyle. Good-luck with whatever you decide to do.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2006 at 2:35PM
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My husband is semi-retired. He currently works on researching financial markets, designing new trading systems for futures (commodities) markets. I help him in his research and trade some of the systems that he has developed.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2006 at 3:28PM
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"His year anniversary when he can start his new 401K is in September and I have no idea if we'll be able to contribute then."

If there is an employee match you really should contribute enough to get it, or you are just throwing money away.

I know you said you didn't want to sub, but if you did it only 1 or 2 days a week it would get you to your goal. But if you don't want to, you don't want to.

Personally, I would not be comfortable dipping into savings for an unknown period of time, especically if there was a way to avoid it. But then again, I don't know how much you have for savings. And that is none of our business. But I guess what I am saying is if you are dipping a small amount from a large pool, then that is fine. But if you are dipping a small amount from a not so large pool, that is a different story. Your DH's pride could be getting in the way of responsible behavior. Can you realistically live "as frugally as possible"? How long can you keep it up? But I of course don't really know, because I don't know all the facts.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2006 at 4:47PM
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If you live in an area where there is a college or university that has a teacher education program, you might inquire to see if they need supervising teachers. These are folks with credentials and experience in the field who supervise student teachers. They are not usually members of the regular faculty. You could call the dean's office at schools of education. Because of accreditation requirements, they look for people with advanced degrees and good experience in the schools.

Good luck with your choices. I'm obsessing on the idea of working at Crate and Barrel when I retire ever since I spoke with a special ed teacher who was working there because she just couldn't hang in her teaching job any more for various reasons.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2006 at 8:43AM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

My mother, who was a teacher and later a librarian, back in the sixties, worked most of our growing up years in a large department store with hours from 10:00-2:00 everyday. She was always home for us three kids! On Saturdays, she had the same hours and Dad watched us. The money paid for a lot of extras and she had a store discount also. She worked there for 12 years (the eighties) and did quite well. Just another option...

    Bookmark   February 20, 2006 at 9:54AM
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Actually, you might find that you enjoy working part-time.
Also, if you did find a job and didn't like it, the option is always there to quit -- you have a lot of choices, really.

I went back work part-time when my kids were 3 1/2 and 5...they are now 7 & almost 9. I work 20 hours a week, two days in the office from 10-2, and the rest of the time at home. I get benefits, including 401K, leave, etc. I didn't really need to work for economic reasons, but I find I enjoy both mothering and working. I especially like saving for retirement and my working helped us pay for our kitchen renovation/addition.

I agree with the poster that you need to contribute to a 401K, especially with an employer match, that is such a good financial decision. Tax-free money set aside now is worth so much more in 20 or whatever years...

Personally, I'd be uncomfortable taking $400 a month out of savings unless my spouse had some kind of comission/bonus that would make up for it later. What would you do if a big, unexpected expense came along?

Anyway, all of these are intensely personal decisions...good luck with whatever you decide.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2006 at 10:19AM
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What does retail pay nowadays? I was half thinking of working at Williams-Sonoma, or even Crate & Barrel, Container Store - some 'upscale' type of home oriented store.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2006 at 12:46PM
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I think it probably starts at about $10 an hour...not much and I think the risk (for me) is that being around all that cool stuff, I'll blow everything I earn buying it. I'm just that way. Having worked retail before (various clothing and shoe stores)...I could see it coming.

So, an update.

Right now, this is what we have decided. I'm not going to go back full time, not this year at least. We will reevaluate that in a year's time. Dh's 6 month anniversary at the new job is next month, and we are kind in waiting to see if anything finacially happens with that (ie, a raise or bonus). If not, his year anniversary is in Sept. so we will hold out for that. In the meantime, he's not aggressively, but discreetly, getting the word out that his options are most definitely open. He has a few key lunch dates in the next couple of weeks. For me, after evaulating all the different ways to make some extra cash, I think the classes for homeschoolers thing might be something I could easily do. I've found an art program to teach (Meet the Masters), several options for facilities, and a plan, though not yet implemented, to reach out to the folks that might be interested. If it went well I think I could make about $1000 a month teaching just one class. If I taught two, if the interest is that high, well, you get the picture. I've also got a couple of other options in mind if that doesn't work out. In the meatime, we're waiting for that 6 month review to see if anything comes of it, and if nothing does, I'll get the wheels rolling then. We also did our taxes and thankfully, got a nice tax refund that will keep us out of savings for several months, more if we keep tight with things.


While doing nothing at all is what I really want to do, I just didn't think that I could live with myself and not bring in anything considering where we stand. But we did both come to the conclusion that going back to work full-time would be a huge mistake right now. So I'm going to do something as it stands now, but we're praying that something happens with dh, so I can go back to not having to worry about it.

I also want to say how extremely HELPFUL this thread has been. Thank you all so much.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2006 at 4:46AM
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Ok, so another update :)

So, dh's 6 month anniversary came and went. What basically happened is nothing. No review, no raise, not diddly squat. His boss basically told him that he'll get a raise at his year anniversary and it will just be the standard 4% because the company isn't exactly rolling in the dough right now.

So, a few weeks ago dh started "getting the word out." No bites as of yet. And it kind of sucks because he really loves his job - it's a great place to work, if you put aside the fact that he's underpaid. He did have one possibility briefly but they gave the job to someone else. So, he's still looking, still networking. Something, eventually, will come along. At least this time around he HAS a job while he's looking, unlike last time.

For me, the art class for the homeschoolers won't work. Why? Because someone else is already doing it! So then I briefly pondered, again, going back to work full-time. This time though in an office environment as an editor for a educational publishing company. I AM what they want - teaching experience, writing experience, BA, credential, masters. I have a good friend that works there. And then I freaked. OMG, dd is in afternoon kindergarten, morning kinder is full. That means, no daycare for her. OMG, ds won't be able to go to all the great camps he's signed up for this summer (thank you Grandma, no way we could afford it...), which all run from 9 to 3. (job would be 8 to 5 in a different city) Dd would have to drop all of her dance classes, ds, baseball...omg omg omg - I'm freaking out. I mean, what if I actually GOT the job? And, have to, like, put on pantyhose and actually GO?

As you can see, I'm not so sure that I'm cut out for this. But, I HAVE to start earning an income, something, soon.

So, I came up with a plan that will allow me to be my own boss, earn pretty good money, be able to wear flip flops to work (and not pantyhose), and set my own schedule - still be able to take my kids where they need to be and be where I need to be when I want to be. I'm going to start a petsitting business. The beauty is, there is NOTHING that freaks me out about it, aside from the possibility of getting bitten by a dog. I should have the forms (contracts, etc) ready in a couple of weeks and be up and running within a month. I can earn as much or as little as I want to, and work as much or as little as a want to. Dh is excited too. Hopefully soon our money problems will be a thing of the past. Wish me luck...

    Bookmark   April 16, 2006 at 5:30AM
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kitchencrazychris... Ditto to everything you wrote! I always tell my DH, I never want (our children) to leave....

snookums... If you love animals, you go for it!

(The beauty is, there is NOTHING that freaks me out about it, aside from the possibility of getting bitten by a dog.) Bring a treat every time you greet them. They will remember!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2006 at 12:41AM
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GOOD PLAN!!! Wow. That's awesome. I know a lady around here that started the same thing....and eventually opened her own doggy day care center.

Way to go Snookums!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2006 at 8:28AM
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Thank you guys! I'm really excited. Unlike the absolute dread I felt before. I think it actually would be kind of fun. Ok, I mean I hate scooping the litter box and pooper scooping (who doesn't?), but I'll gladly do it for $$$$$.... And pretty good money at that. And get paid to play with dogs and cats - jeez I'll take that over doing editorial work any day. Probably for more money too. I live in an pretty affluent area (South Orange County, CA) - it's amazing what people will pay for around here.

I've been working on a website all weekend (hope it's ok to post the link? I put it below - still nowhere near done), still have to order business cards, get my cell phone number changed (it's not a local # and I want it to be local now), forms/contracts, purchase the insurance, etc etc etc. Lots to do. But I'm pretty proud of the website so far. It's the first website I've ever made! I've named my new business The Pampered Paw. :)

    Bookmark   April 17, 2006 at 1:24PM
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Snookums, I think the new web site looks absolutely terrific! The pawprints are adorable without being too cutesy, and the layout is very professional in appearance. I think it's OK if you posted the link for feedback on the design and content, rather than for advertising purposes. (Speaking of which...the only change I'd make is to delete the "respectively" at the end of the first paragraph on the "About" page.)

I had cats for many years, and when DH and I went away on trips, we always asked our reliable next-door neighbor to come in and feed our pets. I also reciprocated, taking in the mail and newspapers, watering the plants, and even shoveling the snow from her sidewalk. But after that nice neighbor moved away, I mistakenly asked an 11-year-old girl to feed the cats (DD was age 3 at the time, and I thought the 11-y-o was mature). I showed her how to open the cat food, wrote out all the directions in detail, asked her mother's permission, provided emergency phone nos., and gave her a key to my house. When we returned, after a week at Disney World, I found, to my horror, that she had not come into my house at all!!! It turns out that she had lost the key the first day but, instead of telling her parents and asking for help, she had made a pretense of coming to my front porch each day, so her parents didn't suspect anything. I guess she was afraid of punishment. My cats somehow survived, but I felt terribly guilty for my own bad judgment in trusting that child. If only a service such as yours had been available, the peace of mind would have been worth the cost!

Good luck with it!


    Bookmark   April 17, 2006 at 2:25PM
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Good for you!! I looked at your website and think you've done a good job with it. Only thing that bothered me was the small white type on the orange background - I find that hard to read (bad eyes!). I'd like to see larger type and maybe the background to be a bit darker to enhance the visibility of the white type. Good luck!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2006 at 3:57PM
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I'm definitely going to enlarge the type, but I don't think I can darken the background as it's a downloaded template. I can make it black or something though. I'm going to see how the larger type works in white first. So far I was just trying to get the pages in place and some text on there. It's a lot of work to make a website...I had no idea!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2006 at 4:50PM
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Also, you can probably use the material for printing flyers to be posted around the neighborhood and nearby parks. My vet's office had a bulletin board where they posted notices like that, too.


    Bookmark   April 17, 2006 at 6:13PM
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This really sounds like a good idea for you. You can tailor it around your family's schedule, and put as much or as little effort into it to get the return you'd like. If you need a good source for printing, a client of mine has been using this company with great success. I just heard about them, their prices are great.

You've got a great start on the website.

If you're planning on doing any print advertising in your local papers, don't forget about writing up a nice infomercial/press release. It will really help increase your visibility and stretch your advertising $$.

Good luck with this. I'm glad DH likes his job. Hopefully this will fill the gap so he doesn't have to start searching all over.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2006 at 2:33AM
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Thank you! That printer is a great resource. I was going to use Vista, but now I'm going to have to check them out as well.

So does everyone want to hear the latest twist in the story?

Remember that editorial job for an educational publishing company? Well, I had sent my resume and spoken with them and done all that last week, before I had made a final decision on the pet sitting thing. Well, this afternoon, they called and offered me the job. I can't believe it. (Pass the hyperventilating bag...) But, I'm not going to take it. (Start hyperventilating again, because now I feel GUILTY!) The money is not good (I'd make double returning to the classroom), and after crunching numbers, after you take away taxes, childcare, and gas (about 50 miles a day), the take home would not be that much and not worth the huge changes me returning to work full-time would bring to my family. So...I'm officially...a petsitter.

(Insert guilt again, feel like I'm wasting the masters degree I just earned...)

But I'm still excited. This entrepreneur thing is kind of cool...

Dh couldn't believe it - he can't get a new job to save his life and I land a job in 5 minutes...lol

I honestly don't know what I'd do without this forum. You all have kept me so level-headed. (Thank you...)

    Bookmark   April 18, 2006 at 3:22AM
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spacific - I forgot to ask in my post - what do you mean about writing up an infomercial/press release? How do I do that and who sees it? (Sorry if I sound clueless, but I've never done anything like this before...)

I've never even had my own business card! Teachers aren't privvy to those... As you can see I'm pretty excited about the small stuff. lol

    Bookmark   April 18, 2006 at 3:25AM
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What a great job, snookums! You can wear your comfy clothes, you're not behind a desk and your clients are always glad to see you! Sounds like heaven to me!

Best of luck- love your website!

    Bookmark   April 18, 2006 at 9:48AM
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Email me separately (you don't have a link) and I'll send you my phone #. Too much to type...

    Bookmark   April 18, 2006 at 10:49AM
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Is it publishing the Ficticious Business Name statement in the local paper? I think I encountered that one while poking around the county's website for business license information...

I'll e-mail you. :)

    Bookmark   April 18, 2006 at 1:10PM
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"I'm freaking out. I mean, what if I actually GOT the job? And, have to, like, put on pantyhose and actually GO?"

I almost peed my pants when I read this from laughing so hard.

What a great idea. Congratulations on your ingenuity.

Just think how great your legs will look with all of these 20 minute pet walks.

Great looking website.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2006 at 3:49PM
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I've just discovered this thread and not a moment too soon (or late?). I can sooooo sympathsize. I'm also a stay at home mom former teacher debating the return to work.

I have gotten totally jazzed reading all the great ideas and options. like you, I know htat my whole family would be miserable if I returned to work full-time.

Right now I have a great set up subbing at my oldest dd's school. I have MIL babysit and when she can't I swap child care with a neighbor who works evenings.

If you ever do feel the need to sub, find a nice girl's school with strict rules. My daughter's school is a dream to sub at. Small class sizes, the teachers always leave extensive plans and the girls actually respect the teachers (even subs). But as you said the pay sucks. It really only works out to be spending cash for me. So the ideas in the thread about future employment when my youngest starts school are real boosters.

Good luck with that pet sitting. I am envious of your opportunity and the excitement that goes with something new and exciting - not to mention lucrative!

    Bookmark   April 19, 2006 at 11:52PM
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snookums, I can't remember where in CA you are. If you are between LA and SD, will you email me through my link? Have a child interviewing out there- and could use some more info about area/cost of living.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2006 at 7:37PM
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Website is pretty much done (every time I look at it I see something I want to change), I have insurance, bonding, membership in two pet sitting organizations, a fictitious business name license, 4 ads that start to run at the end of this month, contracts being printed up this week, business cards, brochures, etc etc etc - and I booked my first client today! Four bunnies that will need care for 10 days in June. This is really happening!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2006 at 5:21PM
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Ooooooh, Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail and Peter? Congrats!

(that Peter is a wild hare...)

    Bookmark   May 3, 2006 at 6:22PM
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Sounds like you found what will work for you. Congratulations!

I started back working recently subbing at the school district near me. I subbed for 1st grade yesterday and today was 3rd. I enjoyed it, and will be subbing for 6 and 8 next week, then on to high school. My ambition is to teach Spanish at college level so I'll finish up some graduate work later this year (Spanish). I want to have a 'life' when the kids are off to college and now is the time to start planning.

All you stay-at-home moms: it's great for us to do this for our kids, but let me tell you that it sure sucks when you put on that application that you don't have recent 'working' experience. Hence my sub job...I'll have something tangible for employers who just don't get it.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2006 at 10:30PM
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