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During the last few weeks my husband and I have been trying to unpack a spacious two bedroom duplex into a cozy (yet totally fantastic) one bedroom apartment. It’s a big job but after almost a whole month we’re really starting to make some headway.

When we first got married my husband was a Sailor in the U.S. Navy stationed in Honolulu, Hawaii. We lived in spacious, climate controlled base housing and had an incredibly disposable income. We’d go out to eat a few times a week and saw almost every movie that ran through the theater.

Then my dreams came true and we found out we were going to have a baby. Suddenly the military didn’t seem like the best choice for us. My Sailors first enlistment was almost up and I knew that with his second enlistment we wouldn’t be so lucky as to get to spend every day together like we had. He’d have to be on a ship and away for months and months at a time and most importantly he would be away during the birth of our daughter and that just wasn’t an option for us.

So we moved back to California and put all our things in storage and lived in my childhood bedroom at my parent’s house. It was wonderful to have so much help with SweetPea when she made her arrival, and the knowledge my mother shared with me during those first few months of my own motherhood were indispensable, but as months went by it became time to make our way back out into the world and stand together as self sufficient, independent adults.

So here we are. In a one bedroom place just big enough for the three of us. No more eating out and we rarely take in a movie. After leaving the Navy the job market was rough. We’d hoped and dreamed of making more money, or at least the same money, but those dreams fell short and made way for new dreams of making “enough” money to pay the bills and eat. But even with the budget cuts and the relocation there’s nothing sweeter that having your husband come home every day and be a part of raising your child.

So today as I shuffle through the boxes and try to find a bowl for my breakfast I consider it all and instead of sighing in frustration at the state of chaos, I smile to myself and think how lucky I am to have “enough” and how being with the ones I love is worth more than any job could pay.

And I tip my hat to those women who do it alone, because I don’t know if I could and I am so Grateful I don’t have to.

What have you had to sacrifice to be with your family?

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