KARA: "Tell us about your outside job – what do you do? I know being a mom and wife and taking care of a house is full-time work. Is it hard working outside of the home as well?"
KIM: "I've been a SAHM for the majority of my kids lives but only in the past three years have I taken on a consistent and regular kind of job. When I first started working after all those years at home I looked into taking care of senior citizens in their homes. I was hired and trained as a Certified Companion Aide. I did something like 30 hours of training along with other training in first aide and other Senior issues like Alzheimer's. I worked part time and was assigned 1-2 different clients that lived close by. One lady recently had had hip surgery and I was to help her bathe, fix lunch for her and her husband, do light housekeeping, and read to her husband, who's vision had become impaired with age. He had been a University English professor so he really missed being able to read. They were one of my most favorite clients and I miss them. Another dear lady was 96 and had had a stroke. I helped twice a week for a few hours so her granddaughter could get out and do errands. She was so delightful and I became very close to her and her family. She passed away during my time with her. She will always be dear to my heart and I run in to the granddaughter in and around town. It's always fun to catch up. Those are just a few of the many wonderful experiences I had in this job. I had to quit because it just became too physical in having to repeatedly pick up and move clients. My back rebelled.
Because of my daughter's GAD I decided that I would try to get a job at my daughter's school. I was fortunate to get a job and create a place for myself before the economy turned. This year they only have a handful of aides. I've been assigned to a High Functioning Autistic Child that needs constant guidance. At the beginning of this school year he had a hard time adjusting back to the routine and was not happy to be there. He was quite upset at me and asked me why I wasn't nice anymore. I had to smile at that one. I explained to him that like his parents he had a job, and that his job was to come to school and work. We spent all day on the 3rd day of school doing his writing, which I might add is the thing that he dislikes the very MOST!!!!! He would do anything to manipulate his way out of doing his writing work. It took him 4 hours of complaining and trying to manipulating me to get out writing eight 5-6 word sentences. When he's on task it takes him maybe 30 minutes. I've learned from last year that you have to stick by the rules and not budge or he will walk all over you the rest of the year. Well our diligence paid off and the next day, after losing computer game time at home, he was as repentant and compliant as can be. I was so happy. In fact, he even apologized to me and said that he still liked me. Later that day he declared. "I'm the BEST EMPLOYEE EVER!!! I giggled and said, "Yes _ _ _ _, you're are definitely the Employee of the Day!!! Good Job!!!" It was really rewarding and he's done quite well ever since. The other day he said to me and I quote "Mrs. Walus, you're a GENIUS!" It brought a smile to my face and I said, "Thank you _ _ _ _, that is very nice of you to say!"
I have loved my jobs and it's so rewarding to work with people. I also have the advantage of working at school where my daughter gets to see me and give me hugs when she needs them. I take her to lunch with me at least one day each week and that's been a fun thing for us. Working outside of the home is difficult in the sense that keeping the house clean, doing laundy, and cooking are just 3 more things to do when a days worth of work seems like enough work for the day. I manage pretty well most weeks and plus I have a husband who is really supportive of my working. We don't have little kids so the house doesn't get too unruly, dinner can be a pain and we eat out at least twice a week. On a bad week it's 3 times. It's hard to be creative after 26 years of cooking for a family. I ask what would you like for dinner and the response is always, "I don't know, what do you want for dinner?" I shouldn't even ask but then the college kids don't come home and eat it anyway. We are just in a difficult time of life where everyone is on a different page in the book. We do sit down together on Sundays and my married daughter's family usually joins us. It's a wonderful part of the week."
KARA: "What kinds of things do you do to maintain a good relationship with your husband? How do you work on having a successful marriage?"
KIM: "Well, I have to say that my husband is extremely low maintenance and is such a delight to be married too. I am an incredibly lucky women. Really, really, lucky!!!
What creates a successful marriage for us is always seeing the other person in the mirror before we see ourselves. In other words if you are both watching out and taking care of each other and not just thinking about yourself then you have a marriage filled with love, service, kindness one for another, compassion, forgiveness, friendship, commitment, humor, joy, and happiness. We both have the same desires and the same goals for our family. We are committed to each other. There you have it in a nutshell again.
Here are the things that I do for him:
* I let him go golfing anytime he wants too. Why? Because then I get some time to myself to sew and he usually goes out with our son who loves to golf. It's a win win situation.
* At some point in each day we sit and talk with each other. This usually takes place at bedtime. I really enjoy our talks.
* We go out on date night each week. This is the time we do whatever we want to do whether it's dinner, a movie, shopping or any combination of the three.
* I take care of his needs. If he's sick I bring him things and rub his back or feet. If he's hungry, I fix him something to eat. If he needs a haircut, I give him a trim.
* I listen to him when he needs to talk about things at work. It helps him to talk.
* I try to watch golf, tennis or another show that he's interested in.
* We hold hands when we go out on date nights. I really like this part.
Simply, I just pay attention to his needs and try to take care of him and the beauty of it all is that he does the same thing for me."