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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Confessions of a Modern Day June Cleaver

There. I said it. No more hiding. I am a modern day June Cleaver. If I am being honest, I am more of a cross between June Cleaver and Roseanne. Claire Huxtable, I am not. Carol Brady, nope. To be fair, if I had Alice, I could be Carol. I take comfort in that I am at least better at this parenthood/wife thing than Peg Bundy.

At one point, I was completely self-sufficient. I had a job. I had an apartment that I shared with a friend and I paid all of my own bills. I knew what I had and I knew what I could spend. Then...I got married and was perfectly happy to split things including the responsibility. We had a budget and for the most part, we stuck to it. I was still working and helping out financially. Then...we had kids. Leo took over the bills and since I was no longer working, the money. I was overwhelmed being a stay at home mom so I gladly let him take over in that area. I remember feeling a huge weight lifted. I took care of all things "kids" (doctor's appointments, school stuff, holiday stuff (Santa and Easter Bunny duty), cooking and cleaning...really anything that wasn't sports or money related, was my responsibility). He took care of the money, bills, cars and outside stuff. It worked for us. I had a general idea of things but even back then, I saw my brain shutting off when it came to money things. Then.all of the medical stuff happened. I couldn't wrap my brain around taking care of three kids, two that had CF and one that had a bladder thing so away went  the "having a general idea." This is not an easy thing to admit since I consider myself a smart person and not knowing this stuff makes me feel dumb. Give me a teen and I'll get him/her to talk but this stuff...escapes me. People talk about refinancing and 401Ks and house insurance premiums and I sit and nod thinking: this hurts my brain.

Did you ever see June work on taxes? Did you ever see her fight with the insurance company over a bill they won't pay? Did you ever see June answer her door to find siding guys there trying to offer to replace hers and hear her say, "Yes, I'd like that done." Did you ever see June talk to landscaping guys over how much it was going to cost to clean up their yard and put a patio in? Have you ever seen her go into an appliance store and purchase something big without having Ward with her and did you ever see her catch a mouse? No, you did not and you won't see me doing any of those things either. The unfortunate thing for Leo is that you also won't see me baking a pie and I don't have my own meatloaf recipe with my own secret ingredient. I won't wear an apron or pearls while cleaning a toilet either. To be honest, I am not that great at the things June Cleaver did do which is why I have a cleaning lady 2x's a month and why I am a little like Roseanne, too.

I tried to be better and know what goes on in that area but I suck. Leo and I make jokes that his ultimate revenge on me giving him a hard time all the time is that something is going to happen and I'll be left not having a clue of what is going on. I said joke but it's really not funny. Each year, I vow that we are going to sit down and he's going to to show me everything and we do but just like when I am trying to tell him EVERYTHING that I do that he would have to if I go back to work and his eyes glaze over and he starts sweating, so do I. My head hurts and I feel like I am going to get sick. Once, after an unfortunate bout of memory loss on Leo's part and a bill wasn't paid, I said I was taking over paying the bills. Leo thought that was a great idea and instead of really taking over, I became the secretary having to mail things that were due and drop things off. Still not knowing what was going on, that didn't fly with me so I told him to forget it and put everything on "auto-pay".

You know the articles in magazines like the ones Suze Orman writes? I break out in a sweat when I come across them because I know she is talking about me. It's not smart to be June Cleaver in 2012. I know...how about I'll pay attention and help out with the money and running the house from a financial standpoint when Leo is willing to learn Gia's bedtime routine and take all the kids for their flu shots all while having to take Belle to dance and get dinner on the table. I'm sure he'd go for that.

So, tell me...who does the bills and taxes and is responsible for your family's financial well-being? Any other June Cleavers out there? Come out from hiding and let me know I am not the only one.

12 Comments:

At April 15, 2012 at 2:10 PM , Blogger mangiabella said...

Thank you so much for your comments at mangiabella! It's very sobering to see what's going on these days, and more important now than ever before to stay relevant and involved!! Some of the teens we've mentored are in college now, and still stay in touch with us and tell us how we made an impact on them during those years. Now the teens we're connecting with are going thru some gritty stuff...cutting, depression, messy stuff...I continue to pray that we can be an influence in some way, and be a lighthouse that they can look back on as they go out on their own and be reminded of how to find their way again. I loved your post, I am much like you, I've been married 15 1/2 years, and my husband and I both worked and shared responsibilities...until...we decided to start a family. Now, at 37, soon to be 38, I am staying home with our 3 children (3 babies ages 3 and under! ya, we're loco like that!) and it's a big change. I am loving being home with them, and really getting into becoming "the manager of the home" - my husband works, but we both have our qualifying brokers licenses and do real estate part time from home. I handle all the cooking, cleaning, and kid's stuff...but...I also handle the checkbook, taxes, and any paperwork. Plus the grocery shopping and dr's appts etc. Thankfully we are debt free, but I think I am a better saver than my husband, and am really organized where he isn't. Plus, he's terrible with numbers. He easily forgets receipts and doesn't write things down LOL. I think about handing him the checkbook some times, and perhaps may still sometime soon. I am trying to work on building a solid savings for us and getting things kind of "set up" and then seeing what he wants to do. Looking forward to reading more!

 
At April 15, 2012 at 3:20 PM , Blogger AnnMarie said...

Aw..so glad you stopped by here. We do sound a lot alike. I had 3 babies aged 3 and under at one time, too. Then we had a surprise 9 years later. Talk about crazy... I really loved your blog and plan to frequent it often! Thanks for your kind words and letting me know how you guys do it. :)

 
At April 15, 2012 at 5:45 PM , Blogger Heather said...

I confess for the most part I have no idea what is going on financially in our family. At one point I did handle the family finances, but then babies took over and I gave it up.

Yup - Suze Orman would consider me a big failure.

 
At April 15, 2012 at 6:12 PM , Blogger AnnMarie said...

I LOVE it! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for making me not feel like I am the only one. I was starting to sweat over here thinking I was alone.

 
At April 15, 2012 at 8:28 PM , Blogger Kimberly said...

I'm "supposed" to be the one taking care of the finances and paying the bills here, but if I'm honest? I ignore them. I have so many other things going on that I just let it go and then my husband takes over (I hope). I never really realized how overwhelming it could be!

 
At April 15, 2012 at 9:39 PM , Blogger AnnMarie said...

I love the honesty because I do the same thing! I get overwhelmed just thinking about it.

 
At April 16, 2012 at 2:41 AM , Blogger Lily Johnson said...

I love your blog AnneMarie. Thanks for following my blog. I am following you too. Nice post.

 
At April 16, 2012 at 7:51 AM , Blogger Shell said...

All of that falls to my husband. I'm pretty clueless about the bills!

 
At April 16, 2012 at 11:27 AM , Blogger AnnMarie said...

Thanks so much! Looking forward to reading yours.

 
At April 16, 2012 at 11:32 AM , Blogger AnnMarie said...

I love that you came forward as being as clueless as me! It makes me feel like I am not the only one. :)

 
At April 17, 2012 at 6:54 PM , Blogger Kiki said...

Oh, I'm definitely a June. I've got the meatloaf, but no math skillz. Sigh.

 
At April 18, 2012 at 9:05 AM , Blogger AnnMarie said...

I love that I am not the only one! At least we can be Junes together. :)

 

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