This tip is about 15 years too late for me. I have a Bachelor's of Business Administration in Economics and a Master's of Education in Social Studies. It seemed at the time as though these degrees would provide me with a stable income as a teacher and the ability to manage what money I actually earned. And although those things were true at one point, they aren't worth jack at this moment in my life.
What should I have studied, you ask? Any of the following fields would have been a better choice:
1. Any thing in the medical field. I spend $20 every time I can't figure out if a kid has a cold or if death is imminent. I spent $150 at the ER last Friday because I made the wrong call about Harry's breathing and the pediatrician sent me to the hospital. A nursing degree may have helped me out there. Even studying to be a witch doctor would give me some sort of confidence when I'm faced with decisions about what to feed a kid who's been projectile vomiting all over my robe for the last three hours.
2. Building contractor. One of the things I really didn't consider about stay-at-home motherhood is the fact that I have to make decisions about the never-ending home improvement projects around our money pit of a house. Our garage doors are bent? The painters discovered that the chimney is 90% rotten and needs to be replaced? Our water meter has stopped and we need to pay the difference for the last three months while we didn't notice? Anyway, if I could use a circular saw with authority and assess water damages accurately, it would make my life a lot easier.
3. Dietitian/exercise scientist. I wouldn't make any money at these while staying at home, but I could at least be aware of how many calories are in prepackaged cookie dough rounds BEFORE I eat 12 of them. And maybe I would have had some sort of defined muscles on the lower half of my body before I had kids.
I suppose that sometime in the future it may again matter that I can name all of the dynasties of China in chronological order. Or that I can explain the positive and negative qualities of the Julio-Claudian rulers of Rome. My knowledge of World War One has recently enabled me to predict events on Downton Abbey before they occur, but that's about as useful as it's gotten lately.
Charlotte did ask me if I knew who Harriet Tubman was this week and seemed awfully disappointed when I said yes, so I suppose that annoying my children will have to be my major benefit until I return to work. Or until I just become a street lecturer sharing my knowledge on downtown corners in the hopes of making a buck.
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