Thursday, April 15, 2010

Let's chat, shall we?

Feelings I've been feeling lately:


Are these all about the arrival of Pud?  Actually, not really at all.  It's more about what I haven't shared here than what I have.

We moved here for my new job in December.  Both of us had wanted to move to Michigan for numerous reasons, this job presented itself, and it was pretty much a dream job for me.  However, we knew B would have to leave his company in order to move.  We thought he would be able to do his job from home for awhile, however that did not work out at all, and he has been unemployed since December.  We also thought that with his experience, his MBA, his great recommendations, and his love for his field, it wouldn't be all that difficult to find something for him.  (Yes, we knew we were in the middle of a recession and moving to one of the worst economies in the nation; however we were still obviously quite naive about what that truly meant.)

I feel guilty so often because, even though we really did come to this decision as a couple, it was truly my desire for this job that led us here.  B has never once blamed me in any way, shape, or form, but I still feel that essentially it is my fault he is not working.  He LOVES work- loves his field (logistics, supply chain), loves feeling productive, loves being praised for a job well done, loves getting up in the morning and having a structured day, loves coming home at the end of the day feeling fulfilled.  I understand this as I love my job as well, however, it is obviously much harder on a man in our society to be "home" while the wife is working.  No, it is not 1957, but it's stil not easy. 

I'm often overwhelmed because my job is new, I'm working incredibly long hours, and I don't feel that I have the time I need to complete all the things I want to do.  B is great at getting all the house stuff done, grocery shopping, running errands, etc but I like doing some of that and I feel bad making lists for him of things that I need done.  While I always did that for him in Chicago when I would have mid-week days off, it's very difficulty for me to reverse roles.  I definitely feel I need more hours in the day or my body needs to require less sleep.  I'm guessing neither of those is going to happen anytime soon.

We're both nervous about how things will go financially once Pud arrives.  With my new job, we are having no problems paying for the mortgage, bills, etc.  Plus, B is able to collect some $$ from unemployment.  However, diapers, baby clothes, co-pays at the doctor, a college account, and other things we don't even know about yet can add up quickly, and it may become a little difficult to figure out how to do all that.  We have always been careful with our money and still have a healthy savings acct (even after the purchase of the house), but I do not like to dip into that for unnecessary things, so what's the line on unecessary?

Still scared over the idea of giving birth.  I'm getting MUCH better about this (thanks for all of your amazing comments on that post- it really, really helped.  I've definitely gone back and read them all a time or three!), but the fear of the unknown is still there.

I'm feeling burdened by being the "sole breadwinner" in the family.  I have prayed and prayed over this a lot and have truly realized that God really wants me to realize how hard it must be for anyone to feel sole responsibility in a marriage.  I have quite a few friends who stay at home and have always thought that this would be so wonderful and truly a goal in life.  However, I never once thought about it from the man's perspective and how hard it must be to know that you are everything your family is relying on.  College education, mortgage, clothes for everyone, groceries, bills, car payments, vacations, etc.  I now know that it is very difficult to feel confidently "above water" when just one thing (like not getting paid for maternity leave as in our situation) can potentially tip you from doing really well to having to worry a lot more.  This whole concept has definitely made me realize that working even a few days a week in order to have a cushion is whole-heartedly worth it.  If you are one of the truly lucky women who gets to stay home with your babies, children, and teens, please remember to thank your husband and God for that opportunity.  It's an amazing blessing.  It also is a huge blessing to me to know that while this is currently how I am feeling, it will change as soon as B starts working, and the burden will be lifted off my shoulders and placed on both of us equally.  I do have to say that those thoughts really do help me get through some of my harder days.

My heart is  aching over the thought that I will not be able to take all 12 weeks of time off with Pud when he/she arrives.  Due to our current status, I will more than likely going back after 6 weeks, but potentially getting to stay home for 9.  We could use our savings in order to supplement a full 12 weeks off, but that seems selfish and I just can't do that.  I do have a hard time with the idea that I will be leaving this little, tiny, helpess infant and going back to work just for a paycheck, but really, it's my responsibility as a parent to ensure that Pud has all the essentials (house, food, clothing) and that paycheck will pay for those.  The only blessing here is that B will be home with the babe, so I won't have to drop it off at daycare at week 6.  I would NEVER be able to make it to work that day if I did.  B will take as good of care of it as I would, so I know it will be safe, happy, and thoroughly loved the entire time I am gone.  (I do worry about it loving him more than me, but that's a worry for another day). 

I also worry because I know B never wanted (or truly ever considered) being a stay at home dad, and I fear that he will resent and blame either me or Pud for all that is happening.  Truly, he is an amazing man, and I don't anticipate this happening b/c this is not in his character, but it's still a nagging thought in the back of my head.  I just pray he falls head over heels for this little one and that being a dad is enough to make him happy until he is able to find a job. 

Whoa, writing this has been cathartic, but writing about all this has also been one of the more difficult things I have done.  It's hard to write about things that aren't good or fluffy.  But since I'm way pregnant and not able to fund my dream summer wardrobe (and who knows what size I'll be anyway), fluffy is hard right now.  Thanks for letting me get all this out.  Please don't feel like I am asking for crazy amounts of sympathy- I still do realize that I am incredibly lucky in so many areas of my life.  I just really, really wish that B could feel less frustrated with his job search and fulfilled professionally. 

PS- If any of you knows anyone in Michigan who needs an amazing project manager, supply chain/logistics consultant, or any combination of transportation management- you know where to find a very handsome and highly qualified one :)  Or, even if the job is in another state and would let him work from home with up to 80% travel, we'd be okay with that too!! 


  1. I can totally understand everything you are feeling, but at some point, you have to let go and let God. The love of your job and your professional development are just as important. Your husband will find something. Has he been on recently? I realize he's probably competing with many others out there, but take heart. Good things will come. And, the same for the baby. As far as affording baby things, visit the kids' consignment stores. Kids grow out of things so fast and you can find some great deals - often outfits that were never worn! Plus, strollers and other gear. I may be simplifying things here, but I believe that all things happen for a reason. Just keep praying, have faith and it will come together. You're in my thoughts.

  2. oh, i wish i could help you!!! i can feel your pain, sweetie, and actually have felt much of it myself!! my husband left a job he loved for me to stay at a job I loved...and i had the guilt, the burden, the overwhelming feeling of doing it alone. Then muffy came along...and all of a sudden he became a stay at home daddy...for a year! it actually turned out fine. he has a very strong bond with our daughter and i love seeing them together (i'm a little jealous they get to spend more time with each other, tho!!)
    he ended up starting his own business from our home 2 years ago and has (thankfully) grown it. he stays local and has the biz in our small suburban community and is close to muffy's school, while i commute and am more the breadwinner. it takes a lot -- of communication, give and take, understanding and love, and it's HARD. espeicially with all our family out of town, and them not understanding the working-woman role. but we DO it. you are in my thoughts, girlie... i wish you the best. keep your chin up and keep smiling... you'll make it through! :-) sending you a smile!

  3. I can understand feeling overwhelmed as you near the end of your pregnancy. With everything else added on and the extra stress I'm amazed you are holding it together. Way to go!! They do say women handle stress better than men and you are proving that to be true. Hang in there. As far as being scared about giving birth. I was terrified!! After all was said and done it was not as bad as I had thought. The pain was bad but not as awful as I had imagined. Low pain tolerance is something I had, but after giving birth you really feel like you can handle anything. Anyone who knows me knows I'm no hero.

    Hang in there!

  4. Oh my goodness, it's like you are IN my brain today! I am feeling the EXACT same things! I am lucky because my husband is currently working, but I bring home more money at the end of the day and I don't get paid maternity leave either, so this April paycheck is my LAST one and that terrifies me!! Let me know if you want to email about it, I'd be happy to chat back and forth since we are really both in the same boat!!

  5. I feel your pain and understand your concerns. I feel very similarly because my boyfriend is also a victim of the economy (Michigan's also) and it's hard on both of us. The good news is that things seem to be on an upturn and hopefully that will bring more jobs for everyone. I live in the Detroit area so I don't know about what's going on up north but non-profits are infusing the area with millions of dollars and creating a lot of jobs so many he can look and see what's going on there if he hasn't already.

  6. Phew.... I'm so glad you got all of that off of your chest, and with each of your comments it seems that you can see the reality is far different from what your fear is...

    Hang in there... of course your are scared, worried, anxious, frightened, angry... you are on the verge of a major life change, and very little about your situation is where you might have planned for it... however, I do believe that things happen for a reason (cheesy I know)... and more than that because I'm a Christian (not to get preachy) I believe that God moves in our lives for the good of those who believe in Him... here's the thing... good isn't always easy... or pain free....

    But hang on, keep on keepin' on... and before you know it Puddin' will be here! Also, keep talking to your husband... keep telling him that you support him, and keep being his partner... the greatest gift of marriage is that it gives us a help-mate when things feel too big for just our shoulders!

  7. Oh and... you're post has inspired me to do the same on my blog... I have so much fear and anxiety about medical school... somedays I can't think straight for all the fog it causes me...

    So thanks, for being honest and open, and not being fluffy... sometimes at least for me, it's hard to share the un-fluffy sides of life on blogger!

  8. I owe you a big long note- in a mad dash now though- long story short- you two are in my thoughts and prayers and God doens't give us a cross heavier than we can bear. You two are so strong and determined and I know that His greater plan for you two is amazing, just now is hard.



  9. We live in Michigan too and Matt was unemployed for nine months. Email me if you need to vent:-)

    I know GE is hiring and I heard that Ford might be hiring soon. Is he on Linkin?? Linkdin? Do you know what I mean? Anyway seriously if you need to talk just email.


  10. Ahh sweetie....I've been thinking of you! I can understand the mixed feelings you are having. We as women often are faced with mixed bags of emotions. While we're not in the exact position as you, I have definitely felt the same mix of emotions as James is starting his new business and I maintain our insurance and income. All I can say is venting definitely helps, but prayer brings peace, too. I'll be thinking of you!!

  11. You are so lucky to have a man like B, I know you are feeling guilty but he obviously loves you so much.
    I am sorry things are weighing on you so heavily before Puddin comes. A few years down the road when B is busy working he is going to look back on his time at home with the baby and be thankful...
    God has a plan. I just wish we knew why he choose certain paths for us...

  12. Oh my goodness. What a huge emotional burden at exactly the wrong time. I feel like I could have written parts of this. I am feeling so guilty about leaving H all day next year. I was so fortunate to stay home with E and S, but we weren't planning on a third, and even staying home for six months and being part time this semester has made things really REALLY tight in the money department.

    The only thing I can offer is that you are really lucky that the one who will be watching your baby is someone who will love him/her as much as you do. I truly hope that your husband finds something suitable soon.

    Hang in there!

  13. Hey sweet lady, I too am relieved for you that you were able to get this off your chest. Understand you have so many thoughts and feelings you're experiencing, and being so close to Puddin arriving, your feelings are natural and totally understandable. One of the things I love about reading your blog is your relationship with B, you two seem like a darling and really strong couple. I know you'll sail through this and smile when the waters have calmed a bit and things are more settled.

    Please know we are here for you, in whatever capacity you need us. I know sometimes it's hard to understand everything and why it happens and the timing of it all, but B is a wonderful man and is blessed to have such a beautiful, loving, caring bride and mother to be of sweet Puddin. It will all work out for the best. I'll be thinking about you and am sending you soft sweet hugs. XOXO

  14. Gosh, what a lovely post Miss Up North, even though it may not have felt like it when you wrote it. There is a beauty contained within, a love that is very, very deep, that struck me more than anything. Love for your dear B and your little Puddin'.

    I understand some of the anxieties, having been the primary breadwinner as well, moving for my job, etc., and it was hard, even though we are both married to the most wonderful men in the world.
    Like so many others, I also believe things happen for a reason, and know that more things will be revealed in their own time, but again, that doesn't always help when you are in the midst of a major stress attack.

    If only I could be like a sponge and soak up some of this for you, I would. The most I can do right now is offer an ear, a heart, and a hug.


Things I need to know......