Expectations & Reality

It’s been a rough few days in our house because of some money drama going on. Basically, our new-to-us $12,000 truck that we still owe nearly $9k on suddenly needs $11,500 of repairs to get it to run again…money that we don’t have. Um, not cool. At any rate, Charlie and I have handled it pretty well, as we both know it’s neither of our faults that this happened. That doesn’t mean it hasn’t been tense in our household. Money stress is one of the shittiest stresses. *sigh*

So yeah, we are both walking on eggshells and trying to be kind to each other and stand together while we figure out our way through this, but last night that peace was disrupted when the reality of what next week will look like for Stella didn’t meet my expectations. Next Tuesday is Stella’s first day of pre-k, and Wednesday at 5am I leave for Las Vegas with some friends to go to our friends’ wedding that is on Wednesday night. When this trip was planned and booked, we thought that Stella would be 10 days into this new adventure – not two. Cue me being stressed out about all the changes, but feeling like at least her Dad would be there to help with the transition.

Well, last night Charlie says, “So when do you leave again?” Um, Wednesday morning, 5am remember? I told you this weeks ago. You’re responsible for the kids Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday morning until the Nanny gets here at 7:45, and you need to get Stella to school by 8am.

“Oh yeah, that isn’t going to work. I have [concrete] pours at 7am on Tuesday and Wednesday. I can’t move them. We need these jobs really badly right now.


He’s right. I know he’s right. BUT.

This means that not only will he not be there with us for Stella’s first morning of going to school, he ALSO won’t be there to take her to school himself on her second morning, AND we are going to have to see if my mother-in-law can take the kids Tuesday night to get Stella to school and Harvey to the Nanny on Wednesday morning for Charlie. That means I won’t even get to hear about Stella’s first day of school first hand because I’ll still be at work when she gets them and brings them to her house. UGH.

I know this isn’t the worst thing in the world, but I really wanted to have a little family photo together for Stella’s first day of school. I was excited to hear all about her day when I walked in the door from work. I wanted to have the reassurance that her Dad was there to take her to her second day when I’m guessing more nerves will set in and I won’t be able to be there for her.

As excited as I am for this trip to Vegas, I just wish I could be home with my kids at the same time.



  1. sangela71 · · Reply

    Ugh, it’s always something, isn’t it? I’m sorry about the vehicle repairs; that really sucks.

  2. OMG about the truck! How did that happen? Doesn’t that mean the insurance company would “total” it? Excuse me if I sound like an ignorant idiot asking that question; I fully admit that I am when it comes to that kind of stuff 🙂

    As for Stella’s school stuff, that sucks 🙁 I’m sorry. Can you ask your inlaws to FaceTime you when they pick her up? Or they could video her talking about it? Not like interview-style necessarily, but more just have the camera on in the corner? From my experience with the girls, they kind of say a set amt of things at first, and then snippets from the day come back to mind at random points for the rest of the afternoon/evening. So, even though you may not hear everything first, you will likely still hear some of it before anyone else. Also, when Gracie started, a couple weeks before she turned 3, she barely said a damn thing about any of it!

    1. That was my hope, not a stupid question! We have full coverage, but it wasn’t an accident, it was a mechanical failure, so no insurance applies. *sigh* totally sucks

      I might try to leave work at 3;30 and then go back to work after an hour and work late that night since kids are gone instead. We will figure something out. :/

  3. Wow, that is a lot of money – definitely stressful. I hear how torn you are about the timing of this trip – this is a hard one. I think it might help to remember that you are getting a lot more out of this milestone than she is, you know what I mean? Just that we tend to build these things up and for kids it can be just another day, especially for kids as socially adept and secure as Stella. And there will be other firsts. Hugs.

    1. Solid point. Thank you for that perspective.

  4. $11,500 is tough to swallow no matter how much money you have because THAT’S A LOT OF FREAKING MONEY! When you don’t have it, it becomes 10 times more stressful. We had this happen with our geothermal unit when Matthew was 10 months old. I had just quit my job, we were adjusting to one income, and BAM $10,000 expense to make our house cool and heat again. My dad said, “how do you not have that money available for emergencies?”. Umm… Because we don’t! We were so stressed. And as I told my dad, if we did have that money just sitting around, waiting to be spent, we wouldn’t just love to spend it replacing a 5 year old unit that had a 15 year warranty that is null and void because the manufacturer folded! No one wants to spend that kind of money on repairs… You want to spend it on a newer car, or an addition, etc. Not repairs. All that to say, I feel you!

    Brian is missing Matthew’s first day on Tuesday too. It’s my fault, I didn’t get it in his calendar before he booked some work travel, but I’m still sad about it. This is his third year of preschool (started at 2) so it’s not AS important as the very first day ever, but we’re both bummed. And like you guys, there’s nothing that can be done about it, making it even more aggravating. People like you and me like to control and fix things, and it’s really hard when we can’t and it’s at the expense of our kids.


    1. Exactly what you said in your last sentence. Ugh.

  5. Oh too much to deal with 🙁 I hear you on the money shite – after I pay the deposit on our trip we got rates, a horrendous gas bill and now it looks like Molly needs surgery to get rid of her adenoids 😡😡😡😡 and if I want it done before summer I’ll need to do it on the private list so more $$$$ FUCK. I’m so sad about the Stella conundrum I know there is no way you would have wanted it to fall this way. That being said she’s a total rock star and she’ll be ok – she’s got this. As a fellow tradie wife I know when they gotta pour they gotta pour 🙁

    1. Yep, there’s no moving the pour. *sigh*
      That’s a lot of money coming up for you guys – ouch!

  6. ag man so sorry about the money! That’s stressful! And the timing of your trip sucks. But I know you’ll get through this somehow. Hugs.

  7. Awe Josie I am so sorry about the money! Even with a planned emergency fund for stuff like that, it’s HARD to hand over that cash….even when that’s what is for (emergencies) as Courteney said.

    Since I am a SAHM and we don’t have family here, my husband and I divide up where I go to back to school/teacher meeting and he does meet and greet, but I always end up taking them the first day. The dropoff for (us at least) is so quick, and after the first day carline starts so with my young ones going like Stella at a young age they adjusted really well. I think she will be fine 🙂 My 3.5 year old is a talker, but can be shy at school and I only get blips of his day from him at this age vs the full detailed day from a 5 and 6 year old 🙂

    I know us mom’s feel guilty about so much, but we just can’t do everything all the time and sometimes that is just how life works out. I can’t tell you the number of times I have questioned and had to decide what takes more precedence with 4 kiddos and I know it’s hard. Sending hugs.

    1. We drained our emergency fund during TTC / IF Treatments, and we never built it back up again. We keep thinking we need to do that, but we never have the extra money to do it, so yeah… *sigh* We probably need to reevaluate our spending/saving again.

      I’m sure drop off will be quick moving forward – it’s just hard when it’s my first kid and it’s her first year!

  8. […] Crap: The auto mechanic offered us $4k to buy the damn truck as-is (he would to the repairs on his own time for free and try to flip it, which totally makes […]

  9. Our family has been dealing with a lot of stress right now too (blog forthcoming), and when I step back and think about it, I kinda equate it to financial stress. We are very fortunate that financial stress isn’t an issue, but financial stress is the REAL DEAL…and it sucks.

    I’m sorry next week isn’t going to go as planned, but I’m sure Stella will have a blast, you will have fun at your Vegas wedding (I’m jealous – that sounds crazy fun), and things will still end up good!

    But in the meantime, your feelings are 100% validated and I would feel the exact same way!

  10. Ugh, that sucks about the truck!!! That is a huge expense that I’m sure most people would be unprepared for. We unexpectedly, and pretty abruptly got our savings account much lower than I was comfortable with a few months back and it scared the crap out of me. We are working on building it back up again, but it’s hard! And it’s not like we do many extra things that we can cut back on. I don’t know how some people manage. I can also totally relate to how you are feeling about the first couple days of school. I would feel the same way. Like others have said though, I’m sure Stella will have a great time and I hope you can call and talk to her often to hear about her day!

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