Monday, January 18, 2010

Tough Choices Ahead...

I'm a bit slow in writing today, because it has just been one of those days.  One of those days and weekends too, if you really wanted to know.  You know the kind of day I'm talking about, dontcha?  The kind where you stayed up too late (and not because you were out partying because face it, you are SO not cool anymore.  You just stayed up past 10:30pm and you are paying for it now, missy! *insert my mother's waggling finger here*).  Monday officially sucks at our house because it means that Yousuf has to go to work and earn real money to feed and clothe us.  It's so overrated.

Speaking of money, we have none.  Wow, I can't believe I am coming right out and telling all of you about our lack-of-financial-status.  Before you go and start feeling all weepy for us (or maybe you're not feeling weepy, maybe you're feeling something else entirely.  But I will hope you might have for a second felt weepy because that means we can at least pretend to be friends - hi pretend friends!), it should be made clear that we are not at all upset by our lack of moolah.  I am totally lying of course, but there are worse things in the world than not having a big house, fancy car, white picket fence, pretty clothes (I want pretty clothes!  I totally do!) and maybe a doggie.  Inara really wants a doggie. But I digress.  There are worse things.  We are lucky to have a roof over our heads and food on the table, and we have not suffered any major trauma or even been through a natural disaster (still thinking about Haiti today...remember to donate please!).  And we are all clothed and warm and even have toys and books - so I should really shut up and stop complaining.

But...the fact remains that I am a stay-at-home mom with no income and I am married to a math professor.  A math professor who works at a small liberal arts college and therefore does not make oodles and oodles of money.  But why, you ask...WHY doesn't Professor Yousuf make a lot of money?  I thought ALL professors made a more-than-decent living!  And here is where I tell you our dirty little secret:

We made a choice to not have lots of money.

Oh and I forgot to add this part:

(sometimes that choice really sucks.)

What happened was that as Dr. Yousuf was finishing his Ph.D. (from Penn State - gosh I miss State College), we were at a crossroads.  Yousuf could have accepted a position at World Class U and made lots of money by working insane hours and never being at home, or he could make significantly less money at a small liberal arts college.  Basically we gave up lots of money for lots of time together.  Right now I'm typing and it's the middle of the day and Yousuf is home from work, playing with Inara.  It's very awesome.

I know that this isn't the decision that a lot of families would have made given the same situation (Pretty clothes! Doggies!  White picket fence!!!), but I do know that this is what is best for US. Most of the time we are happy with the decision, but there are times that it's just plain hard. Like right now.

Right now we are looking to buy a house.  Yes, that's right, we are in our thirties and we have never owned a house.  We totally did everything bass-ackward - we had kids first, then got a job, and now we're looking for a house.  And we're faced with yet another choice - we can either live in a nice house in a less-than-ideal location (not unsafe, just not ideal for us), or we can live in our dream neighborhood in a teeny tiny, postage-stamp-sized house.  Sigh.  It's a choice I really don't want to think about making, because frankly I am not good at dealing with reality, and I DON'T WANT TO GROW UP.  I want my fancy house and white picket fence and oh, sometimes it's so flipping hard to be an adult!  Whine, whine whine and cheese - I know, I know.  I really need to get a grip.

In the end, I know things will be okay - but a girl can always dream, right?  One day, when I am The Boss of The Whole Universe, I am going to make it easy for Mamas to stay home (but only if they want to) and not have to worry about things like postage-stamp-sized houses.  And then I will finally be able to have my cake and eat it too.

And after that I will magically shed all the pounds gained from eating all that cake.

And then maybe I'll grow another foot and a half and have frizz-less hair, perfect skin and boobs that defy gravity.

Dream on, crazy lady.  Dream on.

"Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness." - Martin Luther King, Jr.
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