I just noticed the other day that my fern has sprouted a new arm that’s growing up and out from the rest of the leaves. Never even noticed it was growing so it seemed to just appear one day. Kind of like our life right now. It’s been 2 months since we started the business, which is such a short time, but it also feels like we’ve been doing this a lot longer. So what’s changed?
1. I never thought we would be a one income household or that it would be me with the income, not because I don’t want to be the breadwinner, but because I was the one with the rollercoaster freelance career (feast or famine, or neither sometimes).
2. I never thought we could actually live on one income. Granted, when you’re freelancing, it’s hard to make vacation plans or big purchases because you can’t rely on that steady stream of income, so you end up hoarding your money instead, just in case. So we had some reserve, but we’ve trimmed and cut away at an already lean budget and I ramped up with more freelance work so that we can make this 1 income thing work for now.
3….which brings me to vacations. We will have none this year. We don’t normally go on big vacations anyway (see above) but this was the year that I really wanted to take the family on some beach resort vacation to the Caribbean. Or at least Florida. Can I tell you how secretly envious I am of people who vacation on beach resorts during Spring Break?
4. I am not, however, obsessing about money. Really really weird, as I normally know exactly how much we have, what we’re spending on, what goes out and comes in. I’m usually calculating our monthly budgets every other day (as if doing it multiple times will change any dollar amounts) and projecting to see how long we can get by if I didn’t get another freelance job for a while, but I haven’t even whipped out the calculator one time this month.
5. As to be expected when you have kids, it is REALLY nice to have both parents at home. I don’t have childcare stress anymore, can schedule meetings freely, and I am not tearing my hair out every day trying to figure out how to take a conference call when the kids are shrieking in the background (not that they aren’t shrieking when I do have a call now, but at least I can hide in the bathroom with my laptop).
6. If I already wasn’t busy enough…the cookie business on top of freelance projects makes for long days, 14-16 hours some times. So ironically I haven’t been spending that much time with the kids (even though I am “around” all the time).
7. We have a lot more “stuff” around the house. I like to live as minimally as possible, which is a challenge already with 2 kids, but now every nook is filled with packing materials…and I’m trying not to let it bother me.
8. I’m so glad I don’t have to wake up early with the kids every single morning. (M used to wake up at 5:30 for years!) or that I can stay up as late as I want because I don’t have to wake up at 6 anymore. Those mornings alone with the kids were long and lonely. By the time 10am rolled around, I felt like we’d been up for ages, and that’s because we had.
9. We use the car more to run errands. Previously we’d drive it once a month to visit my parents. The car would stay on the street for weeks at a time, only to be moved on alternate side of the street parking days. I don’t like using the car – we much prefer using the subway or bus, not only because gas is expensive, but parking is a pain and I have a mild car phobia after some accidents (I don’t really drive anymore).
10. Even though we are both home, life is much more hectic than before. When Mark was working, we had a routine. He’d get up early, come home in the late afternoon, I’d start working, he would make dinner, put the kids to bed, relax, more work, then bed. We only had one computer and I was on it working all the time, so he had little distractions away from the kids. Life was simpler then. Now we are both often on our laptops and nights are now reserved for heavy-duty work, but this is ok.
Sorry for the long post. I promise to return to food photos and stuff, as usual.