April 21, 2014

FIAO 3.1 - Even though we ain't got money...

It's a good thing C and I love each other so much because in a few weeks we will be down to one very modest income and savings between the two of us. My boss and I have decided to cut me back to an "as-needed" basis on May 16th (I will sub if needed until the babies come) and the plan is to grin and bear it until the twins are old enough/I feel sane enough for me to start watching children in our home. This chapter in FIAO is about how we made this decision and later I will let you know how it's going. I will share what works for us and what hurts us as well as any tips I learn along the way. I already know that it is not going to be easy as we both have personal debt, I have student loan debt, plus our cars and household expenses. We are living pretty bare bones as it is and I have cut my spending down and been saving the surplus. I have completed budget plans and we will need to rely on our savings and the (already offered) help of family for a few months until some of our debt is paid off. It's going to be really hard at first but thankfully I am gifted with a versatile skill (people will always need childcare) and a great support system.

As far as why on earth anyone would make this decision upon finding out they're expecting twins, well there were a few considerations for us.  We knew pretty much the minute we found out about the twins that I would stay home with them. Due to the nature of home daycare my boss cannot give me free or reduced childcare and still pay me enough to work there. So if I went back with the girls I would essentially be paying my boss back a huge chunk of my paycheck in order to watch my own kids.  That's not happening.  I could just go get another job but I could never, ever, pay someone else to watch my kids when all I've ever done is watch other people's kids. That just seems unnatural and as hard as it will be I know this is the right choice.

As for when to leave, that was not as easy to decide.  Ultimately it came down to preventing problems before they arise and taking care of myself. I also did not want to wait until, God forbid, something bad happened and then H was left to find someone without me. I need to be giving myself the best care possible and to be honest working in child care is miserable right now. I can't pick any of the kids up anymore, I'm exhausted after half an hour of playtime and my aches, pains and heartburn are making even the most fun activities hard to get through. I haven't changed a bad diaper in months because of the nausea and I am so germ-phobic that I'm avoiding all accidents, blow-outs and nose-faucets. Essentially I am being paid (very well for home daycare I might add) just to sit there and watch.  It's no fun for me, no fun for my kids and certainly more difficult on my assistant and boss.

So in the end I've decided to leave not only before anything bad happens (e.g. bed rest, preterm labor, TTTS) but also before I become completely useless at work.  Just this past week I was up the entire night with a killer headache. I took the morning off to catch up on sleep and just as I was going to get up the headache came back along with a bad nosebleed. I called my OB who said it was just hormones,  dry nasal tissue and increased blood volume. I was fine but there was no way I was going to work feeling that way.  I don't get sick or vacation time so when I need to take time I am losing income anyway.  At least if I'm unemployed we will qualify for WIC and other benefits while we need them. I am not a mooch and I do not condone or plan on utilizing social services any longer than absolutely necessary. We are the people for whom programs like that were invented. As soon as I am able I will be taking in children and in the future I hope to open a preschool program or something for homeschooling families.

I know that we are so incredibly lucky to have the support we have and that we could not provide for our girls the life they deserve without it. We did not plan well and we are learning as we go but I believe that love, support and a strong home are what make children the happiest and the healthiest they can be. And we've got that and more. Like I said...

Even though we ain't got money,
I'm so in love with you, honey,
And everything will bring a chain of love.
And in the morning, when I rise,
You bring a tear of joy to my eyes
And tell me everything is gonna be alright.

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