Her blog post that was published in the Huffington Post recently dealt with the issue of mommy guilt and the mommy wars - working vs. staying at home. Interestingly, I've been thinking of it more lately and realizing that even if I wanted to (and I don't), I can't feasibly stay at home with my kids after my unemployment runs out. We don't make enough money for that to happen. It's a SOBER REALITY.
It's not because we have a luxurious lifestyle to maintain either. Quite the opposite. Here are some sobering facts:
- My husband makes a decent salary.
- We both have masters degrees.
- We do not have substantial credit card debt or student loans, etc.
- Our mortgage loan is less than 250k (in South Orange County) - it's not a mansion.
- We have a small HOA fee.
- My car is paid for and doesn't guzzle gas.
- Our family car has a payment of less than $200 a month with a loan balance of less than 5000.
- We do not outsource house cleaners or spa maintenance or landscapers.
- We rarely get babysitters.
- We live very frugally.
- The oldest chickadee goes to public school and the youngest chickadee goes to an affordable preschool twice a week - the cheapest we could get.
- We don't sign the chickadees up for expensive sports or activities - just the cheapest classes we can find.
- I haven't bought any formula or baby wipes for the l'il chicken hawk for his entire life.
- I've only bought a few boxes of disposable diapers; mainly I cloth diaper and cloth wipe with my own solution.
- I don't have a Starbucks habit (anymore).
- I don't go to Costco anymore except for gas.
- Target trips have been cut down.
- We go to the public library for books and entertainment.
- We rarely get a babysitter or go out on dates.
- We have a very affordable family gym membership that I'm not willing to give up.
We do go out to eat on occasion, but we really enjoy not having to cook some days. Mostly me. So I guess the utilities, groceries and day-to-day expenses are just too expensive here in Southern California. It's amazing that some families can make it on one salary.
Also, we both have family out of state, so visiting them requires paying big money. But NOT visiting them isn't an option in my opinion. I get homesick and miss my family. Our double-income friends ask us to do things occasionally that we have to pass on and that sucks - dinners, trips, sports...
I have a second interview tomorrow and if I get this job, it will really help with our household income, and hopefully help with my increasing depression, anxiety and agoraphobia. I think I found a way to only give away half of my income to childcare. Sending up my prayers for this opportunity!