One year ago this month, we formally began our adoption process.
Coincidentally, a year ago this month, I quit my job.
It’s hard to explain why I needed to leave a job that paid me well and only required a small amount of my time each month. I still feel the need to justify resigning from a weekend night-shift schedule, the one that was once a perfect fit for my family, but in time, turned me into a thief — stealing sleep, health, and joy from myself and then my family (leaving criticism, anxiety, and anger as calling cards).
It took me years to say “I just can’t do it anymore.”
I sit at the kitchen table in front of my computer. My husband walks by after kissing the kids goodnight and grabs a glass of water at the sink. He leans his hip into the counter. We haven’t decided when I will give my notice at work, but the decision has been made: I’m going to quit my job. He takes a drink, lowers the cup, and asks, “How long can we go without you working?”
I used to call the money I made “Lipstick Money.” It wasn’t much, but it gave our tight budget breathing room. I could go to Target or Costco (or even Nordstrom every once in awhile) and if a shirt my daughter would love or a new red lipstick found its way into my bag, I didn’t have to stress. But as our kids grew and after we bought an older home, most months, the money I made pulled two short financial ends closer together.
Managing the money is my responsibility, which is ridiculous, considering my innate inattention to detail. All my numbers end with “-ish.” Bills are paid less on time and more “in the proximity of.” My type of budgeting is not fancy — I write a lot of numbers on scrap pieces of paper — but I spend less than we make and somehow always seem to save a bit, so I just keep plugging along. It’s like a “Crappy Dinner Party” version of budgeting.
I wish I could give him a definite answer. “I don’t know, a few months maybe?”
To read the rest of this essay, please click onto Coffee+Crumbs (and yes, I’m still pinching myself about being a part of their writing team!)