Student loans have been looming over me for some years now. I have not been able to find work in any field related to my degree or even as a graduate student. I deferred and deferred until I could defer those loans no more. Freaking out, I still applied for job after job. There was no hope in sight, and then one day I signed into Facebook. There was a position at my favorite store open. I applied and really figured I had no hope because I had no formal experience of any kind in a market/kitchen setting.
I am utterly disappointed that I will not be working within school districts, libraries, archives or any other center for higher learning. Education, research, books; they have been my passion and motivation for so long. It is heart breaking to let go of a dream. I worked extremely hard to put myself to school but the state of our public school system here in Michigan is that there is no funding to put it simply. There are minimal schools with librarian/media tech positions at all. There are an overabundance of qualified teachers and school personnel without work. Education is not a priority in my State. Class sizes have swollen, students learn foreign languages from computer programs instead of instructors, disciplinary actions are more numerous and disgruntled voters are no longer supporting schools with millages. It is a sad state of affairs. Who knows, maybe I am the disgruntled one, as a parent, voter, and as one of the millions of college graduates without a job.
Ahhh, but I got the job; I am assisting a Master Cheese Maker part time. It has been an awesome learning experience so far. I am excited to try out some new things. Working part time will allow me to pay off my student debt and as we all know, I love all things sustainable so learning about cheese, the different kinds, making it, preserving it, cutting it, all of the above, is a very cool thing to me.
This past week of training and working 4 days in a row has been an eye opener. It has been a very long time since I was a working mother. I came home nightly to a trashed house. The kids, the husband, the dogs, were all against me it seemed. The dogs tore into things and made messes. The Boys, they ate and ate and ate all the food in the house but did not bother to throw away their garbage. The Husband mostly slept, but to be fair, he does work the midnight shift so that part was normal, but in the moment it just felt wrong and like everyone was against me. I even dropped my iPhone and shattered the screen completely. It has just been a crazy way to start off this new adventure.
I have a new respect for working parents and I am unaware of how they keep their households functioning. I get home at 3pm or 4pm and instantly scoop up children to run them to football practice. No good meals were prepared or eaten. I fell into the mold of grab something quick and feed it to your kids that I have been so vehemently against. I don’t want to feed my children rushed meals on the go. I do not want to send my husband off to work with his only choice being a fast- food drive thru on his way out of town. Sacrificing our shared dinner family time at my house is not an option. That is not how I want to raise my kids or live our lives. So today, I went off to the grocery store. I was on a mission. I spent today, preparing the basic chopping and putting together of meals that I can throw together on a work evening and feed my family quickly but without sacrificing nutrition for convenience. My crock pot will get its work out on my work days, that is for sure. Spaghetti night will change to a work night and the sauce is already prepared waiting. I still need to put up more corn and veggies for the winter but my freezer is looking good so far. Taco night, is also going to be a go to meal for us. It is easy to brown the meat and seasoning and set it aside in the freezer to just heat when ready.
Wish me luck in keeping it all together. I have moments when it feels pretty overwhelming to be honest but someone has to pay back Uncle Sam for my education and that someone is me, so part time work and sacrificing some free time to prepare is hopefully what will get my family back on track.