What we do for a buck…and also a real job!

When I was a little girl I had two goals: become a rock star, and a mom.

When I was a teenager I had two goals, become a Broadway star, and a mom. (Do you see a through-line?)

When dreams of fame and fortune made way for reality, momming was still a goal and I started to shape my education in a way that would be “Mom-friendly.” I asked myself when picking majors, what could I learn that would allow me to be with my future children and still contribute to the family in a monetary way?

Children came before I figured it all out. I’m a dreamer and not very practical, I married someone similar to me. Thus, children came before we could ensure my professional future or his.

It is hard to be a one income family in this day and age. Many times as we struggled through hardships, and recessions, I wished that I could take the burden off my partner’s shoulders. I took it upon myself to be frugal and decided that was what I could do at the time.

Now that the children are grown and I threw myself back into school I have been combing through the job market, the need for more income is real. Kids actually get MORE expensive the older they get. There is auto-insurance, a need for extra vehicles, missions, school, camps, and future weddings. I want to be able to help contribute to these events. I certainly expect my children to pay for some or most, but would love to help with part.

Then there are the vacations we’ve never been able to take. If there is one thing that makes me gag on Social Media it is the people that take the exotic vacations constantly. Every year they’re in Mexico or Hawaii, or Europe. I have dreamed for years of being able to take the children somewhere besides a place that is drivable in our 11 passenger van. Now they are older and time is slipping through my fingers. I am almost desperate to afford a real vacation with the kids.

Enter plasma donation…and where have you been my whole life?

I admit that I have never, not once, donated blood. My elbows are extremely sensitive and I really have to focus whenever I have blood tests. I get freaked out at the idea of a tube in my arm letting blood freely leave my body.

That is how desperate I am to take my kids on a real vacation. Did I mention I have four? Have you added the cost of six people and plane tickets, car rental, house rental, food, and sundries? It is a lot.

I gave plasma last week and I pictured our vacation the whole time. It worked. I didn’t even mind having to squeeze the blood out of my arm at intervals.

I also got a job. I am a contractor for a publishing company that is doing amazing things in the middle-grade book world. It is very part-time but also fulfilling.

As the funds slowly trickle in, I am slowly putting together an epic vacation. All while trying to pass my Math class and striving to sound organized in my English papers, and putting forth my best work for Content Creation.

The hardest part is ignoring the house falling apart around me. The kids have chores, but you know how that goes. I can’t stop and clean a room anymore, there’s no time! I don’t have time to make dinner and I rarely grocery shop. The house plants I cherish need love and care but I feel like I can only stare at them and ask them to hold on a little longer.

I know balance is elusive but I look for ways to maintain facetime with my children. I keep snacks in my room/office so they will come in and talk to me when they feel peckish. At 9pm we huddle on my bed for the “quote of the day,” and discuss what the next day holds for us.

I do miss being a full-time mom and feeling so useful in that way, but my brain loves the new challenges that come up with school and work.

Update: I went for a second time to the plasma bank, today actually, and almost fainted. It was one of the most humiliating situations to date…having the phlebotomists flock towards me, ice packs thrown around my neck, saline solution administered…anyhoo…here’s to hanging out at the nurse’s station with Powerade and a bag of Goldfish. I did sign up for another go just to see if today was a fluke. I sure hope so! My plasma donation days might be over.


3 responses to “What we do for a buck…and also a real job!”

  1. When I tried to donate plasma, they laughed their butts off when I gave my medical history. They actually brought in some trainees and had me recount my litany of crazy accidents and described why each one made me ineligible. It wasn’t the high point of my life, needless to say.


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