I love my husband. I love my six-week old daughter so deeply it is beyond my comprehension.
I just landed a very low-paying, entry level job at a bookstore like I've always wanted. I'm feeling myself remembering quotes from Palahniuk about how you never like something as much when you have it as you thought you would. "Nothing is as perfect as you can imagine it."
I feel like I have little time with my family due to my new job but it's about to get worse. We can't afford for DH to drive me (was never able to learn to drive due to panic attacks while driving) to and from work every day (30 miles one way), so I'll have to take the bus two hours each way. I'm having a hard time getting enough time to pump as is (exclusively breastfed infant at home). DH hasn't worked in weeks due to his shift (night shift) being suspended at work. He can start working again but only if he does so 7 am to 3 pm, which is the opposite of my schedule (2:30-10:30, usually but sometimes 12:30-8:30 or 11-7 as needed).
I have social anxiety, no friends since moving to Texas from Oregon, and my stress is manifesting itself in physical symptoms like a hives-like rash in new locations every day, itchy and swollen, burning and sometimes sticking an inch off my skin. I have fibromyalgia and the physical nature of my job causes me constant pain and exhaustion.
We literally cannot even afford to put the money up front for prefolds and covers. We live in a tiny apartment in the ghetto and have to go to a laundromat to wash our clothes, which we have to scrape and save for. I can't afford to quit but any time I'm not at work, I'm pumping, sleeping or nursing. I never have two off days in a row. I cry a lot. DD cries for hours and hours every time I leave and spends most of her time apart from me upset.
I want for my husband and I to be able to dig ourselves out of this hole of just scraping by, not being able to afford anything, but we can't afford not to work so we can go to school. My husband donates plasma to keep the gas tank full. There are no corners left to cut.
I feel like I am working for nothing, just to keep on this endless wheel. We both make minimum wage and have no postsecondary education. We have both spent good portions of our adult life homeless, so there are employment and rental history gaps. I just want to be able to get an education so we can afford to move back to Oregon or somewhere we fit in better and have better luck making friends. It seems like this hamster wheel of working minimum wage is self-perpetuating. Being poor is so isolating on its own. Being a misfit social activist dreadlocked POC mother with health issues and a newborn in Texas just adds to it.
I am so sorry that it's so hard for you family right now. First of all, I would suggest spending a certain amount of time every day (how about right now?) to breathe and relax in any way you can, even if for 5 minutes. Fibromyalgia, as I'm sure you know, is exacerbated by anxiety. Your well-being is important and your body is telling you this. Try anything and everything.
I also strongly suggest looking into any kind of state or federal assistance you can receive, plus to visit the food bank (some banks will allow daily visits). Before DH got a job, WIC really took the edge off for us, and that and the food bank took care of a lot of our groceries. I know that applying for aid from DSHS is a major hassle (paperwork, documentation, being on hold for literally and hour at a time), but if you can even get one month of help, it will help! You can do most of an application online now, too.
If DH starts working, do you have to work? As you said, it isn't turning out to be what you thought it would be. That's OK! There is no need to hang on if you don't have to. But I know you have to now, and I'm sorry that it sucks so much! I have to say this: if I was in your shoes and my husband could take a new shift and I could stay home, giving up my dream job that turned out to be not so hot, I would do it! Especially if my body was telling me in no uncertain terms that it had had enough of this craziness.
Remember that 6 weeks is a tough time, all around. I spent most of that time soothing a crying baby for hours and hours, too, and I didn't go to work. So don't assume she's crying just because you are at work. And use disposable diapers if you have to! You are surviving!
I don't know if you would be up for it, but you could use craigslist to find free items or ask for help from people for what you need (diapers, etc.). This is easier than face-to-face at first.
I feel for you being poor and isolated. Luckily, we made it through just by the time DS turned 4 months. Get all the help you can, however you can. Even if it seems like someone is judging you for being poor while offering help, take the help.
You will make it through this tough time! Keep thinking ahead to the future when your husband is working and be creative about the present. Don't let your pride get the best of you. You are just enough, no matter what you are doing.
I am so sorry you are going through such a rough time. I had debilitating anxiety and depression after my second baby, and I know how difficult it can be. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and had rashes all over as well! Literally the same symptoms. Is it possible to find some counseling for postpartum depression and anxiety around you? Perhaps a clinic is available? It helped me immensely in very practical ways. My therapist taught me breathing exercises and ways to calm my nervous system and the muscle relaxation techniques helped with the fibromyalgia. I think the pps had some great ideas about finding other help available in your area. Please pm me if you just feel like talking or need to vent to someone. It will get better! You have the power to change things for yourself and your family, just one little step at a time.
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