23 January 2009

Hello, my name is Stress. Nice to meet you.

I'm tired, physically and mentally. As mentioned in my previous post, this has been a busy week for Maddie, Riley, and me; we've had a social obligation of some kind every evening post-daycare, which has been lots of fun but also draining. Tonight we're meeting friends for pizza at our co-op playspace, which will be great but will also be another evening of schlepping in and out of the car and through the snow and such. It's fun to be out and see friends, so we keep doing it, but I can feel it catching up with me.

The running around wouldn't be so bad if my brain weren't in overdrive about what I think of as Grown-Up Stuff. The house: to sell or not to sell? The job: will I have one next week? Should I take the one I'm almost certainly about to get offered? Even when I'm not actively thinking about these things, they're back there, kicking around, taking up mental space, causing me to be distracted and irritable and, well, tired.

It occurred to me that there is a word for what I'm feeling right now: STRESSED. "Duh," you're all saying, "it's taken you until now to realize that you're stressed?" The answer, I'm afraid, is yes. I feel so weighed down by considering variables and weighing multiple unappealing choices. I'm not sure how to make the decisions I need to make, and I don't like making them without John. I've been yelling a lot lately, and the smallest thing will tip me over the edge. Yeah, the Grief Factor doesn't help, but right now it's quite simply the stress of daily life and big decisions that are making me edgy.

Regarding the house, I met with the realtor on Wednesday morning. He thinks I can get about $30K less than I paid for it, which will leave me with a check in my hand at the closing that's less than half of what I put down when I bought. His numbers are right on the edge of what had been my mental tipping point for selling, which puts me in a real pickle. What if I put it on the market and then can't get what he thinks I can get? As a number of commenters pointed out, if I go through the trouble of moving out of the house while it's on the market, then I'm going to be sorely tempted to take less money than I really want to just to be done with it all. 

What I need to decide, then, is if it's time to be done with it all at any cost. Yes, I'll lose nest egg money that would be my next downpayment when I'm ready to buy again. But the reality of my current situation is that I can't afford my mortgage. I'm spending more money than I make every month, and while I can cover that for a while with savings, it's going to catch up with me eventually. With my 10% paycut, "eventually" is not all that far down the line. If I sell and move, I'll actually be able to start putting money in savings every month rather than taking it out, with the possibility of that nest egg slowly getting built back up over time. As it stands, I'm losing money every month and staying in a house that might not gain value for years.

The daily reality of my financial situation is pressing given that I have no idea how long I'll still have a job. People are dropping like flies around here, and I'm one level of management removed from really knowing what's going on. I did interview for another job yesterday, and while the interview went really well, I'm not sure I can take the job. I currently commute about 20 minutes each way, and my in-office hours are only 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to accommodate the twins' daycare schedule. This job I interviewed for would be an hour's commute each way, plus the expectation that I'd be in the office 40-50 hours/week. Yes, I'd make more money, but I'd never see the twins during the week. The extra money would be offset by commuting costs and the fact that I'd likely have to get a nanny, which would cost more than daycare to begin with plus I'd be paying her overtime. Additionally, I'd be taking the kids out of their beloved and wonderful daycare environment. So that's likely a no-go, although it's not even been offered yet so I'm putting the proverbial cart before the horse.

Even if this job is a no-go, be it on my end or theirs or both, the job-hunting process brings up a lot of fears for me. There is, of course, the general state of the economy and the fact that the number of people who want jobs far outstrips the number of jobs available. If that were the only concern I had, I would be much less stressed about this. I'm experienced and I interview well. I could get a job. But there's so much more to it than that. I have so many constraints on my time as far as being available for the twins. I need to drop them off; daycare opens at 8:00. I need to pick them up; daycare closes at 5:30. It's difficult for me to work regular overtime unless I can take work at home in the evening. I'd have to get a significant raise to afford putting Maddie and Riley in a daycare with extended hours or get a nanny, and I don't want to move them anyway. They are my kids, I am their mom and only living parent. I need to be there for them, but I also need to provide for them. It's a difficult thing to balance.

I don't mean to whine. I know many, many families are in situations harder than mine. I've just had all these thoughts swirling around in my head and I need to try to make sense out of them by writing them down. What's surfacing for me is this pull between what I want and what I have or can get. I want a job that challenges me and allows me to work with great people on interesting projects, but I want that job to be around the corner from my house and only require me to be in the office 9:00 to 4:30. I want to put my condo on the market and have someone be so captivated by it that they offer me more than I'm asking. I want universal health care. While we're at it, can I have a unicorn as a pet and a team of fairies that cleans my house and cooks my meals? Why not reach for the stars?

I told the realtor that I'd call him sometime next week with my decision. As for the job, I'll keep looking for something else, but for now it feels like the right decision for my life is to stay where I am, be glad I have a job and health insurance, and enjoy the time that my job gives me with my family. I'll either have my hand forced by getting laid off or I'll find something that fits my requirements, hopefully the latter.

We've got a pretty mellow weekend planned, which I need. I should have some time to physically relax, and hopefully I can find the switch to my brain to give myself some mental downtime. I could really use it. Anyone who knows the location of that switch should feel free to contact me directly, thanks in advance.

65 comments:

ellen said...

Not to state the obvious, but all the social stuff is optional. If you're so stressed that you're yelling a lot, maybe you need to take a break from that while you get your thoughts organized? (From the sound of things, you're doing more social life in a week than I get in a couple of months, and I have only one kid and a working spouse.)

And on the job, you can always get a more fulfilling job later, once the rest of life gets under control and the job market lets you get one that doesn't torpedo your time with the kids. Just my three cents (adjusted for inflation).

Cheryl Lage said...

Aww Snick, bless you. You are DEFINITELY due a mellow weekend. Hope it's restful...and if anyone DOES email you the location of that elusive switch? Please verify that it works in with those middle of the night stress wake-ups, and then please email me! ;)

Hang in there, Girl. All WILL shake out A-OK.

Cobblestone said...

The nice thing about all the social stuff is that you can just the back part of your brain rattle around on all the "grown-up" stuff without you spinning into an anxiety circle.

LauraC said...

I don't think this post comes off as whining at all. I did want to chime in and say I have a job that I do not love but it gives me a lot of time with my kids and a lot of money. For the next 15 years while my kids are at home, I'm putting family first and career second. Maybe I will regret this one day that I don't have a more fulfilling career, but honestly even my most fulfilling job never gave me as much happiness as my kids did.

It probably sounds like I settled but if settling means a good paying job that affords me the time and opportunities to spend so much quality time with my kids, I will take it!

My two cents.

Anonymous said...

Life is full of tradeoffs, and obviously, as a single parent you have fewer options than many. I'm sure you've thought of this, but is it worthwhile to consider moving back to your parents' hometown to get more family support?

Best wishes as you sort it out.

Shelley

Snickollet said...

LauraC:

I don't think it sounds like you settled at all.

I'm just jealous that your job includes both a lot of time with the kids *and* a lot of money. I have the time, I'm missing the money part :).

-snick

Anonymous New York said...

You have every right to whine. Yes, some people have it hard or harder, but Lady, you have it TOUGH right now. Don't short change your situation for some hypothetical person's hypothetical problems.

I don't comment here often, or at all, really, but I admire your strength and honesty. I cannot fathom the tough decisions you are facing right now without John. But I know you will make the right decision for you and your kiddos.

If it were me, I would probably sell the house because I would be afraid of losing my savings slowly on a house I don't want to be in anymore. But that's me. I hope you figure out what is best for you.

Anonymous said...

Wow, a lot going on. However, from one stressed out mom to another...lay off some of the social activities, especially during the week. Spend that time on the couch with the kiddies. You won't get this time back with the kids. Once a mom, job is second. We need money to live on, I know all too well but money ain't everything. You would be surprised some of the happiest people I have encountered don't have a lot of money!! Have a good weekend and good luck. Lot's to think about.

Meika said...

Oooh. Put me down for one of those fairy teams!

I cringe to say it, but it sounds like the move is ... necessary. Like you're eating into your nest egg one way or another, by draining your savings or taking a loss on the house, but draining the savings is a continual downward slide. I don't envy your choices, though. :( Good luck figuring it out.

bold said...

AoN, as a single mom myself, I struggle with a lot of the same things.

Ultimately, when my daughter was in preschool, I started working more (9-6, although I get here earlier and leave later). I have a great nanny who picks her up at school and spends the afternoon with her. You could keep your kids in their great daycare and get a nanny who could pick them up at say 5, and spend the time until you get home with them.

Just an idea. And you don't have to figure it all out right now.

A friend of mine always says "It's all going to be okay in the end, so if it's not okay, it's not the end." It's not the end. You'll see.

Anonymous said...

This is an out-of-left-field idea but with the economy/real estate as it is, I thought I'd throw it out there.

Are either of your parents retired? Could one of them move near you or would you consider moving near them? Not only would this move your childcare costs down to $0, the care would be excellent and consistant. That could free you to be able to continue to do work that is not killer hours yet not spend each month more than you earn.

Also, if your relationship with either of your parents is good, it could go along way in cutting down the stress level. It's amazing how restorative 24 hours sans kids can be when the kiddos are in trusted hands.

Just an idea. It's how my SIL got back on her feet financially and kept the stress level managable after my BIL's sudden death when my neice was 14 months old. Well, actually it would not have worked with her parents so she did it with my/her in-laws.

No matter what else, you continue to go a great job by your children and for that I hope you give yourself a lot of credit.

What A Card said...

I'm sorry you have so many big decisions at once. Yikes!

Thinking of you!

Anonymous said...

"If I sell and move, I'll actually be able to start putting money in savings every month rather than taking it out, with the possibility of that nest egg slowly getting built back up over time. As it stands, I'm losing money every month and staying in a house that might not gain value for years."

Sounds like you've got that one figured out. Sometimes you just have to start over.

If you were to get a job with later evening hours, maybe you could look at hiring a good person to pick them up from daycare, get them home and get dinner started for you. This person could leave as you get home to happy to see you faces and dinner already started. That would help with added stress of later hours. You'd have time to sit with the kids and unwind before bath and bed. :)

Sarah said...

I think we all kind of conflicted on the job front.

I was wondering, if you move in with your friend, would she be able to pick up the twins from daycare so that you could take that job?

Sarah said...

Also, my opinion, SELL THE HOUSE. Be done with it.

Donn24g said...

O Snick, you are definitely not whining. And although making decisions is hard because you are always uncertain about if you are making the right one. Utlimatetly, you are always making the right decision because itwill be what FEELS right. And if it feels right and it helps you sleep better at night because atleast a decision is made-- than that is one more battle won.

and, take money and finances out of the equation all together. What would you do?

This should be the answer, money will not make you happier. There are always other solutions to financial situations. Life and happiness should come first.

And i agree with one of the commentors about the possibility of being closer to family for the added support and help. But have you thought about refinancing your home to lower your mortage? This might save a little too.

Just my .02. Dont comment much anymore but still a nobel reader. Dont forget to take sometime for YOU this weekend. You deserve it!

Yummy Mummy said...

I think you have plenty of advice here but I'll throw mine in the hat. Reading your blog I have been so opposed to you moving to Oregon (yes we are friends in my head) but now I'm wondering if that could be a good move for you and the twins. Would there be enough room for you and the kids to move in with your parents just until you got that nest egg back? And would one or both of them be able to help during the day to watch them? It seems like if that was the case you could work even part time in the beginning and get to spend more time with the twins. Also it may be nice for them to be closer to the grandparents and have them if you ever need a break. Also the real estate is much more affordable so I would imagine that you could get more bang for your buck and really start saving for the future.

This of course would only work if that was an option and two if you wanted, it just seems like the kids are young enough that if you do it this would be a good time. Also it would leave your house free and the pressure wouldn't be so crazy to sell if you are living rent free somewhere else.

Again, just a thought. I would hate to see you leave New England. I guess if I was in your shoes that is what I would do. Also if I was in your shoes I would never be able to hold things together the way you do, so there you go.

I hope you get some peace and that at some point all of this falls into place for you.

You deserve it.

Anonymous said...

Just delurking to say that I hope you have a restful weekend. I think you're such a great mom - even under the toughest circumstances you always seem to have your priorities straight.

Maybe it's time to consider moving back out west to be near your family. Is the job market in Oregon any worse than in Boston?

Hang in there ... Leslie

Anonymous said...

Snick,

As a regular reader of your blog, I believe that in your heart of hearts you want to go back to Oregon. Focus on that. Keep this job as long as you can and concentrate on your future in OR. Will your severance package carry you for a while?

"I'm tired, physically and mentally. The running around wouldn't be so bad if my brain weren't in overdrive...causing me to be distracted and irritable and, well, tired. I've been yelling a lot lately, and the smallest thing will tip me over the edge."

This are lesser known symptoms of depression. I am often overwhelmed as my husband is an amputee and is in danger of losing his 2nd leg. He has endured 50+ surgeries in the last 5 years. While our situations are different I think the result may be the same. Talk with your doctor. Lexapro works in 2 weeks and takes the edge off.

Just my 2 cents

Mama Nabi said...

Being in a similar (haha... okay, minus one child and minus grief... so BIG difference, yes) situation as your bizarro sister, I am going to make a comment about the social stuff. It's my opinion that the whole winter schlepping is getting to you - but not the social stuff. As a single mom, the social stuff (and yes, it is stressful with ONE child to bundle up, get in and out of the car, brrrr) is when I am not 100% alert and constantly ON. During social stuff, there are other eyes, looking after my child, and I get to relax. I am allowed to wander off to the kitchen for that scrumptious looking cake without making sure LN is not about to destroy the living room. Others help me entertain. If I didn't do the social stuff, I would be yelling a lot more.

So don't feel guilty or think the social stuff is the cause of the stress. Unless you're socially awkward (you're not) or people don't like you (I doubt it) - then, by all means, you should stay home. :-) The social stuff is also excellent for M & R. Really.

The other stuff...? I don't know. Would you move closer to the in-laws or your parents? I know that things are so unstable and the idea of losing too much on the condo is horrible but maybe selling it would ease you into a fresh start mode?

Love ya, hang in there... And yes, you would be more than welcome to visit us when we move south. We'd LOVE to have you...

Anonymous said...

I am not sure I read this already but I hope you are not listing your house at the 30K loss price. Put the price highter cuz in this market, people will make a low offer cuz they know it is a buyers market. You may have already said this but i am too tired (from my babies :)) to look. Hope you have a slow weekend!

mames said...

jeez. there is a lot to be stressed about. you have always been a person i admired in your honesty and ability to share...

right now it seems like the choices will stay tough ones, but i read a few comments that mentioned oregon. is the support system there enough to change the variables of the situation? is it viable for you to go back? because it sounds like you need more...and it might be there.

Watercolor said...

All of that of course assumes the house sells..... How confident is the Realtor it will sell quickly? Or at all? Here, we are not tied into the national banking issues thankfully as MS has a pretty stand alone regional banking system but the real estate market is still tanked.

I would hate for you to move out and take on additional living expenses and still have the house note for an unexpected extended period of time.

Hard stuff indeed. And I agree on the social stuff. Take more evenings off. I'm single and I don't do as much as you do and I'm exhausted by the time Friday arrives. :) Just being with friends may not seem tiring or stressful but it is a lot more than you think. Being home and vegging and having a low key evening helps. Tons. Take care of yourself.

Jan said...

This may be totally out of left field, but what about getting a live-in nanny? If you included room and board, you probably wouldn't have to pay as much, and you'd have another adult around sharing household responsibilities. It would definitely take some careful work to find the right person, but it might be doable.

Anonymous said...

I say move to the West Coast and let the family not only share in care of the kids, but to be more present in their lives on a daily basis. When my Dad died I was nine, and I don't know how the five kids and my Mom would have made it without our grandparents to help out. We were far more closer to them and learned so much more about/from them than their other grandkids.
Sell at a loss, move out there, and save yourself, and your family, the cost/time of schleping back and forth. It would decrease your stress and allow you to be a better parent.
Plus - less snow to shovel !
amanda

Rachel said...

I really hate having to make big, life-changing decisions, much less a bunch of them at once. I really have no words of advice for you, I just wanted you to know I feel for you

Anonymous said...

You're not whining - and if you are you certainly have earned the right!

Any chance you can rent the condo for the equivalent of the mortgage payment? I know that mean becoming a landlord, but it may be a short term solution to the problem. You might even be able to get MORE than your mortgage if you are in a desirable area. I could get more than my mortgage where I live. Hey maybe I should do that...but I digress.

THe housing market will turn around...it's going to take a few years but it will. The economy will improve as well...it always does. I know you've expressed an interest in moving back to OR, any chance of doing that now and staying with family till you get on your feet?

Megan said...

Question: you've written many times about wanting to move back to Oregon. Given that the situation with your house and job is not ideal, why are you not considering trying to find a job in Oregon? I'm only curious, not judgmental of your decisions. I live in Portland, so I would get it if you said the job market in Portland precludes it, but I figured I'd ask.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you could use some good adult conversation-- Is there any way a friend could come over after the twins are in bed, and you could hang out in sweats and drink wine and just kinda throw ideas around about your situation-- you know, brainstorm, think aloud, etc?

--Sadie

Ginevra said...

I think it's something to do with this week. It has been totally sucky chez moi too, lots of yelling and comments like "You're being so dickheady!" (me to 2.5-y-o son, so mature of me, also he immediately responded "Dickheady!").

Anyway. Good luck. I have been thinking of you a lot and sending you good vibes. WRT job stuff, have you by any chance thought of contacting my former employer? They are quite family friendly, although the commute to downtown would be kind of sucky for you. Anyway, I would be DELIGHTED to put you in touch with my old boss. I don't know if she needs anyone full-time now, but for all I know one of her employees is about to retire or stay home with her kids or something. Worth a try.

Much love,
J

Ginevra said...

P.S. I will be so fucking heartbroken if you move to Oregon. Just thought I'd mention that. ;-)

xo,
J

Anonymous said...

It is a lot to carry alone. It is very stressful! I hope you can find a destressing thing soon, whatever that would be for you.

On the house front... I know in cases of divorce that sometimes women in particular screw their finances over because they feel obligated to continue in the family home, which they cannot really afford. I think your situation is similar, and although I am so, so sad that you would lose some of your real estate nest egg, I think the monthly burden is well worth dumping. (Here's one article: http://www.moremagazine.ca/work-and-money/finances/minimize-financial-fallout/a/25 )

I myself wouldn't move out for reasons people have said, but I would pack up the vast majority of stuff (including most of the toys, but not the tv) and move IT out for the duration to keep the cleanup as simple as possible - sort of like camping at home for a while.

RockCity said...

Regular reader delurking. I feel for you, we are struggling too with job loss, etc.

I agree with your other readers that if you can sell for a decent price, go ahead and do it, it's a huge weight to know you are spending more every month than you are bringing in (believe me, i know). But also, don't list it at that lowish price, list it higher at least for awhile, folks are not shy about offering less, but you might get someone who offers more than you expect, too.

As for daycare, keep them in the one they love if possible. If you do have to change jobs, maybe you can hire a college student to pick them up at 5 and make them dinner until you get home.

Another housing option, maybe there is someone (friend, college student you trust, mom/dad) who would want to move in with you, pay some rent and maybe even be a good babysitter?

Good luck with your job, hope the 10% cut is all you have to bear :-)


I, for one, will click on your ads more! maybe that will increase your monthly income by 1/2 cent or so, but if we ALL do it !?

Hang in there, enjoy your kids and friends.

kate said...

Take this with a grain assault, but what I'd do in your situation is sell that house at a loss. Move near my (your) parents, live with them if I had to until I could rent or buy a house there.

When your parents were visiting it just sounded like a breath of fresh air for you. If I was to ever lose my husband I know I would want to be near my parents. Just a thought...

islaygirl said...

the house thing is stressful.

when my ex and i were splitting, and still living together while the house was on the market, i packed up probably 60-70% of our stuff and put it in the garage.

much easier to keep up with and made it possible to live in house while showing it.

just a thought.

L. said...

Lots of good advice here. I don't have any beyond what's been said already. But, boy, I can commiserate on the losing-money thing. The devil(s) in our details are such that it makes sense for us to stay right now, but I hate the worrying and the seeing money go out the door instead of saving, especially in these times. I feel like an awful parent, spending instead of saving for my children's future.

Anyway. It's just that one piece of the myriad of things you're juggling, and it alone is really wearing. So you have my total sympathy.

If you don't go back to Oregon, do check out refinancing. Rates are pretty good these days.

Anonymous said...

You sure have your plate full with all these decisions! Try to follow your heart.

Here's my two cents, probably worth less.

Call me a pessimist, but I've often heard people complain that realtors gave them a suggested list price that was more than they really could sell it for (is this the realtor's desire to obtain the listing, I don't know); then a few months down the line the realtor says, "We should lower the price a bit". So if you decide to list it, be prepared to lose more than you are calculating right now or to pull it off the market if the realtor plays that "lower the price" game. Prepack what you can and live in it while it's listed (rather than have a rent payment and a mortgage payment).

Is moving to Oregon for more family support out of the question? What holds you back?

tiina said...

Agree with Anonymous who says that life is full of tradeoffs. Move back in with your parents (or to your parent's hometown) for the best support system you can possibly find. It'll take some getting used to, but you will not regret it, I promise!!
I think all you really need is some help that you can actually count on... no friend can really provide it, only family.

You don't have to do it alone and you do not have to be a super-woman!! Don't forget this!! There is help and I'm sure your parents would love to see you and the grandchildren closer to them.

Good luck and all the best!
Tiina

tiina said...

Also, if you are worried about your job, talk to your boss (or your bosses boss). I did it before - in 2001, when I was worried about my job and on a work visa and afraid of being laid off and sent out of the country. I just told them that I needed "a job" and I liked mine at the company a LOT. BUT if they needed to lay me off, I would appreciate couple of month's notice so that I can get all my ducks in a row. They appreciated my honesty and I really felt a lot better after that talk. I never ended up losing my job, but it wasn't as stressful after I talked to them. When you do that, I bet they'll have a more difficult time "laying you off" or even cutting your salary... They simply will not be able to ignore the situation they'll put you in. I don't think you'll have anything to lose if you talk to them.

Good luck and all the best. I know you'll make the right choices for you.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the hardest part about leaving Boston for Oregon, would be all the friends you have there.
When the kids are older and have ballgames and school plays, there's nothing like the Gpa and Gma as cheerleaders. Friends are wonderful to have around you for support that you don't go to the parents for, but in this day and age, the internet keeps us all in touch so there's no losing anyone there. I just think the comfort of having the grandparents to call upon when you just need a weekend to yourself, or like I mentioned, the big fan base in the audience at their first Band concert.

Shinyung said...

This is stressful. You are juggling so much! I can't believe you do so much by yourself. If you were my sister (or SIL), I'd move out there to help you. I hope you reach out to your family for help - even though I know you said you don't like to ask and even though they are far away. I'm sure they would want to help and to work with you to figure out a solution...

Kathryn said...

I'm not going to offer advice, just a large hug and a prayer that you get the space that you need for the weekend.
The verification is "allness" which seems to be a pretty reasonable reflection of the current demands on you. Hang on in there, my friend. xx

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm..... have Social Security Survivor benefits kicked in for the three of you at all?

Our SSSB/month covers all our recurring expenses and DH's life insurance covered the costs of paying off all our debts etc. I sold our home and moved closer to family and bought a house and paid cash. Cars are paid for etc.

I work because I want to, not because I have to.

I wish you well with all these very difficult and paralyzing decisions.

Angela said...

You've received a lot of great advice, I'm just putting in my two cents worth.
If your job is hanging in the balance and you get the job offer, take the new job and keep the kids in their current daycare(since they love it so much) hire a college kid to look after the kids and make dinner.
Perhaps it might be best to sell, and go with moving in with your friend...if she also needs childcare maybe you could split the costs of the college kid. Also, as you say with the money you save in housing costs, you could build your nest egg up rather than losing every month. Also, the added stress of trying to make the mortgage payments would be gone. Hope you find what works for you. Glad you are doing the social stuff, I agree it helps to have those outings to relieve stress and the kids have fun too!

Anonymous said...

Hi Snick
Im going to post here as anonymous because this is about finances, but I am the one who emailed you last week about the gogokidz-thanks for the tips:)
When we relocated we had the 'opportunity' to sell our house at a loss in Dec of '06 (coincidentally the month our twins were born). We decided not to sell and to have the house as a rental (crossing our fingers that the market could only get better). For the last 14 months the renters have been paying about half of the mortgage, which left us to cover the rest...as you can imagine, doubling the size of our family and cutting our income in half (I sah) we are in the red every month as well. Now, the house worth has lost another $85k and we are contemplating forclosure. I wish, wish, wish we had taken the low ball offer in '06, putting us at an $80k loss vs the $165k we are looking at now.
Big money decisions are never easy, especially now in today's crazy housing market. I just wanted to share our experience to let you know you are not alone in this stressful time.

ashleyjnc said...

Who says you can't go home? OKay Bon Jovi, maybe that is lame, eh? Anyway, I think you should consider even stronger the oppertunity to move back closer to mom and dad, it sounds like they would be not only a wonderful source of child care, but a very important sense of support for you. It is okay to admit you are not super woman, and that you need help. I know you wish you had a spouse to share that with... but the simple truth of the matter is that it could take years for you to find that companion that "fits" and having small children can make that equation even harder to achieve. Is it cheaper to live where your parents are?

Tracey said...

I can't recall from previous posts if you've mentioned having a spare room or not, but if you do, what about offering home-stay to a foreign student? I have no idea if that's even an option where you live as I'm in a different country on a different coast, but where I live I know lots of people who offer home-stay to foreign students who are studying at the local college. Room and board is paid to you, and here it starts at $700 a month. Your obligation would vary depending on the school and what they ask for, but here they ask that student be made a part of the family for meals and special outings, and that they have access to laundry facilities in your home as well as the kitchen to make meals that you aren't cooking etc (my friends make dinner and then make sure breakfast, lunch and snack items are available for the student to put together themselves). The people I know who have done it *love* it, for the most part. Maybe a Korean student would be interesting for you and the kids?

Anonymous said...

Go back to Oregon! Start over!

Mama Mama Quite Contrary said...

Hope you are getting a good chance to rest this weekend.

I don't have any advice on the housing or job situation except to follow your gut. I am thinking of you and hope you find a solution that you are comfortable with.

A.B. said...

haYou know the one thing that I'm wondering about right now is whether you've had more than one realtor look at the situation. I'm concerned that you are putting a tremendous weight in the opinion of one single person and their assessment of the prevailing market, and this seems (to me) to be akin to listening to the first financial planner that you interview, or to the first surgeon.

Not every realtor is as qualified as they might like one to believe, and remember the only way they make money is to achieve the sale, but the only way to do that and not cost them money is to list is at a price that will move quickly - which may not be in your best interests. It is better to stirke a balance between price and length on market.

Lastly, I know that realtors who are friends work for some, but I've found that it best to hire someone who will *work for* you, and that you can fire without hesitation at the end of the contract period rather than feel an obligation to hang on to. I don't know what relationship you have with this realtor or how you came to know them (random selection, recommended by one or many, or friend/family), but please consider that element as part of the whole dynamic too.

Amy said...

Just wanted to show you some support. You have a lot to think about, no doubt. I have twin girls, a job that makes me feel like I am doing something meaningful, pays well, but takes me away from the girls. I am not so sure it is worth it.

Karyn said...

Hi Snick,

You've received some great advice, and I don't have anything new to share, but I just wanted you to know that I'm following your trials closely and hope you find peace with all of this soon. You are juggling so, so much; I cannot imagine how you continue to do it. I have to admit, I agree with the people who suggest taking a loss and moving to Oregon. You didn't mention that possibility in this post, though. Your family seems to be incredibly helpful to you and might be exactly the kind of relief you and the twins need. And, then I'd be sure to see you more. :-)

Lots of love to you, and thank you so much for your continued comments on my blog. They mean the world to me; it's nice to know someone's listening! Thank you, thank you.

Watercolor said...

You've been on my mind a lot. Hugs.

buddha_girl said...

I loathe stress. I hate that you're embroiled in such a long list of thoughts and complications.

Like you, I've been screaming a lot more - even if it's just inside my head so that I don't scare the hell out of my kid.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I'm sure you've thought of this, but is refinancing an option at all? Interest rates have never been better . . .

winecat said...

Classic rock and hard spot. I wish I had some advice to offer but with no kids and a pretty secure house situation I have none.

Instead I'll send some hugs, support and maybe even a bit of peace your wayaliticit

Anonymous said...

I've always had a hard time making hard decisions. I empathize. And no decision will ever be perfect in every way.
For a long time I have read your blog and admired your grit (and your lovely kids). I have also thought: why not Oregon? I know you have an amazing circle of people around you now, and it takes a while to rebuild. And sometimes just thinking about all that change is exhausting. Maybe Boston is the right answer. But: in five years, if all things job-related were equal, where would you want to be, east or west? Where would you want to be raising the kids?

spa said...

A longtime reader with no right to offer advice offers this: I, too, had great daycare when my kids were little. In retrospect, for a working parent, those were the days. I will *never* forget the rude awakening when they went off to school. Suddenly it seemed like they were home all the time, between early dismissals, long weekends, and oh yeah--summer vacation! It was hard to find a good, stable, and affordable situation that would fill out the kids' schedules while I worked. Grandparents were an enormous help. I know it's hard to imagine the twins being in school, but you might want to factor this inevitable change into any longterm plan you make. Not that you need a longterm plan at this precise moment.

Lucky said...

We live in a world that validates stress. The more stressed out you seem, the more intelligent you must be. I hate that.
You do have very real stress, and I wish I could take it all away. I have no advice, and I really don't think any of the advice you get from comments helps your confusion. I love it when people offer support though!
You know, I sometimes dream of getting a part-time job at Starbucks because they pay health care for part-timers. Now THAT would be an interesting and useful job! We could caffeinate the world AND leave our work at work! Here's to brighter days for you...

shmo said...

Whenever I'm contemplating a huge decision, I try to do a "test run" of the different scenario. In your case, with all the advice on the OR move, I'd probably get online and scope out housing, jobs, daycares, etc... and see what that picture looks like. It's always more comforting to me to get a clearer picture of how things would look. Again, here's hoping whatever you choose makes you happy!

Nancy said...

Hey Snick-

I dunno if anyone else has already mentioned it cuz you have too many commenters for me to read *grin*

And I know that you love your daycare, but you might want to look into a nanny...the whole reason we have one is because when we did the math, it actually turned out to be cheaper than daycare (for us). There are lots of benefits as well - you don't have to have the kids dressed and ready to go out the door; if one of them - or you - is sick, you're all still at home. And if you are able to work from home at all, you can pop out to see them!

AND...speaking of working from home...since the "new" place is so far away, could one of your stipulations for being hired that you're able to work from home a day or two a week to cut down on gas/time on the road/time away from the kids? I've been to two places in the recent past where this was a stipulation for hiring me, and it worked in both cases. (granted, one was a re-hire and they LOVE me here ;) )

Just some (more) thoughts to place in your already over-active brain.

masteroftheuniverse said...

I understand the stress you're going through. Losing my lovely wife put me through a lot of extra stress. I say extra, because I'm a professional speculator, which is the most stressful job on the planet. Somehow, after Denise died, I managed to get back in the saddle of trading within 6 weeks and haven't really looked back. Luckily, I have a few stress relievers. I like to surf and do yoga every day, which is a wonderful stress reliever. I've found that a good crossword puzzle with a cup of coffee at breakfast helps. I understand that you're in a different position with little ones, but there should be a way to reduce much of your stress and anxiety. Perhaps talking to a trainer or someone in the medical field will point you in the proper direction. Meditation?? Find something that works for yourself and you'll be thankful.

Jeff

Coral said...

I woke up in the night thinking this;

If you have savings will it not change your morgage repayments if you put all your savings in the mortgage. Then if you have what we call an access bond - in other words you can access the money if necessary, you will still have the security of savings available?

Roads said...

I can relate to these thoughts, Snick. Somehow moving job and taking on more stress and more commute for more money just doesn't work.

They're only young for a short time (as are we) and you never get the years back if you lose them.

I took a back seat with my job for five years, before they moved locations and I had to leave. I was ready to go by then.

A few years and another two jobs further on, I'm sitting here wondering how long this will last as the economy goes to pants all around me.

Plus ça change, c'est la même chose.

It's just work stuff, in the end. It's frustrating sometimes. Often. But watching kids grow up is something very different and far more precious. Good luck!

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