Saturday, February 18, 2012

Both Ends of the Candle

I'm no stranger to work. By the time I was ten, I was regularly doing double duty - one of the top in my year at school despite company apprentice-level daily ballet class and rehearsals. At boarding school it was more of the same. University meant scheduling classes early so that I could make company class, rehearsals and evening performances.

When I hung up my pointe shoes to see what "normal" life felt like, I took on a fun yet tiring regular weekend job as an assistant wedding coordinator in addition to my nine-to-five weekday work. By 2003, I was three-timing - teaching the New York City Ballet workout twice a week in the evenings after work and doing weddings on weekends. As a young singleton, I enjoyed this productive work and the extra income. Big A and I spent enough time together in spite of it all.

By the time Little A came along, I traded all of this for full-time motherhood. But two years ago my mum opened her shop, and it all began again - this time I was working wife and mum.

Lately, with the exponential increase in Little A's therapy hours (and corresponding exponential increase in therapy fees), both Big A and I have had to take on any and every extra income opportunity to make ends meet. Our cost of living has doubled, so in addition to the new business he started last year, Big A's gone back to investing in the stock market and is looking into getting back into it, part-time.

I've taken on a couple of weddings, and am working double time getting more corporate accounts for my mum's business as we're attempting to get into the black this year. Naturally, there's been cost cutting on some fronts - no shopping for me beyond groceries, nor book buying beyond a small fixed amount per month. I've got to start packing lunches, or at least snacks, as the minimal amount I sometimes need to spend to stop from keeling over with hunger while Little A is at school still adds up.

There have been little treats though - coupon purchases for discounted meals, a subscription to a theatre company's season ticket. So the belt tightening hasn't been all gloom and doom. Plus there's Lent coming, when making sacrifices is the thing to do. As long as we keep our heads above water and our health intact, we'll be okay.


ChichaJo said...

I feel for you! I am certainly no stranger to that -- both juggling multiple shifts and being on a budget! And yes, that's when creativity can really help :) Miss you!

Stepford Mum said...

I miss you too, Jo! Let's get together soon :)