Lately, money matters have been on my mind. Why? Because of the following:
- We're having a baby in February (but I know that we have everything we need, so why worry)
- I have to decide in February/March to resign or to go back to work (I have no desire to go back to work quite yet, but I often think, did I just screw my family financially when I decided to leave my good paying job with the County? Yet, at the same time, I can't afford the stress of going back. Too much for my family, too much for me);
- I want my kids to have access to all sorts of different activities like dance classes, t-ball, soccer, swimming, art classes, music classes, etc (they do, we just have to limit them, which is a good thing, because even if we could afford them all, there is no way we have time to do them all.)
- S-l-o-w-l-y make changes to the house...which means waiting for certain appliances to die before we can begin looking at new ones (our appliances are sooooooo old, but they still work. But it would be nice if things could work a little more efficiently)
- I would love for Boogs to go to our parish supported Catholic school, but doubt it's going to happen in time for him to start kindergarten next year. (But at the same time, the local elementary school is just a few blocks away, there's nothing wrong with it, and the proximity is worth it's weight in gold. It's the middle school and high school that I really don't want him to go to)
There's more to my list...but that about covers it. I know I'm sounding spoiled. I have a roof over my head, food on our table, clothes on our backs. We are fine and I know this, but every now and then a seed of doubt gets planted, especially when I would love for my kids to participate in the end of year dance recital and the total bill (with costumes and performance fees) just isn't in our budget this year. Of course as I worry about the above financial matters I've come up with some "Lucy-type" harebrained
schemes ideas to support our family while I'm a SAHM. For example I signed up to do a ton of surveys and get paid for doing them. This drives Hubby nuts because he thinks my time is worth more than that. I'm also always looking for a business that I can start. I was a at-home consultant for The Body Shop (yes, the same store at the mall) and I did parties selling bath and body products. In all honesty I wasn't that good at it, but I enjoyed the extra money, meeting new people, and being my own boss. But it was a mixed blessing for me when the company decided to cut all of it's at-home consultants. But that doesn't stop me from thinking of things I could make and trying to sell them (hairbows or baby blankets, anyone?) I have a ton of ideas and I always run them by Hubby and my two BFFs and they usually tell me, "no." I think they (affectionately) call my ideas Lucy-esque behind my back...as in "I Love Lucy."If I had my druthers, I would earn money by writing. Plain and simple. I love writing, I would love if I could contribute to the family income by writing. I don't know if I'm any good at it, but I love it. Wouldn't it be awesome to earn money by doing something I love?Why am I sharing all of this with you, especially since it makes me sound spoiled and ungrateful? Because when my friend J. stayed with us this weekend, she read me some of the research that she was reading for one of her classes. It basically boiled down to that the time that is spent with kids in their early years, the better the relationship will be with them when they are older, like in their 20's. That is something I'm totally striving for with my own children. I want us to have a great relationship now and for it carry on through to when they are older. I want them to want to come home and visit from school or with their own families. I want them to be able to talk to us and not hide from us when they are confused, hurt, or angry. So what J. read to me was like a balm to my worried and weary soul. I always worry about money now that we don't have my income. I wonder (often) if I really hurt us financially by not working and earning money to help support the family. But she gave me the best news ever, that I am contributing to the family and that my investment of time with my kids is worth it's weight in gold and that I will reap the benefits down the road. That everything that I am working towards is good and that I am building a solid relationship with my kids. It's not a bad thing that we can't have everything we want when we want it. It will makes us more appreciative of what we do have or will get. So I will shelve the seeds of self-doubt and know that I'm doing good work right now, and that my family is benefitting from our ability to provide them with a secure and steady home with a mama who is available when they need her, because that's what works for our family. Thanks, J. for giving me a powerful reminder of why I'm doing what I'm doing!