Short Week, Long Moods

I have been coming out of the new mommy fog. Slowly, cautiously, carefully, coming back to myself. 

I have been wondering how much my brain is changing since I do not have the hormones from birth control, the hormones from anti depressants, and am only taking acai berry and vitamin D. 

I wonder how much longer till I actually want to spend time with people with out the fear and anxiety. I had a conversation with a friend about dating. I just cannot fathom it. I had Aspen first, how will I ever find time and space in my heart for another person. A companion like relationship would not be bad, but full out love and energy, right now, not something I can contemplate.

I got my federal and state returns. It means tons and tons of bills got paid. I am hoping it will mean more money in the long run for me. I am bummed I cannot get a new vehicle, but I feel like this will be okay for me. I will not be so stressed out financially, which will be nice.

My little bird has her doctor appointment this week. I am hoping it goes okay. I am hoping there will not be a need for surgery. Ever.

I read posts on facebook where moms and dads complain about the other parent and parenting struggles. A part of me is really glad I don’t worry about that, but another part of me is sad.  I do not think people truly understand the stress of single parenting – truly single parenting. I spend every moment of every day worrying about if something happens to me, what will happen to my bird.  I cannot be reckless with myself anymore, i have her.  I fear falling down, I fear accidents, I fear so much, and I really do not fully trust anyone else to watch. Well, anyone who could actually take her.  It makes me fret and worry. I barely trust myself.  Sometimes I think I worry too much, but at the end of the day, all I have is the thoughts in my head and the concern for Aspen to keep me going. 

She came at a time in my life where I could have made some horrible decisions. And now, I have to stick around in order to be her mommy and therefore, have to learn to be an adult.

Growing up and being responsible has been the hardest part of this all. Worse than labor.

8-5 Grind

One of the obstacles I have struggled the most to overcome is the feeling of guilt because I have to go back to work.  Now, I don’t really want to be a stay at home mom, but 43 hours a week away from my little bird…it’s tough. Tougher than it probably should be.

I went back to work less than two weeks after little bird was born. It makes me sad sometimes to think that I could not have prepared more, or had my shit together more in order to take more time off. However, due to my crappy ways with money, it’s all I could afford.

Today was payday and I got my state return. I could feel myself slipping into the old ways of buying things because I think I have money in my account. In reality, I just money till I pay bills tomorrow money. 

Which leads me to my next phase, buying groceries this weekend and buying enough so I don’t have to buy again for 2 weeks. It is scary to think about it, but I think I will be okay at it. It is part of my attempt to save money.

Also, as part of the process, I am not going to be writing checks for awhile.  Instead, I will be taking out money orders to pay rent and then pay cash or my debit card for everything else. I am hoping it will help me realize the money I actually have and not what I want to have.

 

Crazy Week

This week was crazy and finally caught up to me Saturday night, where I was out with Aspen at 8pm.

Trial went well, testifying wasn’t that horrible, just awkward.

I filed my taxes and am waiting for the return. I have decided to use it to pay off some bills. I am okay with this decision, as it will be nice to have more income versus debt, and I can use it to pay off more debt.

I am still doing okay with my grocery budgeting, but am waiting till this upcoming pay day where I can actually plan out a larger, more expansive trip.

Today, I realized that I am almost out of dish soap, so decided to make some from my soap nuts. It was incredibly easy – I just boiled 12 of them in 6 cups of water, then once it cooled, took the nuts out and put the liquid in glass containers.  I can also use it for shampoo, which I am going to try.

I guess I can use the liquid for pretty much everything resembling cleaning in the house.  This means I will need to buy another bag of them. 

Haha! In true mommy fashion, I went to go lay down with my daughter, and forgot completely I had a post I was working on. So, ten hours later I am finishing this up. 

I have been greatly overwhelmed lately, and I think some of the stuff sliding away this week has let some of the actual exhaustion come in. I need a break, or once some of this gets back on track, a night out with friends and a glass wine.

 

 

Door Shut

Tomorrow I finally get to close a door on my life.  I have to testify in my ex’s case against the guy who hit him, causing him subdurmal hematoma.  I devoted six months of my life to taking care of him, and got shit on by him, his friends, and his family.  Further, I went into debt, and got nothing out of the relationship besides anxiety and a nagging PTSD.

On a plus side, I got an approval letter from Medicaid today. I am hoping that part of my life will get cleared up too.  Now if only all my tax return information would get here, and I would be even more excited.

In regards to my grocery budget mission: I did go shopping on Sunday.  I spent within the budget, and got everything but olives (I can never find them at Walmart). I also created a document in Google docs in order to have a spreadsheet of what I spend each item, how much I spend each trip, and hopefully can pull the information together to keep on track.

I really think this, like how to change your oil, should be the type of things that are taught in high school.  Applicable life skills should be more important than subjects I don’t even remember learning.

Building A Plan

I finished the book on Friday night.  My first plan of attack was to create a food budget for myself and doing something that totally makes sense, but I had never tried – meal planning!

I set up a little chart in a notebook and wrote down what I could consistently make for the next two weeks to eat, what I already had in my house, and what I needed. 

I then thought of foods that could last longer, could be used for more than one type of meal, and made a grocery list.

Honestly, I think I did quite well. I already had a lot of in stock, so I just needed a few filler items.  I mainly needed to buy vegetables – as I am officially off my blood thinners tomorrow and can go back to my fairly vegetarian ways.  I don’t think I will give up meat again completely yet – my vertigo is still bothering me.

This grocery trip was not too bad. I think I spend a lot more money on other non food items. Today, I had to buy breast milk bags, more pacifiers (we somehow lost 2 of them), and guinea pig bedding.  Those silly rascals, require so much work!

So, the plan is to use the food menu and hopefully be able to start getting a stable grocery budget built. I also got a crock-pot from my mom, which I have high hopes for. I would like to someday make a lot of my own foods, like breads, so I could cut back on costs.  Someday, someday.

As for my anxiety and depression, they are pretty much off the chart. I am waiting for Wednesday to be over! I am trying to think of a nice way to signify that part of my life ending and focusing on clearing out some of the other drama/clutter in my life.

And I got to reunite with some old friends:

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A way to a mommy’s tummy…

Part of my reason for blogging was to also to try out new things and push myself to get my shit together.

Disclosure: I am horrible with money. I have no concept of budgets and spending. I live pay check to pay check and hate it.

Step in having a child. I need to get it together. 

One of my main problems is groceries.  I am really bad at budgeting for food and life supplies.  So, one of my first plans of attack is to learn how to live on a budget food wise.  I decided to buy an e-book a blog I follow recommended: Your Grocery Budget Toolbox  by Anne Simpson.

I had read a blog that mentioned the book, and contemplated the purchase for a couple of weeks. After my last shopping trip of going in for 6 things and coming out with an $80 bill, I decided I needed to do some rehashing of my grocery shopping.

My plan is to read this book all the way through (which I have almost done!), and then start trying out the methods. Thus far, it seems like it is pretty reasonable to follow and should be quite beneficial, once I get going with it.

I will update as I go and share my experience.  My main concern is since it is written for a larger family, I will have to adjust it to fit my needs as a single mommy breast feeding.  However, I want to be successful, and with my first perusal of the book, I am seeing a lot of areas that I will be able to improve on. I also think I can cut down some of the menu-planning ideas and such. I am pretty excited!

So, instead of continuously waxing about how sad I am, I need to start being proactive in changing that. Ack. Scary!

Snuggles

What is it about baby snuggles that seem to make everything okay?

Today I applied for foodstamps. I doubt I will get any, due to my alleged making too much money. I know, a lot of my debt is from my credit cards in college, but being so overwhelmed by them, I have no real clue even how to pay them down. Living pay check to pay check sucks, and some assistance so I could pay them down, would be helpful.

Which leads me to my greatest struggle – do I forego buying a newish vehicle or use my tax return to pay off debt? I live in Montana, so something with 4 wheel drive would be incredible, but I have so much debt, and even 3k from a tax return would pay off quite a bit. I could possibly breathe a bit more. My car is also a 1997, so it is old and starting to show its age. 

 I wish there was a magic wand that would just show me which path would be easier.

Also, I have been looking at taking some doula courses on line.  They aren’t too expensive, and I think I would like the post-partum doula work better. That way, I could still do my 8-5, but also help some moms out.

Being poor sucks. I know, its not as bad as some people have, and I should be more grateful and more optimistic, but seriously, stressing about how to buy groceries every week is just exhausting. I am 26, I need to get my poop in a group.