When Everything Falls Apart

I almost had to enroll my son in school. To most people, that’s not a big deal, it’s the norm. For us it would’ve been devastating.┬áB has never been to school and thrives with an unschooling environment. He’s free to choose how he spends his time and what he wants to learn. That freedom is something I always want for him.

This summer was beyond challenging for me. My nanny job ended when the family moved, I tried to launch an Etsy shop, worked a couple of part-time babysitting jobs, but nothing was coming together the way I needed it to, financially.

I applied for full-time nanny position after another, only to be turned down because I wanted to bring my son. My qualifications and references are amazing but people get hung up on that one aspect. I guess it seems hard to believe that I could manage their children/ household as well as my own, while homeschooling. Funny, when I write it that way it does sound superhero-ish. It’s just the way it’s needed to be so that I can give my son what I believe is best for him.

So, we were broke this summer and muddled through with some help from dear friends. I kept applying for jobs, crying when I’d get turned down, and sometimes taking to my bed for a couple of days at a time. Depression is hard to stave off when you can’t provide for your family.

The part-time babysitting job I had for September, was for a single mom like me. She’s trying to work full-time and go to college full time. When she was suddenly laid off, we were both left floundering.

The little I was making, was now gone and desperation setting in, I had to give a lot of thought to enrolling B in school. It’s so painful that my child, in this society, could be an obstacle to gaining employment. So many feel forced to put children in school so they can work to support them.

Luckily, at the final hour, I got an email from a family who had originally turned me down. They had reconsidered the arrangement and wanted to give me a try. They have one baby who will be my only responsibility. While he naps, B and I can spend one on one time. Most importantly, my son gets to continue learning in the way that suits him best, while I earn a paycheck and support B in his self-directed days.

I start full-time on Monday and I’m looking forward to it. Some of the bills that I’ve gotten behind on can get caught up and I can reduce the weight that’s been on my shoulders.

Use this as a reminder to take nothing for granted. You never know how much worse your situation could be until you’re there.