Day 340: And This is Where You Tell Me To Shut Up

Today I found moldy bread in my pantry.

Not, like, bread with a bit of mold on it.

More like a plastic bread bag filled with mold. If the bag hadn’t said, “Sara Lee 100% Whole Wheat” on it, I’d still be trying to figure out why a fuzzy green stuffed animal was placed in my pantry and asphyxiated with a plastic bag.

It’s symbolic, I feel.

Representative of my life.

It speaks to my faltering ability to prioritize my time. Remain organized. Stay on top of things.  Eat on the days that the kids aren’t with me at dinnertime.

Right now, my focus is on the children and my business.

Obviously it’s on the children.  I’m a parent.

The business?  I’m good at it.  It gives me purpose.  It gives me an excuse to get out of bed every morning, don cute work clothes, and go help a family who is functioning less effectively than mine.

Plus, divorce is expensive. Period. Even with a co-parent who is generous with his income.  I suspect we’re both feeling the pinch of the division of assets, the obtainment of legal advice, and the maintenance of two households.

Which brings me to the topic of the house.

It’s a nice house.  Meant for a physician’s family.  With all the help and services that a doctor’s income brings.

The thing is, I’m no longer a member of a physician’s family.

But I continue to live in the house.

And I can’t keep up with it.  Cleaning it.  Keeping it in good repair.  And at some point, I’m going to have to pay for it too.

(I’m not complaining about that, folks. So don’t write and fuss at me about it.)

Plus, I have no idea how to fix the broken stuff.  And as the months go by, there is a lot more broken stuff.

I can’t even keep it mice-free.

At some point, I’m going to surrender.

And the house will be sold.

I’m not going to go down without a fight, though.  I’m determined to make it until the summer, at least.  Maybe even to the following summer.

I don’t need a house like this.  No one does, really.

But two nights ago my girl asked, “I love our house.  Can we always stay in this house?”

I wonder if she’s heard me fretting.  I don’t think so, because it’s hard to fret when you live in this nice of a house and not sound ridiculous.

Oh, poor me. My house is too big.


I think I should stop writing now and get back to work.


  1. Meg says:

    I won’t tell you to shut up, Tara. It is both a very practical and very emotional issue. You bought that house under different circumstances and loved it for all it offered to your life at the time. And now it is a very expensive daily reminder that your circumstances have changed. I’m guessing it is only one of many reminders. I have friends who have similar problems after the death of spouses or after age/illness has rendered their homes too difficult to live in. Go ahead and express your feelings about it. It is good for all of us to read it and be aware of what you (and many others) have to deal with on a regular basis and try to give you support.

    • Tara says:

      Thanks, Meg. There are times when I absolutely love the house and think, “I’m going to work my ass off and make sure we can stay in it” and there are times when I’m like, “We don’t need this. This was a house meant for a different family. Let’s start over.”

      I’m not going to rush in deciding, I guess. It helped to write about it.

  2. Gretchen says:

    I agree with Meg. It is an emotional issue. Plus, moving is very stressful. Good Luck!

    • Tara says:

      Oh, I’ve definitely thought about the stress of moving. We’ve moved many times, and this would be doing it all by myself (although I know Drew would be supportive and helpful with the kids) with a little budget. Now, I have a furnished house with painted rooms, a great patio, a playset, etc. If we move, I might not have those things. I don’t want to throw out the baby with the bathwater.

      Plus, I love our neighbors. They’re the closest thing I’ve got to family nearby.

  3. karen says:

    I know exactly what you are feeling. I kept the “big” house after my divorce three years ago. I can afford the mortgage but keeping it clean and maintained is overwhelming. Some days I feel like I just can’t keep up with it all. I sometimes fantazie about a small, cozy cottage for me and my two kids but, the kids like our house, the real estate market is awful and it just doesn’t make sense to sell right now. I totally relate and it is okay to share your feelings about it.

    • Tara says:

      Yeah, the market is killer. I’d lose so much money and then I’d have no house AND no money. Now I have a great house that the kids love, even if it’s a strain.

      I totally don’t have much to complain about. I do realize this.

  4. If it is any consolation (and you must have seen this with clients) children will adjust – if you’re positive about the change. And living where you all lived together can be difficult – but again, I’m sure you know this! Too much change is hard, but not enough is hard too. If that makes any sense!

    • Tara says:

      “Too much change is hard, but not enough is hard too.” Brilliant. I think you’re 100% right. I’m not sure I *need* to move, though. For emotional reasons, that is. For practical reasons? Sure. I can’t imagine putting the kids through that transition (apparently life isn’t only about me. Who knew?). Plus, I have no idea where I’d move. I don’t really want to move just to move. I feel like I should wait a bit, think it over, then decide.

  5. Johi says:

    Our house is tiny, but it still provides us with more work than the two of us can keep up with. Not to mention the acre of yard work. I can imagine how overwhelmed and obligated you must feel. Sometimes an apartment sounds appealing, just so there was more time in the day to be with family instead of tasking.

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