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Pushing Through

April 22nd, 2020 at 03:48 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...).

3 Responses to “Pushing Through”

  1. Lucky Robin Says:
    1587595612

    Do you have an Instant Pot? There are so many things you can make in it, just dump it in and let it cook on its own. I find it to be a lifesaver and there are tons of recipe books, plus recipes all over YouTube. It makes my life so much easier when I have days where I can barely manage to function. If they had had such a thing when I was a young mother it would have been such a Godsend. I actually have two now so that I can make a side dish as well as a main, then microwave a veggie and dinner is on the table. But there are a ton of recipes that all that stuff cooks together, too.

  2. Debt-free by Thir-ty Says:
    1587661016

    LR, we actually have 2. I'm just terrible at using it. I did make some really good teriyaki chicken the other day with frozen thighs and a bottle of marinade, but I'm just bad at actually figuring out what to do ahead of time. I usually am so busy that it's 7 by the time I even consider that we need to eat dinner. I did manage hot dogs with mac and cheese and green beans last night that we're also eating for lunch today. And tonight is tacos with spinach instead of lettuce since that's what we have on hand. We're trying and have our moments, but as soon as we let our guard down once, it all goes out the window.

  3. rob62521 Says:
    1587838406

    I don't own an Instant Pot, but own a few Crock pots. I have made stuff ahead and then frozen it and can either reheat it in the Crockpot again or just heated in the microwave. I try to keep a few "go to" meals in the freezer so when I don't feel like cooking, I can just thaw them and microwave them or put them in the Crockpot to make the house smell delightful while they heat up during the day.

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