Get a Job

Why don't you just get a job? 

I've heard this several times over the past few weeks. I'm assuming the people who said it to me are concerned with our financial situation (trust me, I am, too!).

I have mentioned to my husband my need to add income to our family finances several times over the past few months, and have been set straight by both him and my body.

I have a full time job managing my health, working with my two autism spectrum children, my child with autoimmune issues, and my other two children and their quirks. This includes researching illnesses, medications and treatment options; scheduling and attending appointments; getting to various tests and medical procedures; keeping prescriptions current; maintaining a stock of supplements; and making sure each of us takes the proper medications and supplements each day. I work with my Aspie kids on behavioral and life skills, I get infusions every five weeks, and deal with side effects and the damage disease has already done to my body on a daily basis.  

I have a full time job homeschooling my children. We unschool, which, for us, means a big investment of my time lining up educational opportunities, gathering materials that help our children follow their current passions, driving children to and from various activities, answering myriad questions a day, and helping each child with whatever they might need whenever they need it. This includes doing math in the car, interrupting housework to research the answer to a random question which then leads to an hour or two of exploring a topic, or running to the store to get items needed for a scientific experiment.

I have a part time job volunteering. I teach two to three classes at homeschool co-op; work with a few awesome women to run the co-op; am on the Tuesday Night Sunday School Planning Team; sing in our church choir; am on the Mutual Ministry committee at church; and help put together our church's Christmas Pageant. I am a La Leche League Leader, taking calls daily and holding monthly meetings ... and I also run the silent auctions for LLL of CT's annual conferences; am an administrator on the Living with Psoriatic Arthritis message board; and participate in giving opportunities like New Beginnings (providing low income school children with clothes for back to school - I get to use my frugal skills and other people's money to clothe as many children as possible!) and Operation Christmas Child. All of these I can do at my own pace, in my own time, for the most part. 

I have a part time job taking care of our household, from housework to finances to scheduling - it's up to me to keep us organized. I clip coupons, find the best deals, scour thrift shops for needed items, barter, trade, and do whatever I can within my power to save as much money as I can while meeting my family's needs. I pack for vacations and weekends away, for Summer Camp, and for Thanksgiving in Pennsylvania. I deal with various food allergies and issues, preparing meals that will work for as many family members as possible.
I battle exhaustion and pain daily in order to accomplish all of the above, which is a job in and of itself.

I know many people living with chronic illness for whom regular employment isn't possible. For some, just living with their illness is a full time job with too much overtime (as mine is at times). So instead of asking why we don't just get a job, please assume that we would love to if we could.

As for me... Forget getting a job. I might need to hire someone to help me with the ones I already have!


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