Financially Challenged SAHMs . . . time for a new thread! - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-15-2006, 12:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am feeling especially financially challenged these days, so I thought I'd start a new thread for some fellowship from fellow FCSAHMs

Most of the other SAHMs in my life are definitely in the middle class with more discretionary income than we have. Sometimes I feel so defective for not being able to afford the things that they are able to have (a car, organic food, an occasional trip to the city, appropriate clothing, etc). We struggle just to buy decent food and cover the very basics. Some months we end up short and we have no cushion whatsoever.

I am at the point where I would love to work part-time, but I have no child care, no transportation, and no job leads. So I keep going round and round and round! I feel like a "stuck at home mom" instead of a stay at home mom. Also, my husband is a student right now, so he needs a lot of child care provided by me so that he has plenty of time to work, go to class, and study.

The purpose of this tribe is not to talk about ways of saving money, or give out budgeting advice, but just to talk about finding value and joy in a career that many people think of as being a priviledge of the elite when you are feeling very strapped and stressed.

OK, right now I am feeling very negative about the fact that:
1. Having enough clean clothing and linens is ALWAYS an issue because we can only afford a couple loads of laundry per week.
2. I can't afford to join the Moms group because it costs $35
3. The price of gas has me very worried
4. My friends talk all the time about the food co-op we can't afford to join
5. We have two out-of-town weddings to go to this summer and I can't begin to imagine how we will afford to get there, let alone buy a gift

And I am feeling very grateful about this:
1. We FINALLY have health insurace
2. We also have LIFE insurance
3. We never have to worry about scheduling conflicts or getting out the door with ds on time
4. We never have dcp worries or issues
5. We have a very happy, peaceful family life where both adults respect the contributions of the other
6. We have been very healthy this year with NO doctor visits at all so far

OK, anyone else want to go?


Edited for spelling

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Old 05-15-2006, 12:26 PM
 
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Well, I have a lot of guilt about this, becuase the financial challenges that we have as a fmily are definitely of our own making (mine and dh's) We made a lot of really cruddy spending decisions in the past, and we're still dealing with that debt, and it's having an impact on our family life now.

So, right now I'm stressed about the fact that we can't fix the car (dh's transport to/from work...therefore our livelihood), and we have a lot of work that needs doing on the house, (like the shower that is collapsing, and the back steps) and my mum is coming to visit in Sept and she is bound to comment on all of the things that *should* be done (heck, she's right... ), and we don't have any kind of cushion left at the end of the month; often we end up bouncing payments from one c/c to the other, just to free up a little space

But at the same time, I have so much to be grateful for:

dd is at a 'magical' age - everything is new and exciting, and she just loves to be out in the yard picking dandelions and looking at the ants.
we have a home, and a car, and though we don't have the 'best' of everything I can put food on the table for our family.
I have the privilege of being a SAHM to dd, and Inshallah, to the new arrival in November.
I have a supportive and loving dh who is committed to his family.
I can take as many books out of the library for free as I like!!! (and read them in bed late at night )
I can pick lilacs and apple blossom from the hedges and enjoy the scent of fresh flowers in my house with spending a cent


So, whilst I dream about winning the lottery and being able to establish a safer, more modern, not-quite-so-falling-down-home for my family I know that the joys are still there. Sometimes I just have to look for them...
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Old 05-15-2006, 12:28 PM
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We are in a similar boat. It ebbs and flows. No, we are never in the position where I can go grocery shopping and not add up what we are buying...that is every week, but some weeks are better than others.

I get upset that we have no cushion. Like you, I am very thankful and grateful for what we do have, a roof over our head, food, etc.... but on the other hand, I know we are a couple of paychecks away from potential disaster.

Like for instance, we have life insurance, super, but my husband teaches guitar and bass... if he so much as slams his fingers in a door accidentally to the point where he couldn't teach for a few weeks, we would be in trouble. I don't believe homeless or anything because we have family that would probably help, but, we just have no savings or emergency fund or anything.

I do all the *tips* and *tricks* and money-saving things, but I feel that is mostly just to live halfway decent. In other words, it's not like I do those things to get $300 EXTRA a month to save, I do it to compensate for only one income, a musician's income, and there is hardly anything left at the end of the month.

I do find happiness where I can though given the financial situation at times. A picinic in the backyard, a nature walk, a trip to the library on the bus (we have a great downtown library)... playing with my daughter in her baby pool, splashing and laughing, knowing that I can make frugal nutritious meals for our family with little money, knitting (which can be a cheap hobby lol)....among other things...

It does get depressing at times but I try to create happiness in my world every day because what is my alternative?
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Old 05-15-2006, 12:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, I accidentally double posted this thread, and Rigama said this on the other thread. I moved it for her so we'd all be together

Quote:

I think I fit quite nicely!

I do have a car (but not always gas money) and we have absolutely no cushion to fall back on if something were to happen. We are in a place right now, where it wouldn't even be cost effective for me to go back to work...part or full time. When we look at the cost of a work wardrobe, lunches, convience type dinners, childcare and gas, then balance that out with my main job experience as a preschool teacher/nanny (and we all know that $7 an hour is raking in the dough in that profession!), well I just can't afford to work. And honestly, I have no desire to go back, despite the financial difficulties. There are people I know who think I'm crazy for choosing to be a broke SAHM, and sometimes I think I'm crazy too, but there is no way I could put ds in "Just Any" daycare or preschool just so I can make a couple of extra dollars. I do envy sahms who can afford to do wonderful things, who can go buy new clothes for their kids or themselves whenever they want, who never have to play "Iron Chef America" by opening up the pantry and fridge and saying "Hmmm...2 leftover pork chops, a can of black beans and dh is home in 15 minutes...WHAT am I going to feed my family for dinner????"

But despite the lack of overflowing cupboards, date nights, and lunches out, I LOVE my life as a sham! The joy I feel at being the one to raise my ds, to do simple things...Like going on a bug safari walk around the neighborhood or hitting the library for new books on things we never knew about before, far outweighs the financial strain.

Rigama

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Old 05-15-2006, 12:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, my three boys said this
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I feel you!! I was just having this discussion with my dh yesterday. He said "What women out there would not want to stay at home" I told him that some people glamourize sahm. They watch these tv programs and think it is about shopping, manicures, facials, and just relaxing. That may work for the rich sahm but I am a middle class sahm with 2 boys and 1 on the way. There is no glamour. A lot of women would not want to give up there discretionary money to stay at home. It takes a lot of sacrifice to do this. I am fortunate enough that my husband makes pretty good money but with mortgage, car payments, brace payments, food, savings , bills,etc. there is no money for me to go shopping for myself. I have to go bargain hunting. I go to alot of consignment shops for my 3 year old. I remember the days when I worked that I could get my hair done regularly, get manicures ,buy something that wasn't on sale or clearance. With that being said I am on my fourth year at home with a baby due in Sept. so I look forward to another 5 years at home and I love every minute of it. My children are thriving. I have never worked at any thing this hard in my life where the rewards are priceless. Even during the times where I feel I go unappreciated I would never give it up. This is what I was meant to do. So we sahm having to keep making the dollar hollar!! ( ) and stretch it as far as we can because we are doing this for the most precious people in our lives.

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Old 05-15-2006, 01:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am feeling such warm and fuzzy fellowship

I am sorry that you all are going through some financial hardships, but it's nice to know that we aren't the only family out there who is struggling. I just feel like the culture here in the U.S. is set up to make low-income people feel personally defective.

BabyBumbleBee I can relate to this:

Quote:
Well, I have a lot of guilt about this, becuase the financial challenges that we have as a fmily are definitely of our own making (mine and dh's) We made a lot of really cruddy spending decisions in the past, and we're still dealing with that debt, and it's having an impact on our family life now.
Our life wouldbe easier if I had made better decisions in the past. Not a LOT easier, but we'd have about $200 a month more now if I hadn't made some unwise choices in the past. That $200 could go a looooong way right now!

Captain Cruchy I so get it. ALL of the tips and tricks that we use are just to squeak by. There is never any savings, really. We rely on those tricks for survival. I love your attitude, though. It would be wonderful to find a mama like you nearby for some frugal good clean fun. You're not in minnesota are you?

Rigama and My three boys, I hope you make it over here. We've got a lot in common.
"Iron Chef America "

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Old 05-15-2006, 01:32 PM
 
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well i hear ya. I actually work very part time, but its no fun. I work to make ends meet. I clean houses one day a week while my mom watches the kids and I teach at a kid gym one morning a week, while my mom has my daughter. My ds goes to preschool 3 days a week.

Its tough making ends meet. We would not be able to pay the rent if i didnt clean. I hate going grocery shopping and having to add everything up. I hate having to go "ok I have $60 for groceries this week, how many meals can i get out of what we have". Because ds goes to preschool, I am amidst middle to upper class sahms that have no money worries and houses. We dotn have a house, we live in a small apartment. It is horrible. If we didnt have a cc bill, we'd have an extra $200 a month. I pay 200 a month on it trying to get it paid off.

im thankfull that my kids arent in daycare
im thankfull my dh can fix our vehicles
im thankfull that my dh and I have a good relationship and my kids are happy.
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Old 05-15-2006, 01:39 PM
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Captain Cruchy I so get it. ALL of the tips and tricks that we use are just to squeak by. There is never any savings, really. We rely on those tricks for survival. I love your attitude, though. It would be wonderful to find a mama like you nearby for some frugal good clean fun. You're not in minnesota are you?
No, sorry I am in Florida. Yeah, it is hard finding sahm's around here in similar situations. I feel like in the crunchier groups (I could never make it in a mainstream group lol) people are a lot better off than I am, and it isn't exactly a jealousy thing -- as much as I don't feel they actually *get it*. Like for instance there will be a play date somewhere and it will "only" cost $30 to get in etc and to us, $30 is sometimes half our grocery money for the week ya know?

I really don't mind living modestly, I even enjoy it for the most part and I am not a materialistic person by nature at all. However, what upsets me is the constant struggle. The struggle. I would love to live modestly but at least know I had money for the basics all the time... rent, electric, gas money, groceries... I don't so much care about a lot of *extras*. I would just love to never have to worry about the basics so much yk?

Thanks for the compliment on my attitude. I really try to stay positive, though I do fall into the whole "weee don't have aaaaaaaannnyyythhhinggg" mindset occasionally, which is just human nature I think when you are struggling financially.

I do tell my husband though, I am such a master at being frugal now that if we ever did come into even a few more hundred dollars a month I would feel like a rich person
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Old 05-15-2006, 01:41 PM
 
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I'm not sure exactly where I fit in (that's usually the case for me tho ). I'm not completly broke, and I despite what other people say I think I'm about average as far as disposable income. If any of you watch Oprah, she had a guest on there for her debt diet who said most families are only 2 paychecks away from a financial disaster. I think I just try to live more relistically than most. Sure I'd love a pair of $70 designer jeans, and if I put in on the cc, I could probably get it, but I refuse to rack of up debt "because I deserve it" and spend countless years paying it off. We don't buy things we can't afford and don't play "keeping up with the jones'" I can't afford to shop at gymboree or join their classes, heck sometimes a consignment shop is a stretch.

Rowdypea - for the weddings, is there someone else going that you could tag along with someone. As for a gift, honestly my favorite wedding gift came from a family friend and cost less than $10. She bought (or made?) a cute recipe box and put all of her family's favorite recipies in it. I've done it a few times myself and it's been such a hit. Who doesn't love a good new recipe anyways?
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Old 05-15-2006, 01:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by captain crunchy
No, sorry I am in Florida. Yeah, it is hard finding sahm's around here in similar situations. I feel like in the crunchier groups (I could never make it in a mainstream group lol) people are a lot better off than I am, and it isn't exactly a jealousy thing -- as much as I don't feel they actually *get it*. Like for instance there will be a play date somewhere and it will "only" cost $30 to get in etc and to us, $30 is sometimes half our grocery money for the week ya know?

I really don't mind living modestly, I even enjoy it for the most part and I am not a materialistic person by nature at all. However, what upsets me is the constant struggle. The struggle. I would love to live modestly but at least know I had money for the basics all the time... rent, electric, gas money, groceries... I don't so much care about a lot of *extras*. I would just love to never have to worry about the basics so much yk?

Thanks for the compliment on my attitude. I really try to stay positive, though I do fall into the whole "weee don't have aaaaaaaannnyyythhhinggg" mindset occasionally, which is just human nature I think when you are struggling financially.

I do tell my husband though, I am such a master at being frugal now that if we ever did come into even a few more hundred dollars a month I would feel like a rich person
Oh, Lordy! I so get where you're coming from. We are new in town, and the "crunchy" people around here a lot of times seem to be better off financially. Based on the outside anyway, like cars, homes, food, health care, etc. They aren't really *materialistic* per se, or snooty, but they don't seem to "get it." It's not the simple living that has me so stressed. It's not knowing if there will be enough from month to month. It's little things like feeling weird about a potluck because you were asked to bring salad for ten people, and you know they are all into organics and the food will be sort of fancy and it takes a third of your grocery bill for a week to make a salad that won't be embarrassing or seem yucky to them. But since you are new in town you try to make a nice impression and you do it anyway. Or feeling like things like worrying about pesticides and drinking water is elitist anyway. Or having to constantly say "no" to invitations for things because you can't afford to go. And then they think you don't like them.

And some of the crunchy people around here who I thought I would have a lot in common with, I really don't, because they have the crunchy "gear" and whatnot, but . . . They are sort of the bourgeois crunchy I guess. I've realized that for me, being financially challenged is pretty soggy

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Old 05-15-2006, 01:56 PM
 
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This is an excellent place to vent. Because we are not complaining we are just getting some things off our chest. This is no the easy life, if it was there would be lots more doing it. Most would say that they can't do it because of the money but most really don't want to give up very much. Being a sahm requires lots of giving. What matters is at the end of the day you would not give it up for anything. That keeps me going day in and day out. I look at my family and I can see the accomplishments of my family as a whole. Right now we are pinching pennies because we are taking the family on vacation to the beach in three weeks. I don't know how much more squeezing the dollar I can do( ) At the end of the day we love what we do or we wouldn't do it. So inspite of your financial situation you are "very rich"

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Old 05-15-2006, 02:00 PM
 
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This...


Quote:
Originally Posted by captain crunchy
I really don't mind living modestly, I even enjoy it for the most part and I am not a materialistic person by nature at all. However, what upsets me is the constant struggle. The struggle. I would love to live modestly but at least know I had money for the basics all the time... rent, electric, gas money, groceries... I don't so much care about a lot of *extras*. I would just love to never have to worry about the basics so much yk?
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Old 05-15-2006, 02:01 PM
 
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LOL... the Iron Chef cooking! I can so relate to that one!( and I am the master.... pork chops and beans??? thats easy.... try... (oh man. I cant even come up with an example because I can do it with pretty much anything!)

We are in the position where it would not make sense for me to go back to work.We would end up bringing in about 100 $ a month or somthing after losing our tax credits. We also begin a homeschooling program starting in Sept. I dont think that a lot of people can relate to the " not saving money" part. But after Ive gone for 6 months barely having enough money for food and bills and a vehicle so my partner can get to work... Im not going to save that 20$ you know?!!! By that time we all need somthing like undies, or most of our cothes are threadbare( and we're talking about a trip to the sally anne to buy a pair of 4$ pants!). Or maybe we'd like to go out of town to visit the grandparents that we havent seen in a year! Thats if none of us need dental work or a car repair! I havent been off of the Island that I live on, for 5 years! I hate it when people say I "need to save somthing.... even if its only 20$" Arrggghhh. I havent stepped into a coffee shop for the last half of a year to buy a tea that costs a dollar!
I am blessed though. I have a wonderful partner, a rundown... but very cute rental in an area that I absolutely love.The forest surrounds me and my children experience the wonders of nature every day. And.... its Spring!!!!! Which means no heating bill... and the grocery bill goes down significantly because of the availability of fresh veg!

:
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Old 05-15-2006, 02:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by mythreeboys
This is an excellent place to vent. Because we are not complaining we are just getting some things off our chest.
Thank you for saying this. I feel like my previous post came off kinda cranky in the tone. I don't mean to sound resentful of other families that have more money. It's just hard sometimes to have a constant barrier when you are trying to be social with other moms. Sometimes I feel like we almost have a language barrier. I think I need to find some mamas who speak my language

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Old 05-15-2006, 02:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Village Mama
I hate it when people say I "need to save somthing.... even if its only 20$" Arrggghhh.
Yeah, where should that twenty bucks come from? Out of our Starbuck's visits or should I just skip my massage ?

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Old 05-15-2006, 02:36 PM
 
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I totally relate to everything said here.
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Old 05-15-2006, 02:52 PM
 
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Skip the massage??? Are you daft, Woman? No self respecting sahm would ever skip her weekly massage! But then again, to give up starbucks is, well, counter intuitive to the life of a sham!


Mmmmm....gourmet coffee. Can I just say how sick I am of buying giant vats of folgers? Some days I really miss being able to go for coffee if I wanted to. I'd give up the coffee all together if I didn't find it so necessary to get me jump started in the mornings.

What I hate:
being one paycheck from disaster
not being able to go get a friggin coffee
not knowing where the money for groceries will come from
not being able to afford gas to go visit my grandparents
dealing with the judgement of people who don't get it.

What I love:
Spending all day with my son
Having wonderful adventures in our backyard
Making forts out of kitchen chairs and blankets
seeing ds flourish
being the one who gets to answer his questions (even when I wish he'd stop asking so many!)
Knowing that when he looks back on his childhood he'll have memories of cooking with his mom, not memories of his pre-k teacher or of being laughed at for not bringing the right Lunchables to school
The way the sunlight hits him just so...making him a lovely golden color ...a sight I wouldn't be able to so frequently if I worked outside the home.

addicted, homeschooling, freelancing mama to DS 8. Pet mama to Harvey the Wonder Mutt :, Pnut: and Autumn : Oh, yeah, and
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Old 05-15-2006, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by captain crunchy

Thanks for the compliment on my attitude. I really try to stay positive, though I do fall into the whole "weee don't have aaaaaaaannnyyythhhinggg" mindset occasionally, which is just human nature I think when you are struggling financially.

I do tell my husband though, I am such a master at being frugal now that if we ever did come into even a few more hundred dollars a month I would feel like a rich person
Oh, this is so totally how I feel. I have been staying at home with one dd for 3 years now and the only way we've made it work is because of occasional money gifts from mil and we took out a second on our house last year when our washer and dryer and fridge all were in sorry states at the same time and our credit card bills were getting higher. My dh makes a decent salary on paper but living in Seattle is costly and our mortgage is like 30% of his income. Add expensive water, gas, and electricity to that and now auto gas. It all does really add up.

I also totally relate to what rowdypea writes about being lucky to have healthy insurance and life insurance. That does make me feel better but we don't have short term disability so if dh were to get sick beyond his sick days we would be in trouble and have to go to relatives for help. For three years, I've been saying that I would go back to work part time but I have never found a daycare situation that worked with part time teaching hours (I teach elementary school). Sometimes, I think my standards are just too high but then I remind myself that this is my child. I nursed her for 2.5 years, I still cosleep with her, I try to practice positive, unconditional parenting with her, I want the best for her. We are eeking by but getting to the end of our financial straws. But, I have no regrets about what we've done. Dh and I both agree that these 3 years have been the best of our lives. To save money, we stopped buying beer and wine and dh now bikes to work. We both get more exercise and eat better than we ever did before dd, on a grocery budget half of what we used to spend.

We would like to have another child and, in fact, I was pregnant last month. We were happy but financially worried. We had finally decided we would just break into our piddly little retirement funds to fund me staying home another 2 years or so when I miscarried. Now, dh is saying we are too old (we are 40) to be doing this and that I really should go back to work next school year. I finally found a preschool situation that I like (waldorf, small, but pricey) and if I can send in the downpayment for tuition today we will secure dd a spot for next school year. But, that makes me so sad to think about not spending my days with. Everything will change so drastically if I go back to work that is scares me. Dd will have to get up early and go to school half the day and then will most likely nap in the afternoons so basically, our days will be filled. My hope is that I can find a job that does not use all the hours she is in school so that, maybe, she will only need to go 4 days a week and she and I can have one whole day during the week to do our mommy/baby thing. I am going to send in the downpayment but I still want to have another baby and stay home with him/her. I got dh to agree to revisiting the subject in three months. We will see where we are financially and how we feel physically.
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Old 05-15-2006, 03:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Boongirl . . . I'm sorry to hear about your miscarriage.

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Old 05-15-2006, 03:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I too am hoping to find a pt job that works with pt preschool, but so far I have come up with no real leads. We have a little time, though, as ds is still so young. It's hard to coordinate part-time work and child care, and when you factor in the amount of variation in child care quality, etc, it gets even trickier. It's not that I DON"T want ds in child care at all, I just want a good fit for us that is also affordable and willing to work with my pt work schedule (for a job I don't have yet). It's a tall order to fill.

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Old 05-15-2006, 04:46 PM
 
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I'm pregnant with #3 and really worried about stopping my 12 hour a week job. (I work when Hubby is home) We are already trying to make a dollar out of 15 cents for everything and now with the baby coming I'm worried.

But hell, what am I gonna do? I don't do the daycare thing, breastfeed all the live long day, homeschool, etc. I guess I'll just do what I did when my first son (now 11!) was born - make it work!! (and we made $23,000 bucks then and BOY did we have huge debt - wait a minute - we still do! )

Ever think about the amazing creativity and flexibility we are learning/expanding on by being home with financial strain? I wouldn't wish it upon anyone but heck...it does stretch our resources.

Kisses all,

Kimcarrots mother to DS (11) and DS (7) and baby in the belly (November 5, 2006)
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Old 05-15-2006, 05:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Kimcarrots

Ever think about the amazing creativity and flexibility we are learning/expanding on by being home with financial strain? I wouldn't wish it upon anyone but heck...it does stretch our resources.

We certainly are learning some real survival skills

btw, I'm on the net all day because I'm nursing a cranky toddler . . . he's in a real funk today, didn't sleep well last night . . .

anyway I feel I have to justify being online ALL day today! Not my typical day.

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Old 05-15-2006, 05:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimcarrots

Ever think about the amazing creativity and flexibility we are learning/expanding on by being home with financial strain? I wouldn't wish it upon anyone but heck...it does stretch our resources.
Yes, I do think about that and it is what helps me stay positive. I remember that while I am honing these skills, my daughter is always watching and learning. She will know how to cook from scratch (I love to cook but scratch cooking is also a neccessity with our financial situation)...she will know how to plant and tend to a garden, she will know how to bargin shop to get the best items at the lowest prices, she will learn that thrift store shopping can be uber fun and rewarding, she will learn that money does not mean happiness -- that you can be happy and fulfilled without being rich (or anywhere near), she will learn the art of creativity both with finances but with finding new, fun, inexpensive, creative things to do, she will learn that even though we don't have much, there are people out there that have way less and to help them out too (we give to charity and *try* to volunteer when I have the time and access to our car) ... she will learn about being environmentally concious, even though some of it is born of frugality, the bigger message is we don't clean with anything other than vinegar and baking soda, we aren't wasteful, we are conscious of resources and try to stretch them and use them mindfully, we use family cloth etc...

So while I do get down sometimes and pissy about our situation ---like when I can't take a leisurely lunch at the high dollar organic cafe with the other crunchy (but more well to do) mamas... I try to keep in mind all my daughter is learning about life, the environment, the value of a dollar, and how to be happy without having a lot of *things* and I think it will serve her well in the future.
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Old 05-15-2006, 06:14 PM
 
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I am reading what you all are writing and I have been there or am there- depending. We used to be really, really struggling and now we are just struggling. Hey that is great isn't it?

We also have that debt that we are trying to pay off...bla!

OK but here is my real issue-

how do you be a good wife to your dh. My dh is very, very upset about his "inability to provide" and I have to tell you he provides very well. We have a blended family so I have a child who doesn't get cs and then he pays cs so we sort of have two extra expenses. And he is doing a great job...I mean sure we don't have all that the jones have but we have as much as we need.

OK when we were having to save money to do laundry that was sucking...but now I can wash clothes with abandon - so long as I don't go crazy you know and start washing clean clothes OK sure I can't buy steak but I can buy meat for at least one meal a day. Dinner always has a meat dish. That is an improvment over soup day and egg day each week.

But no matter how much better things are he just stays so bitter at himself that we don't have more. And honestly if you consider where we were and where we are- we are rocking this world!

I don't know how to make him feel better about our struggles...he feels that my "being happy with what we have" is like giving in and not having drive...I feel like the more money we ahve the more things we would need so there never really is an end here...I mean if we were rolling the dough I am sure I would go to the $30 a day play groups and lord help me I could use a massage

So what do you do? He doesn't want me to go to work but he is always pushing to get ahead at work -even if it means working so many hours he isn't home anymore at all....and frankly I would rather be where we are and have dad around some than no dad. I don't mind some late nights- I just don't want ALL late nights and traveling 2 weeks a month you know? Besides it sin't like that would have us living in a mansion sipping martinis so why let the kids miss knowing dad?
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Old 05-15-2006, 06:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That's hard. I forget sometimes how much men's self-esteem can be linked to being a good provider for the family. I come from a family where both parents have post-graduate degrees (lawyer dad and MSW mom) and my dh comes straight out of poverty--often homeless as a kid, hunger being a big issue, all that. So while we are doing pretty well by the standard he grew up with, I know he always feels funny around my parents.

I really do my best to be a good partner to him by showing him that I am happy. I guess that's the most important way that I can show him that I think he IS a good provider. I also make supper our most luxurious meal of the day, so it looks like we have plenty.

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Old 05-15-2006, 07:44 PM
 
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This thread has some sad stories and I'm sad because our family fits right in with the very first poster's situation.

I think a discussion about a solution(s) would be the best thread ever written. How can we start one?
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Old 05-15-2006, 07:59 PM
 
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Funny... Ive never heard anyone else mention the potluck thing.I could feed that bowl of salad (or whatever I happened to bring) for three days!!!! I spend the money on the dish and dont end up with any leftovers!

I couldnt afford to throw a party for my partners 30th. And we didn't do anything for mothers day. We always make sure to do somthing for the kids... but rarely celebrate anything for ourselves.

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Old 05-15-2006, 09:06 PM
 
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I so needed this thread today! I'm right in the same boat!

What I'm tired of:
-Playing the bill holding game (you know, keeping track of who you pay at the last possible minute which month so you can rotate it, but hope you don't pay too soon and not have the $$ in there)
-Not being able to shop at the health food, organic sections/markets
-not being able to enroll DD into gymnastics, or dance or something special just for her.

What I LOVE:
-spending rainy days with everyone in jammies, making tents out of couch cushions and blankets
-being the one to notice every little new thing my kids do first
-knowing my kids inside and out
-having my nails done by a three year old: the color combinations are amazing and it's much more interesting painting more than just your nails!
-having a DH that loves us all enough to put family time before any $$ I'd make going back into the outside workforce

THanks for letting me know I'm not alone in these frustrations and joys.

"We think we're gliding down the highway when in fact we're slip sliding away." Paul Simon
DD-7 & B-G twins, 5
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Old 05-15-2006, 09:32 PM
 
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I found my tribe!!!
WOOHOOO, so people that know sometimes you have to "pay" to go to work!! I was just on the phone with a friend who make six figures a year and her advice was "oh just go get a job" and she could NOT figure out why I couldnt, because we cant afford for me to work!! I would have to make 25 bucks an hour just to bring home some extra money after all the daycare costs and gas and nice clothes for work and what not. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

Ok, I feel better!

About DHs not feeling like they "provide". I hear you on that one! My DH and I actually got into it tonight because he gets SO defensive when I bring up money. I feel so bad for him, it must hurt alot to know you bust your butt and it still isnt enough. I just dont know how to bring up money issues and not have him blow a fuse because he is embarressed or sad, KWIM?

But I am glad I get to play with my daughter and watch her grow and change everyday.

And I am darn proud of making it on what we have, no matter how "sad" of a life it may seem to others!!

Like my dad always says "It takes a strong person to stare poverty in the face and laugh. It takes an amazing person to live in poverty everyday and still laugh" and "it takes a million dollars to make a weathy person happy, but hell ,I would be happy with a dollar. See I am the better person, it takes less to make me happy!! "
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Old 05-15-2006, 09:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Rowdypea
It's hard to coordinate part-time work and child care, and when you factor in the amount of variation in child care quality, etc, it gets even trickier. It's not that I DON"T want ds in child care at all, I just want a good fit for us that is also affordable and willing to work with my pt work schedule (for a job I don't have yet). It's a tall order to fill.
Yes! This has been my issue for three years now. I can find part time care but it is substandard or has a huge (years) waitlist. We've been on some waitlists for 2 years now! Finally, one of our local Waldorf schools decided to open a mornings only preschool program that starts a half hour earlier than the other Waldorf school but that half hour means I can actually try to find a half time teaching job. But, it is pricey. It will probably take about 30% of any salary I make - assuming I find a teaching job in public school which will be hard due to major budget cuts in the schools. Ack! It is all so complicated. I thought about doing tutoring but that will not work with dh's schedule and the tutoring places that can guarantee hours only pay $10 an hour. That won't cover the childcare.



Rowdypea - TX for the

Mommymine - my dh was feeling the same too. He was so resentful a while back because another guy at work got the promotion he wanted. They've been there the same amount and have the same education and training and that guy has 3 small kids at home with his SAHW. So, they need the money more than us. But, it still hurt dh's feelings. Know what helped him - socializing with friends. He found an add in our local alternative newspaper about a family guy seeking other family guys to play music with, revolving around family's needs and schedules. He loves it. He goes over to the guy's house twice a month or so and that has helped him so much. Exercise helped his mood. He rides his bike to work to save money but has also lost 50 lbs and feels great. But, these things don't solve the whole problem. It is hard for our dh's too.


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