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!