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Archive for April, 2020

Pushing Through

April 22nd, 2020 at 02:48 pm

I've been having a really tough time emotionally and mentally (as most are, I'm sure). Pregnancy hormones certainly don't help. Last week, I snapped at my 1 year old, and my heart shattered in a million pieces at his response. I had honest conversations with my husband and my bosses that I was really struggling with balancing everything, and everyone really stepped up.

My husband approached his managers again asking to work out a plan, or barring their flexibility, letting them know that he'd have to voluntarily cut his hours to help out at home. Fortunately, they are trying to avoid that. It's still not ideal, but they are letting him work the middle of the day from home twice a week. He still has to go in for an hour or 2 in the morning and evenings to get his assignments and then debrief, but he'll be home for 4-5 hours to help with baby care while he works.

My bosses basically offered me even more flexibility and made it clear that my promotion wasn't in jeopardy. Rather, I should do whatever I needed to take care of myself as they can't afford to lose me right now.

All of the conversations really helped my mental health. While I'm still in physical pain most days, the stress is a lot more manageable knowing that I don't have to feel guilty stepping away from the computer when my son needs my attention.

I do feel incredibly grateful that my husband and I are both still working with jobs that will hopefully weather this recession. But I also cannot wait for things to go back to 'normal'.

Financially, we are okay. We did a cash-out refinance in March. That, coupled with a large tax return (I wasn't sure how things would shake out with my husband's deployment, so we didn't try to minimize the refund), the stimulus payment, and overpayments to the closed mortgage have given us a large influx of cash. We've saved most of it, but have done a few yard updates since we're confined to the house for who knows how long. The deck addition has suddenly decided it's had enough, and the boards are significantly warping to where we can't open the screen door in the afternoon after the heat has expanded the boards. We got a reasonable estimate to fix it, and since I cannot comfortably go up and down the stairs to let the dogs out several times a day (especially with the baby), we've decided to fix the deck. That is our last update for now.

We're continuing to pay our minimum debt payments, but not adding additional payments.

Lastly, we decided to change how we eat. With all the stress, we're still eating out way more than I'd like. We're going to make 2 1-week meal plans of standard things that are really easy (think spaghetti, tacos, chili, chicken and mac and cheese, fish and rice, etc.), and just alternate weeks. It'll get boring and repetitive, but since almost every other aspect of living is these days, we think this'll help (hopefully...).

The days are long, and the weeks are still long...

April 14th, 2020 at 12:35 pm

Does anyone else feel like they've lived 157 years since early March? I'm busier than ever and not in all good ways. Between taking care of the 1 year old, the 8 month giant puppy (seriously, he's 90 lbs and counting), 3 other less-maintenance animals, working from home full-time, and being pregnant, I'm wiped out.

On top of all that, I found out that the promotion I'd been wanting for years is finally mine. It's wonderful, but the timing is terrible, and I'm really torn up that I can't really give it my all. It's the career rejuvenation that I'd been waiting for as I love my company, but was dissatisfied with the lack of growth opportunities despite more than proving that I was ready to move up. Now, I get to move into a lead role, but with everything else, I've become more in line with a mediocre employee rather than a standout. It's really hard to accept for my perfectionist tendencies.

Money-wise, we're doing well. We did spend some money getting the backyard in a better spot - not the complete overhaul that we'd envisioned, but getting rid of some of the trees, so that our back and front yards were clear and usable. We've put aside 8k in to our emergency fund rather than pay off the credit card right now. We're going to use the stimulus to hopefully repair the deck. It's become really warped in places, and we plan to use it a lot this summer being quarantined. My son's big first birthday gift was a water table, so I'm excited to see how he likes it.

DH and I are lucky that we both are still working, and I will continue making all my normal debt payments with extra small amounts as we can. In the meantime, I'll continue to take it one excruciatingly long day at a time...