Posted by: birdsandsquirrels | September 25, 2011

working through it? avoiding it? i’m not sure

So, since my last post, S and I have had a few more discussions (arguments?) about the possibility of another baby. One of them went okay, and one went very badly. I think the very bad one was an issue of timing. Somehow, the topic came up right before bed, and we both got riled up and unable to fall asleep.  For now, we have sort of agreed to discuss it later.

After several weeks of thinking about it, I don’t feel any differently. I do want another baby. I’m not sure that he would agree to go to counseling to deal with this, but I think that would be a good idea, and I may need to push for it. It sounds like one of his major objections to another baby is financial at this point, and I think he would see paying for counseling to be a waste of money.

He feels very stressed out with the old house still for sale. We have another offer that is contingent on a few things, but if everything goes as planned, we may have it sold in a couple of months. Paying double mortgage payments has sucked, but things will get easier once it sells.

We have very different ways of dealing with money. We actually agree about a lot of financial things, such as what to spend money on and how to save money. We don’t have car payments. We don’t have credit card debt. We live within our means. Where we differ is how we keep track of money and budget. I am an obsessive spreadsheet tracker, or rather, I used to be. I kept track of everything – every little transaction and at the end of the month I would compare actual expenses to my budget and make adjustments and new goals. I played all kinds of mental games with money (several different savings accounts for different purposes), and I made it my goal to save as much as possible and pay off debt as soon as possible.

He has always approached money very differently. He doesn’t balance his checkbook. His strategy is to keep plenty of money in checking so things don’t bounce. He often pays more on recurring bills (like utility bills) so that he has a credit the next month. As a result, he has no idea what our gas bill or electric bill or whatever averages every month. When we combined finances and I stopped working, I didn’t take over the finances, although I would have liked to. He felt that what I used to do was an unnecessary waste of time and energy and he thought I obsessed over it. As things stand now, I don’t really know what our real financial picture is. We have no “budget” on paper. I have no feedback at the end of the month on how we are doing, until some month that we have a lot of extra bills ( 6 month car insurance premiums, etc) and S freaks out and says we are spending too much. Clearly this is something that we need to work on. I think if we had a different system for keeping track of expenses and budgeting, we would feel a little more in control.

One thing that seemed to bother him was when I brought up that I’m a stay at home mom, don’t contribute financially and therefore it seems like I get less of a say in decisions. It was during the bad argument when I said “FINE, you are the MAN you make the MONEY, you are the DECIDER. I get NO SAY in this. YOU WIN, no more kids.” I said it somewhat sarcastically, but I was upset. I think it sort of shocked him, and he said that’s not the way it is, and I said yeah, it kind of is. He says he does not want me to be miserable. I told him that every time I see a baby or pregnant woman, it is like a knife twisting in my heart. How could I not be miserable?

I don’t know what the outcome will be. I really appreciate all of your comments on my previous post. I cannot discuss this with anyone in real life. Life has sucked lately for a lot of my friends and family, and it would be an insult to whine about my wanting a second baby to the friend who just lost her house and job and had to move back in with her parents, or the cousin who is getting divorced because her husband cheated on her, or my sister who works 70 hours a week just to make ends meet, or the friend who is rapidly approaching 40 with no partner and may not get to have a family at all. In their heads they would say “shut up, you are married to a nice guy, you have a great little girl, you get to stay home with her, you just built a new house, you have nothing to complain about.” And they would be mostly right.

 

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Responses

  1. Well, I will have to think on this and give you a longer answer later, but we use Dave Ramsey’s debt snowball method. Which worked for a long time, we are kind of trapped now because we lost our minds and bought a car when we were exhausted with newborn Peter. Sooooo that is money we never planned on spending. But we are very careful in our monthly spending and my husband keeps a spreadsheet of our monthly bills and long term bills, like our car and mortgage. We have paid off a ton of debt, enough for me to stay home. I wish we had not bought that car, someone should have stopped us, since we were clearly delusional from lack of sleep.

    I often felt left out of our financial planning once Peter was born because we never had time to sit down together. I do also feel that I have less say in what we do because i am not working. Which is aggravating. Because taking care of the house and a child is freaking WORK. My day is 15 hours long. 7 to 10 every day.

    Especially when I have a bad day and Mr. says “go back to work”. Well that’s not what I want. I just had a crappy day and our son had a fit when I would not let him step on my face and ALL the cats threw up, etc.

    I think you need to treat this as two separate issues. Work on budgeting first. Then the baby. Which is hard I know, since we are the same age. But if he is stuck on both than I would work on the one that is not quite such a hot button. Make a less complicated sheet with only one checking and one savings account and perhaps a college fund. Then plug that jazz in there so you can see what you are working with.

  2. My heart aches for you… I know that being on two separate pages about Baby #2 must be so heartbreaking. I can’t even imagine. I hope so badly that the two of you can come to an agreement that makes you both happy. xo

  3. i totally agree with celia. i think working on something that is important to him first might be viewed as a “compromise”…but you would still get something out of it since you might get a little more control (or at least more information). then move on to talk about babies.

    i really want you guys to be able to have a constructive discussion with a favorable outcome!

    xx

  4. You both have to feel like equals in the relationship. Being involved in the finances will help you feel more like you are contributing. I think your system was amazing! I wish I had that dedication! I hope hubby will give you the ability to map out the finances. Then he will realize how under control that is, and it might open his mind to another baby.

  5. i’d love to get the kiddos together, i work m-f from 9-1, so afternoons or weekends are best. i just found another blogger that lives in zeeland too!!

  6. I definitely think this is going to be a process for you two. It sounds like you got his attention with your comments about him being the decider, etc. (which were totally legitimate) and maybe he will now “come to the table” on negotiation versus his unilateral “no” stance. I’m with the others in terms of working on finances first…it might make him feel like things are more manageable.

    I’m so sorry you can’t talk to anyone IRL about this…I totally get that but please don’t feel guilty just because your situation isn’t as “dire” as the others’…this is a legitimate concern and desire, and it’s natural for you to want to pursue it!

    Hang in there…I think you are making progress, even if it feels like you aren’t.

  7. Sorry Birds. I’ve been meaning to comment, but I don’t really have anything helpful to say. You are definitely in a bad place to be in here and there is no easy way to make him agree with your view (I totally agree with you, by the way). I hope and pray that your old house sells quickly and maybe with that out of the way he will feel better about having another child.

    I’ll offer this one thing up, and I definitely would sit on it for awhile before mentioning it as a compromise (if you mention it at all). But perhaps maybe he would be ok with more passive ttc efforts (ie, sex for fun, no calendars, no tests, no drs, etc.) and just let what will be, be for a few months. That way you aren’t being too aggressive and he’s not being burdened with having to deal with TTC as well as all the other things that are on his mind right now. I have a feeling he’s just very stressed (and I can’t blame him) and just wants feel secure with everything the way it is before adding more. If you can give him time and keep some of the emotional side of this quiet and try relieving some of his stress “the old fashioned way” maybe you can both win. But again, I would think long and hard before suggesting that, because it’s still you asking for another kid. It just might be possible to get pregnant the old fashioned way, or at least have fun for awhile.

  8. Do not feel bad about wanting to have another child. Everyone is different and they have to deal with it. Hubs and I would love to have a baby but at this point we have not but I would never down someone that would want another baby. Your potential baby will be love I am sure. Maybe someday your hubs will be ready for another one. Give him time and enjoy your little bird. And always remember that you are an equal partner and you have a say. Work your budget and get things in line.

  9. Hey there!

    Been following your journey for a while – we were going though IF treatments at the same time (unfortunatly it didn’t work for us – but we will be brining home our own little bundle from Seoul Korea after the first of the year) I’ve been thinking about your situation on and off since you posted about this in September….and even though I don’t know you at all, I feel a certin level of kinship 🙂

    We haven’t even brought our first one home yet, and I can’t stop thinking about a sibling, for a variety of reasons….the thought of Jack going through life without someone there to be “just like him” from the same family with a shared history makes me sad. And our “advanced parental age” (I’m 38 and my husband is 41) is a constant reminder that time is running out. To adopt in Korea no parent can be over 44 at the time of placement.

    Because it is taking us so long to get Jack – I just know that we will be cutting it close if we start again as soon as we bring him home.

    But my husband is taking a very “what will be will be” attitude about this whole thing – the long and short of it – is he is OK with Jack being an only child and feels no rush to bring home a second….a little softer than your husband’s unilateral “No” but it’s his way of saying no – he just puts me off until the deadline passes….

    So I confronted him about this….and what it came down to is that he is protecting HIMSELF from all the pain (and anguish and tears and heartbreak) that is this process. By just shutting it out of his mind as a possiblity, it allows him to feel some sense of control over a situation that spins wildly out of control. Even if he does want it in his heart – his brain is overuling and saying “I never wanted it anyway!” that way if (when) there is failure – it doesn’t hurt so much

    I don’t know if this little battle is going on in your husband’s head…but I know IF hurts mine just as much (if not more) than it hurts me…they just don’t verbalize it – as if saying it makes it true.

    No two ways about it – it sucks.

    Just know that I’m rooting for you!

    R


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