Well, we finally found out what the bonus situation would be at work… Yes. The thing that was supposed to be announced in January and then in February was finally made known to me in mid-March.
Granted, I preface this with the fact that my dream of buying a double eagle (short of winning the lottery, which I suppose is still a possibility) died a long time ago, as did my hopes of paying off my student loans next month. My wife having to leave work 10 weeks early and that loss of income made that all a no-go.
That said, they managed to exceed my worst expectations – no bonus and a minimal raise. I say minimal, any other time it might have been quite nice, but I’ve been taking on extra duties and I was due for a promotion to reflect that and they’re giving me none of it.
This, combined with the loss of income, combined with the medical bills, are going to make things quite tight here in the short term, so, my collecting budget is basically going to be zero for a while now. Yeah… That plan for 2019 that I posted a few months ago? It’s torched. I’ll have to look back on it in a few years and laugh about how wrong I was. I still look back on some of my entries from 2016, from right before I got laid off, with some similar amusement in some cases these days.
Having had a night to think about it, it’s far from the worst thing in the world (Note: This is distinctly not how I felt last night). It was a punch in the gut to be sure. It still feels like an insult. I can’t explain why fully, but I’m just not okay with this decision on their parts and it’s convinced me that I’ll be moving on as soon as I can find something. I’m planning to have a conversation with my boss about it, present some salary research and see if we can arrive at an understanding. But, even if they come up on the salary / raise, I don’t see myself staying. They’re sending signals that it’s time to leave while the getting’s good. That said, I’ve always been a careful and cautious person. I’ve always had liquid savings. I’ve never been the type of person that spends the grocery money on a hobby and makes myself eat ramen for a month. I think even now we’ll survive this well enough and I hopefully won’t have to sell anything I don’t want to sell. I’m almost afraid to say this because for the last 4 months it’s felt like everything that can go wrong does and life seriously has it out for me.
I can’t fully escape the feeling that, in some ways, this feels like being punished for having kids. It’s almost like life / society (if you’re an American) punishes you for the decision to have children. In addition to making significantly more than the average American I have fantastic health insurance. Even with that fantastic insurance, Samuel’s birth and care is going to cost us about $3,000. For people that aren’t lucky enough to have that kind of insurance, a normal or “normalish” birth can cost $5,000-8,000 out of pocket – good luck if you’re uninsured. When Ben was born 3 years ago the billing for Shandy and Ben topped out at over $70,000. I just can’t imagine dealing with that.
I always shake my head and laugh whenever I see these articles on LinkedIn and Facebook pondering the question of, “Millennials are waiting longer and longer to have kids and having fewer of them when they do! Why?” I think if you’ve had a kid in the last 10 or 15 years it’s no mystery. Having a kid today almost seems like electing to die penniless. Nevertheless – we need the kids. As a society, we need the kids. It’s written about on and on and on, but I feel like it’s becoming almost impossible raise one really. But, without them, you won’t have to worry about the future of this fine hobby, or much else really.
For my part. Benjamin saw fit to remind me last night just why they’re worth it.
I was crushed last night. I was bummed and stunned. I just couldn’t believe it in some ways, and I didn’t know what I was going to do about it. But my three-year-old wanted to spend the whole night sitting in my lap and had to give me extra kisses good night before bed. I have done something right with this kid in the last 3 years and he loves and adores me without a doubt. Ben will be 3 years old in exactly 2 weeks.
Samuel is 1 month old today. He is now over 4 pounds and has gained over an inch in height since birth. Overall, he’s doing quite well, and he’s been moved from NICU3 to NICU2. He’s breathing room air without any assistance now (as of about 3 days ago) and he’s fed entirely with breastmilk and not with IV fluids (this has been the case for over a week now if I remember right). Continued head ultrasounds are showing that his ventricles have been growing and they’re worried that he might need to have a reservoir or a shunt put in to relieve pressure on his brain. So far, he isn’t showing signs of needing that and they’re waiting it out. The main signs that intervention is needed is if he starts having problems breathing or heart arrhythmias.
I have been very happy to watch Ben’s excitement over Sam. He always wants to go see him at the hospital (though, I think at least some of this is because it’s a Children’s hospital with lots of cool things, but I don’t know if I care if it gets him to stop dreading going to the doctor so much).
For those of you who have made it this far and aren’t ready to throw something, you have my thanks for tolerating what has been, at least in part, a self-indulgent whine.