Monday, June 7, 2010

The Rainy Italian Festival

Thank you for your kind comments and encouragement regarding my rejection letter from UBC! It is particularly helpful to remember that God has a plan with a perfect time in it for me to move forward vocationally, whether it be towards midwifery or in another direction (I hope not!). All is not lost when I keep that in mind. But sometimes I forget to keep it in mind, you know? Sometimes I am just full of fear.

The letter was supremely good for me, though, because it gave me breathing room. It has given me the space to think about whether I really DO want to go forward in the direction of midwifery school. There are so many other options, appealing and not, and it is always good to reevaluate one's direction and plan on a regular basis. I'm also tied up in knots about whether or not to apply for a full time position with BC Ambulance. I have done the part time gig for over 7 years now, and it has totally worked for me up until now. I never work the kids' birthdays, we take holidays whenever Brent's job allows (pretty much whenever we want), I never work Christmas, easter, halloween, thanksgiving, or any other day I don't want to. The trade off is that I get no sick days, no paid holidays, no paid days off, no benefits, crappy pay, I drive really far to go to work (no part time positions closer that I want), and I'm at the bottom of the social pile at work, always. It goes: full time Advanced Life Support paramedics, part time ALS, full time Basic Life Support paramedics, full time transfer car paramedics, irregularly scheduled full timers who do holiday relief, and finally part timers. Granted, there IS one level below me, and that is part time secondary post. That's part timers from remote stations with zero seniority who work at our station in order to actually make some money, since remote stations are so quiet and hence the pay is ridiculous. $2 per hour standby. So I'm second to the bottomest bottom feeder.

Not that I care remotely, but it does lend itself to bullying. I cried at work last week because of a cranky ALS guy I work with. On dayshifts he's friendly and easy to get along with, but on nights he's a diva. Total bitch. I haven't cried at work in YEARS, but I lost it last week. And the whole tone of the station has completely shifted since over half the full time staff retired in the last year and a half, including the Unit Chief. Everything is discombobulated and less unified and there is more bullying going on than ever before, and there are very few guys left who are remotely interested in teaching or imparting things they've learned, or even swapping war stories, which is one of my favourite work activities. Going to work just isn't as fun as it used to be.

Not that I care overly much about the social hierarchy or interbitchiness at work, but it gets old. I only work one or two days a week so I'm mostly gone for much of it anyways. But I'm getting burned out of my job so my fuse is shorter for all the negative aspects, you know?

So those nitty bits are pushing me out of my comfortable spot in Chilliwack station. There are other part time positions, but honestly it's the same warm bag of shit in a different pile, if you know what I mean? The biggest factor pulling me towards full time is money. It's yucky for me to be at this point, because for years I've said that for me, working isn't about money and my kids will only be small once so I want to spend as much time at home for them as I can manage. And I'd rather live in a small house and be there for my kids than live in a big house and be forced to work more hours than I would prefer. But I have reached some sort of boiling point. My house is too small for my family! Houses cost a LOT where I live. A small 3 bedroom built in 1982 with a small yard that needs some serious work costs around $500,000. If I want a yard, we have to pay big. But houses aside, because we've been talking about options like having a suite we could rent out that would help pay our bigger morgage, I'm mostly just sick and fucking tired of running out of money 2 days after payday. Sick of it. Sick of it. SICK of it. My family costs more now that the kids are bigger--we work really hard not to overschedule but STILL soccer is hundreds of dollars and food is hundreds of dollars and clothing is hundreds of dollars and shoes are expensive and swimming lessons cost fifty dollars each kid and diaper service and property taxes and freaking GAS at $1.15 per liter and dog food OMG dog food!!! And then there's the fact that I'm CRAZY and have to take all these supplements to stay sane, and it looks like I have a thyroid problem too so I'm going to have to start medicating THAT too, and, and, and!!!! I'm feeling the pressure, and I feel like if I could just WORK MORE for even ONE YEAR, we could pay off some crap and free up more monthly income for that bigger house we need.

It's that STRESS post I did a few weeks ago, continued. Anyone know anyone who wants to buy a Matrix? Please????? We're paying over $700 a month to insure and make payments on 3 vehicles right now. I had no idea it would take this long to sell the damn car, or we wouldn't have bought the van before we sold the car! Like, we have it on Craig's List and in the Buy and Sell, and the car has signs on it, and we have gotten one email in three months. We've lowered the price twice. Our landscaper showed some interest, but never came through. Nobody wants a toyota these days, which is too bad because that Matrix is an amazing car. Anyways, if that thing could sell we'd be in a much better position!!
But even when the car sells things are still tight. I'm just so tired of things being tight. I'm tired of running out of food before payday and pulling out the credit card I know I can't pay off so I can get us milk or ground beef or carrots. We cashed in a GIC to be able to fly to Regina for Brent's brother's graduation from the police academy in July: shouldn't we be able to just save for a bit and fly somewhere once in two or three years? Holy freaking crap! It's not Jamaica! Anyways, I'm feeling the crunch these days and worrying about financial survival when I'm in school (if I ever make it in), so I'm thinking nine months to a year of full time might be an answer to consider. Oh yeah, and maternity benefits are WAY better for full time paramedics than part time paramedics and if I want another baby maybe that's something to consider, too?

I feel guilty for even having this conversation with myself in my head, because it feels like I'm compromising my kids for money. And I just don't dig that. I know lots of women who work full time and are good parents, involved, attached, loving, connected: but I just can't wrap my mind around doing it myself.
I mean, I did it while Brent was gone (70 hours a week, no less!), but that was for an express purpose and for a set period of time. This feels less legit.

And then, on top of the guilt, there's the issue of child care, which I've posted about before. How'm I going to find a nanny who will agree to one 14 hour day and two 6 hour days per 8 day cycle, provided it's weekdays? That's so few hours it feels scrooge like. Stressing about child care makes me want to abandon the entire enterprise. Screw it.

But another thing I'm tired of is always working Brent's days off. I feel like I rarely see him, and we're always recovering from some night shift or other--if I worked full time we'd have days off together. The RCMP watches and paramedic watches are offset by only one day, so our days off would overlap by 2 days. Which still isn't enough, but it's something more than what we get now.

Another option is for me to quit altogether. Trust Brent's salary and call it a day. Hire myself as our nanny. It's certainly appealing! But then I feel guilty having Brent shoulder the entire financial load for us. That's stressful! Especially with our housing market. There has to be somewhere in the world where a house with a yard is affordable. We don't live there.

I literally spend hours of every day obsessing about these issues. I feel like my ribcage is about to crack from worrying about it all!!

And I started this post intending to tell you about me and the kids going to Vancouver yesterday for the Italian Festival on Commercial street, where it poured rain and nobody but me had a rain jacket, which I leant to Ayden because he was wearing only a t-shirt. It was pretty funny actually. But that post got circumvented by my stress decompression, which apparently I needed to spew somewhere...

Sorry about that! That's kind of funny!

Church was good yesterday. So there's that.

1 comment:

Caryn Ouwehand said...

Wowza. I am RIGHT there with you right now with work issues. I am also thinking about it ALL FREAKING DAY!