Tag Archives: stress

Fumbling with Finances

It’s Friday night. There’s a husband and daughter I adore sleeping upstairs and a baby kicking away in my belly, but all I can think about is money. When I was young I always thought when you were an adult you made enough money to do what you wanted and needed and that was that.

But of course it’s not really like that, especially in this economy. I’ve created many detailed spreadsheets and built out various scenarios, trying to anticipate any cost that we may incur. I spend so much time (almost every day) updating and worrying over each pay cheque, it’s started to take over my life.

Now with baby number 2 on the way and a recent need to replace my husband’s car on the horizon, I just don’t know how I can make it all work. How do people make it work? I guess some people make more money, and certainly I wish that I were in a position to strive for a new and exciting career status (ideally one that came with a salary increase) but as I type this reaching over my 8 month pregnant belly, it’s not an option.

Should we ride this car into the ground, even if I think it’s potentially not the safest to be carting around 2 kids? Our work schedules are too different to accommodate downsizing to only one car. Should we have not had a second child and bought a new car instead? Is it either or, not both? I know people who make less than we do get by and likely don’t even stress as much as I do. But between commuting and daycare, I’ve run out of ways to stretch the dollars. I worry if I make big decisions without exploring all the potential pitfalls that we’ll become swallowed up by both the debt and stress and that’s not good for us or our kids. When does being an adult become easier? How can you avoid getting swallowed up by the stress while still being fiscally responsible? Is that even possible anymore?

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The Nag

In a few weeks is my 5 year wedding anniversary. Not a huge milestone by any means, I know, but it’s significant to me. I never really thought about being someone’s wife. I never thought about being someone’s mother either but I’m glad I’m both. I probably don’t do either perfectly, but I certainly try.

But sometimes with those roles come unwanted labels: the nag, the buzzkill, the financial analyst. Whether it’s your husband himself or his friends or coworkers ribbing about things he’s “allowed” to do – those are the situations I really hate. I consider myself a fun person or at least I try to be, but often finances, kid bedtimes, life – get in the way. And while there are some pitfalls to these labels, and they can hurt, I guess that’s part of life. I do my best to keep the budget intact, get the kid to bed on time. (Dads always seem to be the fun parents too). But I try to carve out my own fun, get out from under the labels when I can. I have excellent girlfriends who like a good road trip or a trip to the spa and I try to be a fun Mom along with the enforcer of rules.

When we first got married and I thought about our 5 year anniversary, I had fancy visions of taking a trip to Hawaii or somewhere equally exciting. But, another thing I’ve learned since then is that life doesn’t always work out the way you planned. I may not be going to Hawaii this year, but I have a husband who I still miss like crazy when he’s away and a little girl that is as stubborn and mouthy as her mother but is smarter and more hilarious than I’ll ever be.

I guess the point is, you have to take the good with the bad and not dwell on what you can’t change – that’s something I personally struggle with all the time. As the merger at work continues for a few months more, I realize all the more how many things are beyond my control. But while I struggle and freak out internally, I try to remember that work isn’t my whole life and I still have a lot to be thankful for.

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