Why Don’t You Just Get a Better Job?

I’m often asked this question and it’s not as simple to answer as it might seem. The reasons I’m asked are valid; I don’t get paid well, two bedroom places in my area run $800-1000 per month, I don’t particularly enjoy what I do and I use food stamps and state health care. So, this fictitious better job would be mostly in terms of pay.

Since my son was born, I’ve worked as a nanny for several families. My “education” and much of my experience has been working with children. For me, it’s an easy job to get. It’s semi challenging to find families who are amenable to me bringing my son with, but it can be done. There aren’t very many other jobs where this is the case. Especially things that I’m good at, would enjoy or are qualified for.

My son is with me all the time and always has been. His father isn’t part of his life so caring for B and working must go hand in hand. As someone who followed the principles of attachment parenting, these pieces fit well. I didn’t want to hand over B’s daily care to anyone else. No one is more qualified for that than I.

Now that he’s older and of school age, in order to legally homeschool, I need to be with him and I still want to. There’s no job or amount of pay increase that would compare to getting to see daily growth, learning and sharing silly moments. He gets to spend his days largely as he pleases and I’m happy to be able to do that for him.

The work I do should be worth more than it is. I don’t decide that, Many of the most important jobs aren’t properly valued. If they were, I’d be able to cover all of my grocery costs and provide insurance for my son. There are plenty of people who feel strongly, one way or the other, about government assistance. I utilize it to take better care of my son. Not out of laziness or so that I can sit home all day. I don’t feel that makes me a bad person at all.

Here’s the most important thing. B doesn’t know we’re poor. That’s a financial state and he doesn’t see it because he has everything he needs. He sees kids who live in big fancy houses and have more than they need. He also sees how little those same kids get to be with their parents and/or how little they mean to their parents. B will neverΒ be that kind of poor.

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12 thoughts on “Why Don’t You Just Get a Better Job?

  1. Well said and I have BIG respect for you to chose what you do and do it for your kiddo! There is no better classroom than the world itself. I am a stay at home mother, and I know about the true benefits to having all the extra time with your kids. πŸ™‚

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  2. Government assistance is great when it’s *needed*. Too often however, people use it just so that they don’t have to do anything, while the rest of us have to pay for it. That frustrates me beyond words. For you though, maybe you could get a better paying job, *but* the job that you are doing right now is the most important job you’ll ever have. I commend you for being willing to sacrifice all the luxuries of life in order to provide your son a good and loving home. It sounds like you have your priorities in order. I think that makes you a great mom.

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    1. Thank you. I’ve heard many people echo your concern about government assistance. In my own experience, I have known many people who needed help and not because they didn’t want to do anything. When you’re doing the something you’re supposed to do and it’s still not enough, it’s hard to be stigmatized for your need. My job as a mom is the most important one I’ll ever do and I appreciate the people who recognize that.

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      1. I completely agree. We ran into a very rough time when I was a child. Both of my parents had jobs, but the pay was not enough to support all of us. We were on food stamps for a while in order to keep our heads above water and food on the table. So I completely understand the need and am an advocate for assistance – when it’s needed and for temporary help.

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