I like Fridays. Fridays, to me, are awesome because when Chris gets home it means I get two days with him and Caitlin, and she really enjoys her weekends with her daddy. I also get to sleep in (if I’m lucky) because there is no guilt about waking Chris up to take care of her for maybe an hour because he doesn’t have work at any point during the day.
Friday is also payday. Chris gets his awesome IT paycheck every week, so it’s nice to log into our bank account on Friday and see it sitting there. But then I remember, since Friday is payday, that means Friday is bill day too. And nothing sets my anxiety at an all-time high like doing the bills.
I took over the bills when I quit work to be a stay-at-a-home mom. I never lived on my own, never owned a car in my name, never opened up a credit card, nothing. I paid my parents while I was living with them for my car which they put in their name for me, and I also had my own cell phone for a time, which was always paid monthly, regardless of what those assholes say (not my parents, the phone company). When Chris and I got married, he handled all the finances because of this. But then, he decided I could handle the responsibility, and so he handed me the metaphorical dilapidated checkbook and said: “have at it.”
So now, every Friday, I wake up Chris and watch him get ready in his “casual Friday” clothes, start planning for the day and the weekend. I then go out to the living room and after sitting for about 15 minutes while the kids play, I remember. BTW, if you want some good tips, you first-time moms, on how to get some decent sleep, check out this post of mine. Oh crap. I have to sit down with the bills today. Which, considering the high level of anxiety I feel regarding money as it is, and the high level of anxiety I’ve been feeling over the last couple of days, it’s not much fun. Juggling bills sucks. I sit for about an hour, writing out what we owe to who and due dates trying to play enny-meeny-myne-mo with which one is getting their money today. I feel like I always make the right decision in the end, because so far nothing has been shut off or canceled, but man does it suck. But anyways, I won’t complain about work. Chris is doing pretty good, it seems to me. And he’s happy at his work. That matters!
I prefer it when Friday’s are pretty set in stone as far as the bills go, “This week this is getting paid and it’s all good.” But, then, other Friday’s are just crappy, as I stare at my green spiral notebook with dollar amounts, and dates all scrawled into little-labeled columns. And as bills get paid, they get crossed out, only to be re-written with a new date next to it and sometimes new dollar amounts. Black marks are good, red marks are bad, zeros are awesome.
We’re okay tho, we survive the initial flurry of texts back and forth as I consult with him about bills and later (potentially large-ish) purchases for that week. I keep him involved in what is happening with the money and what is being paid week to week, that way he doesn’t feel as lost and confused as I did when I tried to figure out bills. No one is going unfed, we have diapers and milk, and the kids have clothes that fit and are clean. I try to count all those as little victories, just like when Chris does the dishes but fails to wipe down the counters. It’s the little victories that really keep your head on. But goddamn if those little victories aren’t just that, little. I wish I could come off my motherhood throne more often!