Sunday, March 01, 2009

This is a whiny "Woe Is Me" post

So if you don't want to be subjected to my doom and gloom, I won't blame you for bowing out now while you still have the chance. Do check out my Etsy link in the sidebar though, okay? Thanks!

Did you ever have a time when you just felt hopelessly worthless?

Yeah, this weekend has been pretty much one of those times for me. My husband disclosed to me that we're in a lot more debt than he previously let on. He had led me to believe that it would be pretty much wiped out by our income tax refund, and I was glad to believe it. Since the baby's been born, we've had to cut back because having a baby ain't cheap.

I know, newsflash, right?

See the thing is that people tell you it's not cheap because you have to buy a crib, and all that baby gear, and diapers. While those things aren't cheap, they are manageable. We can handle all that. The thing that people forget to mention are the hospital bills. I mean, you go into the whole thing thinking, hey, I've not only got medical insurance, I've got pretty damn good medical insurance. We're literally covered for this!

Then you have your baby and stuff starts getting submitted to the insurance company and they look to reject claims left and right. For instance, the first surgical assistant when I had my cesaerean? Well, she was apparently only a CERTIFIED first assistant, and not a REGISTERED NURSE first assistant, so she wasn't covered.

I went in for an EMERGENCY cesaerean section, for crying out loud! It honestly didn't occur to me that I should interview every member of the surgical team, verify their qualifications, and then take a moment to call my insurance company to be sure they would be covered. I was a little bit more concerned with getting that baby out of me, thank you very much. The grand total for JUST that one thing?

Almost two grand.

Of course, it could be worse. The surgery itself was $20,000, and they covered that. But I mean, isn't that why we've been paying for health insurance all these years? So they will cover this stuff when it happens? Even worse, I think about my mom, and my brothers, and all the kids that they had FOR FREE because they were lazy bastards who chose to live off the system. This is my reward for not dropping out of high school, for not being a teen mom, for having a job, for getting out of the ghetto and trying to better myself?

The system works, I tell ya.

Anyway, we're poor. I hate to type that, because I know what it is to REALLY be poor. We're not living in a one room apartment in south Phoenix. We're not getting food boxes. I'm not on WIC or getting food stamps. My child is wearing clothes that we bought him new from a regular store.

But the bills - it doesn't look like we're getting out from under them any time soon. Not counting the car and student loans, we owe about $7000. Yeah, that's not that bad compared to what others are dealing with right now (thank GOD we didn't try to buy a house when they were handing out loans to anyone with a signature!) but with just one income, it's going to take a lot to get them paid off.

Of course, the obvious answer is for me to get a job. Duh, right? But here's the thing - I don't have any marketable skills. By now, most people my age have found something that they want to do and have stuck with it long enough to make a decent wage. The thing that I found, that I loved to do and that I'm good at doing, I no longer want to do. That means that I've pretty effectively wasted my 20s unless I want to work in a daycare for minimum wage or a call center for slightly more than minimum wage. That's pretty much where all my work experience lies.

Then comes in that minimum wage problem. I get a job and guess what? I need day care. That's part of why I didn't feel bad about quitting my job at the hotel. We figured it out, and this administrative assitant/graphic designer who was setting up banquet event orders for the catering department on the side would only be making about $3 or $4 an hour after daycare. It definitely was not enough to make the trade off worth it.

So, if I were to go out and get a job now, I'd pretty much be in the same boat.

But Sara, you might say. You're so talented!

All my life people have told me how talented I am. Well, I'm here to tell you that's complete and utter bullshit. Yeah, I'm talented, but not at anything that's going to do me any good in life. I'm smart. I'm creative. I'm organized. I'm a quick learner. I bake a mean cupcake. But what is that going to do for me in the long run? Who is going to give me a job that pays decently enough that it will be worth it to stick my son in daycare based on that?

No one. That's who.

So yeah. Sara who everyone thinks is so great because she can bake a cake with shoes made of candy on top, who can teach herself to knit and figure out a pattern based on a picture of a finished product, who can make jewelry that looks like stuff in the Sundance catalog - well, in the end, she's pretty much worthless.

This is the only thing I've made so far that matters:

and that's what has us in this mess in the first place. I just feel like I can't do anything right, and I'm totally depressed about it. What can I do? How can I contribute? I already clip coupons, and scour the ads and plan menus to save money. I've cut our weekly grocery bill, including stuff like toilet paper abnd paper towels by about a third.

I've stopped using all the nice personal care products I love in favor of cheaper things I can get at Target. Handmade soap at Lush? Try bar soap from Target. (Did I mention I itch like crazy after a shower now?) $16 bottles of shampoo and conditioner? It's Pantene now, baby. $26 tubes of Diorshow mascara? Uh uh, I'm slumming it with Maybelline these days.

I have one bra that fits, and if I want to wear it I have to endure the underwire poking my left boob all day. I have two pairs of prepregnancy jeans, and they're both so big now that I can take them off without unbuttoning them. My underwear are old and the elastic is stretched out, so they kinda fall down in my pants. It might look like I'm scratching my butt, but really, I'm just trying to pull them back up. I'm sure you wanted to know that.

I keep telling myself to count my blessings, because there are indeed many, but it's so hard right now. I just keep racking my brain trying to think of how I can make some money. I listed all of my maternity clothes on eBay (except one pair of pants, they're really faded) so hopefully I can make a little money that way. I'm going through my purses next, and then my husband's comic books.

I also finally did what so many have bugged me to do for so long and opened an Etsy shop. I couldn't decide what to sell so I'm just selling whatever the hell comes to mind. I have craft ADD, so there are a lot of things I have made over the past few years that are just sitting around the house not doing me any good. I started by listing some jewelry I made when I worked at the bead store. Yeah, I listed the prices way too low. Really, for most of them it doesn't even cover the cost of materials, let alone my time, but if I don't wear it, what's the point of keeping it? At least this way it's earning me a little bit of money, right?

I listed a few items to start, and I'll list more during the week before moving on to other things. Any ideas for things you've seen me make that I can possibly sell? I'm open to suggestions here. My husband is looking into getting a part time job on the evenings and weekends until we can pay all these bills off, which means I'm going to be alone with the baby a LOT. I joined a mom's group on and have my first outing next Friday. Hopefully meeting new people and getting out of the house more will help.

I just can't shake this feeling that this is all my fault and stop hearing my mom's voice in my head telling me that I'm a worthless piece of shit, because maybe she was right after all.

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Blogger Felicia said...

I know of a place that is hiring. Not sure if you are interested in a full-time job but the pay is decent. I'll email you the info if you are interested.

10:28 PM  
Blogger Miss M! said...

Sure, why not. Just click where it says "email me" on the left side of my blog.

11:00 PM  
Blogger Paula - Buenos Aires said...

Penniless, maybe. Worthless, never.

6:08 AM  
Blogger Susanne P. said...

sara, you aren't worthless. you and i know how we both can get. hang on, you can pull out of this.

anything in the medical field is needing people right now. that's one of the reasons why i am doing the medical transcriptionist. plus, i can do it from home.

i understand being in debt sucks. but, are the monthly payments of that debt so much that it's causing so much of this scramble? could all of this "second job, falling underwear" be a little less stressful and harsh if you just paid off the debt a little slower and just didn't acquire any more debt?

the etsy store is a good idea as long as the supplies don't cost you more that what you are making the items for. ebay sucks after a while because of the fees.

take it easy on yourself. step awsy from the line of fire. we have all been there and you don't need to be so hard on yourself.

7:46 AM  
Blogger kingsqueen said...

That is just depression calling your name. Please try hard to fight against it. I think we are ALL feeling the crunch right now. I know WE certainly are. We are cutting back where we can and looking into debt consolidation to bring down our monthly payments. It's so easy to get down about this stuff, but try to be thankful for the good things. There are many, many, many of us sacrificing right now just to hold it together. I think most of us know exactly what position you're in. I would totally get a second job to help out our situation, but I can't because I have no one to watch my children during that time - or I'd have to pay for it, which defeats the purpose. I haven't seen my husband in over a month (due to job). It's hard, but we know there is a light at the end of the tunnel somewhere. And we try to look at the positive side, and know that we could be much much worse off.
Take it easy on yourself.You are NOT worthless. You are between a rock and a hard place. It is not like you have many options. You are doing what you can, and hopefully your husband realizes that fact. If he is willing and able to get that second job, just remember it won't be forever, and don't feel guilty that you can't. The only other option would be for you to get the night job and let him stay with Sawyer while you work an evening shift.
Debt sucks, and I can't wait to be free either! (Sorry for the epic length comment.)

9:15 AM  
Blogger Lindsay Teague Moreno said...

dude, the economy's crazy that we're actually feeling the effects of it, you know? And yea, medical bills are sick! (I'm there x2). You're doing good keeping your head above water. I was sad to wave goodbye to Starbucks as well. It's so not true, but even if your son was the only thing you've done to be proud of, it's a great thing and something you have with a clean slate to make something great out of. You can make sure your son has and lives in a different way than you did. We've all got our baggage. We just try hard to make sure that baggage doesn't become part of our kids lives. You can do it.

Just know, we're doing better than our parents did at our age.

Maybe think about doing what I did (which was apply for a retail or waiting position during the hours when your husband is not working). This will get you out of the house and some social interaction that doesn't include "goo goo, you're so sweet, little baby", you know?

I can get you a job at night, but the hours are going to be TOUGH with the little guy. It does start at 33K though. Let me know if you want some more info on it.

Chin up. Pull your shit together (because, your son needs you to). Keep doing what makes you happy. Kiss your little man.


7:42 PM  
Blogger Suzy said...

Ditto Lindsay's comments...except I don't have a lead on a job for you. (We are hiring but not at a rate that would work for you, and not at hours that would work for you.)

I see the link to your etsy--how about a link to your ebay stuff?

I will give you a call--it's time to get you out of the house!

10:59 AM  
Blogger Maggi said...

I just had a meltdown yesterday about our apparent lack of funds, too, after DH's younger, much-more-financially-stable brother and his girlfriend just got engaged. I think you're wonderful. You're doing everything you can to minimize your expenses. You're also one of the nicest people I know.

2:54 PM  

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