I have to share the cathartic way I spent today’s nap time. It’s about Ben, but not really, hence the friends-only entry.

One of the things that scares me about staying home is money. I’m petrified about money. Why? We have very little debt (house, cars, things that most people have….without the debt that most people have in credit cards and etc.). We live simply. We don’t go out to eat much, and what we do now will be scaled back. We don’t mind that, because food is so expensive out, and it’s so cheap to eat at home. Scott brown bags it. We travel cheap. And we are happier than pigs in slop right now.

I have never thought of myself as a materialistic person. I have recently (last two or three years) realized that I make myself miserable comparing myself to others, and in a certain way, i do try to keep up with those around me. It is a fault, but there it is. I know, consciously, that this is absolute madness. First: people who tend to “look the part” do so at some expense: debt, low self esteem, etc. But there you go, I try to look the part. About three years ago, right before my wedding, I lost a ton of weight. Close to fifty pounds. I looked and felt great. I have since gained it back, most of it through my two pregnancies (one ectopic/miscarriage which led to depression, the other one ben, leading to enormous highs and lows). I know what it takes to loose the weight again, in a healty way, and I am not doing it. I have no excuses, I’m just not right now. BUT I”m also extremely hard on myself about it.

So here I am, comparing myself to others. One way I tend to do this is through my appearance. I have always loved clothes and makeup, but I’m also a bargain hunter. Clothes I am very reasonable about, I love to find something on a ridiculous sale, see that it is good for me, and buy it. I get caught up in that. When I was heavy the first time, I bought stuff I didn’t need and would never wear. I have since broken myself of this habit, and my wardrobe is very sensible. I am careful about what I choose, and I pride myself on looking good on a budget. Makeup is another issue. I love the “free with purchase stuff”, and with more disposable income after my master’s degree, I would indulge myself by being able to buy good makeup.

Dont’ get me wrong, I am not sitting here with a glut of makeup I never wear. Yeah, I have a few mistakes, but most of what I have is stuff I do actually wear. I just don’t buy it at drug stores. I do have a lot more than I actually need day to day. There is no need for me to have all that I have. That will have to change. My habits, much as I did with my clothing habits, will change. Here’s the kicker.

I spent about fifteen minutes today combing every nook and cranny of my house. Every pants and jacket pocket, every purse, every drawer for lip balms. Most women I know….maybe not all, but most, have about sixty gajillion lip balms. And why. How many do we need? Three. One for your nightstand, one for your purse and one for wherever you get ready in the morning, to put on after you brush your teeth. how many do I have? About twenty. Some that cost a dollar, some that cost twelve. Who pays twelve dollars for lipbalm, what, am I thinking it will make me look like Angelina Jolie the minute I put it on? I think that most women really do have this chapstick issue, and we need to get over it. Let’s not start on lipsticks, because that is a separate, shameful class of it’s own.

So when I get nervous about the budget we are now on, this is what I am going to do. I am going to look at that little bag, and I”m going to realize, as I did today, that living on a budget will be easy because what I am changing is my attitude about what I really need versus what I want. I have gone from being a compulsive shopper to a sensible one with my clothing…and now I am looking at other areas of my life and realizing that I can do that too. Who in the HELL needs twenty tubes of chapstick, for the love of all that is good and holy! Living on a budget will be easy, because there are so many things that I was able to do because we had a double income. Cutting these out will not be a sacrifice. If I don’t get that by looking at the magical lip balm bag, Ben is right there next to it. I would cut off my right arm for ten dollars if I knew it would make him happy.

I know that this seems crystal clear to others, but for me it is cathartic, and writing it all down makes me feel great. šŸ™‚ It makes me sound ridiculous on some level, but I don’t really care. I always throw the money issue into conversations with others about staying home, and it really does make me sound desperately worried, and I have no reason to be. I’m slowly coming to terms with that, and it makes me feel really really good.

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7 Responses to “”

  1. zoobily_zoo Says:

    Somehow we usually seem to end up in the same loop. With my last entry with the TV rant it annoys me as much as it does because (like I said) it isn’t as easy as just throwing out my TV, it has already effected me and everyone else to an extent. Then stepping back and looking at it I feel stupid and rediculous. We all have our vices. Haha, I hardly ever spend money so I like to make myself feel better by thinking that because my 30 lip balms are Bonnie Bell it’s OK.

    I know that everyone has their “being a parent saved me” speech, but mine has nothing to do with drugs and alcohol. Before Tristan, and being in my late teens I was naturally self involved. I was spoiled and spent tons of money on myself. But after getting married young and having Tristan it definitely grounded me. We are forced to live on an extremely tight budget, and having to sacrifice for someone else has taught me a lot.

    So ditto.

    PS. I just now remembered that we had discussed getting together today. I totally forgot!! I’m sorry. We’ll talk we I get back and figure out a different time to get together. Because of course the laundry that I talked about doing earlier this week I’m doing now. Typical Molly. šŸ™‚

    • coffeemomma Says:

      I tend to be in a perpetual laundry cycle. Spit up will do that to you. At least with living in a tri-level house I get lots of stairmaster excersize. šŸ™‚ I’ll be home monday, tuesday and wednesday of next week, though wednesday I’ll be packing. Call any time, even if it’s just for movies and coffee at my house or yours.

  2. purlewe Says:

    kym-

    I am so happy and so excited and so very pleased about your decision. Ben is a lucky guy.

    I have alot of thoughts on this. And I know those thoughts would come out weird on paper (ok on screen) and so I want to call you and talk. How does monday sound? or tuesday?

  3. twoscoopsmsu Says:

    If you need any tips on how to live like a college student again you can always ask you wonderful, and always financially strapped sister…who still deems her lifestyle pretty darn fabulous! šŸ˜‰

    We’ll TJMaxx it one day…or maybe stay in and do manicures for each other!

    • coffeemomma Says:

      We keep talking about how we can live on a tight budget, because we did it in college, then we remember that we ate ramen and returned pop cans for a dollar of gas money in college and reconsider. šŸ™‚

  4. hunterholstein Says:

    My mom stayed at home from the time I was born until my brother went to school — about ten years. If she’d worked straight through, she could have retired 14 years ago with 28 years of service. She officially retired three years ago, but is still teaching through a special retiree retention program.

    We lived on a tight budget, although I don’t remember much of it. I do remember the homemade goodies like sourdough bread and jams and pickles. I remember spending many a day in the parks and museums and zoo and planetarium. The people at the library knew us, and I ended up doing a commercial for them. We were rarely subjected to sitters, and when we were, it wasn’t for long periods of time.

    When my parents separated, we went to the tight budget again, and I didn’t really care, but I think it affected my brother. He now has more pairs of athletic shoes and blue jeans than any human needs. I, on the other hand, tend to be a clothing minimalist.

    I’ll shorten my scattered remarks. Do what makes YOU happy. Do what is best for the Randall family, not for anyone else. If you are happpy, that’s all that matters. I’ll love you just the same.

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