Monday, May 10, 2010

You Must Be Rich

Once upon a long time ago, one of the young moms at church commented about the pastors being rich. The evidence? They both had stay-at-home wives taking care of three babies/preschoolers each. No matter that we were doing without a lot of things that other people had. No matter that we cooked from scratch and drove old cars and didn't pay the day-care provider to watch the kids while we didn't work the jobs we didn't have.

Stay-at-home moms run into this attitude frequently. Usually it's no big deal, because what does it matter what other people think?

But last week I ran into a problem. We ended up with a car being repaired by someone other than our regular mechanic. I had a rough idea of what it was going to cost. When he called last week to let me know that the brakes needed work too, he told me the car would be ready Monday. So did I work first shift or second? He wanted to know what time to phone and let me know about picking up the car. I said he could call any time; I don't have a job; I stay home with the kids. Ah. Hmm.

I was not surprised when he called today and he ran into some problems that took more time and were harder to repair than he'd anticipated. So the price was a little higher. Still under the estimate he gave me on Friday. But quite a bit more than I'd been led to believe two weeks ago. Now, he may be telling the absolute truth. But my gut suspects that maybe I'm one of those idle rich folks who can afford to pay more to the working man.

As I was pondering this and my mind is reeling over what outsiders might think, I realized that homeschooling my kids has saved between $900,000 and $1,000,000 for the taxpayers. Also, I ponder jobs and how huge a salary I'm going to have to earn so as not to end up further in the hole by working than I am by staying home and being frugal. But to the neighbors, to the people around who look on unknowingly, I'm at home during the day. I must be eating bonbons and watching the boob tube while my filthy-rich husband rakes in the big bucks.


  1. Oh I can definitely relate, Susan! So many people just don't "get" that we seldom eat out, vacation means visiting family, cooking is from scratch, etc.
    When I talked to my mom yesterday, referring to my blog post, she said if she had anything to do over she would not have worked part time when we were older. She missed things at home, and never earned enough to make a difference financially.

  2. I am just about to wrap up a job that I knew would only be for one year. When it's done, a significant amount of money will quit flowing through our bank account. But notice that I said flowing THROUGH. As I look back over the last year, I can say that we have acquired a few things that we otherwise might not have. But that's about it. So much of the money just went to things like gas, clothing for me (so I could look professional 5 days per week), and keeping the house going by buying a lot more prepared food, eating out more, and paying for housecleaning help. And as if losing one job weren't enough, I just quit another one yesterday. We're gonna be a lot poorer next year. But I'm so, so tired and I can't wait. :-) (Remind me of this next fall when I start all my bellyaching about having no money, okay?)

  3. I've run into this in the past.

    Now I'm running into the problem that no one will hire me because I've been out of the workforce for so long. The companies in town take one look at my education and job experience and they throw away my application (yes, I know that for a fact). I'm overqualified for everything and haven't proven I'm willing to work the jobs "beneath" me. I don't seem to know the right people in order to have an "in" most places so I've had only one interview.
    Luckily my kids are old enough to take up the slack so that when I do find a job we won't have to spend much for me to work.

  4. I know what you mean, Kim. It seems like the only way to get into the work force at this point is to be willing to work the counter of the fast food restaurant (or some such thing) when the manager is desperate to find somebody, anybody, to take some shifts. But then (as my son-in-law discovered) once you start working those sort of jobs, nobody wants to hire you for anything with more responsibility because you "settled" for something unchallenging.

    I feel a rant coming on regarding government "help." Maybe it's time for me to shut up and go rustle up some lunch.