Monday, July 22, 2013

Is It Normal To Dread Opening the Mail?

As you know, I'm newly back from my four weeks at camp. Four weeks without having to pay for childcare (okay, except that my last week of work, I paid for the nanny's last week PLUS a bonus week), without having to pay for air conditioning, without having to pay for (most of my) food. And very few opportunities to pay for meals out, or other discretionary expenses. I lived nearly as lean as I possibly could

Plus I made some money for working this second job, while continuing to earn a paycheck for my primary job (my salary is pro-rated over the summer).

So I have enough money to pay my bills right now. That's not in question.

But I'm scared to open my mail and pay my bills and check my online balance because I feel like my ability to have a second child hangs on whether or not I saved enough to get me through this coming school year without burning through more savings.

And the truth is, I have more than another month before I start paying for full time childcare again. We are paying for a few hours this week with our new nanny, as this is the only time all summer that both children and the nanny are all in town, but the cost is still a far cry from full time childcare. And I'm going to MA to see family -- my mom offered to pay for the travel since my sister was going to come here but my mom is too weak from surgery recovery to be left alone for three days -- so my food expenses should be covered. So I can continue to save a bit this summer, admittedly at a slower rate.

But truly, I don't think my ability to have a second child is truly in danger. There's always a way to make things work. I can ask for help from family... but I hate to do that, because I feel like part of being an adult is being able to support myself and my family. But it's still an option. A better one that being forced to not have a second child, assuming I want a second (and I think I do). I can lower my living expenses, somehow. And actually, I'm already working on this, trying to buy food more cheaply (fewer organic foods, except for milk and meat, mostly). I can change jobs, and sacrifice my family-friendly schedule and summers off. None of these are perfect choices, but they are choices nonetheless.

So my bank account right now not the be all and end all.

So why am I so scared to open the GD towering stack of mail next to me?


  1. I Hate opening mail. There's always something to do - after it's been opened - or some sort of decision to make - or some bill to pay!

  2. I feel like I could have written this post. I keep thinking about the cost of childcare, and can I really afford to have another. While I know that I have saved enough and it is entirely possible, it still is nerve wracking!

  3. I hate mail also. Truly hate it. Lately I've only opened my mailbox about once a month. I don't think it's rational, but it's certainly normal. At least for me.

  4. I hope that once you get over your reservation that you feel empowered. You are taking control of your finances and being a single parent in NYC that can't be cheap. I get that way sometimes too but usually my dread does not rival reality.

  5. I too dread the mail. There's always something stressful in there - bills, notification of some f-d up thing I have to deal with, etc. It's just never good. Why email is different I couldn't really say, but it is.

  6. Oh my. Did I write this post? I'm starting childcare in the fall when school starts and I have the money but I still worry. I worry that I won't be able to afford another baby and b isn't even 4 months yet. I'm not ready for another.
    It is worrisome but I'm sure you will figure it out!

  7. I want a second baby badly, but with the expenses, I think I'm only going to be blessed with one. Slowly I am coming to peace with that. I decided that my sidekick and I can have a great life and do what we want without "really" worrying about money or add one more to the mix and not be able to travel, take fun classes, play sports, visit fun places, etc. It's a tradeoff, but nonetheless, it's a difficult decision either way.

  8. Ha, yes - I could write that too! I think it is a common worry wether you are a single mum or a couple. I try not to worry about it too much. I know I want the second baby and I know that I am resourceful enough to do whatever it takes at the time. I also know that I am a lot better off than lots of people that have multiple kids and they manage. You will make it work if thats what you want.

  9. I also could have written this post. I think part of it is the financial thing, and part of it is figuring out what to do with some of it - throw it away, file it, save it, etc. and then actually doing the filing... Ugh! So I get it. Good luck catching up!