OK - this is going to be long and depressing. Just have to get out my thoughts.
Since Nick's 25% pay cut I have just had this dread in the pit of my stomach. I don't want to eat (for many reasons) and I wake up several times every night having a panic attack. I just feel this pit of dread in my stomach for many reasons.
First, I am beginning to think we are not meant to be successful. There is something wrong with us as people, something missing in us that will NEVER allow us to be successful. We have never had any extra money until Nick's last job. Never. It has really only been this last job (and really the last year at the last job) that we have finally felt like we could start to live. We could eat healthy foods and not noodles and butter. We could start looking at putting braces on the kids teeth. We could take them to a Taylor Swift concert. We could go to the movies about once a month. When a car broke (and they brake a lot) we could fix it. For the first time ever I started to relax about money and enjoy life. Part of me wishes I hadn't because maybe then we would have had some money saved, but it was nice to start to relax. NEVER in my life have I been able to do that - EVER.
Then the paycut hit. . . 25% is HUGE. Down here where you are going to pay at least $1500/month in rent on anything in a decent school district, and a bag of apples can cost you $8, a 25% pay cut hurts. There will be no braces for the kids teeth on this pay. There will be no car repairs on this pay. This pay will pay our bills, but only if I cut our food budget by 25% as well. If I can't keep to this new food budget then this pay won't even pay our bills. We are worse off financially then we were before we moved down here - because not only do we have this rent payment but we also have a mortgage size student loan payment to pay as well.
So, added to this horribly tight budget comes the realization that we have little to no help. In Michigan if a car broke we could borrow my mom's until we got ours fixed. In Michigan if one of our jobs was running late than we could have my Mom pick the kids up at daycare - and my step father watched the kids in the summer which saved us a fortune. In Michigan there was always fish and venison in the freezer from family who had extra. In Michigan I had a job that I loved that was very flexible. I had cousins and aunts and uncles that helped to remind me of who I am. In Michigan, with the exception of the LONG winters, I was happy and could be who I am. I know we have family that will help if they can - but they are many states away - Texas/Michigan. We have already gotten some help, and we are so thankful for that. But I am scared.
So, every morning I wake up sick to my stomach. Not wanting to eat because of this sick to my stomach feeling AND not wanting to eat for fear that with this tight food budget that me eating might mean the kids don't. My husband's car is 20 years old - so at some point every day I panic about what the next big repair will be and how we are going to pay for it. Every day I look at Gabe's teeth, that need braces, and wonder how we are going to pay for that. I see the twins teeth coming in and wonder pray they come in straight. I know what it is like to have a mouthful of crooked teeth and how that affects people's opinions of you. I look at Gabe going off to college in 5 years and wonder how we are going to pay for that, along with the girls several years later. I look at the lack of retirement that we have - no pensions through Nick's work - no matching for us adding through Nick's work (like we can even add to it right now anyway) and wonder what the heck are we going to do.
I have been applying for jobs, Dietitian jobs. I remember how my family feel apart before when I worked full time. I remember sitting in the suicide room at Munson with Gabe because of the stress of me working full time before. Can my family survive me going back to work full time? There are a few part time options out there - but not many. I have sent out my resume to every one of them, and thus far have heard nothing back. That also adds a stress - has my two years out of the work force made me undesirable? Then there is the entire daycare stress - all daycares close at 6 - could I even get back here in time from some of these jobs by 6 to get the kids? Could we afford all the kids in daycare? The only full time daycares out there are $500 for the three girls. Gabe would have to go to the school run daycare, another $80 per week, but they don't offer care on Fridays. Could Gabe be OK on Fridays here alone?
I am sick with worry. I am trying to hear Grandma's words, "Don't worry, trust in God." I know worry is a sin. I know it is, but I can't help but worry. Lots of God loving people have horrible things happen to them. I am trying to have faith and just go with it, but waking up in the middle of the night in pure panic is hard.
On top of that - I hate what this is doing to my kids. I hate the kind of wife, mother, and person this is making me into. The twins were invited to a birthday party next week and I asked them what they wanted to get the girl, Lucy said, "Well, there is that swimsuit I only wore once, we can give that to her." And Ellie said, "I think so that we can save pennies we should give her one of our toys." This just stinks. Ellie made a Mother's day card for me and one of the questions on there was, "If your mother had one wish what would it be?" and she wrote, "To be rich."
As a kid in poverty I said to myself that my kids would NEVER know that feeling. I was going to go off to college and marry someone who was a hard worker and our kids would grow up middle class. They wouldn't know what it was like to be hungry or homeless. They wouldn't know what it is like to not have heat or water in their home. My kids would have braces if they needed them and they would have help with college. . . .now I feel like I am failing them as a parent.
I don't know. . . I hate myself right now. I hate my life right now. I hate that I don't know if we are going to be able to meet all our kids needs. I hate where I live. The few people outside this house that I like down here are all leaving this summer so when they go we ill have absolutely no support system down here. I love my kids and right now they are they only thing that is keeping me going - but I don't know how much longer I can keep going this way. I have to find a way out of this because I can't stand my life right now. . .