During my freak out moments about money these days, thank goodness for the positive posts I've been reading on WorkItMom.com. According to many of you, this economic crisis is actually good for freelancers. In the Cornered Office, Mir writes:
"Freelancing is one of those industries that booms in times of financial instability, because we're a lot cheaper than payroll staff. So while many people I know are entering dire financial straits, right now, my business is booming."
Reading Mir's post made me feel very hopeful. Until two companies let me go a few days later.
Clearly, Mir is doing something right. I want to know: What am I doing wrong?
Why isn't business booming for me, too?
All of my textbook editors have emailed me to say projects are frozen. A magazine I've been contributing to regularly just folded. The same day THAT HAPPENED, another regular writing gig I've had for a year let me -- and a handful of others -- go in a mass email.
Then my 8-year-old said, "It's not fair! Everyone has a Nintendo DS except me."
First, I reminded her that I'm anti-Nintendo. Kids are so inundated with media these days. After school, I want Mae to have "down time" to play, read, and draw -- and do homework.
Second, I told her that money is tight.
"Aren't your books selling?" Mae asked.
"I only have one," I said.
"Then write more!" she demanded.
That's when I tried to explain the current economic crisis to Mae, the best I could.
Her eyes got big. "But Mommy, if there isn't enough money, why can't the government just make more money in their big machines?"
Good question, kid. Are there any economist-moms who can help me explain this one?
But Mae didn't stop there.
"And why can't the stores make the prices lower?" she asked. "Everyone would be able to buy things."
I tried to explain to Mae that there are certain rules about money in our country, and everyone needs to follow them.
"I still think they should change the rules," Mae said.
But interestingly, our money talk got her thinking.
Last night, she said, "Mommy, do you know how one of my chores is to always put my dirty clothes in the hamper?"