Sunday, May 22, 2005

Necessity is the Mother . . .

We got an escrow analysis this week that informed us that our morgage payment is increasing by $400/month. We put an addition on our house last year, so we expected our taxes to rise, which they have, but not by $4800/year. I need to call the bank to find out why the discrepancy, but, unfortunately, I don't think there's necessarily been a mistake – I think it has to do with the way escrow for taxes and insurance works.

Like most households, we don't have an extra $400/month laying around. My husband recently changed his witholding to get more each month and less of a tax refund, so that will help (and I was so excited about having a little more buffer every month – so much for that). So this has forced me (or given me the opportunity) to think about how to earn some money. It's been interesting. I think that taking care of three kids and running a house is a lot of work. But for the most part I choose how to do it, when (or if) I'm going to do certain housekeeping tasks, and I'm not supervised or critiqued.

The idea of having to work gets me a little down, and reminds me to count my blessings. I've worked in the past as a technical writer. I do a little here and there for former clients – it adds up to a few hours a month, if that. I wrote part of a book about two years ago – I had a nanny one day a week (who did my laundry in addition to taking care of the kids), and a babysitter two afternoons, and somehow I got a fair amount of work done. I haven't done anything that intensive since. It's hard to write or edit in small spurts.

I'm thinking about sewing baby carriers, which I can do in small spurts. There is some home sewing which seems to generate a profit –unlike sewing cloth diapers, which seems like a lot of hard work for not much money, unless you happen to be the next big thing in which case you have more work that you really want to do while caring for small children.

I'm also exploring part-time technical writing work. The baby is 14-months now (and needs me a little less), and summer is coming up (with more babysitter availablity), so maybe I could land a fabulous 20-hour/week contract job for three months and make the extra money we need for the whole year.

Complicating the situation is the fact that my husband doesn't like his job and would really like a new one. So we talk a little about whether I should get a job and let him quit. It's not really what I want, and he's not pushing it. I probably couldn't earn as much as he does if I took a salaried job. I probably could if I worked as a contractor, but that's risky. And I think it would be a tough lifestyle to be out working and then come home and be Mommy. Lots of people do it, I know, but if we have the choice not to, I'd rather not.

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