Friday, July 25, 2008

Anyone know a good babysitter?

Well, it seems I am on vacation for the rest of the summer. My babysitter, who was on unemployment after being laid off from her full-time job, got called back to work. She got the call yesterday that she was needed today, Friday. I too was needed at work today. Unfortunately I don't have anyone else nearby who can watch my little rugrat.

For five years I have been a stay at home mom. Mostly by choice. Before Thomas was born my hubby and I decided I would take a year off to be home with our son. When Thomas came out 8 weeks early and ended up having problems, we knew we had made the right decision. 18 months, and hundreds of appointments later, I was still a stay at home mom, only now I was the stay at home mom of a special needs child. I couldn't go back to work. For one, Thomas sometimes had appointments five days a week for months at a time. Occasionally those appointments would slow down to just one or two a week, and rarely we'd have a week with no appointments. Who wants to hire a person who needs to leave early every day or who needs every day off? No one, that's who.

Finally, five years into life with Thomas and I think I am ready to rejoin the work force. I find a job that is just a temporary position, which is a great way to test the waters and see if this will work. It's got to work. Ater five years on a single income things are getting tight. Luckily my immediate supervisor is great at being flexible with my schedule and the job works out. Even more lucky is that I found a sitter who would come to my home and watch Thomas for very little money. Before that job ended I was looking for another job. This was working out okay, right? Why not shoot for a permanent position?

I found another job working for an insurance company for which I had previously designed a web site. The owner knew about Thomas and our special circumstances and promised flexibility with my schedule. Boy, if only she had known what type of flexibility I was going to need! Less than a month later I was giving her a zero day notice. "Sorry boss, I can't come in tomorrow, or Monday, or any day actually, until after Labor Day. Sorry."

Am I the world's suckiest employee or what?

Fortunately for me, my boss is pretty awesome. She didn't bat an eye and told me my job will be waiting for me, whether I can find a sitter again for the summer, or if I have to wait until school begins in the fall. If I were her I would have told me to hit the road and not look back. I think, in part, she feels for me because of Thomas and his special needs, and because she has a son with a different set of special needs.

So now I am wondering how on earth are we parents of special needs kids supposed to make it in today's world? A boss like mine is a rare find. There are few jobs that are willing to be so flexible. Besides that, I am once again without an income. It is now the burden on my hubby's shoulders to carry this family all on his own. We just can't do it. For five years he has been carrying us as slowly our saving's has dwindled to scary little numbers, and just when I think we are finally going to be okay, life happens.

I applied for social security for Thomas. I was denied because as a family of three we have an income greater than $1300 a month. Yes people $1300 a month for a family of three, and that is pre-tax income. That is what the government thinks a family of three can survive on. I can't possibly see how a family of three can survive on that income, especially a family of three in which one is disabled which means only one of us can work. I contacted a lawyer, surely that is just a ploy by the government to try to get out of paying. Nope, the lawyer said them's the rules so tough luck sweetheart.

Am I wrong to think something is not right with that picture? I guess I should be thankful we don't meet the income requirements to qualify, instead of whining about not qualififying. But the way things are going, we'll qualify before too long. Thanks Uncle Sam.

On a completely unrelated subject, did you know the President makes $400,000 a year? I'm sure he gets free healthcare in there too, as well as his own limo, airplane, house and all the other extras at no additional cost to him. Granted, the President's job is hard, and important. But ya know what? So is mine.

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