Thursday, August 18, 2005

Budget.

Sigh. Big, heavy, drawn-out sigh. Sigh.

I have a plan. Total World Domination in 30 hours a week. Good plan, huh? I want to cut my 40 hours a week back to 30 hours a week…. And still afford the little things like food and fuel and toilet bowl cleaner and stuff.

I could say I want my son to go to daycare to develop social skills. He is learning how to interact with other kids. He is learning to take instructions from adults other than his parents. It is good for his immune system to be exposed to all those other little germs. I could tell you a million reasons (besides needing to get paid to buy toilet paper) for putting my son in daycare. Noble reasons. Reasons that justify that “I just left my favorite pony tied to the front door of the glue factor” sinking feeling I have when I leave him. And, for the most part, I believe some of those reasons.

But the reality? I won’t kid you….. I don’t have the patience or strength of character to be a full-time stay-at-home mom. I rely entirely too much on my daycare lady (DCL). She rocks. She tells me how much applesauce makes up a serving of fruit. She knows all the rules about nutrition and child care and discipline and she knows when to bend them. She has ideas and suggestions when I need them. She tells me my child is brilliant and a delight to be around (really, she says that, really….). She doesn’t care if I (or any member of my immediate extended family) drop in unannounced. She reads to Sweet Boy. She pushes him on the swing and takes him for walks and lets him help her feed the chickens. Her house is really clean. The playroom is orderly and the kids practice their “nice manners” while they eat lunch. Her husband is nice. I’ve met her kids and they are intelligent and well-adjusted and that makes me feel good. She feeds Sweet Boy breakfast and lunch and snacks. A lot of the food he eats comes from her garden. She washes his pacifiers in the dishwasher and when he blows out an outfit she washes it for me…. And gets the stains out. All I do is provide diapers and wipes and an occasional bottle of sunscreen.

Oh, but wait…. I’m got off on a little tangent bragging about how great my DCL is…. Sorry. Back to the money whining. (Gosh, that does seem to be a lot of what I blog about… alternating between bragging & whining… interesting.)

So I would like to change my schedule to 3 days in the office per week and a small amount of telecommuting to get my total hours worked to 30. I think, from a work standpoint, it can be done. The tricky part is making it work with our budget. Things are slim around here. I’ve been working on it and playing around with the numbers this week. Of course, the only conclusion I came too was that I need to buy Quicken to manage my money-management. Any brilliant suggestions? Anyone have a money tree growing in their backyard and want to send me a branch? Please don’t suggest I get involved in a pyramid scheme or find a sugar daddy…. Those ideas have already been considered and rejected…. (Although I’m still considering producing children for profit… I come from good stock and make cute babies… I bet I could do pretty well on the black market.)

8 comments:

M&Co. said...

Quicken would help. A financial win fall, like winning the lottery, would be even better!

I'm with you about not staying home with them. I don't have the patience for it, I don't like my kids that much and I don't get ANYTHING done when I don't work outside the home. I took a year off a couple of years ago. All I did was take the GirlChild to school and go to the Y and work out. I feel like I get more accomplished on my lunch hour than I did staying home all day.

Good luck with your 30 hour a week quest.

SierraBella said...

Your day-care-lady sounds like an angel!
The telecommute idea will save you lots of gas money, for sure.

Susan said...

I stay home full-time with my boys, and frankly, it's hard. The baby part was actually the easiest part; now that they are turning into little people, the days are very long. Excruciatingly long.

Having said that, let me say this--I think your plan to work 30 hours, and some from home, is brilliant. Your daycare lady, as Sierrabella said, sounds wonderful (could she take my kids a couple of days a week?) and it seems like Sweet Boy is getting plenty of love, from her and you.

So, I've go nothing helpful. I hope it works out! And you know, the real secret to world domination is that iBra . . .

McSwain said...

Quicken is good- you can even track your cash expenditures on it. I saved up and have taken a year off to go back to school. Made sacrifices, but it's worth it. I am saving a TON of money because we used to eat out too much, grab sodas at the 7-11 where they're over a buck instead of buying a whole six-pack, etc. Don't know what your lifestyle is, but food is the one area where I've saved a lot by planning ahead. Now we eat at home more often and we've laid off on Starbucks & the Slurpies, and we've found we even like it better that way!

LadyBug said...

Y'know, I checked your blog this morning, then got distracted by the iBra. It just figures they wouldn't make the Perfect Bra in a size big enough to cover my mountain range. Sigh.

On another note, your DCL sounds heavenly. You're very blessed to have someone so awesome to watch after Sweet Boy while you're away.

Homestead said...

m&co.- There is a standing joke in my family about my grandpa growing a money tree.... I keep asking for a sapling. In my perfect world I would stay home and be productive (and not turn into my next-door neighbor, the Stepford Wife) and be fulfilled.

Sierrabella- She is an angel.... I am so very lucky. Gas money! I forgot to figure two round-trips to town... except I will probably go to town those days anyway for something-or-other....

Susan- Why, my daycare lady would love to have the boys.... you'll have to move up here but I'm sure we can work those details out... we haven't listed our "house in town" yet so you can just buy it and move right in.....

Cheryl- Our food budget is pretty slim but I'm always on the lookout.... my husband is addicted to dill pickle flavored sunflower seeds and Big Gulps but we don't eat out very often.

LadyBug- Can you believe I'm considering spending $50 on ONE UNDERGARMENT!?!? I'm going to have to go commando and never buy panties again to justify it. $50 is my clothing budget for THREE MONTHS.....

McSwain said...

And it ocurred to me after I left the message re. restaurant food that given the large "spread" you live on (I won't ask how big it is...), there may not be too many eating out places to be going to anyway. I know there weren't many in the So. Oregon cowtown I grew up in. (No disrespect intended- I loved it there.)

Homestead said...

Cheryl- It isn't TOO hick here. Helena is around 25k people and growing every day. We have some pretty decent restaurants and we are even getting some of the bigger chains now..... Applebee's, Denny's... that kind of stuff. Where I grew up..... 70 miles to the nearest Dairy Queen... one-way.