eat! craft! live!

Baking, crafting, mama-ing and taking photos of it all. When I remember.

032: everything sucks


Forgive my melodrama but today is a DAY. I just can’t even. Life.

You may remember about the daycare subsidy we’re hoping for…well, it looks like it’s going to work out, as far as the providers are concerned. The state is another matter. Despite my telling them how much money we make and submitting paystubs, they’ve managed to get it wrong??? They don’t even have M’s workplace right. I mean, wtf? Problem is, they have us down as making even less than we really do, so our subsidy will not be as much as I’d hoped. Plus, I have no idea how long it’s been wrong which means that if/when they figure it out and if/when they realize it’s been wrong, we might actually have to pay back some of the benefits we’ve received. HAHAHAHA. As if we can afford that.

You may ask…how do you not have enough money? Are you irresponsible? Did someone lose a job? What happened? (E’s daycare asked. So I’ve thought about it.) We aren’t irresponsible. We both work. Simply put, even with both of us working (M full time and me 3/5) we simply do not make enough money to pay for even basic life expenditures. And I mean basic. We don’t have a car payment because we drive a crappy 15 year old car that is, technically, totaled. We don’t go out. We don’t buy much except for necessities. We’re thrifty. Mainly, we spend money on housing, utilities, food and daycare. That’s about it. (And Netflix, but come on…saving $15/month isn’t going to help us any.)

(The only reason I know the state has our info wrong is because they require a review every 6 months or so to keep getting benefits. Ours came today. We have to verify stuff & send in paystubs. Good times.)

I’m just SO FRUSTRATED. What is wrong with us? What is wrong with a world in which doing everything “right” and trying your hardest doesn’t even get you food on the table or healthcare? (Laughably, we’re also losing our health insurance by summer because now we make too much to qualify.) I don’t know what to do. Every time I start to see a light at the end of the tunnel, turns out it’s false hope or wrong in some way. I keep thinking things will get better, trying to make them better but what if they never get better? Do I even have any right to expect things to be better/easier?

I want to be able to provide for my family. Me. Myself. And yet…I can’t. I literally can’t make ends meet.

I apologize for the rant. Some days it’s just all too much.

Today is one of those days.


28 thoughts on “032: everything sucks

  1. Oh, Laura, I just want to give you a hug. I think about this stuff nonstop, too. I get so fed up by the assumptions people make about why we can’t afford things. I mean, sure, if we’d made different choices at various points in the past, maybe we’d be better off right now, but at no point did we make some sort of “obviously” bad choice, and yet here we are.

    People have asked why, given the cost of daycare , one of us doesn’t just stay home w/M. But *neither* of us, working full time, makes enough that the other one not working is an option. And we don’t even have full time childcare. We’re subsidized at M’s Montessori school. The other parents are all very nice but don’t ever think about what some of the new policies they create do to the few of us parents who are subsidized. Like the new rule requiring that literally every food we provide during our snack week is organic (I mean, yay organic, but our snack costs have doubled this year and that ain’t nothing for us!). Things like that.

    Anyway, I wish we could hang out in real life, but for now I send ::hugs:: and commiseration.

  2. Sending you and Whitney a big *hug*. I sometimes don’t get it why people ask such weird things. A few days ago a friend asked me why I haven’t found a new job yet, what was wrong with me and my curriculum vitae. Or why I needed a job as Himself is working. Some people really can pull you down in secons with such stupid comments. *Hugs*, my friends, *hugs*.

    And please do not apologize. There is nothing to apologize about. It’s life and we are friends here.

  3. Ugh. Hugs, so frustrating. It shouldn’t be so hard to have a nice life.

  4. I’m sorry things are so tough.

  5. I’m so sorry, L. I wish there was something I could do.

  6. This breaks my heart, the unfairness of it all… Hope things take a turn for the better very soon. xo

  7. Is it wrong that I almost cried tears of relief upon reading this? I don’t want anyone else to be in the same situation we are but it is SO HELPFUL to have somebody out there who understands.

    E’s daycare basically said, “Well, why would you put your kid in daycare if you know you can’t afford it?” And I may have just stared blankly for a minute, because, what exactly is our other option? Leave her home by herself? Like you, neither one of our incomes earns us enough to live on. She *has* to be in daycare, they both do. And it’s killing us, but what can we do? Ugh.

    It’s just so all-consuming. Not a day goes by where I don’t think about it. It keeps me up at night.

  8. I just feel like I complain a lot. Like I should be more thankful. And I am immensely thankful for what I’ve got, I’m just legitimately worried we’re going to go hungry or be homeless. I hope you find a job soon! I *so* know how that is. Big hugs.

  9. Sending big big hugs. I have been there, and people just do. not. get. it. It’s *so* hard to get ahead when you are barely treading water financially, and it’s so scary because one big expense (car repair, heater repair, whatever) can set you back even further than you were. I hope things get better, girlie. Hang in there.

  10. Oh, Laura, I hate this whole situation so much and I hate that you have to go through this. I wish there was some magic wand I could wave to make everything better for you and everyone else in this boat (and there are way too many people in this boat). Until then, just know that I am here and if I can help in any way, just ask.

  11. No, no, not wrong at all (I certainly didn’t mean to make you cry, but I totally get it).

    It’s strange, because next year actually IS definitely going to be better for us (the Lecturer position I got via the writing program literally more than doubles MY income, which means that by myself I’ll make more than A&I do right now – it’s kind of mind-blowing). But I still don’t know when I’ll be able to relax about these things; my position is renewable, but not guaranteed past the year I’m hired for, so after that? Who knows – and so while I’m super grateful for what I’ll have next year, I can’t seem to relax about things. What I want, more than anything, is some security, to know that future years won’t be desperate scrambles again, and I just don’t trust that they will. I don’t know if I’ll ever feel secure in my ability to provide for my family, and I don’t know how I’ll ever relax or sleep well at night until I *can* know that we’ll be ok, long-term.

    All-consuming is right. More ::hugs::

  12. I wish I had more I could say- just know I’m pulling for you guys.

  13. Laura (and Whitney too), I wish there was something I could say to let you know that things will get better. Or something I could do to help in some way.

    Your story frequently reminds me of my own childhood. Now that I’m an adult, I have no idea how my parents were able to make ends meet and I know that they went through a lot of financial struggles similar to yours. But they always made it somehow and I hope the same for you.

  14. I’m so sorry.

  15. I think it’s really hard for people to get unless they’ve been there. It’s quite literally incomprehensible for most, I’ve learned. One big expense would be horrible for us! Hell, we spent $20 to take the kids out bowling for the afternoon with some friends yesterday and I feel SO GUILTY. Sheesh.

  16. You listen to me whine about it on a semi-regular basis. So thanks. ;)

  17. But…but…will they? I mean seriously. My mom was in this boat when I was growing up and for her it’s never really gotten better. My problem is that there’s only so much I can do, some of it comes to M and what HE can do and, frankly, he’s…well…yeah. :/

  18. Yeah, this is our situation, too – if A could/would find better paying work long-term, things would be so much better (I don’t know how long my health will even LET me work full time), but that isn’t something I can really control. (And this is why I get so touchy when people tell me I need to “take care of myself” and “not work so hard”, for my health and all, because, well, obviously I would if I could but that ain’t up to just me.)

  19. I guess I can’t promise that it will be better, but I sincerely hope that it does.

    My parents struggled for all of my childhood and it probably really didn’t get better for them until two of the three kids grew up and they didn’t have to spread their resources so thin.

    I would be in a very similar situation myself if I hadn’t met my husband. Until then I barely paid all of my bills (and went into a lot of debt) and the constant worrying quite literally kept me up at night. Knowing that I’ve been there (and it wasn’t even very many years ago) is why I’m hopeful for you.

  20. So basically what I need to do is meet a new husband? ;)

    (I’M KIDDING.)

  21. I’m so sorry, L. I wish there were something I could say or do to help. For the time being, though, know you and your family are in my thoughts and I hope some kind of career/financial magic comes your way soon to ease things at least a little bit.

  22. Hugs – people can be so flippant in offering “advice” or posting about “others” who make bad choices, etc. It must be beyond frustrating trying to do everything right and have paperwork screw ups be what is between you & what you need to do the right thing.

  23. Hugs, L. I have been there, in college when I had a negative amount in my checking account and the rent was due. And then when my husband was out of work for a very long time and all of our good savings and cost-cutting seemed to only be prolonging the agony of watching it dwindle.

    I’m pulling for you guys, too. My parents were stretched thinly the whole time I was growing up, and you know what? The things I remember most fondly are things that were free (bedtime snuggles, library trips) or very, very low cost.

  24. OMG, that is so incredibly RUDE and makes me angry for you.

  25. SO many hugs for you. I was in your shoes when I was living in NY – single mom of two, supporting a loser partner (Lucia’s bio-father.) It was ROUGH. Then, I moved to TX and basically HAD to get a roommate to make ends meet. While I was commissioned by then (so, yay, payraise), I now had to pay for two daycares and that basically ate up my raise and then some. And, even with a roommate, there were times where I had to put groceries back cuz I couldn’t make the daycare payment AND buy that extra pack of chicken. So, yeah, hugs to you.

    All I can say is keep your head up. Keep one foot in front of the other. Allow yourself to wallow, cuz that’s human and it’s healthy. But, like that saying goes, for every 3 times you get knocked down, pick yourself up 4 times. I firmly believe that it’s those of us who persevere who get ahead in life.

  26. I’m so sorry. I know so many people in this position, and it’s so unfair. I’ll be thinking of you and your family (and you too, Whitney!), and in the meantime, I’m so glad to have you here. I hope this space can be a place for you to vent and get support. Many hugs.

  27. Thank you all, so much, for your kind words. <3

  28. ugh, i’m really sorry, laura. it breaks my heart to hear this. i wish i could help in some way, but just know i’m thinking of you and hoping something changes to make things easier soon.

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