Show Me The Money.

By Christina Michael


After my six-year hiatus to raise my two sons, I am now attempting to on-ramp. So many people have asked me the “million dollar” question: “Why are you going back?” Hmm. What a difficult question with absolutely no simple answer.


Even if you are a Rockefeller, raising a family this day in age is costly. When it costs three dollars for a latte and $10 to $20 per hour for a babysitter, it is difficult for anyone to save money for college, housing, cars, and even a “date night” here and there (even if it is just two burritos ($10), two movie tickets ($20), and a babysitter (at least $60)). Thus, the reason I began trying to “on ramp” was to “Show Me the Money.” Or so I thought.




In my attempt to on ramp under the guise of making a little more money, I learned that it was for far more than the money. I am a well-educated, professional woman that has so much to offer society and to contribute to the economy (both the

US economy and my household economy). In addition, on-ramping perhaps will equalize the “playing field” in my house. It has become a little bit tiring for me to pause before each purchase, both big and small, because I do not work (yea, right, raising two little boys is not “work”). Also, because I have not earned a paycheck for six years, I have made many of my purchases secondary to everyone else’s in my family. So maybe making money, even if it is not a lot, will have the positive effect of letting me feel more entitled to buy things for myself and will equalize the playing field.




Last, but certainly not least, I know that, if my mom were still alive, she would be so very proud of me if I chose to go back to work. Whether it was when I was practicing law, or when I was growing up with one of my many odd jobs (camp counselor, babysitter, flower sales person, pasta maker at the local Italian restaurant, dental assistant, restaurant hostess, and caterer, to name a few), my mom was always beaming with joy about me and for me. My sisters and I were living her dream of being independent, smart, tough, hardworking, and effective women. Writing this even makes me more excited, alive, and happy about my journey to the on ramp.





I was laid off almost a year ago from my part time position. Now I'm trying to on-ramp to a full time job with no success! I have a degree and 10 years experience in my field as a paralegal, but every employer balks after learning I was part time before - everyone assumes I won't/can't make a full time commitment.


I am trying on ramp myself and it is difficult. My need to fulfill my own needs of having something of my own after 8 years at home simply depresses me as I try to find others who are at the same point in there lives so I have someone to share these challenges with. I recently got my Real Estate license and am trying to break into the business but of course with the current market it is not easy I also feel weighed down by the kids being home for summer. I hope the up coming year will prove benficial. I have applied to a coupke of other posititons to see if I could be dual career for a bit as well...we'll see what happens!


As you look to on ramp, I'm looking to off ramp. My kids are in school now, but I still feel that life is going by too fast. Like you, earning an income provides me w/ a sense of security and worth. I don't think I can quit cold turkey and give that all up, but certainly slowing down to part-time will give me the balance, yet security, I dream of. In the end, the most important thing is doing what makes you happy. Make sure you find a job that fulfills you and is more than just a "paycheck."


on ramping in the slow lane? me too. Where is that diamond lane? Shouldn't my doctorate and years of industry experience buy me something besides incredibly low paying scut work? please keep writing. I've only been trying to get back in the work force for 3 months, but your articles are keeping my nerves and sense of humor up and running.


I totally admire the on-ramper and I've heard how tough it can be. I'm just now back to work as an attorney three days-a-week (which ends up being about 35 hours!) from a six month leave, but I hope to off-ramp for a few years when we decide to have a second child. So I'll be watching your story closely, and routing for you along the way!


I never took a significant leave. Actually, I launched career and family simultaneously and never felt as though there were an option to go on hiatus (as much as I wished for the option).

But I can relate to the need to use your talents in the workplace, and to contribute the cash. Some things are just costly. Haircuts. Fall jackets. Moms sacrifice - even as one of two earners, believe me my purchases come last.

Best of luck to you getting back on that ramp for your family and your self!


One of the reasons I went back to work after twelve years at home with my three children was to have some spending money of my own. That and the fact that I would be able to be a more productive member of society, i.e. have something more to talk about than which child painted the den (and dog) with peanut butter and how I was able to clean up said peanut butter (it took a long time after that before I would get near a jar of PB!).