I recently started a new job off the books to make some kind of cash. It is a job that’s part of someone else’s dream. They started their own business and I figured better than doing nothing. So for now I’m working as a secretary in a real estate company. I enjoy the part where I help people. But this temporary job is not quite meeting my needs financially or emotionally. Plus, the same problem arises: child care.

And I can’t help but stress over what will happen this upcoming September with the kids’ school. Before Covid, my son’s school offered after-school programs, so I could be at work until the end of the day and then pick him up. But now they’re only offering after-school online. That doesn’t help me at all, because my son still needs to get home from school, which is like an hour away, and I’m not comfortable with him doing that alone.  I am looking for other jobs but I fear that I won’t be accommodated for the kids’ school schedule as well as needing time off for my son’s dental appointments every six weeks.

I guess I’m still not happy. It’s not always clear to me if I’m just stressed or unhappy with my job. It’s a little bit of everything. All the uncertainty. I don’t regret leaving my last job but I feel stuck. I feel like I’m going backwards. What I’d really like to do is use my experiences as a youth in foster care, and then as a working adult, to help kids in care get ready for being out on their own. But most of those jobs require a degree and I only have one year of college. And because of lack of childcare, even if an opportunity arises, could I even go for it?

Every time I do apply for jobs I also feel discouraged because I really don’t qualify for much. I realize how unskilled I really am. And I’m only getting older. I’m already 29.

These past few months I have been feeling hopeless, stressed and very anxious. The hardest thing is not my feelings but having to hide my feelings from the kids. Even from the world.