We have a salary and employee sponsored health insurance. We don’t need to get a 2nd car pronto as annoying as metro in winter can be it’s still a perfectly doable option (that many families deal with and only have one car). The heater is working in the house, we have a meeting with our pastor next week and one with our financial advisor in a couple of weeks once we’ve settled into the salary.

The physical weight of being overwhelmed has lifted I kid you not. It’s amazing. I’m still exhausted, but that constant bearing down of doom is gone.

Yet I don’t feel  happy.

Is it the depression? Probably somewhat. I think too that it is the realization that all these issues in our marriage that I’d been putting off “till we’re in a better place” can’t be put off any longer. We have Things To Talk About that I can’t bring up because it causes a fight every time and then when I lose it in front of our pastor I’m accused of just steam rolling him. I don’t feel like it’s a safe place to talk unless there’s a witness, then I know I will be Heard.

Or maybe it’s just chemical. I had pretty bad postpartum depression due to hubs job loss and me needing to go work in my office when my baby was 9 weeks old. That was an awful 4.5 months of my life and I don’t remember a lot of it. I do remember when he got a job, and I was able to take a pay cut to do the same thing but from home, thinking how everything was working out and yet I was not Happy. That’s when I started meds. I wonder if my body has been supplementing itself with cortisol and adrenaline for so long that my already crappy ability to produce serotonin was affected. I need to get back to therapy but at $300/pop I’m not so sure. We’ll see if the new health insurance covers 60/40 or something. I’m not holding my breath.

But life goes on. I hate that I think I’d be a better mom and a better person if my husband wasn’t a part of my every day life. I have absolutely no idea how we’d get on (me and the girls that is) financially without moving in with my parents, but the fact that I even think about it must mean something. Still, we move on. Maybe someone I know will win the powerball and gift me my freedom. Ha.

You don’t know stress till you have to re-upload all the loan modification documents, both the initial ones and the additional information ones, to your mortgage company a month after you sent over the first batch. They were all there last week when I called to check in, why they weren’t there today I don’t know. But I at least got a loan officer on the phone who gave me her personal email (not the modification assistance general mailbox) to send these docs directly to her.

Word to the wise: always track every conversation with mortgage or home equity loan companies. Even if it’s just the date, who you spoke to, and the result that everything is “in process.” You never know when all that will be essential, even the simplest of interactions. Thank goodness I love spreadsheets.

It’s real, yo.

I get a little mini panic attack every time someone asks me why I’m not working full time too.  The answers are many:

  1. hubs has greater earning potential in the long run right now so he needs to seek out a position that keeps him as top breadwinner in the family
  2. have you looked into childcare costs lately? The amount I make as a freelancer is close to what I’d make if I was working full time less the cost of two kids childcare, especially in the summer when I would need full time care/camp for two of them for 10 weeks solid.
  3. and yes, someday I probably will go back to work, some hours out of the home, when the little one starts kindergarten in 2017. I’m so thankful there are more and more positions out there offering flexibility or part time during school hours. Not to mention I’ll have the time to give my photography business the time it deserves so maybe that will be taking off by then and I won’t need to take an office job.

Then there are the less well known reasons.

  1. I had to go back to work when my oldest was 9 weeks old when hubs was laid off totally unexpectedly (side note: 11 years of marriage, 2 kids, 4 layoffs together). This is what sparked a bad ass case of PPD that never totally went away. I’m still medicated.
  2. I grew up with a work-at-home mom, piano teacher edition. She went back to teaching high school when my brother was little because her dream job fell into her lap. A year later my dad left his job to work from home in the early days of home internet. So except that one year when my brother went to a friends house in the morning and everyone was home by the time elementary school was over, there was ALWAYS a parent in the house. It freaks me out to not be there for my girls if something was to happen at school and I couldn’t be there in a split second. I didn’t have kids to send them to daycare, although there are days now that that little one isn’t so little anymore that that doesn’t seem like a bad idea…

And the scariest reasons are:

  1. Exhaustion is a part of my everyday. I am tired from when I get up in the morning till when I go to bed. Two much stress plus low thyroid function plus depression plus anxiety disorder plus stress plus two kids plus stress = pooped.
  2. BRAIN FOG. I swear, I had only heard about this before. I used to be sharp and with it and organized and on top of things, capable of juggling multiple projects at once.  Now I can barely get a writing assignment done in a reasonable amount of time. I don’t think like that anymore. I get spacey, I lose track, I feel like I go in circles.

So to me, I’m not working because the thought of being in an office, even just part time, responsible for other peoples work, deadlines set by bosses, responsibilities, etc. scares the shit out of me. I can’t do a task for an hour and then lay down for a nap like I do at home. I can’t space out in meetings and not be able to formulate words and thoughts in front of superiors and peers.

I spent 9 years working both in an office and from home for one organization and juggled a crazy workload at various times, taking on responsibilities above my pay grade like it was no big thing. I look back and have no fucking idea how that was possible, even when I was pregnant (twice) and had PPD (once). My contract ended when I was 6 months pregnant with my 2nd kiddo, and thankfully I’m glad I wasn’t re-hired on a different contract (they tried). It sucked then, but I don’t know how I’d do it now.

So that’s the long and short of why I’m not “working.” Now I need to go take a nap before bracing to deal with a swim meet tonight.