Sunday, July 18, 2010

Living on 1 income is a leap of faith

Living on 1 income has been a leap of faith for our family. I have been a SAHM for 1 year now. In one way it is a celebration, because our family has been able to function on one income. I love the time I get to spend with my children. I try to plan activities and keep them busy. I have learned that I enjoy cooking, before I just felt like I threw food on the table. I never felt I had the time to enjoy it.

But, part of me still has lingering guilt over leaving my job. I left my job for 2 reasons. The first one being my health. During both of my pregnancies, I had issues with my blood pressure. When my son was born it seemed to go away. With my daughter, I developed the same problems, but this time after her birth, I remained on medication.

I also fought with depression. I was already a biological train wreck after her birth. The week after she was born, my aunt, who was like my second mother passed away suddenly. It tore my heart out because she never got to hold my littlest angel. She only saw a picture of her. This was just devastating to me. While, I was struggling with my own grief, my husband lost his younger brother the very next month. Our family was in a vortex of grief and there seemed to be no way out of it. Because, the very next month our daughter was in ICU for a week with RSV. I remember sitting with her and just crying. I felt alone and isolated. You see all of this happened within 3 months. I am just thankful that my daughter is strong and healthy.

The second reason was my work environment. It was slowly becoming a toxic place. I worked for a small private school. Our director began telling us teachers that our school was having financial trouble, half of us would not have jobs for the next school year. We were told the owner's didn't like certain teachers and that they only wanted to hire some of their friends, so they could spy on everybody. Our director was very paranoid.

I remember coming home from work very drained psychically and emotionally. I didn't want to be around my own children. I hated that feeling. My children aren't the job, but after being in class all day, I just felt I had nothing left to give my own.
My husband could just simply breathe wrong and I would be mad at him for no reason. I was angry at the world. I honestly was just in survival mode. After everything that had happened personally to our family, I just wanted to get through the remaining school year, enjoy my summer and have time to regroup myself.

The end of the school year came finally! Our director was fired. She had been lying to the staff and come to find out embezzling tuition money. I still had a job and was asked to take a year long course that would certify my for another level of Montessori teaching. I took the opportunity, but soon regretted it. I would have to travel and be away from my family for 2 months during the summer and 6 weeks spread through out the year. I talked it over with my husband and decided to go. I went for one day. I turned around and came back home. My heart wasn't in it.
I didn't want to be away from my family. I was tired and on the verge of a nervous breakdown. I resigned the next day.

I still struggle with some guilt. I feel like I should have been stronger. I feel selfish, that I put my needs above the needs of our family. But, I knew that if I didn't take care of myself there was no way I could take care of my family.

I feel guilty that I have put extra burden on my husband. There are times when we need that extra income and it's just not there. He has been very supportive for the most part. Once in a while, he will complain when the house is a wreck. But you know, sometimes when you have fished 6 naked Barbies out of the toilet or cleaned up an entire bottle chocolate syrup off the kitchen floor, you pick and choose your battles. The towels will get folded sooner or later.

I feel guilty because my son attended preschool there. I took him away from his friends. I feel guilty because my daughter didn't get to go there. I feel like I have deprived her of friends and opportunities. I know they are ok, because I try to do as much as I can with them during the day. I know that both of my children are learning.

My faith is just being tested because of some storms we are weathering. I really don't know what I want to do. Really, do not want to teach. I keep praying that an opportunity will show itself. If I could work part time or work from home, it would be a miracle. I have thought about going back to school. But in all honesty, I have been there and done that. I am not sure I want that stress again.

Right now, I am relying on the strength in the power of prayer to guide me and family.

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