Saturday, August 1, 2009

Up In The Air

Up In The Air

Its been a busy few weeks for us, I was sick, The babies were sick, Zachary had a bizarre Emergency Room scare (everything is fine now), I flew up to San Jose for a funeral, Brian was out of town for 5 days, and a million other things seemed to be swirling around. I've been avoiding writing a post because I just don't feel like sharing right now. But I know I need to. Its been a busy few weeks and things hit the fan recently. Brian's company had to lay off employees and his whole department was cut. Brian lost his job about two weeks ago. We are now without income and scrambling to figure things out. I have been in and out of tears. Brian has been quiet.
As you may know, we have been blessed to have been living on Brian's income thus far. Its been tough - VERY TOUGH - but we've somehow managed. We've been blessed with generous family who has helped when they can with diapers from time to time, some help with formula when we were using it and many more blessings. We've had the privilege of having an amazing group of family friends who have contributed every month to what they call "The Diaper Club", which has basically paid for half of our diapering expenses thus far. Its been SO TOUGH, but we have been so grateful that blessings always seem to appear just when we need them. That's why I have to have faith that everything will work out. I BELIEVE everything will work out somehow - that somehow we'll land on our feet.

I believe it...but I'm having a hard time right now. We're having a really hard time right now.

I have been putting off writing this post because I just don't want to write it. Who wants to talk about life when things are stressful and the air is thick with tension? Anxiety is high. I am worried. Brian is stressed. Our house is a house of stress. Brian has the weight of the world on his shoulders. Spending day after day, hour after hour, searching for jobs has been incredibly discouraging. Unemployment in California is somewhere around 13%, just over the national average (which is very high anyway). Its a tough time right now and we're really feeling it.
Even if both of us find full time employment, the cost of childcare for THREE babies overwhelming. It's one of the reasons that my staying home with them made the most sense for us. I mean, we knew we wanted for me to stay home with them for as long as possible anyway, but the cost of putting them in childcare versus what I could bring home made it a no-brainer.
We are weighing out our options and agonizing over some tough decisions. I am trying to stay positive and hopeful. But some days...its hard. I go back and forth between being hopeful to being so anxious that the knots in my stomach make me nauseous. I am already a crappy sleeper, but now I am sleeping even worse.
And yes, I KNOW things could be much worse. I am grateful for my health, for my children's health, for Brian's health. I am grateful that we are all healthy and safe. I am grateful that we currently have a roof over our heads and food on the table. But my gut hurts because I don't know how long we can do this. Its causing such stress between us. We feel like we're in limbo.

As you know, my friend Jodi lost her baby, Matteo, just three weeks ago. I know that I am so blessed to still have my children and her horrible loss has given me such perspective. I was able to attend Matteo's funeral just a few days before Brian lost his job and I imagine I would have handled the news of his layoff much differently had I not had the perspective from seeing Jodi and her family experience this horrible loss. When I heard he lost his job, I immediately felt so grateful that we were all still together. That we still had each other. Jodi doesn't get to say that. She lost her baby. Who the hell am I to be freaking out?

But I am scared. I feel devastated. I feel more stressed now than the day he lost his job. The reality of the job market and the current economy has sunk in. Yes, Brian can get some $ from unemployment for a while. It will mostly go to COBRA so we can continue having health insurance for the babies. We were barely making it as it was. I am a coupon FREAK. I already downgraded everything I could. I dont color my hair. I don't buy clothes and shoes - I wear the same clothes I've had forever. I plan meals based on what's on sale. I never go to Starbucks. We rarely went to restaurants. If I ever got any of these treats it was usually with a gift card or because my sister would treat me. My point in sharing all of this is I had already cut a lot of the fat before the babies were born. That's how we were surviving. Sure, we'd buy some extra stuff at the grocery store sometimes but that wasn't a whole lot. It was already stressful to sit down and pay the bills every month.
If we dont find something making enough soon we will have to move out of this place. The rent was tough enough for us as it was. Unfortunately we are in a lease until March 2010 so we may be penalized and lose our deposit but what do we do?

I could boo hoo over the details but I think I'll stop. I don't want to sound negative. I'm just afraid right now. I go up and down. It takes a lot of energy to manage my thoughts so that I can be upbeat and good for the babies. I don't want them to feel our stress.

We're mapping things out, assessing our options and making some tough decisions. We've been here before, as you may remember, at the beginning of my pregnancy. And we got through it together. One day at a time. A solution will present itself. In the meantime I am continuing to put one foot in front of the other, hoping and praying.

Thanks for "listening".