Monday, June 28, 2010

Learning to lean

Last week, the shit hit the fan. As you know, we're trying to get our kitchen remodeled on a very short time line so that we can beat The Baby.

Wait. That doesn't sound right.

We're trying to get our kitchen remodeled on a very short time line so that its done before The Baby arrives.

There. That's better.

We had a home equity loan in the works, and had managed to come up with enough cash to retain our chosen contractors. All was going smoothly. We were scrambling to select and order our cabinets, which required us to first select and purchase our sink (because I decided I want one of these apron sinks, which are all slightly different sizes). The cabinets take 4-6 weeks to arrive, so it was imperative to get them ordered as soon as possible. We settled on a shaker style cabinet in natural cherry and finalized the cabinet spec drawing with the contractors, so there was just the matter of payment to handle...

...and I still didn't have my loan approved, thanks so some very slow loan officers and one very overzealous underwriter's legal review. And by overzealous, I mean that even the attorney I had to hire to rework my divorce decree (proving, beyond any tiny shadow of a doubt, that this house IS MINE, free and clear of any interest of my ex-husband) was surprised that the documentation I'd already provided was being called into question.

So, with the expected cash flow coming to a screeching halt, we had two choices:
  1. Find a way to pay the contractors to order the cabinets, so that we could finalize the loan and be ready for demo in the 4-6 weeks it would take the cabinets to arrive; or
  2. Wait an additional 3-ish weeks for the loan to be approved, then order the cabinets, wait another 4-6 weeks for the cabinets to arrive and demo to begin. And then be in the middle of a kitchen remodel when I give birth.
Option 2 wasn't appealing, but Option 1 required cash that we didn't have. I had nearly enough in my savings account, but I was more than hesitant to clean that out given that I'm about to be out of work for 3 months with zero maternity benefits.

(Which, let me just pause for a minute to say: screw this working for a small company bullshit! Up until a year ago, our health insurance policy didn't even cover maternity expenses. And no paid maternity leave. In fact, no guaranteed maternity leave, period. Stupid small businesses.)

And then, in the midst of scrambling around trying to find an attorney, in the midst of multiple calls to the contractors and the bank to pause one (contractors) and expedite the other (bank), in the midst of all this, the unexpected happened: my mom offered to loan me money.

My mom. Offered to loan me. MONEY.

A substantial amount of it.

It's not that my mom isn't a generous person but, historically speaking, she hasn't had a lot to give. We were food stamp people once upon a time; government cheese people. Plus, she's a very independent, take-care-of-your-own-shit kind of woman, and she raised me to be the same. She wouldn't even loan me a couple bucks for gas money when I was in high school.

Obviously, I'm hardly in high school anymore. And I like to think I've proven that I'm a responsible adult more than capable of paying back a loan in a timely manner. But still, it was just so... different of her. I was speechless.

And, of course, being raised by an independent, take-care-of-your-own-shit kind of woman, I turned out much the same way. It's not easy for me to accept help from people. But in this case, I was stuck. It took me a few days to swallow my pride and to get comfortable with the idea, but in the end I accepted the loan.

And you know what?

It wasn't catastrophic. I accepted help and the world did not end. More specifically, I accepted help from my mom - a woman I spent the majority of my younger years trying to distance myself from - and I didn't feel dependent or incapable for having done so. In fact, it kind of felt good. It felt good to admit something was out of my control and to lean on someone for support.

I am nearly 35 years old, and I have only just discovered that accepting help from my mom doesn't make me a child.

3 comments:

BigSis said...

Good for you. It's nice to have mom on our side when doing battle. Makes up for all the times we battle her - whether as kids or adults. Good luck with the remodel!

T said...

Wow girl... that's a helluva lot of stress to deal with as a pregnant woman. Good for your mom to help!

Now go grab a bag of grapes and LIE DOWN!!!

അഷ്റഫ് .വി(ashraf.v) said...

Good keep it up

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