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So they will probably offer Chris the job. How much they will offer remains in question. The rough number they threw out is significantly less than we need. And by need, I mean it wouldn’t be enough to pay the bills and continue to eat. I am also leaving out the credit card debt entirely… that’s a whole separate issue to confront. My head started to hurt just contemplating it.

As I mentioned, the job is quite far from where we live. Haven’t figured out the train/bus aspect… both if it’s feasible at all and if it is how long it might take. The alternative, though, could easily be $400 a month in gas for his car alone. Given that his car is my old car, which I bought new in 1996 and has well over 100,000 miles on it… I am not sure how long the car would hold out. Also, if his commute became that long our car insurance would go up.

Not shockingly, as Chris and I discussed this, we started to fight. He asked angrily how much thought I needed to live on. Right, because we’re talking about keeping me in shoes, here, not about the mortgage, and insurance, and food, and gas, and municipal services…. It’s all about me, honey. My needs. Sigh.

I get it. He’s excited by this potential job offer. He saw it as making things better, which it is, kind of. It just isn’t enough. It’s complicated. The woman he interviewed with today talked about how great the healthcare packages were, and how she had the high end one and it was $700/mo. for her family of four. OMG! Right, because we would have that kind of extra money to put toward healthcare? Not sure what the cost of a less spectacular plan would be, and I am not sure I want to know. More than we would have, of that much I am quite sure.

I am not happy contemplating the idea that Chris could get a job and it wouldn’t fix things. We could still lose the house. And live where? Not a clue. Chris suggested a “smaller” place in a “terrible” area (his literal words), once we got our feet under us. Understand, we are far from residing in a mansion on a hill now. It’s an 1,100 square foot house, which I suppose is large by NYC or Tokyo standards, but for a family of four, is not exactly spacious. Oh, yes, and he wanted to give up a car. Both our cars are paid for, save for gas and insurance. And I would be getting Braeden to school from our theoretical tiny apartment in a crappy area how, exactly? On the bus? With Avery in tow? Dear God.

It seems like anything should be better than nothing. I get that. It does seem that way. I just can’t figure out how this would work. How do other families do it? I do know there are some who rely on relatives for childcare. That’s a big deal, because full-time daycare starts at $18K a year and goes up from there. So even if we put Avery in daycare and I worked as well, how much would I have to earn for it to make sense? Another headache. I don’t know how to fix this. I have been on enough interviews recently to determine that my own earning potential isn’t what it was a decade ago. I went on one interview where the salary offered would have barely covered the cost of daycare. I have no clue how to make this work. Chris’ commute would be so long it wouldn’t allow me to pick-up a part-time job at night. Unless is was the graveyard shift. But then again, I am fairly sure I’d require at least some sleep. 

My inability to come up with anything resembling a solution is driving me crazy, more or less literally. It’s as if we were all dying of dehydration, and someone came along and offered us some water. Some, but not enough to fully hydrate us. So we’re still dying of thirst, but more slowly. Awesome. That sounds melodramatic, but it’s the best analogy I can come up with. I’m not sure how amazing it would be to pay the mortgage if I couldn’t pay the electric bill. Or the gas bill. Are we choosing between hot food and hot showers? Or food, period? I can’t bring myself to get excited about this non-solution. I don’t want to knock the wind out of Chris’ sails, but I am really scared.  He said he could work and keep looking. I think he thinks there are more hours in a day than there are. He’s going to come home late to two kids who haven’t seen him, eat and then sit on a computer and ignore them both? I should add that Avery can be a bit tough to ignore.

Maybe with a job we would have enough leverage to refi the house, which would improve things somewhat. It’s unclear how much, just as it’s unclear if they’d be willing. We used to pay our property taxes with our tax refund. When we no longer had any income taxes to be refunded, our mortgage went up $500/month to cover the property taxes. If it were somewhere close to the original number… we still might not make it, but it would be closer. Again, a headache I can’t resolve.

Other people seem to be able to live their lives. We both have degrees. We’re both reasonably bright, and we’re certainly motivated. Why can’t we figure this out?