You girls that have emailed, “concerned” cause I haven’t been around – WOW. Those emails came thru on days when I really needed them.
I want to explain. BUT, I don’t mean to make a big fuss. Look, I know everyone has a story. Everyone’s life has really shitty, difficult aspects (pardon my French). People are frying much bigger fish than I am but if anything I share can encourage anyone… well… so be it.
If I was going to talk about a chapter of life, I would say the last five years have progressively gotten more difficult and more difficult. Thankfully ebbing and flowing but increasing in stress none-the-less.
That was about the time I had my second baby and our successful painting/faux finishing business went down la toilette. If I go back and re-read the posts from back then – whoosh – it takes me back to that terrified, how are we going to pay the bills feeling. But, we trimmed back… muddled thru. And sent our resume after resume to no avail.
Then two years later the call for the current job came thru. Dreadful pay, but we took it, so there would be SOMETHING coming in. Remember (as many of you know) when you are self employed, there is no “unemployment”. You are just – on your own.
Three months later we had another baby.
Now, you may not have any sympathy (and I don’t care) you may (as some have), criticize our desire to grow our family without the income we were used to. Well, here is the thing. We made the decision that we did not want to be in our 60’s some day – looking back ay this stinking economy and saying “We let MONEY keep us from having the family we wanted???” We just thought that would be more horrible than suffering thru budgets and shoestrings.
Than 20 months later we had another baby. Our “last.” And we finally started to wake up about a few things.
#1 – We loved our neighborhood but were sick of living in town. We had the itch for space.
#2 – Reality check – 4 children on one very blue collar income in the suburbs of Chicago was not going to work. We had mulled it over for years, always thinking we could figure it out… but when you have made every other cut you can…. The historic house on the corner lot with the home equity loan and the taxes that would make you fall over if I told you what they were… well… that life… with the life we had chosen (IE: our children), that life wasn’t for us.
So we put the house up for sale.
Now thru all this time – obviously — COUNTLESS JOYS — but if you read between the lines – you know the deal – the stressful conversations about money – the temptation to look at your friends and wonder why they “have it so easy” – the tears and confusion over leaving the house that I had “created” from the stones in the potager to the hand painted tile. Depression would peep it’s head in… last summer was bad — panic attacks, chest pains!
(I want to interject that when I gripe to you or even my friends about money, I am not talking about being malcontent, I am talking about real, financial stress, the kind that wares on you… there are a lot of lovely things in life that I am very comfortable with never having. Yes, I love beautiful things and have expensive tastes but I don’t recall a time I ever found myself whining about not being able to have them. I am very laid back about that kind of stuff — I always joke, “I wouldn’t drive an Escalade if I could.” Ok, it’s an inside joke… never mind).
BUT ME?? Panic attacks and chest pains???
And the winters – they seemed to get worse and worse.
Case in point–
-The move was more stressful than I EVER could have imagined. EVER. Then to find myself pregnant the next morning!
-The sale on our house fell thru (the house we are selling for practically the price of a Birken Bag) — say au revoir profit margin. My dear, hard working husband is paying double everything – all those stupid utilies so the damn pipes don’t freeze — like flushing money down a toilet.
-I am having a hard time with the old house. We still have crap in the basement and garage. We still have to run over there for things now and then til we have the time and help to finish it and it about kills me every time. I haven’t actually spoken to my neighbors since fall and I feel like we are the scourge of the neighborhood. The house looks abandoned and we never wanted that for the neighborhood. It’s not our fault the sale took forever and then fell thru. Our agent is working with the buyer to try to “put it back together” but in the meantime I just can’t go there anymore. The pine tree that I LOVE so dearly cracked in half during a wind storm and so on Hoolie’s birthday we had to lock the four kids in the empty house and use a rented chain saw to cut it up and stack it in the front yard. THAT SUCKED! I just need to be DONE with that house – it’s torture thinking that our old neighbors think we “walked” when we didn’t (We didn’t even get to say goodbye to anyone and that broke my heart) and it’s torture pulling in that driveway feeling like I am home. I love this farm. I don’t regret being here one bit. But I can’t go back in time by pulling in that drive – I can’t do it anymore.
-Praise the Lord this first trimester has actually been easier than the other four – but that is hard to remember when you are puking once a day instead of 12 times a day. And tired… the fatigue with the little ones to school and care for! OH MY GOSH — people, get married and pregnant when you are YOUNG and horny and full of energy!!!
-Last month I had this “scare” – first not hearing the baby heartbeat – that was only two hours but there was another health issue that really freaked me out. I’m good — gonna keep an eye on it but THANKFULLY nothing that will hurt my baby. But boy, that freaked me out. Just thinking about my babies needing a healthy Momma was too much.
-Hubbies hours have been cut all over the place – making things like filling the gas tank just to go to church — not fun.
-And to top it off — This last month – well, winter finally got to me. Like it never has before. I hate winter and every year I get a little funky come January but this time got a little scary…. lot’s of crying… lot’s of “fetal position” moments. I’ve just been so sad. I don’t know, after this lease is done… as much as I want to move up to Door County some day… I don’t know if after this winter and how it got to me, if I can do this climate the rest of my life. It really freaked me out.
It’s horrid and NINE DEGREES out now, but thankfully we have had a little sun here and there that has helped my spirits lift, I am into my second trimester and suddenly not near as sick feeling (though my tailbone constantly feels like it’s cracked) — the seeds and grow lights will be here any day and the garden is going to be OUT OF THIS WORLD… for a rental that is :), we have found a new church (ours split a few years back) that hubby and kids LOVE, and though money is tighter than it has ever, ever been – I feel worlds better than I did ever three weeks ago.
I don’t know what I am writing all this.
I have said WAY TO MUCH I am sure.
Like I said, I’ve got friends that have dealt with life a hundred times harder than this — but I guess I just want to affirm any housewives out there – and tell you that it is OK if the penny pinching and stressing it out has finally gotten to you. I want to tell anyone who is feeling abnormally sad this winter – YOU’RE NORMAL (I thought I was going crazy). I want to tell anyone who feels like all their families dreams have been trashed by this economy… you know what girl? We just have to make new dreams! We have to keep fighting. Keep loving and supporting our husbands. We have to praise God. Lord knows that is when I get into the most trouble – when I go for too long without praising God. It’s hard to praise when you are so pissed off and sad – I know, I know.
Yes, reality sucks. (I mean, you should see the lack of sunshine on the ten day!!!! Sigh.)
But life is wonderful.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your concern.
I will come back to regular blogging real, real soon.