I’m a mum of 2 young boys, a wife to a lovely hard-working husband and I feel I am systematically screwing up my life. And by proxy, screwing up my family’s life.
I work part-time with children. Having had my eldest son when I was in my last year of uni, I have never had a career as such, just this job. My youngest son followed a few years later, so I became a stay-at-home-mum for nearly two years and almost lost my sanity completely. I went back to my little job where I am still working now. I have never made very much money. Enough to get by on but rarely more than that. I wanted to be a teacher but feel like time is marching on and as I get older, the less real this dream gets. Although I should mention that I am still under the age of 30.!
Lately, due to tiredness and disappointment, I spend money we don’t have on rubbish I don’t need and end up poorer than a church mouse because of it. My husband has no idea and I won’t be telling him anytime soon. When I spend money, it’s usually on stupid items that (in the crazy moment I buy them) seem to have the answers to my problems and make me feel better about myself and my failed life. Obviously, they do no such thing the next day when purchase guilt sets in.
The worst of it is that I can see clearly all the shit stuff I’m doing and thinking but have no motivation to chip away at my problems and improve life for my family and for me.
PS. I’m spending it on stupid things like expensive make-up – this is a problem because as a working mum who is fairly unorganised I rarely have time to actually put any make up on!
Or fitness things: clothes, weights, DVDs and fitness magazines which I think will get me motivated and in the end, never do.
Or just general crap (fast food, red bull, stationary that i don’t need)from Tesco on my way into work – roughly £8-9 each day and when I work 5 days a week part time it adds up to a lot.
It’s become the norm to finish each month in the red and having to pay crazy bank charges, so now it’s become a spiral.
Firstly, don’t be so hard on yourself. You haven’t used your home as collateral to fund an online poker addiction, or spent a months wages at the bookies betting on the horses, so first of all – give yourself a break and take a deep breath. Everything is ok and you are ok and all will be well again….
What I think you need to do is to take some really positive action to improve your self esteem. I believe that once you do this, the silly frivolous spending will take care of itself – ie you just won’t do it anymore. A fantastic solution would be to start running in line with the programme set out in Run Fat Bitch Run, so that you get into a really good routine with your health and fitness and reclaim some of that valuable ‘me’ time that motherhood and wifehood take away. Committing to this running programme will completely cure you of the second two problem areas – the fitness dvds and the fast food/red bull junk, as running makes any other forms of exercise unnecessary and gives you a much more positive attitude towards food. Plus you will start to look so gorgeous that the need for makeup will also diminish!!!!
Also, work on making yourself feel better without spending money: take long walks, run a bath and light a candle, read a brilliant novel, have more sex. Then save up for a massage or some other such treat at the end of the month as a reward for not spending money on junk. When you are more relaxed and contented with life, the desire for quick fixes will dissipate dramatically. So, refer back to Run Fat Bitch Run and start step 1 TODAY and get back to me with a progress report next week. We can tackle your teaching career once you are fit and healthy and no longer wasting money on rubbish…
And on a very practical note to help with the immediate issues with bank charges etc try diverting yourself away somehow from your normal routine when you know you are likely to spend the money: don’t take the same route to work that takes you past the expensive makeup shop, or make a packed lunch so you have no need to go to Tescos for example. And leave your credit cards at home or better still cut them up so you only leave home each day with the exact amount of cash you need for that day and no access to any more. Gritty I know but it might help solve the problem until the running endorphins kick in!!!!
Best of luck and may the grit be with you