I’m feeling a bit bruised today. I feel as if this month, or more precisely these last few months, have been a real battle, mostly about money. It’s easy for money not to be an issue when you have enough.
Hubbie and I have fought hard to arrange our lives so that money isn’t an issue. We’ve made many choices that have put lifestyle over income and possessions. But some things, like Christmas, or birthdays, bedroom furniture and children’s parties, all fall under lifestyle rather than unnecessary expense.
And that’s fine and as it should be.
But when they all come at once, along with some other sources of income not happening when they should, it all leads to stress. And the biggest stress for me is that I don’t earn anything. For all the rationalisation that hubbie couldn’t do his job if I didn’t look after the house and kids, I still hate spending ‘his’ money.
I knew writing was not the lucrative financial choice. I used to make more in a day contracting than I made all last year selling books. And that’s okay. Right up to the point where I want to spend money on something other food and fuel and don’t feel like I can.
I don’t want to give up writing, but I know hubbie is tired of me crying all time because I’m worried about money, because I feel worthless without an income. And I worry I’m risking friendships because I don’t want to spend money on a day out, night out, weekend away or other expensive thing. One short contract would make it all easier. I could pay for my daughter’s party, new bed and bike, and still have enough left over to proofread my next manuscript.
But I can’t even think where to start. Now my daughter’s at school I’d have to arrange childcare before and after school. Not to mention having to buy a whole new wardrobe of suits in my post-baby body size. And then I’d have to convince one of my old contacts that I still know anything about insurance and/or marketing. After five years out, I probably don’t. It’s a fast moving industry – new regulations, new channels; five years ago social media barely existed.
Even if I did find something, it wouldn’t be on my former salary. I’d probably not actually bring in much extra money, after we’d paid for childcare, not to mention the extra pressure on the family if mummy wasn’t at home cooking, cleaning, washing and ironing. There’s a meme going around facebook that says:
Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you’re still paying for – in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it ~ Ellen Goodman
Craziness. Do I really need to put my children in childcare and put us all under stress just so I can feel I have my own money to spend? Instead of doing what I love – walking the dog, taking care of my family and writing novels? Having time to play board games and cook dinner, with time over to learn how to bake cakes? Put like that it’s all a bit silly. But still, earning a few hundred pounds a month might be nice!