I worked for the local Government, in various capacities, mostly public safety. I also worked in a children's TBI rehabilitation hospital, and 1 year as a teacher at a Private Parochial school to work off my children's tutition when the schools in that area were too bad for my kids to attend publicly, but private was far out of our budget.
We both attended college, but we both had to enter the workforce due to finances. I went back, a few times. My children were from my first marriage and my husband adopted them. I always worked, but with the second one being "special needs" it did put a strain on my career because there are a lot of meetings, and school, and doctors, and such. When your husband is in the military he goes to as many as he can, but in our family I felt it was my job to take the hit, and honestly even though I had the better sounding job. He had the "career" in the military. So there were small gaps in my work history but nothing lengthy.
We never had money, in fact we were always renters, never knowing when or where we would go, both being divorced with bad credit, the power bill was a struggle and we couldn't finance a bottle of water. We shared the used little red Geo Spectrum I purchased and we started out marriage with nothing but 2 kids and a cat .
We started a little computer business from the dining room table in 1997, and when he retired from the Military in 2000, he got a great job with GTE that would afford us with some new and exciting things like a car with air conditioning. At the same time our business took off. Contracts came in and I worked 24/7, GTE was sold to Verizon and he was picked up and then BAM I was pregnant with a surprise baby, we had money, lived in a nice house and could buy not just a crib but a car seat too? This was such a new concept.
Things went wrong and I spent 58 days in the hospital, my husband worked, and took care of the older kids, and "our" business which just like the little baby in my tummy kept growing fast.
By the mid 2001 we had our 3rd child, 2 cars and solid contracts with our business that allowed him to leave GTE. My father was ill and getting older, we wanted the kids around him, so we moved back near that base where my husband had spent 20 years. We rented a house while we built ours, we opened an office in the little country town and tried to introduce technology to the local businesses who acted as if we were speaking pig latin and selling snake oil. But we had our large out of state contracts.
In January 2003 I did our taxes for 2002 and sent them off with the check. I got a letter from the IRS saying they owed us money on 1999 and it had my 2002 check in it. They told me they couldn't take my 2002 check until we refiled out 1999 taxes and they paid us. Like a naive child I spoke with them, and I will never forget the male agent saying, " oh yes Mrs Kirk, we are not Simon Legree, we are just like you". I am embarrassed to admit I had to look up who Simon Legree was. When I did, I wondered why he would use that term with me. In the mean time I was trying to file taxes on 1999 which was 3 jobs and 2 moves in the past, very difficult for me. But I did it, I sent it in with a note saying please apply the refund to my 2002 taxes that are due, and I waited. In about 6 weeks I got a certified letter. Saying I owed an ungodly amount of money, that the time to file 1999 taxes had expired by 41 days and I would not be credited for that year and now I had penalties on my 2002 taxes. I called them up, because after all " they aren't Simon Legree" I was told to pay over the phone or by mail within 30 days to avoid garnishment and bank holds. It was an ungodly amount of money. We wiped out everything we had ever put away for us, or our 3 kids and paid, we paid Simon Legree and that day I vowed never to speak to them again, because we had just paid the IRS 70% of our total income prior to any deductions for the entire year. No matter how bitter that taste. It was our duty. I also swore from that point on, I would not attempt to do our own taxes, or use some tax program or whatever.