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Feeling stuck...vent but advice appreicated

Moms View Message Board: General Discussion: Archive October 2007: Feeling stuck...vent but advice appreicated
By Rayelle on Monday, October 29, 2007 - 01:03 pm:

I'm tired of feeling so stuck. I'm not really a pessimist as much as it's reality. The economy where we are sucks. It's a little town, the average income here is about $25,000. Our income flucuates because dh has a commission job. His base pay is about $7 a hour, which isn't enough to live from, but with the commission checks we can stay on top of things, put money back for when the commission doesn't come. I hate our house. All I want is a comfortable place where we can have people over and we have enough space, not a mcmansion or anything. We own our home, but it has been nothing but trouble. We are hoping we might be able to get a new place in the next 2 years or so. I hope to sty in school but I wonder how practical that is, like maybe I should go get some $6 a hour job instead for the time being. However, I don't like my kids going to daycare, and it would pretty much take away any money I'd make. My dh works constantly at his main job and other side jobs so working around him isn't possible. I have about 5 years before I will be finished college, and that's if I don't take any semesters off. When we had a walmart come into our mall a few years ago, it really messed up the leases and such for a lot of stores, (walmart bought the mall) including dh's store. We didn't get commission for too long just after we took on the house payment and had our youngest. We finally filed bankruptcy in 2006, 95% was medical bills. Things have been okay, but the store isn't getting as much business as usual and I'm getting worried. There just aren't jobs here, there are a few if you are mechanically inclined, which neither of us are. It takes money to move, so that's not as easy as it sounds. I wish I knew what we were supposed to do. We don't have any credit cards or car payment. We have 1 car and it has a weird problem where it might start, might not and 3 different mechanics have yet to diagnose the problem. I don't drive it alone because I'm afraid of being stranded somewhere. I don't want to take on a car payment with things being the way they are. I feel like our expenses are very reasonable, especially nowadays, there really isn't much to cut back like you read about. "cut cable" isn't going to work for us, you can't cut what you don't have. I'm afraid of spending money on things to make the house prettier because I'm afraid we won't have money later when we need it, and it's not like I have thousands socked away. I just don't know what to do. Thanks for listening if you are still reading my whine.

By Sandysmom on Monday, October 29, 2007 - 01:36 pm:

Rayelle, (((hugs))). I too would like to move to a nicer, prettier house, but I also am not willing to send my kids to daycare. It took a long time for DH & I to get to the point where I could stay home, and as discontented as I get sometimes, I realize that for now, it's just best to stay where we are.

Your car...did they check the electronic module? How old is your car? I had a car years ago with the same exact problem that you are talking about and after hundreds of dollars of unneeded work, it only cost a little over a hundred to replace the electronic module. Cars can be very frustrating.

About college, I hope you don't leave, but yes, 5 years does seem like a long time to finish. I know it's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Push through if you can. Your schooling seems very important to you and I'd hate to see you leave it behind and regret it later only to be in a situation where it's impossible to go back.

I'll be praying for you! (((hugs)))

By Happynerdmom on Monday, October 29, 2007 - 01:54 pm:

(((Hugs))) It does seem like you're stuck, at least for the time being. :) Most of us go through this at some time or another. I see you are very young...I was in a similar situation at your age. I don't have any advice for changing the situation, but I have lots of experience changing my attitude ABOUT my situation! Sometimes we need to just step back and focus on what's important: Our marriage, our kids, etc. and focus of what's GOOD in our lives. I applaud you for working on a degree. I know right now five years seems like a long time, but five years from now will be here before you know it! Finacial struggles are tough, but if you can hang in there, things can improve! I can reccommend a really good book, "Calm my Anxious Heart: A Woman's Guide to Contentment," by Linda Dillow. Believe me, Rayelle, I have been through very similar situations. Life gets pretty dang tough sometimes! But it's a shame to waste precious years, especially when the kids are little, feeling unhappy. (((((more hugs!)))))

By Rayelle on Monday, October 29, 2007 - 03:14 pm:

Thank you for kind words. Ugh! I am appreciative, I know we're better off than most people in this world. It's so frustrating that there seems to be such a lack of opportunity right now. We have a few plans, it's just hard to get through "right now." I will check on that book. I think I just need a little inspiration, a little pick me up.

By Breann on Monday, October 29, 2007 - 03:24 pm:

We have really BTDT. Probably about 2 years after we were married. We were stuck. DH was at entry level position at the company he works for, and he was making under $10/hr. It seemed like we would never get past that feeling of being stuck. We couldn't "move up" in the housing market, we couldn't afford a car payment. It does pass though. We've been married for 10 years now, and we just built a new home. We can afford a car payment now, and we have some breathing room in our bank account. You will be there before you know it. 5 years will go by so fast, and you'll be so much better off. Then you can come here and post to the threads and tell people how you "used to" live.

By Mrsheidi on Monday, October 29, 2007 - 04:43 pm:

Rayelle, first of all, I have such respect for you. Having children, while going to school, has GOT to be difficult.
Is there a way to take more classes here and there to speed up the process with school? Can you borrow money from the government for school? We are paying only 50$ a month to pay off our school debt and the rate is really low.
Could your DH look into jobs that could assist in a move?

{{HUGS}} for you...we've felt "stuck" before too, and certain things started falling into place. (Not without a lot of hard work, I know.)

By Luvn29 on Monday, October 29, 2007 - 05:16 pm:

Well, for one thing, you aren't necessarily stuck for five years. Your youngest will be in school in a year or two, and at the time, you can work while the children are in school. Can you take evening classes or classes on-line? That is what I am doing. You'd be amazed at how much you can do from home!

I completely understand your situation. In this area, you are lucky to make over seven or eight dollars an hour at anything! But things do get better with time. We are getting ready to move next Spring to an area with more opportunity. But I've been there with the medical bills and we are still at a spot where we don't have much extra. It seems like something is always there to have to put money into. Right now it's Christmas. Then it will be birthdays! It's a never ending cycle.

Did you know that many colleges have a work-study program? It's where you work maybe 20 hours a week in an office at the college or in a school somewhere, and you get paid. The thing is, since it's a work-study thing, it's a very flexible schedule.

By Rayelle on Monday, October 29, 2007 - 08:12 pm:

I don't pay for school, right now, I have a full grant. I usually have a little left over. This semester, my refund was enough to pay the childcare bill I will rack up for youngest dd. It's reasonable, on site care for $1.75 an hour, but it has given me an extra bill of roughly $90 a month. I've tried an online class before and it did not work out for me, I had to drop it and retake it as a traditional course. But it could be that class. I'm hoping that when I get my degree then a job offer somewhere else might come, something to move to, or I can go into business for myself. I also plan on starting my doula training in the spring. No one near here offers that and I think I would love it. It's so hard not to compare where I am with where I thought I'd be by now. Dh has over 10 years retail management experience, but here that means you get $8 an hour instead of minimum wage. The college offers childcare in the summer for kids up to 10. I cant' get a federal grant in the summer, but they say now since I get a grant in the fall/spring I almost certainly would qualify through the school's financial aid for the summer. Dh is going back next semseter too. He had a few job offers on the horizon when it was time to start this fall and at the last minute the lady hired her friend. I'm at a community college right now, and since my requirements there are winding down, I'll be more limited as to when they offer classes I need. We're lucky in that the 2 year college as well as a 4 year university are nearby. Dh is a little closer to being done than I am, maybe 3 years left for him. I need a masters before I can even start.

I get to be home when my kids are. I have my classes 2 days a week during their school hours. It's the time of year really bothering me I think. I want to be done Christmas shopping and everything but it's not about procrastinating, I need the $$$$! Hopefully, dh's commission will pick up as it usually does this time of year.

I need to stick it out. I do love school. I had a 4.0 at midterm!

By Rayelle on Monday, October 29, 2007 - 08:16 pm:

Oh and I don't know how it works with a job willing to assist you in moving. I think at this exact moment we'd lose money on the house. We are actually having some people moving to this area that are retired to escape the rat race,and the cost of living is low. It has to be or no one could live here! Plus, gas still costs as much, milk still costs as much....oh well. One day! And I will be grateful for these experiences because I am much better at managing money than I would have been if I had always been comfortable, ykwim? It will come in handy one day, I hope!

By Reds9298 on Monday, October 29, 2007 - 08:29 pm:

Really big {{hugs}}. I think everyone goes through their tough financial times at SOME point. It sounds like you are both working hard to do what's best for your family. I ditto the other posts. Time goes by so quickly that you will be out of school before you know it. I can't imagine going to college as a parent, so major kudos!! It gets rough when you feel like you're never getting ahead, but know that you're not alone. Like I said, everyone has BTDT at some point and it does end. Hang in there and come here to vent anytime!

By Ginny~moderator on Tuesday, October 30, 2007 - 07:00 am:

BTDT, Rayelle, and often kicking myself because I didn't have the gumption and intelligence you and your dh have to make the effort to go to school. I love my work, but I know that if I had taken the opportunities I had to go to college I'd be in a better job by far.

I was a single parent of 3 boys for a long time, living in a HUD house that I bought for $6500 in 1978, and we ate a lot of hot dogs and macaroni & cheese, and bought most of our clothes at thrift shops. (And before that, while I was married, we were on welfare for almost 2 years. And went through a bankruptcy while we were on welfare.) But, my sons' memories of growing up are mostly good ones because of the kind of parenting I did and the things we did together. From what I've read of your posts, I strongly suspect that your kids will have the same kinds of good memories when they are adults.

Yes, it is hard. It is especially hard when you start thinking about Christmas and wishing you could get your kids the things they see on TV. That's another BTDT for me.

I note that you got a really great grant for school, and I know that this isn't just because of your financial situation - it is also because you work hard and get good grades. Congratulations on that.

You say it will be another 5 years before you earn your degree. As my father often said to me - in 5 years you will be 5 years older, no matter what you do. So think about it - do you want to be 5 years older with a degree that can help you really change your life? Or 5 years older having worked 5 years in a slightly more than minimum wage job and really, when you think about it, not a whole lot to show for it. I urge you to think about how much you would clear - after taxes, work expenses, possible child care (at least in the summer) and related costs of working - and whether it would be worth trading what that net amount would buy for the prospect of having a college degree.

Please, hang in there.

By Rayelle on Tuesday, October 30, 2007 - 04:17 pm:

Thank you Ginny. Your post reminded me of something. I originally went back to school before my youngest was born. I was going into a 2 year program I was only mildly interested in to get on with a job sooner. I told my father-in-law if I could go to school to be anything, that is not what I would be. He asked why I didn't just go for what I wanted and I said, at the time"because I'd be like 30 before I was done" and he said "aren't you going to be like 30 one day anyway? might as well do what you want" So, I had another baby and I will be older than 30 when I am finished. I feel a much better sense of direction than I did when I went before. I know working would end up costing us, money wise and so much more. The time away from the kids and the added stress.

Sometimes it's hard to not kick myself for not going away to school right after high school. When it comes down to it, I wouldn't do it differently. I have a wonderful husband and great kids that we all know isn't something you'd trade for anything! Plus, I think I am more focused on school than I would have been, going in a different direction than I would have. My brother is the first in our family to get a 4 year degree. He is at the same job he's had since he was 16, his degree opened nothing in this area. It's pretty limited here depending on what you do. Plus, he had my parents paying for his education, so they didn't allow him time to decide what interested him, wouldn't allow him to attend part time. So, he says his degree doesn't mean much. I suppose the grass only looks greeener. He says except for starting a family young he wished he could have taken the time to know what he wanted like I did. I look for him to go back one day.

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