I think I’m a pretty typical mom. I have three adorable kids. I wear comfy jeans to parent involvement meetings at school. I use cloth diapers, amber teething necklaces, and have a Beco, a Moby, and two Ergos (which obviously means I’m way into baby wearing!).
For all intents and purposes I have the perfect suburban mommy resume. With one enormous exception. I keep a huge secret from my family, neighbors, and friends. After a long day of story time at the library, playing with moon sand, and finger painting… I go to work. I don’t have a typical mom job. Not by a long shot.
I’m an escort.
Not an escort of the Ford Motor Co. variety. But an honest to goodness escort. The sort they make jokes about whenever Eliot Spitzer’s name comes up.
I have sexual contact with men and am paid for the time I spend with them.
Scoop those jaws up off of the floor, moms and dads, because it’s true. And it could happen to you.
I don’t mean you’ll be trafficked into sex work by some skeevy creeper on the internet — I mean that you may some day be in a position you never dreamed you’d be in doing things you never saw yourself doing in order to make ends meet.
Let me rewind to the beginning.
I was a well-educated stay-at-home mom. My husband didn’t make millions but he made enough that if we lived frugally, we were comfortable without an additional income. Then one day, he pulled the rug out from under me. He informed me that he had fallen in love with another woman. And then he left. Just like that. Years of marriage down the drain. Three children, a dog, and a cat together. None of that was enough to make him stay.
So there I was, a young single mom with three children, an apartment, and pets to provide for. I tried getting jobs, but nothing worked. The salary was never high enough and the hours were never acceptable. I have one school-aged child, a toddler, and an infant. I could have put the youngest two into daycare, but there would be nobody to walk my school-aged child to and from school safely. I have no family, no close friends, no support network, no church, no friendly neighbors, absolutely nothing.
I tried to go to the government, but there was no help there. Every job I could find made enough to disqualify me from welfare programs (no Food Stamps, no Temporary Assistance, no Daycare Assistance, nothing) but never enough to make ends meet. My biggest problem was my student loans. None of those public assistance organizations take student loan repayment into account. I spend more on repaying my student loans than all of my other bills COMBINED. If I default on those, I’ll never be able to get ahead. The interest and penalties will continue to build, and I’ll be financially sunk. I don’t get to file bankruptcy on student loans.
Then one day I bumped into an old college girlfriend at the grocery store. We spent some time catching up and I asked her, out of the blue, if she was still in the escorting business. You see, she put herself through college without a single loan, and without having to work her fingers to the bone in order to make ends meet. She did it by escorting. When I asked her back then how she did it, and she told me, I was horrified. I still adored her, I just couldn’t believe how a person could do such a thing.
My, how I have changed in the few years that have passed.
Here I spent all of these years of marriage living frugally and getting an education while raising my little family, and it all blew up in my face.
So my friend from college gave me the contact info that I needed to get involved with her coordinator in the business. I researched. I made calls. I read blogs. I lurked on forums. I was so afraid. But already the collections calls were coming in, my pantry was empty and I knew if I was going to make it, I was going to have to do something that horrifies most people — something that used to horrify me, too.
And you know what? It’s not horrible. I don’t hate my life. In fact, sometimes I think I have it better than most American moms. I work on the evenings and weekends the kids are at their father’s place (a total of two weekends and four weekdays every month). They never even know I’m gone. Then when they are with me, I get to be a devoted single stay-at-home mom.
I’m very careful to have various safeguards in place and I work with a top-notch company that caters to extremely wealthy clients. I don’t put ads on the internet, I don’t hook up with people on Craigslist, nothing like that. I’m about as safe as I can possibly be in the unsafe world of a sex worker.
It’s not an easy job, it’s not glamorous, and I know that most people reading this will be looking down their noses just SURE that they would never do anything so demeaning or degrading.
It’s not an easy job, it’s not glamorous, and I know that most people reading this will be looking down their noses just SURE that they would never do anything so demeaning or degrading. But I’m happy that I am able to provide for my kids. I’m glad we’re not living in a homeless shelter, begging in the streets. I’m glad they are warm, I’m glad they have food in their bellies, and I’m relieved that I can provide them with the basics that they need, and a few extra goodies when they’ve been especially well-behaved.
Being a parent is hard work. If it weren’t for my kids, I’m not sure what I’d be doing right now. One thing is certain: when I say that I would do anything for my kids….I mean it.