Tuesday, June 19, 2007

what i should have said

so, just to prove to you all that i can do a post about something not immediately baby-related, here we go! and also as a way to avoid taking the garbage down to the basement for just 10 more minutes! (i am still cooling off from doing all those dishes!)

so the first thing is this. on sunday, a very nice and well-meaning colleague said something that actually just stopped me in my tracks. at the time i did not respond at all, but now i wish i had. we work on sundays with a group of contract people, and since all us full-timers only work on sunday a month, we don't get to know each other very well. compound that with the fact that in this contract year, i was off for four months with the baby and then that the last two months i have not worked a sunday because of how holidays fell, well, suffice it to say that while i find them all very nice and personable and likeable, we don't know each other all that well.

so one of the contracts was asking me what we were going to do when m's maternity leave is up. i said that one of us would be quitting work to stay home, but we hadn't decided who it was yet. and she said "oh, it must be nice to have the luxury to stay home."

now, i think i know what she meant, and i know she meant no harm, but people, let us stop and take a look at this for a moment. she is a contract, but she knows what she makes per hour. it shouldn't be difficult for her to extrapolate that i make roughly the same amount per hour, and that as such, there is nothing "luxurious" about our lifestyle, even when we have two salaries. but a luxury? there is no such luxury. it is going to suck and suck hard when we lose m's maternity benefits and only one of us is working full-time. we got our child tax benefit assessment from the government in the mail yesterday. apparently, we are worthy to receive $22.37 a month from the government to help us raise our son. that is one can of formula out of the six he consumes each month. so, i guess that is some small help!

but, even though it might bite, it is important enough for us to be home with him that we are willing to make those sacrifices. and no, it is not just that we were too lazy to get him on a daycare waiting list. we didn't bother doing it, but that was after long consideration of what it would do to our family life to have him in daycare (combine shift work with the expense of daycare, and you are left with either no money out of the second paycheck or with two opposite schedules that mean you never get time to interact as a family).

so, for anyone out there who might envy the fact that one of us will be staying home with signal, envy us because of the time and fun we will have with our son, not because we can somehow easily afford the "luxury."

whew. i feel better now!

the second half of this post is more positive, if you consider getting rid of extraneous household items positive! so there is this little "movement" of people who have all vowed to rid their homes of 2007 things in 2007. now, that sounds like a great idea to me, but it is halfway through june, and i just heard about it! so, let's say that i can get rid of half of 2007 - that's 1004 (we will round up). and i am going to give us credit for 85 items for the books, movies, clothes, and baby stuff we have gotten rid of this year so far. so that means we have 919 items to go! here i come craigslist and freecycle! (oh, and the library and the library book sale! and the secondhand kids' store and value village! whee! can you feel the adrenaline!?)


Deranged Squirrel said...

And the people that know you and m know that no family decisions are made lightly or without careful consideration of all the options and their implications. They also know that your family is your number one priority and that you are both willing to live frugally to do what is best for your family (like having four months to bond as a family)

As for that 2007 items challenge count me in for half that as well - you wouldn't believe how much crap I have (then again, you have been to my apartment "Don't open any drawers or closets that are closed" so actually you probably would believe it)

MadJenny said...

It seems to me that people lose their ability to judge the appropriateness of their comments when talking to new parents.

I second what Deranged Squirrel says, and will only add that people who know you and see you both parenting, and the three of you being a family, know that nothing that you can do to make Signal's life any more special would ever be considered a luxury by either of you.

I should also probably get rid of at least 1004 things. But I don't know if I have the strength of will to manage it.

kidletsmum said...

I have a hundred and one things to say in response to this post, but I would eat up your entire comments page doing it. Instead, I'll do a bit on my blog, hopefully tomorrow. And y'all know I'll be agreeing with you!!!

librariana said...

A luxury?