For me, my relationship with money has been very difficult. When I was born my Mum knew she wanted to be there to raise me as much as possible, she therefore didn’t work until I was 3. Now, despite the fact that she was looking after me and running the house, she was seen as less of a person because she didn’t financially contribute.
I’m going no further down that path, but needless to say, I noticed certain behaviours and actions, and from a very young age took on the belief that relying on anyone else for money was a bad thing to do. As far back as I can actually remember, I have thought that it isn’t right to have someone look after you when it comes to finances. This belief was reinforced at various points because of ‘other’ incidents. This has been a huge issue for me and one that I have been coached on successfully.
You might be thinking “can’t have been that successful if you’re harping on about it now”. Its really not that simple though. Believe me, I have made huge strides in this area. Lack of earning power was the only mind block I had when it came to starting a family, because I couldn’t face up to not having a regular wage each month, and we are now a month away from our baby being born.
Sorry, I’m going to sing the husbands praises again at this point, but its my blog, so my rules. Chris is my teammate, always has been, always will be. I know that he would look after me forever if thats he route we decided to go down, I know that if the roles were reversed and he needed looking after, I would do it gladly and without question. However, the reality of losing my London wage is still unsettling.
I can pin it down to one thing……I don’t want to be a burden to him. I don’t want to be a reason he is stressed about having to find more money to support the three of us. He works so hard already, and I can’t/wont put that on him. I’ve made a concerted effort to save as much as possible, in doing that I know that I can be off for a year and still make the same financial contribution to the household expenses, plus have money for myself. This in itself is something I am both hugely proud of, and also pretty sad.
I genuinely take my hat off to women that are comfortable in this situation, that must be a totally liberating feeling. I just cant get there. Even though I fully appreciate that staying at home and raising a family is a huge job, and certainly isn’t a case of putting your feet up while your other half busts his balls every day. Plus I’m not actually there yet, so I have no idea how hard/demanding its going to be. However, the idea of having to go to him and ASK FOR MONEY makes me feel physically sick. The mere notion of it actually upsets me, I just fly straight back to my early years and I can see all that shit unfolding all over again. Clearly there is still work to do around this, and I am committed to doing it.
The amount of time I spend with my head in my trusty spreadsheet is fucking ridiculous. Rows and columns full of formulas, that have ‘kept me safe’ until now. I have always had a year planned out, every penny is accounted for. How much can I save? How much can I spend on ‘fun stuff’, how much needs to go to the house, and where does that leave me? Somehow Excel has provided me with the illusion of a safety net. But thats all it is, an illusion. This is a situation that I can’t control, and in reality, I never could.
All I can do going forward is wait until the middle of each month and see how much plonks itself into my bank account, my vision to predict my financial future has gone. Its scary, very scary. However, the more I think about it, the more i find it quite freeing. I don’t want to live my life like this anymore. I don’t want our child to pick up on this odd behaviour, I don’t want this little niggle in my head to hold me back in any way. Its toxic and it has to go.
So whats the answer? Looks like its time to have some faith. Time to believe that I’ll be okay without a salary, time to really let go and trust that I have nothing to fear. I have to believe that the dots will connect going forward, there is no other way. Ready, set, go……….