Landlocked

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So Jake and I are both feeling very stuck in the world as of late:

Me, I’m a stay at home mama with the coolest 2 1/2 year old ever, exactly where I want to be right now.  But, Jake works full time, many days late into the evening, and I get pretty lonely while he’s away.  On top of that, we only have the one car, so if Jake takes it to work, I’m here, all day, all night, just me and Doodle.  If I choose to take Jake to work so I can get out of the house, I almost always have to go get him as well.  That involves getting a sleeping Doodle out of his bed at 10:45 at night to put him in the carseat, driving the fifteen minutes to Jake’s work, waiting for upwards of twenty minutes for Jake to come out, and driving home to tuck Doodle back in bed around 11:30-ish.  Not the best sleeping structure for him, on top of the fact that our night temps hover in the low teens currently, and that’s just really effing cold to take Doodle out in, regardless of how many blankets I’ve got him bundled in.

So Jake takes the car, I stay home, and I try to cook and clean and enjoy some downtime those nights.  But as much of a recluse as I appear to be most days, I really love company.  We’re pretty darn socially awkward, Jake and I, so there’s really not a lot of friends involved.  Don’t get me wrong, what friends we do have are freaking awesome and amazing, and my life would be super sad without any one of them.  But they’ve got lives, they don’t all live close to us, and it’s none of their responsibilities to keep me company while hubby is away.  And my family is scattered, closest to me is about an hour away, so little stopby visits are pretty few and far between.

So I stay lonely those nights, a lack of motivation to do my duties starts to creep in, and I often just sit around wishing I had a car, a roommate, a husband who worked days, an on-call babysitter who would watch my sleeping little man while I went out and visited with friends, or sometimes even just a part-time job.  Something, anything, that would help me get rid of some of this cabin fever.

Then there’s Jake, he works in youth treatment, has been in the treatment field for over 4 years.  Loves his work, loves his kids, awesome stuff.  But when he started at his current company almost two years ago, he was told he could advance as far as supervisory levels without any schooling.

Backstory: my hubby hated school, dropped out in 10th grade, got his “good enough diploma,” did under-the-table construction work, sang in a metal band, and did a lot of drugs until he “grew up” and started his current career in treatment.  Now, Jake and I have been together for almost 10 years, friends for about two years prior, I was effing off most of that time right along with him.  I hold no resentment over him not getting his shit together thus far, but the fact remains that we are here and the real world is indeed very real.

So he got his first promotion in 7 months on the floor, same duties of maintaining structure and safety for his kiddos, but also helping train and develop new and less experienced staff.  Awesome, he’s great at his job.  So another few months goes on, and all of his supervisors are trying to mold him into the next one to join their ranks.  All is going great, he’s about to hit a pretty substantial level cap, and we can work on progression later.

So, if you know anything about the treatment field, you know that regulations change.  Wouldn’t you know, and truly no exaggerations here, the very week a supervisor position opens up that he can apply for, new regs required supervisors to have at least 60 college credit hours.  No ifs, ands, or buts.  No way around it unless you had been grandfathered in already.  The very week HIS promotion became available.  What’s worse is the college doesn’t even have to be in the treatment field.  Doesn’t even have to be a degree.  You could have delivered pizzas the last decade and have taken 60 credit hours of electives ranging from photography to belly dancing to underwater basket weaving, and you’re obviously more qualified to supervise the kids and staff than someone with four years in the field and no college.

So, Jake has now jumped into high gear, and has enrolled in college.  At 27 years old, father of a toddler, working full time, he will try to get a BA in three years.  It’s not even that supervisor position he’s got his sights on anymore.  No, he’s going for the gold.  I’m grateful that something lit a fire under his butt, but I’m not happy with his feeling of being completely and utterly stuck for at least the next year and a half.  Stuck and overwhelmed.  Solely providing for our family, feeling like it’s not enough and he can’t do anything about it without dedicating another 40+ hours a week to higher education.  I wish I could just take all of those feeling away for him.

And now that he’s working on chipping away at his landlocked state, there’s no way in the world we’d have the time in the day for me to be able to help with the bills with a part-time job, I’ll have even less of an opportunity to get out of the house as he’ll be at school and work so much, and I’ll see even less of him, adding to that loneliness factor of mine.

I thought I was landlocked when my family moved from Florida to Colorado 13 years ago.  I felt crazy stuck by all of these mountains surrounding me.  Where was my endless ocean?  Yeah, I had no idea what I was talking about then.  In 3 years, I better get an entire beach to myself!  And as many friends as can fit are all invited!

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4 responses »

  1. Hey girlie!! No joke, Cain and I are in the exact position that you and Jake are in. I work full time and go to school full time and Cain stays at home with Merrick. Cain was going to school but is on a break right now. I will be getting my Associates around June and (hopefully) my Bachelors about a year or so from that. I am doing all of my schooling online, which helps not having to go to classes but very often, I get home from work and get right on the computer to do homework or pull out my camera to complete a shooting assignment (getting my degree in photography). I do have a day job but this last week I have been working late, very late! One of our biggest problems is that we have zero friends here in Atlanta, we have my sister and Beau, but they work nights so we don’t get to see them very much. School was helping Cain’s cabin fever but he is really wanting to get a job, if only a part time job; but with this Merrick will have to go into daycare. Call me if you want to talk about this, I know we are far from each other, but we can still support each other from afar.

    • Yeah, we do need to chat. It’s been a while. 🙂 Funny how insanely similar our situations are. Jake’s going to try to do some school online, but all we have is the tablet right now and we’ll have to wait until mid- to late-February before our tax returns or any student loans would be able to come in before we can buy a real computer, so we’re not sure how we’ll do that.

      Then there’s the part-time job for me, we’d need another car, which we cannot afford, and Doodle would also need to get in daycare, which we cannot afford AND don’t want, so it’s really just a terrible idea that would make more bills than I could help with. :/

  2. I want to cry for you reading this. While we’re not identical, there are quite a few parallels in our lives. I think one of the biggest challenges for me has been trying to be a “quality” mom at those moments where I just want to sit on the couch and stare into space. It makes me feel so guilty if I can’t find at least one neat and somewhat enriching activity each day we’re home-bound. I broke down and bought a bunch of arts and crafts stuff at Michael’s (lots of Xmas crap on sale, so cheap AND we get a jump on gifts for next year) a few days ago and that has helped this week. But at least I have Monday to look forward to, when I can once again go to work and be at the office 3 days a week (until maternity leave). Hang in there and vent as much as you need to!!

    • Oh yeah, I feel you there! Those “bad mommy” moments where you just want to relax all day and keep cartoons on to occupy the little one. Those days you never look at a single letter or number, never touch a single crayon. Yeah, I’m there much more often than I’d like to be. I need to get back into some crafts and activities more regularly. Might help break up the monotony of everything. There are other factors that make me feel incredibly stuck, just not quite publicly bloggable factors, I think you know what I mean there. Hopefully if some of those factors start getting ironed out as well, and maybe more structure, could get better. 🙂

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