It started as a drip in the corner of the living room. Whenever it rained they put a big stainless steel bowl under it.
No way they had the money to get the roof fixed.
Four years ago, the elated young couple celebrated their first home purchase with champagne. DINK (double income no kids) life was good. Reasonable loan rate in a decent neighborhood.
They weren’t making a ton of money, but they owned a cute house, and had a little fun money left over every month.
The meager surplus started to dry up the day Kaitlyn was born.
Now, it was a hope and pray strategy.
The roof wasn’t cooperating.
On the night of the biggest storm that monsoon season, lightning illuminated the house like a disco.
Thunder boomed. Sleep was scarce.
Even Kaitlyn, who slept like a moss-covered log, woke up a half dozen times. Crying.
The next morning was sunny. They were groggy. But, could clearly see the big bubble forming under the ceiling plaster in the corner of the living room.
How was it even possible?
Turns out a shoddy flashing job on the porch roof diverted rain into the house rather than guiding it to the gutters.
Monsoon season. West Texas. There’s always another storm looming.
House insurance didn’t cover the neglected roof.
This was going to be expensive.
Out of ideas, Amy had an uncomfortable conversation with her mom.
She loaned her the money.
Amy promised to repay ASAP.
“Sure honey. Sure thing.”
Her mom didn’t believe her. She left shaking her head, $1,300 poorer.
“Never again” Amy thought.
In a previous money panic, two months after Kaitlyn’s first birthday, Amy researched making side cash.
Network marketing kept popping up but she didn’t have the personality for Tupperware parties or proselytizing essential oils to any warm body that came within five feet of her.
She asked moms at the park for ideas.
But, their husbands were rich. Doctors. Lawyers. Corporate climbers.
Amy laughed to herself. Paul wasn’t making more money any time soon.
Competent and hard working? Yes. Self sabotaging and lacking self esteem? Even more so.
She loved Paul. He was a great dad. But, he wasn’t bringing home more bacon.
Amy knew it was up to her, though she wasn’t brimming with self confidence.
Then, she discovered the mommy blogging phenomenon!
The happy memory of getting A’s on her English papers and history assignments in high school bubbled up.
Maybe she could do this. She was mom. She could write.
But, then the glimmer of hope dimmed as she doubted she could get paid. How?
Still, she had to try it.
Long story short, 13 months later, she had eight posts on a WordPress.org blog rambling about her mothering exploits. No money.
Granted she wasn’t putting in a ton of time. Who had that kind of time?!?!
She read the mommy blog success stories. They got paid for ads on their site. Companies gave them free product for shoutouts.
She got nothing. She figured out how to put Google Ads on her site, but stopped looking at the stats after six weeks of zilch.
Her WordPress stats were equally disheartening. After 13 months she was averaging seven visitors a day. She was pretty sure her sister and aunt were two of those.
After a few more mediocre blog post attempts Amy bailed.
Maybe her daughter would be better off in the long run if she went back to work.
Would her old employer would hire her back?
Even that extra $200/month after daycare expenses, would be helpful.
“Daycare can’t be that bad.”
She stuck with it. She wanted to be there for Kaitlyn. But, that look on her mother’s face ate at her.
Before she got a “real” job and took Kaitlyn to daycare she was going to make one more solid effort to build an income from home.