Friday, January 21, 2011


After some confusion over faxed forms and time on their 800 line, I went to finalize our enrollment at the online school Wednesday. Included was a big warning that we had to withdraw K from her current school before enrolling because she can't be enrolled in two schools at once or THE UNIVERSE WILL EXPLODE from the logical impossibility.

I looked at the enrollment date they gave us and it was... that day. I see. Was I supposed to just go yank K directly out of class or could it wait until 3? Cue the second phone call and it was explained that there could be a little overlap, but I was able to fix it so K can finish out the week in her current school and start homeschooling on Monday.

So we start homeschooling on Monday.

Gulp. Oh my.

I'm still working on the logistics of working and homeschooling. Currently I'm working 20 hours a week at the online job and a varying number of days between Friday and Sunday at the library. Alec goes to the babysitter's three days a week; we have already arranged that both kids will go on Fridays so that I can work at the library any Friday I want. The cost of that one day a week will take pretty much everything I earn at the library, but I consider it worth it to have something that says "library" on my resume and I'm getting lots of good experience there. I more or less consider it highly beneficial volunteer work.

That leaves the online job and the fact that 1) trying to do it late at night and then get up in the morning might kill me and 2) I kind of hate it and want to quit. The problem with that is that the city now owes B two raises, but it's not looking like we're going to get them any time soon. We should get a nice chunk of change in back pay once we do, but much like Elijah, we can't count on it coming at any defined point. But without that raise and without essentially any of my income, money will be quite tight. So here are the options as I them, from least to most income:

1. Quit my online job, keep kids in daycare on Fridays. Advantage: life will be much happier and more relaxed. Disadvantage: life will be much poorer and I'm not sure there will be room in the budget for a car payment. Also, our plan for socializing K revolves around sending her to classes and afterschool programs, and we won't be able to afford anything except the super-cheap offerings from the city rec centers.

2. Quit my online job, give up all daycare and do what we did last year, switch off who works Friday and Saturday. Advantage: we'll have more money. Disadvantage: wow, that's quite a lot of quality time with my children. I'm a generally happier person when I get a bit of time off from my children. Also, while we'll be doing better financially, we'll be in the same financial position that made me decide to go find a second job. Also, I really like our babysitters and will feel guilty if I take the kids away from them entirely since they so clearly love them.

3. See if I can switch to a similar job with fewer hours, only have kids in daycare on Fridays. Advantage: will be making about as much money as I am now after paying for daycare, so we'll be doing relatively well financially and will be able to afford higher quality classes for K. Disadvantage: Taking care of kids all day and working in the evening won't be as bad, but it will still be stressful. There will still be the hate-my-job factor, although I might hate it less if I did it less.

4. Keep my job, find someplace cheaper than our babysitters to send Alec four days a week (as much as I love them, our babysitters are too expensive to use fulltime), use babysitters on Fridays. Advantage: We'll have money, having Alec in daycare will make teaching K much easier. Disadvantage: The work Thursday night, work all day Friday, work Friday night and possibly then work Saturday combo is already slowly killing me and adding homeschooling on top of that? Ack. I'll really miss Alec if he's in daycare full time. And did I mention I really hate my job and want to quit?

Right now, I'm kind of leaning towards quitting and trying to live frugally for a while, although I waffle towards the try to work fewer hours option depending on how I'm feeling about my job at any given moment.

Well, I have at least another week of working because I was put on a special project and I'm a good enough sport not to quit in the middle of it. Meanwhile, we're all getting excited and nervous. K is really excited about not having to wear a uniform any more. I am super excited about not having to drag her out of bed in the morning and get her someplace on time. We have also gleefully ignored homework for the past two nights - what are they going to do, fail her? Friday, I think B and I are going to Ikea to get K a desk for her computer (that the school sends us for free! And they're even sending us money to help pay for Internet! It's amazing what a school can afford to offer when they don't have to pay for buildings). Then I suspect we're going to have to do another major rearrangement to set up the living room for optimal learning/toddler entertainment. Because we're starting this all on Monday. Whee!

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