Things that no one talks about, because it's generally considered awkward. I'm struggling with a lot of unmentionables right now and I don't know where to turn. I feel like I should go talk with a professional, but that costs money and money is one of the issues that is currently part of the problem.
I don't know if it's a valid explanation but I wonder how many women experience PRE-partum depression. I know I suffered from some postpartum anxiety after I had Brandt, but I never had any of the feelings before he was born that I'm working through right now. I'm on edge a lot and sad, and I feel disjointed and scared. I know postpartum depression is something that more and more women are admitting to experiencing, thanks in part to people like Brooke Shields and more recently, Heather Armstrong. (Tom Cruise can go to hell). It seemed that prior to Brooke Shields, postpartum depression used to be synonymous with Andrea Yates, which was the most horrific story I have heard regarding such severe depression. Although I firmly believe that her husband is 50% responsible for several reasons, but that could be just me watching too much A&E Biography while I was pregnant with Brandt.
Brandt has been exhibiting some more challenging behavior recently and that seems to amplify my negative feelings, mostly because some days I feel defeated before 8:30 in the morning and wonder how I'm going to get through the next 11 hours. It's not his fault, he is just working through his own set of emotions and developmental milestones. But the more times he kicks and screams because he doesn't want to get in his car seat, or when he refuses to sit in carts and runs all over the store, the more I feel useless and inefficient and emotionally exhausted. Not to mention physically exhausted. So how am I going to keep what little sanity and emotional well-being I have left when I add a newborn to the mix?
Speaking of our new addition, I have done NOTHING to prepare. Aside from ordering nursery bedding that is currently on a shelf in the closet that will eventually be hers that is still half full of crap I need to deal with. I'd like to sell a lot of it, or just donate it. I'm into purging excess because unless it's some form of nostalgia (like pictures or important documents) and you haven't seen it in three years, chances are you won't miss it. I have a real aversion to clutter and it makes me nuts that there is still crap in this closet that I can't work through.
Money is the final unmentionable on my list of things that are weighing me down at the moment. So awkward, right? No one talks about money because it makes everyone uncomfortable. But, eff it. I was so close to returning to full time work last fall but I didn't get the job then because they had put it on hold. So Joe and I decided to pursue a larger family, and wouldn't you know it, 2 weeks after I found out I was pregnant they called me back to discuss the position again. I knew I couldn't take the job, although I WOULD HAVE LOVED TO. It was back in HR with a large company with good benefits. And I was SO ready to have some sort of professional identity back in my life. But I also knew I wouldn't qualify for FLMA or any kind of short term disability, so they wouldn't be required to hold the job after I had the baby and I knew I would want to stay home for a decent amount of time after the baby's arrival, and I would have felt bad committing to a job just to leave it 8 months later. So I continue to work 15 hours a week at Hallmark, which is fine, but it's doesn't have a huge impact on our net monthly earnings. A few hundred extra dollars, which definitely helps with groceries but I still wish I could contribute more financially.
To sum up, Joe and I (combined) earn less than my previous salary when I was employed full time. Just my salary. Never mind that Joe was earning very good commissions before he was laid off. But we're okay, not super, but definitely treading water closer to the shallow end where our toes can at least (barely) touch. But it's still stressful and has been an adjustment to learn how to save any way we can. We don't go out to eat unless we have a gift card or it's a really special occasion. I use coupons, compare prices down to the cost per ounce or cost per unit, I only buy things if they're on sale AND I have a coupon. I stock up at Costco and we eat a lot of the same food because I can get a lot of leftovers out of it. Luckily both our cars are paid for, but Joe still has this nagging concern that something will go drastically wrong with one of our cars and there is no way we can afford a car payment. But we'll manage that if it ever happens, fingers crossed it doesn't anytime soon. Although I do fantasize about upgrading to a minivan. Which is kind of depressing since my former self used to drive a red Mustang convertible. But when the day finally comes that we can upgrade to a minivan, you can bet your ass it won't be white or silver. I love red cars, so at least I can feel somewhat cool about driving a minivan ... if that day ever comes.
I think I just needed to vent a little, and I'm feeling better as I finish up this post. I talked with Joe and I called my mom and vented to them both. I think that's a huge part of it, needing to feel validated and just being able to vent my frustrations to someone. It feels good just to get it all out.