I know I’ve been off the grid lately, but truthfully there hasn’t been much to talk about. I’ve been really trying to undo a lot of the toxic behaviours I’ve picked up over the last five years and really be my healthiest self. I’ve cut down on junk food, I’ve been walking more, I’m back at the gym, and working out at home more. I’m excited to start running again. I’ve been doing less social media and just sort of living life. This month I’ve been doing my 31 days of awesome women, but otherwise I’ve kind of slowed down. One thing I’ve really tried to shake is that darkness that used to hover over me at work. I hit a slump and it was really getting to me. At my old job, I’d be having panic attacks because I knew there would be a public shaming on a conference call. This wouldn’t happen at my new job, because my boss is a supportive and empowering leader. But my friends advocated for me and I felt like I was making them look bad. But, unlike before, I can talk about it and I feel like people believe in me. But the most important thing was that I needed to break all of the really bad habits I picked up so that only good ones remain. I’ve practiced French for 110 days now. I’m gonna make working out first thing in the morning a priority. All the things I neglected, I’m going to try and do, as long as it doesn’t cost money, because I’m broke y’all.
I love my job, but I took a pay cut to come here. It’s been worth it because I’m not as depressed anymore. But during the pandemic, when I was earning around 40% of my wages (over 65% of my wages were commission, and I wasn’t really earning any), I did what I had to do to protect my family and borrowed a lot of high cost installment loans. My options were limited, I wasn’t receiving any support from the dad because he was laid off too, so I did what I had to do. But now, I’m feeling the pinch of keeping everything current. I want to start saving for retirement. I want to start looking at options to put my mom in long term care. I just want to be able to breathe a bit more. But it’s embarrassing. No one wants to admit they’re in debt and that it’s tough. So I swallowed my pride, and made an appointment with a bank that’s known for working with clients to hopefully get my debt under control. It’ll be great and nothing could possibly go wrong!
How wrong I was!
The advisor made a huge mistake when it came to my income, and told me my debt to income ratio was significantly off. When I expressed frustration, because nothing made sense, she asked me “have you considered just making more money?”
HOLY SHIT WHY DIDN’T I JUST THINK OF THAT?! JUST MAKE MORE MONEY!
I was SHOCKED. I actually told the rep she was mean and hung up on her. I was so frustrated because it took everything I had in me just to have the conversation, and I was dismissed with “just make more money!” I was up all night feeling very bleak and hopeless. I was shocked that it was so easy to say, as if the problem was that I was just lazy and hadn’t been left scrambling in a pandemic. It was literally the reason I didn’t even make an appointment! It’s probably the reason a lot of people don’t make appointments or have conversations to improve their financial futures. It also reminded me of when Kim Kardashian told women to just “get up off of their fucking ass and work,” and how no one wants to work these days, as if achieving your dream is just indicative of one’s work ethic, and not, in Kim’s case, generational wealth. Much like it was easy for the financial advisor to just suggest making more money, it’s easy for someone like Kim Kardashian to say “just work harder.” The financial advisor isn’t a single mom working full time and taking every second of OT she can to make ends meet and raise three kids on her own. Kim Kardashian has a maid and nanny for every kid. Her version of “single working mom” isn’t the same as mine.
Fortunately, the branch manager and I had a good chat, and we found some errors on my application, one of which was my salary. So guess what? I already made more money! But it’s easy to get mad when someone who’s out of touch says something that proves they’re out of touch. Work is always a trigger point and finding that work life balance can be tough, especially for working moms. The workforce is designed for women to feel inadequate. Work too much, you’re a bad mom. Work too little, you’re lazy. Add in the guilt and cost of childcare, school fees, carpooling, lessons, balancing to attend recitals, and the guilt when you can’t do it all, it’s a bitter pill to swallow to hear “have you considered making more money?” Or “get up off your ass and work,” by people who have no idea how hard you’re working just to get by. But sometimes you just have to consider the source. I know that no one gets to go out and make more money. It’s not that easy, not even for a Kardashian. I know I wasn’t born on third base and pretending I hit a triple. Most of us didn’t. Let the out of touch people say dumb shit. The rest of us working moms will just keep moving forward.
I don’t know how this will all work out. Maybe I’ll reduce my debt and have more financial freedom. Maybe it won’t work out and I’ll have to chip away for a few more months. Either way, at least I’m getting some plans together. Maybe I can’t just make more money, but I can keep paying down my debt and not let it impact my self esteem anymore, so I can focus on my family, fitness, and happiness.