Monday, April 4, 2011

SAHM, Part 1: This Wasn't by Choice

I posted recently about feeling like Juan, the Good Wife, in which I feel like a mexican gardner, yet I'm sowing fields of love (man that is such a corny line, but damn-oh-so-good!). However, getting the chance to be Juan, the Good Wife aka, a stay at home home, did not come by luck.

I am married to a Union Construction Worker. Nothing fancy about the Union part other than that we get great benefits and retirement, and about 1/3 better wages than non-Union trades. My husband makes about the same as a police man, and when I found this out, I was shocked that we don't pay those that protect and serve more money. Firefighters make more, and all I ever see them do is grocery shopping! (kidding!)

Before we had kids, Rocky and I talked about me staying home. At the time, it was more like a distant dream, kind of like thinking about retirement - "one day." I worked in the auto industry and was climbing the ladder making decent wages (until the auto industry crashed with everything else in the economy). We spent freely, we never saved, and we were always broke. When we had Georgia, I still had to work. We were so locked into our finances, we couldn't afford for me not to, or so we thought. I was able to take Georgia to work with me for her 1st six months of life while I managed my mom's sewing store. SAHM's and Working Mom's (WM) have nothing on a mom that takes her daughter to work! Try closing a $8,000 sale while your baby sits in a bouncy seat next to you.

Georgia jumping in the service

Grandma carrying Georgia while
helping a customer.

Lunch time @ work.

During this time, Rocky and I also had moved in with my parents to begin to save to buy a house. Needless to say, it doesn't work living and working with your mom. After 7 mos of living and working together, all parties involved believed it was best if we moved out of the house and I quit my job as her store manager. I had no job. The economy was in shambles. I had a great resume, and usually received call backs within days of applying for jobs. Now, there was silence, and we had to find an apartment fast. By now, Georgia was 11 mos old, and I had her at an in-home day care with a WONDERFUL caregiver named Ms. Allison. Rocky and I talked, and talked, and talked about what we were going to do.

It had been almost 4 years (we were in our last rental for 3 years and lived with my parents for 7 mos), since Rocky and I had to look for a place to rent. Rental prices were at a premium! We looked everywhere, from Imperial Beach, to El Cajon, to Escondido, to Campo.  Our window for finding a place was small, and our expectations high (as they always should be - I believe). We ended up finding a 3 bedroom upstairs condo in the nastiest part of Lakeside for $1200/mo. It was nice gated complex, with great amenities (including a W/D, central air, and a fireplace in the unit), and within walking distance of several parks, a library, a community center, farmer's market, and a 7-11. However, it was across from Lindo Lake in tweeker-ville. We couldn't afford much more though! 3 bedrooms seemed like a steal.

I DID NOT want to live in Lakeside, but I had to work with what we could afford. We put a deposit down, and I was so nervous about being able to afford it without me working. 2 days later, I found a 2 bedroom downstairs condo in the same complex with a patio AND a backyard for $1000.  The 1st landlord that we signed the 3 bedroom with, wouldn't charge us a fee for backing out of the contract if he could rent the place out in less than 30 days. We took the gamble and signed the lease for the 2 bedroom for $200 less per month, and waited for word from the 1st land lord. It felt like everything was in limbo. Little did I know that I was beginning a path of sacrifices that would lead to me staying at home full time.

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1 comment:

  1. Love it! Sounds familiar... I think you made the right choices though, what you are doing for your family is the best!
    PS what the name of the complex? I don't want to move back to Lakeside either but may have to... I would love a2 br downstairs with patio/yard and WD! LOL thats what we are looking for (assuming we don't move out of SD all together... I don't mind moving back to an apartment but Matt needs at least a big patio for gardening and I NEED a W/D for my CDing :) BTW Matt told me how much Rocky makes and it is significantly more than what he makes so he makes more than San Diego cops at least! (they are the most underpaid in the area everyone else makes more). And yes you are right we SHOULD PAY COPS MORE DANGIT!