Monday, April 2, 2012

A Family Milestone: The First Job

As noted here, over Spring Break, D1 ran into a bit of a money crunch. It’s an awful and helpless realization knowing one of your kids is broke. My brother even asked if he could offer her money. Her grandparents wanted to wire her money, but we made our position clear and no one bailed her out. 
In high school D1 had a couple of families she would babysit for a few times a month. They paid her well....VERY WELL, sometimes to the tune of over $20 per hour. (Luckily, D2 inherited the jig after D1 left for college. She loves the pay, but hates her little wards call her by D1’s name.) However, D1 never held a “real” job. It wasn’t for lack of trying. She filled out job applications, but with the economy in the dumps, retailers weren’t jumping at the opportunity to hire high school students.
When D1 went off to college and we were trying to decide a monthly allowance for her, Doc H and I were at odds with regards to whether or not D1 should work during her freshman year. I worked my freshman year and, in hindsight, it helped with time management, kept me focused, kept me out of too much trouble and helped with my expenses. Doc H disagreed. He wanted to give D1 everything neither of us had in college; an opportunity to fully concentrate on studies. He did not want her to worry about finances or take time away from the books.
I went along with it despite my gut screaming at me, “She’s going to have too much time during this transition and time of NEW-FOUND FREEDOM!!!” But, what could I do? I’m just the step-mom. If it were D3 (my daughter), I would have lowered the boom and made a job a requirement. But, again, it wasn’t my call.
Now, with no extra money to bail her out and her savings dwindling, D1 took it upon herself to get a job. I am so proud of her!  It is a family milestone-- our first kid with a real job! One step closer to independence! She was giddy with excitement when she called with the news she would be working 3 nights a week as a restaurant hostess close to campus. 
D1 had a meeting with her academic counselor to review her schedule and declare a major. She mentioned she had just secured a part-time job. Her counselor told her that was fantastic. In fact, he told her college students tend to do better in school when they are working. She shared this information with Doc H.
Imagine my disbelief upon hearing Doc H (Mister "I don't think D1 should have to get a job and worry about money") share all this news with my father, and at the end, tag on, “I think it’ll be really good for her to be working. It will help keep her focused on her studies.”
Somebody help me pick my jaw up off the floor, would ‘ya?Oh, how I wanted to scream, “EXCUSE ME???!!!!! I’ve been saying she should get a job from the moment we shipped her car out there! Where's my credit? Where's my 'You were right!'” However, I sat there and bit my tongue. This one just wasn’t worth it. In the end, it worked out how I thought it should. I know Doc H realizes it. All I really care about is D1’s success. 
It would be nice if I heard a “You were right", but I'm not going to hold my breath. Doc H brought me flowers on Thursday just like he does almost every Thursday (I'm spoiled, I know). This week I'm calling them my "you were right" flowers. He just doesn't know it. But, who cares? It works for me!


  1. Hah - we women are always right!

    Eldest son went to Uni and held three different part-time jobs and he grew because of it. (And still ?borrowed from the bank of mum and dad!)

    I am certain your Thursday flowers were of the "you were right" variety!

    Anna :o]

    1. What age does the bank of mum and dad close? Just curious..

  2. My D1, my only D was raised by a poor single mom and was blessed with a job at a local restaurant during her junior year in high school. Because she is a high achiever she was made assistant manager before she graduated from high school and was given a position in the big city store when she went to the university. She is now a manager at that store. It has been nothing but a blessing for her. She has been offered a paid summer internship with Disney which is great because her major is Film Marketing. Education is wonderful, but the goal of education is being able to get a job. The sooner they learn that, the better.

  3. Oh, I still don't know. I sometimes help out my older son who is in the military because finances get tight. I am also paying D's car insurance and I will pay her phone bill this month because of unexpected bills. Sorry, I was helped along the way. I feel I should pay it forward.

  4. haha all men are the same that way. It has to be their idea, even if we've already brought it up ;) I worked part time when in University and paid my own way. It was WELL worth it. I learned a lot because of it and it kept me focused and I learned early on how to budget. And appreciate what I was working towards!


  5. My oldest is a junior in high school and we give her an allowance for doing the things we ask of her when we ask and with no attitude (ha, ha and HA). We felt she wasn't academically advanced enough to handle a job while in school. She has taken it upon herself to get a nanny job with a family that only needs her when the fire fighter husband is on duty (on 24 off 48) and working as a special events product vendor for a local holistic dog food store. I do believe it is working to her benefit as I see her doing better with time management and using a little more caution when spending her money. She'll need to do more during the summer and when she transitions to college but for right now us paying her way is best.

    Wow, ramble much? Sorry!

    Good for you I'm sure not sending her more money was a difficult thing to do.

    Thanks for linking up with us!

  6. I totally agree! I am in my junior year of college and I work full time at the Chamber of Commerce as the Events Coordinator. I absolutely love it, its giving me experience in the real world, and even though its stressful, it helps with time management because I know I can't put off my home work too much!

    I am so glad I ran across your blog on Confessions of a Semi Domesticated Mama, you are great to read!


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