Friday, March 6, 2009

Portrait: Parker, Colorado

I live in a typical suburban area, where there are more stay at home Mom's then working Mom's. I see these SAHM's standing on the corner of my neighborhood relaying the latest gossip they heard at the nail salon, gym, or hair salon, as I drive home from work. You see, I don't fit in here. I am not a SAHM. I am a working Mom. My political views don't match those of my neighborhood, town, or even county. In our local elections, if you put an (R) after your name, you are sure to get elected, even if no one knows who you are. I am not against the SAHM's in my neighborhood, however, I feel that they are against me. How can she go to work everyday? How can she leave the care of her child up to someone else? Truth is... I intimidate them. They are jealous. I am my own person. I am not dependent on anyone else.

I work. I work hard. I work in the construction industry, and we tend to feel the economic crisis more so then others. When you can't get bank loans, you can't build a building. If you can't build a building, you definitely don't need anyone to design that building for you. If you don't need a design, you don't need me. I work for a small consulting firm, and we are weathering this crisis very well. In fact, some say, we are on top of the wave right now. Thank you to President Obama for releasing a stimulus package that is creating projects in my state. Thank you to my Governor for accepting this stimulus money, and realizing what it can do for the local economy. These are projects that I get to work on. These projects are what is keeping me employed right now. I just keep hoping that wave doesn't crash into the rocks anytime soon.

I go to work everyday. So does my husband. By doing this, we can afford to send our 2 year old goes to "school" everyday (as she calls it). We can afford to go to Vegas for the weekend to celebrate a friend's birthday. We can afford the luxuries that we want. I can still put away money every month for my daughter's college education. We are STILL investing in the stock market. We are not behind on our mortgage. We have small manageable debts for car loans, student loans and the like. Does that mean we aren't concerned with the economy and our finances? Absolutely not. We watch where our money goes. We use coupons. We wait for big ticket items to go on sale before purchasing them.

I don't fit in here.

Lately, it appears as if the gossip circle is getting smaller. I do have one friend that is a member of the circle. She has relayed to me that a couple of the SAHM's are having to go out and find jobs to help support the family. Their husbands have been laid off, required to take a salary cut, or work reduced hours. The other SAHM's are helping out by watching their kids for them while at work. I am starting to look less intimidating to them. They are becoming more independent.

So the economic crisis - how is this effecting me? I haven't changed the way I live my life. I have always watched where my money went. I have always made sure that I can afford the things that we have with the money that we make. However, remember? I don't fit in here, but I may be starting to.

Parker, Co.