Friday, May 11, 2007

its just our time

we are trying to survive on one income.

i think it is a noble cause. i want to be fully available to my kids and be there to see all the great things they are learning. i want to teach them lifeskills and watch them having fun.

i don't really feel like i'm giving anything up right now. i haven't been really "spendy" for years. it comes and goes and usually only comes in the form of eating out (which can all add up). i feel a bit like a robot who just constantly has to say "no" to my wants, so much that they have kind of dissapated, so when i do get some money (gifts or when derek gets a good bonus) i have to really think about what i will spend it on. i guess all those years of derek being a supervisor have creeped into my homelife; somehow he is keeping us motivated and working as a team. so we celebrate as a team too.

my financial contribution is to do some transcription work, to follow a budget, look for a deal (which i love doing), to pay bills, to make sure money is in the right places at the right times and to keep derek aprised of our banking situations.

if it weren't for debt i think we would absolutely be able to survive on derek's income. but for now, he is working on most weekends and some evenings. that is probably the worst of it. i'm working extra too. one of my girlfriends said she views our job (SAHM) as the same "office hours" as our husbands. anytime outside of that is to be shared and negotiated (for free time and hobbies). things don't exactly work that way around here, since when derek takes an evening or saturday to work, he can make alot more money alot faster than i can right now.

its very tiring for both of us. but i have tried to show my support by saying i'm prepared for him to work weekends for a year to get us out of this situation. i also try to be supportive by not complaining when he comes home and then has to get right back to work after a short visit. this is the hardest part for me. i miss him so much and i want his company for me and the kids, more than i need his help. somehow, the Lord is keeping us connected as a couple. i think we go for weeks of hard times, then have a great weekend hanging out and it helps us keep going until the next time. this weekend will be like that i believe.

a huge thing i'm working on and learning is to not claim his free time. to try to let him do what he wants/needs to do without hassling him. whenever he has "free time" i usually try to put my own expectations on it. i start making plans in my head and then get soooo disappointed and mad when he says he has to go out in the yard and do whatever he has been planning in his head. i can see that part of it is that he probably needs to have some free time where he is responsible only to himself. also he does have things to do that i can't do (because i needed to be available for nursing) or don't want to do, but i want done, around the house. i guess there is really alot of pressure on both of us. writing this out gives me more empathy for his situation as the main financial provider.

i look at it like its just our time to go through hard knocks. most older couples have been there. when the kids are little, the dad had to work two jobs to pay for the mortgage and expenses. i believe its just our time and if we handle it well, and don't just get into a cycle of debt that keeps recurring, then there will be an end. thats what i'm banking on ha ha

anyway, kids are up now, we're going to the first of three mother's day events: a family dinner at playgroup tonight, a family breakfast at church EARLY (8am), trip to the zoo, and a brunch on sunday with my parents.


Michelle said...

amanda, i completely sympathize.. i feel like we're finally just coming out of this..
we don't have to worry about money quite as much as we used to, which is great, but it was SO hard at the time!

if it weren't for my babysitting money to pay off debt, we'd probably still be there.

it will be interesting come november, when i'm not financially contributing any more. i *think* we'll be fine, we'll just have to fine tune the budget. i don't want to have to work again too soon after the birth, but if things are tight, i may have to take on a babysitting kid or two.

but i think it's so completely worth it.. the kids are only little once (and for a very short time!), i'd rather be here, fully and completely, now, and go back to work full time when the kids are all in school. and learning to live within your means is an awesome lesson.. you'll never be in debt again once you master it! i just can't wait to be able to say that our mortgage is our ONLY debt. ahh, we'll get there one day!

the salmon said...

yes, for sure! i guess one comforting thing for me is that all our debt could quickly dissipate if we just sold our house. we have the equity there to cover it all.