Dead weight

I’ve been feeling like such a dead weight in my family lately. I know I take care of the bulk of childcare, I do the shopping, cooking, and cleaning, but that just makes me feel like a maid. I feel like my wife might as well be paying me for my services around the house when she pays for my cell phone bill or transfers money into my bank account when I’m running low. I use stipend money to pay for groceries and childcare and a tiny portion of our rent (and my tuition), but that is literally all I can afford. I may have to ask my wife for money so I can finish buying her christmas presents. That is so depressing.

I recently got a letter from my student loan office saying that I’d maxed out on the number of weeks I’d been in school, and they’ll no longer suspend my interest accruement (they’re supposed to not charge interest as long as you’re still enrolled as a student). Apparently 10 years is too long to spend in school while carrying a big student loan debt over your head. I haven’t taken out a student loan since my undergrad, but that old loan debt follows me like a dark cloud.

When I went on maternity leave, my loan office refused to recognize that as what it was – to them, I wasn’t enrolled in school so I could be working, so they insisted on charging me interest and demanded loan repayment while I was off for two semesters. So I used my personal life savings (which was really hard to accumulate as a student), and put down a $10,000 payment to lessen the interest hit. But now I’m faced with $100/month in interest accruement until my loan is payed off, and that is so depressing. So, my wife is going to pay off the rest of my student loan, using the money she has been saving for us to buy a house.

I am always the one holding us back. My wife knew she was marrying someone pursuing higher education, but she didn’t count on that taking me what is likely to be 15 years.

I wish I could place more value on what I do at home. For some reason I can look at any stay at home mom and say “Good for you! You’re doing a valuable service to your family, the hardest work there is, and your working partner has the easy job.” But when it’s me, I’m just a leach on my wife while I get my dream of having a baby and slowly puttering away at a PhD.

Just feeling like a pile of poop today.

15 thoughts on “Dead weight”

  1. First, I have to say you are not a dead weight!!!!!! I actually get why you feel this way (because I felt similarily when I quit my job and we were living off Mr. MPBs income only), but I know that you are not. You are the primary caregiver for your child and you are working on your PhD. Seriiusly that’s crazy busy! And academics is a hard and slow route! Please give yourself time to feel crappy about everything, but remember to pick yourself back up because from my vantage point you are an amazing person!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So hard to remember that… The annoying thing about me is that I totally believe that whole heartedly when I think of other couples. But it doesn’t stop me from equating my worth to my dollar value. Sad world.

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  2. Sorry, but why do you not have joint accounts? Why do you have to ask your wife for money? You’re a family, a team. And that includes financially. If you were too come into a large sum of money, would that be yours alone, or yours together?
    And doing all the things you listed are a full time job. And it’s hard, relentless and thankless. Why do so many people have cleaners or home help? Because they are tough jobs.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Thanks for the words of support. We have talked about having a joint account, but just haven’t made the leap yet. My wife offers to pay for childcare but I insist because I want to feel like if I can’t care for her, I can afford her care. I’m probably way too independent of a personality to be a financial dependent.

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      2. Hi, I’ve just come across your blog. I think RC is right about the joint account. I have one with my husband and it’s OUR money. We are a family and the money we both earn is our family’s. We do take pocket money out into our personal accounts and we put some money aside for savings. When I was out of job for a year when we had a baby, I took care of her and he was bringing the money home, but it would still go to our joint account. I think that without making that step we wouldn’t be able to call it a partnership.It doesn’t matter who earns more, as it’s joint money.

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  3. You’re not dead weight and I’m sure she doesn’t see you that way. When my wife and I first got together she was in school and I supported us for years, sometimes she was working, sometimes not. Now that she’s out and working I admit it’s nicer to share the bills but I don’t resent it. We divide our bills pretty evenly, but we have various bank accounts some shared some personal. Neither of us mind that the other has their own money. I make more than my wife, but have no overtime, so if she works overtime she has more money and likes to do that to feel like she’s able to support us more, but she knows it’s not expected of her. Sometimes I will joke with her if she gets a biiiig check, remember how I supported you for 4 years?! Put gas in my car! But it’s all in fun! And it seems like in the scheme of things, over all the years, it all balances out. I’m sure your wife appreciates all that you do, and you can’t put a price on that! I would gladly give up my job to spend time with Rayne.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, I know my wife doesn’t resent it, really, but when things like having to pay my student loan come up, she shows her stress over being the breadwinner. It’s no secret that she doesn’t like the pressure. One day we will both be working, and I think our relationship dynamic will change dramatically. I think I’ll have a lot more confidence, and will no longer think of myself as a maid!

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  4. I feel like this a lot of the time. B has always made WAY more than me (like, at least 3 times as much) so I always felt like he was the more important one because of that. Then when I stopped working to be a SAHM, I suddenly felt like I had no say in anything financial. We always had separate bank accounts, and then a joint one as well that we both contributed to. It was a hot subject our entire marriage, because I felt we should share everything. I could go on forever on that subject…but after I stopped working, we went to 1 bank account. I feel like I have no say though…I ask before spending (unless it’s groceries or diapers and stuff like that), it feels strange buying B gifts because it’s with HIS money, etc. I understand how you feel. But you seriously are NOT dead weight. You’re an amazing mother and wife, and you just have to remember that.
    Oh and I’m sorry about your school loan BS…B paid off my school loans as well, so, I get it…

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  5. As the others have said, you are so NOT dead weight. But, I get it. I have massive student loan payments that basically eat up my entire income, so not only do I not contribute as much financially, I’m not even contributing more as far as housework/childcare to make up for it. As Erin says, it’ll all even out in the end 🙂

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