Complete my 45 credits necessary to maintain my Michigan LMSW license.
The very thought of this has been a bit daunting. Michigan happens to have some of the LEAST social work friendly licensing laws. I know because I'm also licensed to practice in New York... and have had to investigate licensing in... oh... several states in the last few years. Michigan's kind of on a clinical social worker's shit list. I could go into it but since the majority of you have no idea what I'm talking about I won't.
A couple years ago Michigan decided to tack on a continuing education requirement. Fine. I actually think that's responsible practice. However the requirement is 45 fucking credits. That is a lot folks. A lot.
To put it in perspective in New York I don't have to do ANY. I just have to maintain my license, and if I'm working (which I'm not and they allow me to specify that) attend child abuse training. The end.
In Michigan on top of paying for your license, you have to pay for the credits. You could easily spend a thousand dollars doing so. Oh.... and... the time. Most continuing education offerings are small weekend seminars, and more recently day or evening classes. These are not only not cheap but also require childcare... which... (outside of the fact that I'm not even in Michigan) we can't afford.
When you are working full time (in my experience of working in the clinic of a large agency) your employer will often both pay for the credits and also schedule them as part of your work day. Obtaining these credits while NOT working and staying home with your kids becomes nearly impossible.
The first year Baby was an infant and nursing around the clock and I couldn't attend any seminars. The next year we moved HERE.... so... um... can't attend any courses or seminars.
Well in light of recent events I thought "shit when is my credit deadline?!!!". These days it just seems like a good idea for me to be prepared to support my family at a moments notice. And it seems like a good idea not to get a permanent "failure to comply" mark on my license... you know... it's probably bad enough that I've been out of the workforce for 8 years.
It turns out I need to get my 45 credits before April 30th. That's six months. I already have a full plate these days. Fortunately I seem to have found a distance learning program that will allow me to earn the credits through home study and testing. Better than that it saves me about $700 over the local Ann Arbor community college courses I would have taken. Yes it sounds too good to be true... but it's nationally accredited... and if I'm audited at least I can show I made a good faith attempt to fulfill my credit hours while living out of state. That should count for something!
So yesterday I felt like a freaking rock star. I had the little baby all day. And I still managed to do three loads of laundry... including folding them and PUTTING THEM AWAY. I took the kids to the grocery store (sure the little baby puked all over the cart... but whatever) and PUT AWAY THE GROCERIES. I called Mr F to say "I am really having a productive day". Usually when I'm babysitting I really can't do any household chores... and with my brother coming today and Disney this weekend that was stressing me out. And I also started my coursework for a two credit ethics class. See? I was functioning at 150%.
Then the little baby got picked up and his aunt (a teacher at Kid's school) said "Where's Kid?". As it turns out Kid had a HALF DAY OF SCHOOL.
So while I was busy over achieving on the home front I ended up paying for Kid to attend after care. How much does after care cost? OH... a dollar more an hour than I make babysitting. So instead of making money yesterday... I worked all day... and LOST money!
I would like to point out that I DO NOT think it is a coincidence that the school, that NEVER forgets to send out multiple reminders when we are approaching a fundraising deadline, does not send out reminders when there are half days. Because for every parent that forgets they are automatically paying the school for childcare for the remainder of the school day. See how nicely that works out?
So what was the point? The point is that trying to juggle staying home full time, with babysitting 30 hours a week, with earning these credits is going to be a bit taxing.
The good news is last night I finished the coursework and scored a 100% on my test... and I actually enjoyed it... because I'm a nerd and school is my strong suit (who got a 4.0 in their Master's program?... oh yeah... me). All while helping Kid with her homework, making dinner, and getting a full workout in.
That's 2 credits down... 43 to go.
And that's Step One in our plan.