Young families in 2016
I had a bit of a mommy breakdown this week, encouraged by none other than finances, of course. It always seems to be finances. At work, it felt like the briefest of interactions could have led to me breaking down in tears awkwardly in the hallway. It was an on-edge sort of week.
I've been open in my writing about living on a budget and how that's been our life since we got married. We've had some high highs and some low lows in that area. We've run out of money a few times, we've had to borrow to make rent.
Since this is what we've known and have lived (on and off) now for a few years, I get incredibly frustrated and emotional when confronted with a financial hiccup. I've grown the discipline to become a solid and diligent saver, which enables us to continue on when a hiccup arises. But the hiccup doesn't become any less maddening.
This talk is a little beside the point, only a little, as this post isn't a post on saving or budgets. I realized today, in the midst of confronting the list of unknowns and questions we're currently facing, just how difficult it is to have a family at a young age in 2016. I mean, I guess I already knew this. I mean, I did know this. But when you ask yourself if you can afford daycare for the month, the reality sinks in in a new and painful way.
|A fitting throwback picture for this post. Me, pregnant with Ella, at 20 weeks.|
I say this, not really to complain (but I am entitled to since this is my diary entry, right?) but to give notice to how freaking hard our world makes it for young families to function. You see a young family out on a walk, their kids crawling out of double Graco stroller and think how cute. It's in all likelihood that that family is making huge sacrifices to make their lives what they are. They probably busted their butts to save for and buy that double stroller. At the risk of sounding way too full of myself, the life of having a family young is a virtuous life, but as with anything that brings virtue, it's painful and uncomfortable and inconvenient.
So. This one is for you young families, the ones trying to buy houses and pay loans, and hoping to maybe get a second car. The ones that didn't have six figures when you had your first child. The ones trying to get the best jobs that serve your passions but better serve your families. Every day, your lives are full of acts that are charitable and kind and giving so much of yourselves. Every one of you young moms and young dads out there are a very bright light in an increasingly dimming world. I'm proud to be in your camp and among your company.
One day, when we've made our final student loan payments, let's all go withdraw wads of ones, throw them in the streets as if it were monopoly money, and recreate the dance scene from 500 Days of Summer.
See you in about 10 years.