In 2008, my husband and I bought a brand new, beautiful car with leather seats, seat warmers, fog lights, wood trim, v6 engine…you know…a car with all the important stuff! haha As I went to sign the papers, my husband said, “Kate, make sure that you understand that when we buy this car you have to keep working.” I looked at him and said, “Done! We aren’t planning on having kids for 5 years and in 5 years this car will be paid off and it won’t be a problem.” Three car payments later, my pregnancy test reads PREGNANT.
In that brief moment looking down at that stick, I felt the priorities shifting. Already I was trying to determine what was I willing to give up, what was I willing to not give up, what was I going to have to give up regardless of wanting to or not wanting to give itÂ up.
Flash forward 40 weeks. We have bought a house, gotten the nursery ready,Â &Â the baby has just arrived home in the beautiful car we had purchased a year ago. We now have a mortgage, medical bills, a car payment, diapers to buy, little baby clothes to buy, miscellaneous baby doctor bills, etc etc. The list could go on and on.
We kept hoping that financially things would slow down, maybe this was naive, but honestly I kept hoping that it would make sense eventually. Well….. it did after much sweating & stressing & a beautiful thing called a budget in an Excel spreadsheet.
We sat down and made a budget and the biggest thing on there was the car payment. And my husband looked at me and told me that he would give me the choice because he wanted me to have that car as much as I wanted to have it, but we were going to have to do something different. It didn’t seem fair to makeÂ Phatness get a second job while being a full time graduate student all for a stupid car. So that would mean was I willing to dumpÂ Wolverine all forÂ a car & go out & get a full time job?
Did I want to give up playing with Wolverine, taking him to the park during the day, taking him for walks, watching him get food all over hisÂ face while learns to feed himself? Did I want to give up watching him crawl, discover new things, laugh at the puppy? Did I want him to have to go to a stranger’s house & play with a stranger’s toys, have a stranger feed him, have a stranger put him down for a nap, me pick him up from the stranger’s house all for leather seats, seat warmers, & a v6 engine? I think not!
So, my dear friends, I sold my car. *sob* My mother-in-law sold us her very nice & safe (aka the Betty White Mobile or the Golden Girl–take your pick.)Â But the best thing about her car–it’s paid for. She traded our car for her own blingin’ ride & even though I cried when I had to sign the paperwork, I was relieved when it was all over with.
Maybe all of this seems silly to you, maybe you are a better person than me & less concerned with material things. I think I was mostly upset about what felt like defeat. My father told me that I have expensive taste & thatÂ he would imagine it’s harder for me to drive the Golden Girl Mobile than it would be for him because he’s just a field hippie.Â lol But I am who I am and I like nice things.
In all honesty, once the paperwork was finished I was happy and relieved. I knew that it was done and I had made the right decision. I remember when my mother would look at us and say, “Being a parent is hard. Making sacrifices comes with the job of parenthood.” I believed her, honestly I did. But she made it look easy even when she told us it was hard. She handled herself with such poise & grace. I hope that I have been worthy of her love & sacrifice. I hope that I can be as gracious, kind, loving, & wonderful as she was.
So….Thank you my wonderful mother-in-law for helping us out! I guess you made just as big of a sacrifice, if not bigger for your kids! You took your recently paid off vehicle, that you LOVED, and gave it to your kids, and got a car payment in return. We will forever be grateful & I hope that we were worth it.
Now I have to go. I have diapers to change, a baby to feed & to play with–And I am grateful for every minute!