Saturday, 4 January 2014

Happy Anniversary

11 years ago on a sweltering hot day, P and I exchanged vows and rings and drank champagne with our friends and family. It was so hot that my bouquet started wilting while walking from the car to the venue.

Today, 11 years on, it's another sweltering hot day but we haven't worn our rings for nearly three months. This morning I'm with baby I, while my boys are having their last swim at the beach with their dad before they begin the drive back home.

Is there a card I can buy my ex for such an occasion? Do we even acknowledge it when I see him later today? My mother-in-law called early this morning just to say hi. But I know it was her way of acknowledging it, of showing her support.

Today instead of primping with my bridesmaid, I'll be reviewing my budget, made even tighter by the recent news that my government payments are being cut by more than half, due to a delay with the department's internal processing.

The news of the cut came just before Christmas and this is the first time I've had to sit down and try and make sense of it. Well, the first time once the procrastination wore off. I like a good spreadsheet, and the one I have has all sorts of great macros and formulas, but nothing that easily fixes the message I get that my budget is in deficit each month. I've cut the foxtel and reduced incidental spending to almost nothing, but still it shows up with the deficit.

Because now even with the child support and the family payments, the reality is I have three kids and a house to support. And as a lot of women in my position know, it's much easier to do with someone else by your side.

Someone else who can help with the bills, pour you a glass of wine at the end of a long day, rub your neck when it gets sore, tell you that your bum doesn't look big in those pants.

I know I'm lucky enough to have someone who pays child support. Who will come around to mow the lawns. There are other women who don't have this support. But there are no guarantees this will last. There were no guarantees with "'till death us do part".

So today, I'll get dressed, make myself another coffee and raise a toast to myself.


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