We had planned our son. We had also planned that I would stay home and care for him until he went off to Kindergarten. We knew this would make things a bit financially uncomfortable since we would be going from an annual income of 75k-80k a year, to 50k. We accepted that things were going to be tight, that we would have to cut back on our spending habits, but felt that this was in the best interest of our child. After all. We made him, we wanted our values instilled in him during the first formative 5 years of his life and not a daycare’s.
Despite the fact that I have had health challenges that started all the back in the 4th grade and had become progressively worse over the years leading to severe migraine headaches that started when I was a freshman in high school, to IBS as a senior, to failing thyroid right out of high school, then a muscular disorder, anxiety, depression, and fatigue, I had a marvelous pregnancy. Hadn’t felt better in YEARS. We brought our bundle of joy home whom I cared for around the clock. Not my husband. Me. Primarily. We had some issues with breastfeeding which caused our son to have colic like symptoms. It took 2 months to reverse after I figured out that the instructions for breastfeeding they gave me were WRONG according the La Leche League. (But that is a story for another time.) My husband is a plumber who has always worked varied hours. In at 7:30am and done when the last job is done. Could be 2pm could be 9pm. Just depends. So I cared for Nixon, cooked, cleaned, did laundry, cared for the house, did all the house maintenance (no honey do lists for my hunny, I wasn’t going to be one of “those” wives), the grocery shopping, the errands, appointment scheduling, and all the household business. My hunny DESERVED to come home and do what he wanted, right? This was my mind-set. But after I stopped breastfeeding at 7 months, I started having some symptoms I have never had before.
I was exhausted all the time. I would force myself to stay up while our son was up and nap every second he did. I became dizzy, light-headed, my thoughts would be unorganized, cloudy, my memory became weak, I was easily irritated, had nausea, and the shakes. I was emotional as hell and would cry at commercials on T.V. Everyone said, “its just your hormones from having the baby and it will pass”. I’m a pretty solid trooper. So I say “OK. I can do this.” Plus I didn’t have health insurance and we were strapped. A month after our son was born my husbands work had slowed tremendously to the point that he was laid off. But it took 4-5 months for that process to occur. His checks just kept getting smaller and smaller and smaller. We borrowed money from my family to help pay the mortgage (which was repaid), and we lived off our credit cards, instead of my husband being proactive in finding other work. He didn’t start looking until well into the 4th month of a ridiculous paycheck. Then after he finally was laid off he went back to the original plumbing company he had started with when he entered the plumbing industry. They were not hiring so they sent him to one of their sister companies and there he has remained since.
About the same time that this employment change took place (roughly September/October 2007) my mother had moved in for what was only supposed to be a couple of months since she had relocated to be closer to the grandchild she thought she would never have from me. She had procured employment but hadn’t saved the money first to move. So while her things were still in Lake Havasu, she lived at our house, went to work during the week, and I went with her on the weekends with my son to her place in Havasu to pack up her place. My husband would race his gas-powered R/C cars on the weekends, so it was not sweat for him that we were gone every weekend. Nor did I want to hang out at a dirt track with port-a-johns with an infant. Pass. It was a process getting her things moved from Havasu to Phoenix. For the actual moving my youngest sister, her husband, my husband, and myself, all went to Havasu, loaded the Uhaul, drove it back to Phoenix, and unloaded it in storage. The process to get her moved to Phoenix took a couple of months. So there was no money saved for her own place and she would have to start then. Which meant a couple more months at our house. Fine. Not ideal, she’s not the best housekeeper, nor are her living habits compatible with ours, but fine. As you can imagine this put A LOT of strain and stress on our marriage. But finally in June of 2008 she moved out……..