Many times, I’ve written about our family being on the Total Money Makeover plan. It’s been a way of life for us, and though it was a big change, it was one that was quite necessary. Back in December of 2007, I was not particularly good about sharing our financial crunch with Travel Man, but I had to tell him we were in trouble. If we didn’t sell our van and change something, we were going to go under. Believe it or not, I actually hid this from him for MONTHS. I was very depressed, and it was only my Catholic faith that kept me from being suicidal. Revealing that was pretty scary. It shouldn’t have been, but it was.
Well, just after I revealed this and Travel Man and I knew we had to do something, God stepped in and prompted a friend of his to give him a book. “It’s changed our life!” he gushed, and handed over Dave Ramsey’s book. I was reluctant to read it, and more reluctant to sit down and write out our budget. We did it. I nearly threw up, I probably cried a bunch, but we developed a plan based on the Total Money Makeover (TMM). And we decided that I could contribute by working from home. Hence my job with Apple. I certified and started getting paid work at the end of April of 2008. God took care of us, because I first had to certify with an umbrella company in order to contact their clients. When I finished with that class, I was allowed to apply for a client, and Apple happened to come up just then. It was the best possible client I could have hoped for: one with good pay, a 20 hour/week minimum, and no
required weekends. Plus, though the class was more expensive, if I did well, I could keep the computer and get a refund for that part of my fees. I passed, I got my refund, and I plowed on.
Let me tell you what: without that, we would have been in some trouble. But with it, we managed to pay off a serious amount of money. I’m not getting into specifics here, but I didn’t think that it would be possible to do that, along with car repairs, hospital bills, oral surgery bills, and water heater bills added in. Combine that with that emergency trip to Texas last May, and we’re talking about some very serious stuff.
Our plan has been that I would continue to work until we paid off all our debt and put aside about 1/3 of our full emergency fund (3-6 months of expenses). But things have changed a little bit.
Work was stressing me out, school was slipping, and I was starting to shut down and do less and less in my vocation. Things came to a head recently, and I burst into tears and sobbed on and on about how awful I felt, how I wasn’t doing well with work, how I wasn’t doing enough for the girls as their mother, how their schoolwork was being put off more and more. And Travel Man hugged me and said exactly what I needed to hear, but didn’t want to ask for.
“If it’s that bad, quit. It’s not worth the extra money to have you like this, to have you feel like you aren’t taking care of the girls.”
I actually argued against it a bit, especially since we hadn’t paid off that last debt (though it’s down to just slightly more than 1/3 of the original amount from last October), but he insisted.
We talked some more about it, looking over the budget. Quitting means slowing down that debt snowball. Quitting means slowing down for the fully-funded emergency fund. Quitting means no trip to Disney for our kids next year. Quitting means the rest of the debt will be Travel Man’s responsibility to pay off.
But quitting also means no squeezing school between my shifts. Quitting means no ignoring the girls while I do extra studying for the latest specs on whatever Steve Jobs dreamed up last month. Quitting means no meetings online while the family watches a movie without me. Quitting means that Big Girl isn’t lying compulsively so she gets more attention from me for something. And when I mentioned the burden of paying being solely his, my amazing husband replied with a reassuring smile, “Heavy is the head that wears the crown.”
I looked over my contract, and realized that I needed to give 30 days of notice, or work to the end of my contract with my client, whichever comes last. And my contract was going to expire in about 36 days.
So I gave my notice towards the end of last week, and notified my performance facilitator this week.
And it’s only 29 days until September 30, which is last day in my contract.
And so, I’ve put my job on notice. I’m officially a lame duck employee.
Pretty soon, I’ll just be Mommy again.
And that’s just what I’ve always wanted to be.