Monday, April 16, 2012

This Is My Hustle

Every stay at home mom that I know (with the exception of only one) has a hustle.  I mean a way that she increases the income of her family.  It is often selling things like jewelry, Scentsy, embroidery, daycare, blog writing etc. 

Well I am no different.  This is my hustle.


I am a school bus driver.  Yes I drive a 40ft long, 78 passenger school bus.  I affectionately call it my big yellow mini van. :)  I drive about 70 elementary kids aged kindergarten to fifth grade.

I started driving a bus almost 6 years ago, shortly after my middle son was born.  I was 26 years old, and my husbands sole military income wasn't quite cutting it.  We could always pay the bills but there wasn't too much left over for extras, much less emergencies.

So I knew that I must do something to help.  I wanted a job that would give me flexibility, one that I could do with my kids (I knew that I couldn't leave them at daycare), and a job that I would enjoy.

I entertained lots of things like stuffing envelopes, working at night, cleaning etc, but most just seemed to interrupt my life too much. 

Then one day my sister (who is a bus driver/stay at home mom in a town not far from mine) suggested driving a bus.  At first I thought "No way, I can't drive that big ole thing".  But then I thought that if she could do it so could I.

So I took the test, trained with my school districts bus barn, took my driving test, got my license, and have been loving it ever since.

This job has been such a blessing.  It provides that much needed second income, great benefits (like membership the gym, discounts at local businesses etc.)I really feel like a contributing $ member of my household. My kids ride along so they have never been to daycare.  And now that two of my kids are in school, I drive for their elementary school so I can drop them off and pick them up from school everyday.

In addition my kids and I have gone on a zillion field trips to some really cool places.  And because drivers get in for free we have gotten to go to places that I could not have afforded otherwise.  We must go to the Zoo like 45 times a year, in fact I am going to the Zoo this week.  I always get the priority of taking my children's field trips when they go somewhere, super bonus I get to be with my kids like all the other moms and dad but I get paid by the hour to be there.  It is like I am practically stealing people!  And I can always turn field trips down if I have something else to do. 

Driving a bus rarely interferes with my home life.  In fact my husband usually forgets that I drive the bus. 

There are a few draw backs to my job.  The first is both a blessing and a drawback, I have summers off.  Yay!  That also means that I don't get a paycheck.  Boo!  But we always think ahead and put some $$$ back to help.  The mornings are early, I have to get my self and three kids out the door by 6:50.  Which is a feat every single day!!  Oh and it is very cold in the winter.

All in all I LOVE driving a bus and just couldn't imagine doing anything else while I still have kids at home.

So what about you, do you have a hustle?  Or are you one of the exceptional few that is a solely stay at home mom/wife?  Or do you have a full time job? I would love to hear what you do.


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