I'm trying really hard to be grateful these days. It's been a really hard year. Post-partum depression, multiple child care disasters, significant health worries about kids, and husband working seven days a week until after midnight. My work leadership changed, and the new folks don't support alternative schedules or telework, so while I've added a second child and rarely have the support of a spouse, I have also gone way, way backward on the flexibility I need, and used to have, to juggle it all. We've also both had pay freezes - mine will continue for several years, and he actually made less this year. So we've added a second child and a full time nanny but have less to cover it. We had always expected to put the kids in private school - that's how we both grew up and we aren't thrilled with our public option - but that's looking unlikely.
I can cut back budgets, juggle, work longer after bedtime, etc, but there are two things that come out of this that I'm really struggling with. The school thing is big for me. Education has always been a HUGE priority. The other is that I've always wanted three kids. I don't feel like our family is complete yet, deep down in my gut. Someone is missing. But with money and schedules already tight, three seems like a bad idea. And would make private schools for any of them much further out of reach. I'm not young enough to believe we can wait several years, hope things get better, and try later. This is really, really hard for me.
BUT. And this is a big, big 'but.' I have two healthy, amazing kids. We have two relatively stable jobs. We have a nice roof over our heads, and are not in fear of ever being hungry. We live in a safe, friendly neighborhood. I know all this. It's why I'm in public policy, frankly, and why I focus on low-income programs. We are really, really lucky. And then I think more broadly - around the world. I look at recent events in Egypt, or anywhere there is ongoing conflict. And we are so blessed to not know any of those conditions. So we're lucky. And I should quit feeling frustrated by the things I thought my life would be. Because what we do have is the most important. It's just hard to see sometimes.