I recently had a conversation with Emily about our lives. We both have great lives, nice houses, three amazing kids each, supportive husbands. We also have the ability, or luxury, to get anything we need and most things we want. This is not to say that we don't have money issues, they happen, or that we can run out and spend a ton of money every day, we can't. We can, however, afford to save and purchase what we want, and we are lucky.
I told her that I used to feel guilty for what we have, but looking back at it, we earned it. When we moved to Virginia nine years ago, Ryan and I were poor....REALLY poor. I had a FT job, but had taken a paycut when I left NY. Ryan was still at Staples and we were paying for his school out of pocket. We hardly had enough for rent and gas, let alone anything extra. Ryan got his first "real" job in December and we were so excited that he was salary and had benefit. At the same time, my car died so we bought our first new car, a bare bones no frills Saturn, and Ryan STILL drives it to work everyday!
We worked hard and after Haven was born I switched jobs and that allowed us to buy the townhouse. Somehow we balanced that after I was laid off and found part time work that saved me daycare costs. Ryan suffered two layoffs, two years in a row at Christmas by the same company, they worked on contracts and when they didn't have one, you were SOL. After the second layoff he took the job in MD at that he still has now, and because of the financial results of the layoffs, I went back to FT work that April when Brittan was 9 months old and we moved here to the house we are in now. In my job I traveled during the first 3 months of the year (also the first 3 months of my pregnancy with Gray) and made the decision to stop working when Gray was born-private daycare for 3 kids were too much money and I refused to send them to a daycare center. We struggled after Gray was born on the one salary, but I finish my MBA when he was 4 months old and had a teaching job within 6 months.
I have been in school since Brittan was born five and half years ago. I have balanced my career, motherhood, and my education. Ryan has felt the weight of the family on his shoulders, needing to financially support us when I was not working and emotionally help me when I had too much on my plate.
We have now been married eight years, and I am so proud of the family I have built and what we have achieved. I cannot wait to see what the future holds (hopefully my doctorate soon!)