Today I feel like giving myself a pat on the back for managing to feed my family of three on the small amount of money we have every month. We eat far too much pasta for my husband’s liking and can’t afford the Doritos my daughter asks for every time we go grocery shopping but they at least are not going hungry. There was a couple on Rachel Ray a few months ago that said their weekly food budget was $60.00 a week. I wish I had that. It’s funny how just a few months ago when I still worked full time I thought we were hard pressed to live on $600.00 a month for food. Necessity makes you creative and helps you to learn to live on a little. I do admit that I personally skip meals and eat only a half portion of dinner to ensure leftovers for my husbands lunch the next day. I do get so angry when he decides to buy lunch instead of eating them. Is it a win if I myself am going hungry? The hunger doesn’t help my anger issues or feeling of resentment so I am making a vow to myself to make sure to take care of myself. I need to eat just as much as the other members of my family.
Daily decorating by a five year old
I am quickly finding out that when people ask you if you enjoy staying home they don’t really want to know the truth. They want to hear you say yes, you love it rather than no it is really boring. Nothing seems to end the conversation quicker than a no. So I am learning to just say yes. I have had some advice to get involved in the school and I just smile because I don’t think I could be more involved. I stay for family reading every morning in my daughters class; I am the co chair of the parents committee as well as a member of three subcommittees; attend all of the monthly assemblies; and all of the parent coffee mornings with the principal. Still I get bored. Then I have to laugh at myself because on paper I wonder how on earth I could be. So I take a deep breath and let go of the what ifs and enjoy what is.
I have been thinking a lot lately about how my daughter isn’t really mine anymore. Sure she used to go to daycare and spent a good portion of her day with her providers but it was still within a confined little world. School however is so much different. There are people who know her and that she knows that I don’t. This is a struggle. My five year old bundle of energy, creativity, and goofiness is her own person and a part of this world separate from me. Other people meet her and form opinions of her without my influence or awareness. I can only hope that I am teaching her to be kind, thoughtful, and a good friend.
These past few months have been tough. My romanticized version of what it would be like staying home have come crashing down with the realities of non stop child care, no money for hobbies, and the isolation of not having colleagues to talk to every day. I find myself being too harsh, too short tempered, and full of self pity. I lost track of the things that I used to like over the last few years and slowly allowed myself to disappear as I focused on being a mom. The perfect analogy for this would be that when we had to move in with my MIL a few years ago I let all my plants die. I used to love to garden and I just left them outside in the middle of winter so I would have one less thing to take care of.
But today; today the sun is shining and I am starting to pull myself out of my funk. So what if I can’t afford all that pretty fancy fabric I see online, as another post I read reminded me quilting used to be all about the scraps and living on a budget. So today I read a sewing tutorial and I am going to make a skirt with my daughter’s old curtains for her to wear. I scrapped together some loose change and bought a small plant in a two inch pot. It will grow. Slowly but surely I can make my life into what I imagined it to be without needing money.