Friday, May 21, 2010
I'm stressed out. I'm so stressed out that the other day I threw a can of PAM at the wall and left a large round dent in the paint and drywall. I don't think Brent has seen it yet. Matthew saw it happen, and reported it to Ayden, "You know, mommy threw a can at the wall. And it left a HOLE THIS BIG!" Why did I throw the PAM? Because it wouldn't stay in the cupboard. Obviously.
It's not the PAM that is the true source of my stress, though. It is money. I've been feeling a mounting sense of being financially squeezed since December, and it is getting out of control in my head right about NOW. In fact, I often can't sleep because of it. And I just don't understand WHY we are having such a hard time staying afloat. The last five pay periods we have had no money two to three days after payday, and have to wait 12 to 13 days til we get paid again before we can get anything. More food. Vitamins. Gas. Etcetera. I just. Don't. Get it. I'm not being frivolous! Food, gas, underwear and socks, house payment, bills, and BAM it's gone. The thing is, we make more now than we ever have before, so what's up? It feels worse than ever before. Well, not EVER--those first two years of marriage were pretty stinking frugal. But since then. I guess we own three cars right now, all insured, and are making payments on two of them.
SOMEBODY BUY THE FUCKING MATRIX ALREADY. SOMEBODY? CAN YOU HEAR ME? NOBODY'S HOME AT SOMEBODY'S HOUSE...
Since Toyota had a rash of major recalls suddenly nobody wants a bloody Toyota. They are GOOD CARS, and our Matrix had not a single part recalled, but still. Nobody wants a Toyota. The car lot offered us $8,000. Nice try. We still OWE $10,000.
And our kids eat way more now than they used to. They eat a TON. Jeepers. I should train them to scavenge, what do you think? Plus, they cost more: Hip Hop and swimming and music lessons and soccer...not all at once, but still. I know it's a fraction of what the kids will cost when they are teenagers, but hopefully we'll make more income then.
Seriously, this lack of money thing dominates my thoughts from morning til night, and now here I am up at 3:30 (woke up at 1:00 when Brent came to bed), worrying about it again. I can't handle this. I feel like we're drowning and I can't see how it's going to get any better? We want a house, which will put our house payments up to almost twice what they are now--if we're drowning now, what's it going to be like then?
In order to counterbalance the drowning, I have been working more often since December, but it doesn't help. We're in serious standby mode on travelling to Regina to see my brother in law graduate from RCMP training, which is a big deal in my extended family, and something they did for us when Brent graduated. At this point we have six weeks until he graduates and no money to pay for flights. I can't handle this. It's springtime, full bloom, gorgeous, lush, hot (except for yesterday--random wind and pouring rain), flowers, walks to and from school, vitamin D out the ying yang, long daylight hours--this is usually my best time of year! I'm usually MOST happy during springtime! But this spring I'm so full of stress and worry over money that I can't sleep and I can't think and I am overcome.
Most days I remember that we're not that odd, but today I really feel like we're so much worse at handling finances than everyone else on the planet. Everyone else seems to be able to afford their lives...It's hard to remember I'm fortunate when I feel like I'm drowning. How is this going to get better? And when? And how will we survive on just Brent's income if I quit my job and go to school?
Insert screaming here.............
I've been contemplating getting a full time job instead of the part time one I have now--provided I don't start school in the fall. Since Ayden was born I've felt that my full time job is to be a parent, and I squeeze some work in around the edges for my own sanity and some financial padding. Not like, savings padding. Like, pad Brent's income so we can survive padding. Part time, I could live with emotionally. I generally disapproved of both parents working full time, though I try hard to remain open and non judgmental with regards to individual families and individual jobs. I definitely disapprove of the amount of time paramedics in my ambulance service spend at work--an average of 90 to 100 hours a week, which is so pervasive it's normal--you know, like porn or violence: if everyone is engaging with it it starts to seem normal and ethically sound? Men AND women--it is few and far between to find someone who is employed part time (like me) who actually works PART TIME. And full time employees pad their meagre incomes working overtime. They don't see their families at all. WRONG. Outright. [Though many of them live in townhomes or condos and drive cheap cars and never go on vacation--the cost of living around here is absolutely ridiculous].
Here I am, seriously contemplating a full time position because just for once I want some breathing space. I want to be able to have money in our bank account until at LEAST a few days before the next pay period. I want to NOT pull out the credit card for groceries because our cupboards are bare and our bank account is overdrawn. I want to be able to pay for soccer without hyperventilating. I want a bigger house. That one borders on need. Our family has way outgrown this townhouse. I have way outgrown this neighbourhood, with their anonymous notes about our cat, and their harassments about dog poop and kids' bikes and extra cars (three is too many: we have to park our extra car down the street in another complex, according to the 'warning: next time you will be fined' I got from strata), and their mismanagement of funds and nitpicky nosy CRAP. No more strata. I'm DONE. Period.
And then UBC springs a possible acceptance letter on me, and I'm freaking out. I want to be a midwife, I just have a hard time letting go of complete control of our income and just resting on Brent's. I want to go to school so badly, but I was so prepared for the eventuality of UBC not accepting students this fall that I started to make plans for this full time job thing, and it's hard to know how to switch tracks, you know? I would only work full time for a short period. But if I DO work full time we need a nanny and there's the stress of trying to find someone with flexible hours part time. The position I want is 4 on (two days, two nights), 6 off. Brent works 4 on, 4 off. So sometimes we would overlap and need childcare, and other times one or both of us would be on days off and able to take care of our kids ourselves.
If I go to school I need a nanny, too. And THAT way, I'm not pulling in any income to pay her. How on earth? Jeepers. It really is overwhelming.
I think I'll try to go to sleep now.
Thanks for listening.