The Writing Mamas Daily BlogEach day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.
If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.
And for that, you are a goddess.
Monday, February 23, 2009
The American Dream of Financial Freedom
As my father was packing up his car when he left the family, his parting wisdom was this: “Never become financially dependent on a man. Just look what it did to your mother."
My mother was residing at the time in a locked ward on seventy-hour hold for suicidal threats.
His words still haunt me today, 40 years old and financially dependent with two kids under five.
Today, my husband winced at the pile of Costco party supplies I just came home with.
"We already had plastic cups."
"They’re giant and red,” I say. “They’re too big for punch.”
He looks at me, I look at the floor. We both sigh, all contained hostility.
"We're not making enough to match what we spend. . . at all now,” he tells me.
I am ashamed and angry. I turned down a job working in the county jail because I realized I just couldn't work there once I felt the despair pour into me while walking among the locked units.
Somewhere, after having kids, my past armor has disappeared. But we are both angry at me for not taking that job, despite our verbal assurances to each other that it was the right decision.
We need money, and my private practice is not bringing in enough yet. Financial dependence and wanting my kids to have their mom and a great preschool is right, in my mind.
My guts differ.
We're going broke and I am panicked and embarrassed. I want to see it differently, that I should be supported for being available to my baby while she is small, but I harbor backlash beliefs that I should be bringing in the money that will take the stone partly off my husband's back and give me the self-esteem that seems to have escaped along with my six-pack abs and taut skin.
I remember my father's words and how I lived by them, aggressively independent and hard-working.
There is something to grow up here with, another perfect lesson in losing my position of invulnerability thanks to choosing children.
This tight-fisted nausea itself is where I need to stay for today, and hope for a little faith to open.
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