It's happened. We are really, truly, officially, a one-income family now. Meaning, the money in my private practice checking account--income from my business that I closed last June in preparation for the arrival of baby #2--has run out. It only lasted four months, mainly because having a baby is damned expensive. Even more expensive when your lousy health insurance didn't cover nearly as much of your C-section and subsequent 72-hour hospital stay as you had hoped and expected. (Good Lord, those bills! Those bills that come every single day in the mail, one after the other after the other when you swear this must truly be the last one, and how is it possible that they are going to ask for more money? And HOW much did they charge me for the IV???)
It is totally terrifying to realize that the one checkbook? That's IT. There's no other money. No other money for Target, for groceries, for the monthly townhouse association fee, for hair appointments, for Christmas gifts. No other money for the gargantuan student loan payment you owe every month and will until you're sixty. No other money for the exorbitant hip-college-town property tax. NO OTHER MONEY. Yikes.
I've done some previous writing about the choices--and the anxieties--that go along with staying home full-time when Christopher's income doesn't fully cover our living expenses. Luckily, he has some opportunities ahead for some extra work--part-time, evening, contract-teaching gigs--to bring in a little more income for our family. That helps, but all I can think is, I really, really, really don't want to reach the moment where I am forced to return to work before our family is ready, strictly to bring more dollars into our house each month. But it's starting to feel a little bit inevitable.