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.