One of the many awesome things about my husband is that he is a communicator. I rarely think, "Hmmm, I wonder how HE feels about xyz," because I likely have heard a 30 minute conversation on the pros, cons, and spiritual side of everything. As a truck driver, sometimes all we have is the phone, and boy do we use it. Sprint PCS is losing money on us, hahaha.
So imagine my surprise when Mr. R sprung a new one on me over the weekend. We were driving to go grocery shopping. It's almost like a date now, because the kids are old enough to stay home while we shop. Sometimes we'll get lunch before we go, but not always. Being the parents of teenagers is interesting in a way that I didn't expect, but I'm rolling with it.
Anyway, he asked me when I was ready to go back to school. (For those of you who don't know, I took a breather from Herzing U for the summer. Awesome school, nothing is wrong with them, I just felt like I was falling apart.) Surprisingly, I miss school. I've always been a bit nerdy and really love learning new things. I could totally see myself as a professional student, always taking a class of some sort in order to broaden my horizons, even into my older years. So I told Mr. R, "I'll be ready by autumn, September/October-ish." He nodded and said, "I am so over truck driving." Ummm, yes, the entire family is over the truck driving. We miss him tremendously. He asked me when I set to graduate. It *was* April 2011, but now that I've taken a few months off, I'm assuming it will be December 2011. I am only taking one class at a time, since I do work full time and have children to care for. Then he said something sort of strange. "How much money will you make once you're working in that field?" Well, gosh, I don't really know. I'm already in my field, and I make (hush hush) about $30,000 per year. Not great, but not awful, especially for Central Florida. Of course, with a degree, I could move into a more profitable area of the hospital, and possibly make more, but that is hard to say.
Then he dropped the bomb. "When you get a new job, I'm probably going to quit truck driving and stay home."
Once I changed my drawers, we talked a bit more. He really misses me, misses the kids. Misses going to church and making plans with his friends. I definitely get that. But one salary in Central Florida is really not going to cut it. I know people who do it, and I know it can be done, but if you have one mishap, you're sunk. We've been there before, which is why I had to declare bankruptcy after my car accident in 2002. We were living paycheck to paycheck, and even with health insurance, the medical bills from my minor accident sunk us. I don't like living that way. I've been poverty-poor my entire childhood, and it's not a fun way to live. I don't ever expect to get rich, but poverty blows. I'm not interested. Mr. R grew up the same way I did, so we both have that background of devastating poverty.
Our plan, at this point, is in the next two and a half years, to get completely out of debt except for my student loans and the house. To get whatever work done on the house as possible (I have a list of 26 more things I want. Not all of them are major, but they all take money.) Then, I will find something better at the hospital, and he can take a part time driving job or something else to make up the difference.
With him being home, he can really concentrate on rocking our garden to the limit, and that will also make up for lack of cash.
Maybe we can finally be a full time family.