When I was a kid, if someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up I’d always answer them with whatever I thought they wanted to hear. I had a fantastic career to spout off to any adult who inquired. Teacher, butcher, doctor, lawyer, scientist… When I was a kid I had no idea what I wanted to be. I loved math and I was nerdtastically great at the subject. This did nothing for me as I did not want to ‘do math’ for a living. My mother told me to be an anesthesiologist, as they made a great living but medicine was not my passion and going to school forever sounded despicable. My grandpa told me he’d pay for any law school in the country for me to attend because I was the great debater in the family (ie difficult). He told me how much he’d spent every year on lawyers for his business and said it could be all mine if he could hire me as his own lawyer. I didn’t want to be a lawyer either. I didn’t want to be a teacher and I didn’t want to be a mail carrier and I didn’t want to do anything that sounded important or that required schooling. I’ve attended four colleges up to this point studying theology, psychology, interior design and journalism. I am, by trade, none of these things. I am a restaurant server.
Often, so often, so often I sometimes curse people in my head, it is mentioned that I am ‘just a server’. “Oh, if you lose your job it’s not too bad. You can find another, you’re JUST A SERVER.” Really? Well, I guess you are just a teacher and there are kids everywhere so you are bound to find another position as well. And you are just a policeman and people are committing crimes everyday so don’t worry about it, you’ll find something. It’s not as though all the word combinations in the world have been used up, so I bet you’ll find another writing job tomorrow or the day after.
Another gem from those who are better than I frequently uttered is the deep question, “When are you going to get a REAL JOB?” Dammit!!! All this time I really thought I was paying my bills. I really thought I had money coming in and I really thought I was employed and paying taxes and now I find out it was a LIE! During these fine moments I would like to whip out my pay stub and show my hourly wage (after tips, of course) and ask them if they feel that is a real livable wage as it has been in many cases far more than that of the inquirer’s.
People have always thought less of the profession of servers. Not individually, but as a society. I’m OK with this. I suppose I don’t have a great need to feel superior in the area of employment. Serving is generally fun and you don’t have to take home stress, for the most part. Your ‘clients’ are in your life for one hour and so long as you bring them food and smile and make conversation, they are almost always happy.
This blog post is not about serving. It’s about not serving. Today I found out that because of certain boring details of which I will spare you, I will most likely be quitting my job in the next two months. Either me or Mr. Pilver has to quit. While our hourly wage is similar, he works more hours. His position has a far better chance of advancement. He receives that lovely little thing called health insurance. Therefore, I must forfeit. I will be a stay at home Pilver. I will go crazy.
I have worked all but the six weeks after The Max was born and about the same amount of time when I moved here last winter. Since I was fifteen years old I have been employed. After I moved out on my own at nineteen, I was my sole provider for every day of my life. For every day of The Max’s life I have been his sole provider. I don’t know how else to live. I do understand that my role as Suzy Homemaker will be equally as important in our lives as bringing home the bacon, but folks I suck at making bread and I got a C- in sewing class and I am sort of a sloppy housekeeper.
I need to see glass of domestic goddess as full, however, not even half full will do. Spending more time with The Max is an obvious benefit. Suppose I can find more time to blog, that would be awesome. I can learn to bake bread and to sew. And of course, our garden is not going to grow itself.
This is not a 100% for sure thing, but I’d say that there’s a 90% chance that when school lets out for the summer, I will bid farewell to being a server and at least temporarily hang up my apron strings.
Until Bad Pants, I, too, had worked near constantly since I was 14. Staying at home is challenging in it’s own right. I tried all the routes you discuss; baking, sewing, etc. I can bake. In fact, I am the baker for the house. And I often make our bread. However, the sewing for ebay idea I had crashed and burned within a few days of purchasing a non-returnable sewing machine. I simply don’t remember how!
We moved or had a small place or whatever, so until now, gardening really hasn’t been an option. No goats, so making goat’s milk soap and cheese is out (but you could do that!). Finding hobbies has been difficult. Last year, I read 52 books in as many weeks. I’ll probably do it again this year.
I’m in the same boat, tootling around in circles with a single paddle for the last 4 years. I’m not winning the war, but we started homeschooling with an online public charter school last year, so perhaps I won a battle or two, yet I feel mostly unproductive.
So, if you find a solution to your conundrum, please share it.