Thursday, May 12, 2011

Stay at home mom for the summer

I'm a person that likes to be in control. I'm certain this is no surprise to any of my regular readers. :) And right now, there is a LOT going on in my life that I have little to no control over. It's tough, but I've actually been navigating it better than I have in the past.

Mike finished his last exam about 20 minutes ago (so much relief) so the big unknown remaining on this issue is when he's going to find a full time position. Obviously, we're hoping it won't take too long, but in this economy, we may have a long wait ahead of us. We don't have flexibility to move (makes no sense for us, given both sets of parents now here, plus I'm up for tenure next year) so that makes it even harder.

We're trying to plan for the summer and fall, as well as for things that need doing around our house, and the financial unknown makes many of these things next to impossible right now. We're just trying to hang in there.

Last night over supper, we got to talking about two big issues: one is our hot water heater, which has been on the fritz, frustratingly enough given that it's only 3 years old. The other is Hank's summer activities.

Living on one income, money is always tight, and this hot water heater issue has thrown a wrench into our budget. Homeownership, sigh. Our heater has only a limited warranty, so we tried to get by with Mike swapping in a part the manufacturer surmised would solve the problem. It didn't. Thus, we had to call the plumber, and $200 later we find that to even fix the thing, it would cost about half of what a new heater would cost! AND, we're not totally confident this part will fully do the trick for the long term. We have a bit of a rogue heater, apparently. Either way, it's going to cost at least $400, so this is not good news.

On the heels of that, we finally made the time to determine what to do for Hank this summer. I'm going to be home this summer, obviously, with the new baby, and Henry will be done with school in late June. Mike will also be home, apart from a summer class that he's teaching, and looking for work, of course. I was thinking that maybe Hank would enjoy the summer camp that our daycare offers for school aged children for a day or two per week for a handful of weeks in the summer.

The thing is, I'm not used to being a stay at home mom. I'm certain all stay at home moms will find my worry very odd, since they handle this on a daily basis. :) But when I was home on maternity leave with Hank I found it very difficult to be home. I was very depressed, granted, and I had absolutely *no clue* how hard it was to care for a newborn baby. It was just a tough time in my life. So this time, I'm taking lots of precautions toward keeping up my mental health. I thought that it would help to have a few days here and there where I just had the baby, and Hank would get to play with kids his own age. I figured it would be good for both of us.

As Mike and I looked over the registration form, however, he suddenly said, "You know, I don't think we should send him at all." And in that moment, I knew he was right. For one thing, it's VERY expensive. And we'd have to pre-pay some of it now. Plus, we'd need to buy a town swimming pass for him and several other items on top of the tuition cost. Even for just a day per week, over the course of the entire summer, it would really add up.

Also, we're going to be home, and it just seems like a hassle to finagle all the registration requirements when we could just keep him home and save the money. So, that's what we're going to do.

I'm worried, because, well, that's what I do best. And honestly, I feel a bit pathetic. My great-grandmother raised 15 children; I'll have 2, and I'm all concerned that I won't be able to handle it. :) But I feel really peaceful about it. I have 2 friends, one two houses over and the other around the block, that stay at home with their kids, so I'll have a social support network right near by. And I want to make the time with the kids this summer really special. Maybe I can go to daily Mass, go to the zoo, do all sorts of nice things that we don't have time to do otherwise. I'm getting all frontier woman, plotting how to can tomatoes and make my own Play Doh. I really think it's going to be ok.

As for the fall, that remains to be seen. I'll be coming back to work, and we'll just have to see what happens with Mike finding a job. Somehow, I know that it'll be ok.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for commenting! I read and appreciate every single one, and I will respond to each one personally!