Tuesday, September 27, 2011

What do I want to do?

Since I was a kid the only thing I have ever wanted to be was a mom.  When asked the obligatory, growing-up question, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" I was the weirdo kid that answered, "a mommy". When I went to college and was supposed to decide what I wanted to be I instead, studied what I liked and knew.  I started out studying music (I was an avid pianist) and then changed to Fashion Design (I loved sewing). What did I want to be? Happy, I wanted to be happy doing things I loved.

I wish I had been thinking with more of an eye to the future when I was in college.  I wish instead of asking, "What do you want to be?" I had been asked, "What do you want to do. When your kids are grown . . . when prices are high . . . when your husband's job doesn't pay quite what it used to. What do you want to do to pay off your student loans and to pay for a trip home to visit family?"

Though I just graduated a few months back (December 2010) I finished all my major studies while I was still studying on campus way back in 1996. My emphasis was in pattern making and construction. While in school I worked at bridal shops and in tailoring departments.  I had an unofficial internship as a pattern maker and sample seamstress with a start-up mail order catalog company.  I have used my skills throughout the years for a few extra bucks here and there but it really doesn't pay a lot of money and I really don't want to sit over a sewing machine all day making or fixing clothes for people: $12 for cuffs, $15 to take in a seam, $30 to resize a pattern.  I can't sit still long enough for that. Plane tickets cost 240 cuffs, there aren't that many cuffs to be done in Laie.

Dave has suggested for years that we start our own clothing company.  He has always had big dreams of starting a line of beach/surf wear (He's talked about it since 1994 way before we ever dreamed we'd be in Hawaii).  That would be cool, I guess.  But I just don't have the confidence in my abilities to take on a project like that.  I wouldn't know where to start, don't feel I have the eye for design, and would of course worry about the cost of it all.

Dave, always full of great ideas, has also suggested that I could open a bakery and sell my bread, cinnamon rolls, buns, pizza crust, cookies, and everything else I'm good at cooking.  A great compliment but that just sounds like so much more work and it would take all the fun out of cooking for my own family. Another one of his very complimentary and very big ideas is opening a Tri-tip Sandwich cart or truck and selling plate lunches and dinners off of it. That would be great too, and I doubt I could ever get sick of eating our mean tri-tip sandwiches but that would require work in the afternoon and evenings when my kids are home. Working when the kids are at home is a non-negotiable. I refuse to have latch-key kids.

Another thing I loved as a kid was writing.  Sadly I did not study this in college because it would be a great job for a mom.  Write and research and edit and write all while the kids are at school and then back to the kids in the afternoon.  Yes that would be good.  It would be fun to write children's books, juvenile fiction, a cook book.  I have a cute idea for a beginning sewing book for tweens inspired by Afton. I'd love to write a book on couponing, saving money, gardening, anything. I don't necessarily know everything I'd need to to write a book but I certainly wouldn't mind taking the time to research. I guess just because I didn't study English doesn't mean I couldn't write; however, it does take a few years to write, edit and publish a book and then it has to sell before you get any money. This is especially true for beginning writers. Unfortunately, I can't wait that long to pay October and November's rent.

I had been playing with the idea of substitute teaching for a few years thinking that I could use the spare moolah to pay off my student loans (yes, I've still got students loans. blahk!) That, in fact, was one of the reasons why I decided I HAD to finish my degree . . . I wanted to at least contribute to paying off my own personal debt and substitutes in Washington state must have a degree. Turns out in Hawaii they do too. Substituting seems like a natural progression from my years of volunteer service in the schools.  Also substitute teaching has the same hours, generally speaking, as  the kids.  I would leave about the same time, get home about the same time and have the same days off. Substitute teaching here in Hawaii pays about $150 per day --that's 12.5 cuffs--for subs with a Bachelor's degree.  They pay more if you've got your teaching certificate. I wish I had my teaching certificate.

It's hard to say that I want to be a teacher.  I'd rather stay at home couponing, gardening, cleaning and sewing-- wouldn't we all?  But I do work well with kids.  I can start as soon as I pass clearance--hopefully just another week or so. The hours work with my family's schedule.  The pay is decent. And I do want to make sure that we can afford to fly back to the mainland to visit by 2013.

I might still do some sewing and writing on the side. Just for fun.


  1. Have you considered doing child care? I know...big surprise coming from me, but teachers have children, ya know. Their hours are about the same as your children's school hours. Go to the schools and let them know you are available. I don't know what Hawaii's licensing requirements would be, but even here in Washington, you may watch one child without a license. Something to consider, AND you get to stay home and do the things that you normally get to do. Good luck...

  2. I can totally relate to this post. I majored in interpersonal communication because education seemed to restrictive (only one possible job prospect), psychology required an advanced that I didn't want to get, theater wasn't "practical", and what could you do with an English major? I just wanted to be a mommy :)

    Now that we live in expensive Hawaii, it seems necessary for me to get a job. At BYUH you can teach English 101 if you have a bachelor's degree in English. It is the perfect part time gig and I think I would really like it, but now I would have to get a Master's in English... Luckily, we were able to move into this house with room that we can rent out. I can't imagine trying to get a Master's while homeschooling the kids, but once they graduate...


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