Several weeks ago, my husband brought up an uncomfortable topic: What would I do if (Heaven forbid) something happened to him?
Despite being a topic I’d prefer to entirely avoid, it was something that really needed to be discussed.
Of course he has insurance, but not much. But even if he upped the amount, we’d be eating through it in no time!
The kids are 7 years old – six more years until they can legally be home alone. If I worked, I’d have to pay for afterschool care.
I’ve been out of the workforce for so long and would most likely have to start at minimum wage/entry level again. I’d be lucky if I made enough to pay for the kids’ afterschool care!
Going back to my original career as travel agent isn’t really an option. Travel agents are practically obsolete these days. And quite honestly, I’ve always disliked secretarial/file-clerk work whenever I had to temp as such.
Possibly going back to school now might be a good idea. I could finish my B.A. in English degree that I was halfway done with, maybe switch it over to a teaching certificate, but from what I’ve been hearing lately about the increasing rates of job dissatisfaction among teachers due to the core curriculum, that didn’t sound too appealing.
One thing was clear though, waiting until my kids were of home-alone age (I’d be graduating at age 55 then!) or my husband croaked, was idiotic. I’d be having to contend with grieving, my kids grieving, loss of income – nope. That would not be the best time to start back to school.
So now I’m back in school while the kids are at theirs! I’ve decided to switch my major over entirely to a B.S.W. – a bachelor’s degree in Social Work.
I’d be able to help people,and the forecasted job growth is pretty huge. There’s so many people currently in that field that are set to retire in the next few year; there’s not much chance I’d be obsoleted out of another career, and a lot of the classes I’ve already taken can still be applied to my new major.
And here I am, 46, and back in class again! And it’s been pretty interesting so far. I seem to blend in, even though the majority of other students are still in their teens. I’ve gotten several lovely compliments on my purple hair (next season, I’m trying out red), my sci-fi-themed t-shirts, and when I mention that I gave birth to twins, most people’s eyes sorta glaze over in disbelieving awe.
It’ll probably take me some time to graduate – I’ve got to fit my classes in around my kids’ schedule, can’t take classes in the summer, unless they’re online (and supposedly the university I’ll be transferring to won’t accept online classes – go figure!), but now’s a good time to start getting things done.
But you can’t wait until it’s crunch time. So yeah, it may be skin-crawl-inducing to think about such things, but the best time to prepare for worst-case-scenarios is right now.
So have that conversation with your significant other. Get that out of the way while you can make level-headed, well-thought-out decisions. Don’t leave it until the last minute.
Doesn’t matter whether your a stay-at-home caregiver, or a dual-income family. You’ve got to make sure there’s a game-plan to put into play if one of you gets drop-kicked through the pearly gates ahead of schedule.