Is anyone still here? I know it’s been a while since I have written, but things have been super busy around here lately, and I am in the wonderful “desire to do everything, energy to do nothing” phase of pregnancy. By the end of the night when I can blog, my energy leads me to the couch and remote. I have had like eleventy billion ideas of things to write about, and none of them have really materialized, of course. So, a list and a quick update before I am led back to the couch this morning.
1. My husband has not received the Call yet (of course, because it’s not April 7, right folks?). In the meantime until they call, he had to take another job. I say, “had to” because that’s the way it went down. See, with unemployment, you have to apply for two jobs within your “field of expertise” a week. Well, he applied at this company, and they liked him, so they interviewed him. We didn’t really hope he’d get the job because it involves ONE HUNDRED PERCENT TRAVEL. Yes folks, he will be not home when working. Ever. For days to weeks at a time. (Read: WTF!?) Well, because the Universe works in ways unknown, he got the job. THIS raised a few questions. First, if he turned down the job, he would have to interview with unemployment, and then they could deny our benefits (read: no income). Second, even though there are two instances where they could “ideally” not deny our benefits, they would not tell him if they would or not until he denied it, and then interviewed, and then, it would be too late if they decided to cut our benefits (read: screwed with no income). Third, the hourly amount is not THAT much more than unemployment (and less than his wage at his job), but with the mandatory overtime (read: the average workday is 12-16 hours) it will make it totally worth it.
He is going into his third week there, and it hasn’t been as painful as I anticipated. I actually function quite well on my own, but by Friday I am ready for him to be home. He is lucky he married an independent broad like me. 🙂 So far he has gone to Houston for a week, Columbus for three days, and next week we know he will be in New York, but we have no idea for how long. They told him to always keep a bag packed because they could need him at a moment’s notice to head somewhere. They pay for travel, expenses during travel *including meals*, and he gets to go learn another trade area that will help him at his Primary Employer once they call him back. He still has a guarantee to get a call from them since he didn’t (and won’t) officially quit there, so we are just doing this until that phone call comes. I have checked into this ad nauseum (me? never, I know!) and I was told by someone else who knows the deal, “The company sometimes has layoffs for years at a time. They cannot just expect people not to work and support their families. Unemployment only goes so far (right?!), and they know that. They will call. They can’t NOT call. It’s against their policies.” So, I feel better about the whole job thing. The Call, though, can come any day now. April 7? THAT would be nice!! It looks like things are picking up soon, but seeing as we are rounding into a fifth month of being laid off, there’s no way to know until we know. So, he works while we wait. Sigh.
It won’t be fun all the time. It won’t be ideal. But it will be something we have to do until we get that Call. It will be nice to be able to breathe a little financially, and I can do anything for a short period of time (I am pretty sure I have proven that). I won’t like living the Single Married Mom life, but the girls are the ones who will be most affected by it all. C is old enough to understand that Daddy has to go to work, but E is not. And that’s ok. We will work through it as we go. We don’t know where he will be off to next until they tell him (sound familiar?), so we just take it one week at a time. Baby steps will be the plan of attack. We got this. I have a village to support me while he is gone, and I can call on them for support as I need it. Now, will they answer the call? I hope so!
So yeah. I am counting down the days until his phone rings and his Primary Employer calls him back. We will have fun, just us girls, while he is gone, and I will keep them busy so it doesn’t feel like he is gone forever, like I am sure it will feel in their two and four year old brains. It will be worth it for him to learn some new things, build his skill base, add to the bank account, and travel a bit on someone else’s dime.
2. His very first paycheck came in, and we were able to knock the first item off of our debt snowball. Woot! And then? The next day the taxes came in (which I was not able to do all I wanted with because when you make more money than the year before you should change your withholdings to get a bigger refund, which we know now, but didn’t then), and so we knocked the next item off of our debt snowball. Woot! Two in 24 hours. I cannot complain about that. Budget-wise, I am still going to budget our amounts based on the amount unemployment would give us a week, and then anything extra gets sent to the snowball and a bit to savings. I know Dave says to do one at a time, but I don’t want to NOT save more. We may need some to live off of because when he goes back to his Primary Employer, there will be a lapse in pays, and we need to be covered. So, I am planning for both. It will be so nice once that phone call comes because then we can just be.
3. I think, budget-wise, I will always keep us at the amount for unemployment until the debt snowball is paid down. I know we “can” make it on that amount because, well, we did. And that’s a nice steady amount every week to plan on. The rest will just be extra. It’s a nice starting point, and I am glad a friend of mine suggested that plan to me because I wasn’t smart enough to think of it on my own. 🙂 We will see how it all plays out in the months to come. It’s working so far, and I can see how it will continue to for a while. I’m excited to be able to budget in for extra money being sent place because we still have those two CC balances to knock out. Once those are gone, we are literally down to car payments, student loans, and mortgage. THAT will be an amazing feeling, and I hope to be there by October when the 0% APR runs out. I don’t want to have to transfer any balances to another 0% APR, but I know I will if we have to. I can only do what I can do with what I have, and I will do everything I can to make that October goal. We can do anything, but not everything, and that is something I must remember as I often try to do everything.
4. The girls are getting so big, independent, and so smart. Watching them play together has been SO fun lately. They are truly best friends, and we are so blessed to have them both. It’s unbelievable that we will have another baby girl around here in three(ish) months. Three months from tomorrow is my due date, and we have nothing in the nursery ready yet. We are planning on repainting it, but if he is traveling until she is born, that won’t happen. We do need to get on the stick to get the crib, but we have time. I have access to a bassinet which I will use anyway for the first month or so. I am in no hurry.
5. Because I am in no hurry, I feel a bit bad for Finola. I mean, I have not had any time at all to revel in the whole “pregnancy experience”. She’s in there. She nudges me, kicks me, lets me know she is here everyday. I love her to pieces, I just feel like she’s getting short changed already LOL. Get used to it, toots, you’re the third. 🙂 I mean, I found out I was pregnant in late October, and on the first week of November he was laid off. It hasn’t been the most calm and serene environment to gestate in. I am 100% sure she will be fine. I just don’t like feeling like I haven’t really enjoyed this whole experience. It isn’t that I haven’t enjoyed it, but it hasn’t been the most enjoyable. But that’s ok. She’s already learning coping mechanisms in utero, right? She’s going to be a warrior this one. Mark my word.
6. My in-laws gave us some exciting news last night which will make life easier for all of us very soon. It’s not my story to tell yet, but know that it is a good thing and something I look forward to, even though I don’t
usually always see eye-to-eye with them on things.
7. The semester is almost over, and I am so happy. I love my job, I love my students, but I am so ready to not have to deal with both for a while. Again, I will enjoy pregnancy a lot more once I am able to focus on house and home solely for a bit. I have a good *small* group this semester, and I love helping them succeed. 🙂 It’s what I do. And I love every second of it.
Well, that’s it. I know it’s a lot, but it’s how the weeks have been recently. If you have any advice on how to help kids through a job where one parent travels, I would greatly appreciate them. Comment away, your words can touch someone else whom you’ve never met.