Dilemma

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Okay, so here’s the deal.  I don’t know if y’all remember me whining about jury duty a while back?  I was on call for the whole month of March.  Well, I got the call and had to go to the Federal court in KCMO today.

The selection took all day [as in, we got there at 0830 and didn’t get gone until 1530, um 3:30pm] I’ve got a headache from here to next week, and to top it all off, I got selected to be on the jury, and the trial may take all of next week to get through.

I probably could have gotten excused because of childcare, and probably should have since now I have to figure out what to do with them all next week.  I have to be there at 9am, so I need to leave here by 7am because it’s an hour drive with no traffic, but with the way KC is, I’ll end up stuck in traffic for eons.

I wasn’t thinking clearly about what all this means on the home front.  You see, when you have three kids, you hesitate to ask people to babysit without paying them [which is why we rarely ask, because three kids equals a lot of money even for a couple of hours].

My kids are usually well-behaved, but they have their moments, and with three of them, even the best kids can be a challenge to watch [trust me on this ;-)]  So I’m in a pickle.

We thought maybe we could farm the kids out to grandparents, but my mom didn’t sound enthused about the idea, and Steve’s mom and sister have to work, and his sister couldn’t get permission to take Shaya with her to work, so that’s out.

We’ll probably end up taking Michaela down to mom’s anyway, but it’s a three and a half hour drive, and when I suggested that they meet us half way, I got silence. [Don’t misunderstand me here, I know mom has her own stuff going on with grandma and everything, so I’m well aware that it’s an inconvenience.  I just hate feeling so damned guilty for even asking in the first place, and when she’s less than enthusiastic, it makes the guilt that much worse.]

Even if we do take Michaela to mom’s, that still leaves Shaya and Matthew.  The ideal situation would be for some kind soul to volunteer to come over to our house [so we don’t have to wake them up at the crack of dawn] and watch the kids here until Steve gets off work.

When I was mulling this crap over before I actually looked at the time it’s going to take up, I thought I’d split my jury pay with the babysitter, so they’d make $20 a day.  For three or four hours [with one or two kids] that’s decent pay in this region for babysitting.  For three kids and eight hours [or more] it’s pitiful.

We don’t have the money to pay someone a fair wage for that kind of time, and I don’t have the heart to ask anyone else to do it for free.  It’s one thing to ask grandparents since they [supposedly] live for that kind of shit, but to ask friends, none of whom have as many kids as we do, feels like I’m taking advantage.

I love my kids.  I wanted them before I got pregnant, during the hellish pregnancies, and even during post-partum depression [well, for the most part.  I never stopped loving them even when I couldn’t stand to be around them].  I still want my kids, and I don’t regret having them, but this brings home the fact that my life is not my own, and won’t be for a good long while.

Doug’s been talking about the Duggars and this women’s group called the Prairie Muffins.  Their whole goal in life seems to be becoming housewives and baby factories.  Which is fine, if that’s what make’s you happy.  But here I sit, a stay at home mother of three, and I feel overwhelmed and bogged down right now.  If I had more than the three I’ve got, I think I’d lose my mind.

Bill Cosby said

“My wife and I have five kids.  The reason we have five kids is because we do not want six.”

Yup, I can honestly say that the reason we have three kids is because we do not want four.  And that’s a change from a few years ago.  I’ll tell you about that another time, though.

For now, my head hurts, I’m exhausted and stressed out, and I want to go to bed.  So be well, dear friends.  I’ll see you tomorrow.

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About Shelbi

Work-at-home wife, mom of three kids, and caregiver for my brother, who has Cerebral Palsy. Never a dull moment, in other words. No idea how much I'll post, since I'm super busy these days, but maybe I'll get over here once in a while.

2 responses »

  1. One of the eye-popping things Michelle admitted to: how much easier it got when she got beyond six. Why? Because the first five by then had grown old enough to take care of the younger ones. See, she’d hit upon her “system” by then. Nurse the brat until he is weaned, then foist him onto one of the other kids. That’s the “buddy system” for you — a thorough abdication of parental responsibility. Or, looked at another way, the older Duggar children are robbed of their childhoods. Now do you understand why I rail against the Duggars every chance I get?

  2. Yup. I watched the first story about them, but we got rid of our DirecTV last week so I missed the second bunch, but I remember feeling a little weird about the ‘buddy system.’ I think Michelle does the homeschooling, and building their house is a pretty interesting life experience.

    I did admire how organized they were since that’s one of the things I’m horrible at, but the thing that got me as I was watching it was this. Here is this family who is financially independent having all these kids. Strictly speaking, I say, to each his own. They don’t seem to be physically abusing the kids, although some might argue that they are mentally abusive, or at least neglectful. I’m not sure if that’s the case or if they’re just weird, you know?

    The one thing that kept nagging at me, though [and I fully admit I’m being judgmental as hell here] is the fact that they keep bringing new babies into the world when there are literally millions of homeless, unloved children all over the globe. I kept thinking that if I had their money, I’d be adopting babies from China, and Africa, and anywhere else I could, just to give some of those kids the love they so desperately need.

    If Steve and I are ever financially okay [har har… that means when we win the Lottery or Publisher’s Clearing House…] and if we decide to have any more kids, we’ll adopt them. Labor and delivery is the easiest thing in the world compared to the nightmares that are my pregnancies, so I’m D-O-N-E done!

    For others, I dunno, though. I totally understand the desire to have kids of your own. I mean heck, I have three, but if you’ve been blessed financially, and you’re able to love children that you didn’t give birth to, then adoption is a win-win. But then, my brain works that way, and the thought of any babies suffering breaks my heart.

    So I’m tempted to rail at the Duggars and the Prairie Muffins for a completely different reason, Doug, but I get why they annoy you.;-)

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