Wednesday, October 12, 2011

This is how it begins.

It’s a daycare bill and it is larger than your mortgage. It always has been…but now it is even bigger. You look at it and it seems to swell in front of you as if your anger is feeding it, making it grow like some evil creature from a black and grey b-movie.

So you shift, do less for yourself so you can give more to your kids. This is the core of being a good parent. Then you have to ask yourself if you can keep this up, scraping by paying someone else more than your pickup truck is worth each month to watch your children.

There are people who have jobs that pay enough money to cover all their bills and they never have to worry about debt or their expenses. I don’t know any of them personally but I have heard they are out there. We are not these people. We budget everything to the penny, try our best to flex and hold our self control so we can make it stick and most times we succeed. We’ve tackled a mountain of debt making it into a molehill and we manage…or we have managed…until now.

My wife makes more money than I do. There, I said it. It is kind of liberating. It is also sad that in 2011 it merits mentioning. Maybe it is just the South…or our parents. All the same, if you are a man in the south making less than your wife is something you should not do along with wearing pink, being a nurse, or staying at home with the kids.

That said, here we are. Night after night we stare at an excel spreadsheet. It is looking up at us plain as day. It might as well be waving a sparkler and shouting Yankee Doodle Dandy. I am working just to keep my children in daycare. We will do better financially if I leave my day job and stay home.

So what do you do then? You tell your boss you are out and you go home. This is where I find myself. Did I mention that I had never even held a baby until I started dating my wife, I am extremely skittish around bodily fluids and feces and I hate the sound of babies crying?

Am I insane? Perhaps a little.

This is going to be a learning experience for me, learning to juggle two girls with two different sets of needs: my oldest, deep into the terrible twos and a six month old just getting into solid foods. I ran this by my closest and best advisor, my mother, who cautioned me that caring for two children is a lot of work and I should not make the decision lightly. Basically I got the impression that she thought I was nuts.

Most people without kids probably envision sitting on the couch all day watching TV. The truth is you are dealing with changing or feeding a screaming six month old while the older child fights with the dog or the cat or gets into every danger you thought you had so carefully safeguarded. You pick up toys, wash spit-up pajamas, clean furiously and get yelled and cried at…all day. Maybe when they nap you have the TV on but if you are smart…you sleep yourself.

So this is where we are and what day my day to day life will soon become. This is my place to rave, rant, share and ask your advice. Enter your e-mail up top so you’ll be notified about updates. I encourage you to be an active participant and share your own stories. I need something to read, I’ve got nothing to do all day now anyways, right?


  1. John,

    Your mom taught me so much about how to take care of children, I am sure she can give good advice. I isn't always easy staying home, but can be very rewarding. If you are home next week, maybe you and your girls and your mom can meet us for lunch on Wednesday. I will be in town with the girls for a doctor appointment.

  2. I can't wait to keep reading :) I'm online friends with Olivia - I'm a SAHM and a blogger (or I try to be). I'm also a farmer - I got the bright idea to raise chickens 1-1/2 years ago and recently added goats. Here is my blog: