To be totally honest, I don’t have much to say about budgeting right now. I haven’t looked at my budget in…some days.
I’m sorry, but right now? Everything is just too weird and hard.
Right now, I feel like I have way too much time and no time (freaking homeschool) all at once.
When I most recently ventured out to the store, I bought Pop-Tarts. Why? I have no idea.
There are days when it seems like maybe we’re adjusting to a new normal and then, other days, where everything feels so overwhelmingly awful and I can’t really breathe. Yesterday fell squarely in the latter category.
For the past several years, this has been my favorite mug:
I love it because it is bright yellow and happy but also acknowledges that life is crazy. I love it because it is chipped and has a huge crack but still does what it was created to do. Until yesterday that is.
I’ve used this mug nearly every day for like three years, through the hardest times of my life, without incident. Until yesterday, when I poured my coffee and it began seeping out the crack—gushing really.
Huge mess. Total disaster. Coffee everywhere.
And after I cleaned it all up and stopped crying, it occurred to me that this is exactly what life feels like right now.
Some days we will limp along, and it feels like maybe we are finding a new, slower rhythm, and we’ll be OK. Some days, despite the freaking.loud.kids. and the fear and the unknowns, we will do our work, and make the food, and live our lives. Nothing to see here. And then we will be sidelined by other identical days that are just heavier and everything feels more like: Huge mess. Total disaster. Coffee everywhere.
I wish I could have some kind of warning, about when it was all going to feel like too much. Although, now that I think about it, the 4th grade math assignment due dates seem to have a fairly direct correlation. I for one feel like the last one to get the memo about what kind of energy or emotions I’ll be bringing into any given day. Turns out, this is an exhausting way to live.
I’m trying to tell myself that some days will be bad, and that is OK. I’m trying to tell myself if we eat Pop-Tarts and redefine screen time as just “time,” it isn’t the end of the world.
I wish I was one of those people who was using this time to start a business or take up a new hobby or level up my fitness game, but I am not. I am trying to work with the kids all up in my business. I am trying to make sure my children don’t fail the 4th and 1st grades. I am cooking and cleaning up more than seems reasonable. I’m taking it all just one slow, long day at a time.
I have to believe I’m not alone. It might be more accurate to say I need to believe it.
Some days will be bad, and that is OK.
And that budget? Well, it’s gotten me to this point where I can just take a moment and rest in this no-good, very bad, somewhat-neverending day. It’ll still be there on one of those days when I’m feeling motivated and energized to embrace this new normal and in the meantime, I’ll just be here—eating my Pop-Tarts for a little while.
So, here’s to the moms who are lowering the bar. Here’s to chicken nuggets and Roblox. Here’s to staring at the wall. Here’s to feeling stalled and numb and overwhelmed. Here’s to unpredictable and irrational highs and lows. Here’s to replacing judgement with grace. Here’s to celebrating the smallest of victories wherever we can. Here’s to knowing we aren’t in this alone.
If you’ve experienced income loss or job loss as part of your no-good, very-bad day, find some solidarity in our YNAB communities. We’re launching a job loss community starting in Mid-May where you can talk safely about the financial challenges that come with income loss. Subscribe our weekly newsletter to be notified when signups open.