Friday, April 15, 2005

A place of our own

Life is a little surreal this week. I'm moving through it with an odd sense of detachment. Every few hours, I start to think about it a little too much. The energy spent on hyperventilating and quelling the feeling that I'm about to throw up is exhausting.

I worry that we made the wrong choice, that this isn't the condo for us. I worry that things are going too smoothly, that something's going to crash. Of course, things haven't gone smoothly at all. In fact, every little hiccup feels like a crisis of epic proportions, even if it's effectively resolved within minutes. The hiccup passes, cool heads prevail, it was nothing, and again we wait for the voice of doom.

Rant on a tangent regarding a mother's worth
Yesterday, our mortgage approval hiccuped.

Mortgage approval depends in large part on your net income of the last three years. Most of which, in my case, I spent at home with a baby, not working. While the mortgage officer may sit and nod her head, and she sees the direct relation between the increase in my income and the toddler being in daycare, as well as my mortgage-worthy pre-baby income levels, this is hard to express within a standard formulaire.

One option would've been to be removed from the paperwork. To be considered neither co-applicant, nor co-owner. But that hardly seems right.

Of course, we really should have planned our lives more carefully, bought a home before procreating, preferably before I'd embarked on any career path, or maybe held out a few more years till I was "established."

While my case worked out rather easily (if I did spend a few frenzied hours scrambling to file my taxes in order to supply an "official" statement of income, and a couple more hours poring over the details with our mortgage officer), it makes me mad for new mothers, mad at society.

A mother's work has no dollar value: we deny her the mortgage to provide a home for her children. Or she remains subordinate, in terms of ownership and rights, to the primary income earner. That hardly seems right.

So here we are at the front of the 21st century. J-F resents being a primary income earner. I resent him for resenting it. I feel guilty for having indulged in "staying home" with my baby daughter. I'm considered "worthless." But we will get through this. We were frightened, and I remain seriously angry, that this situation near jeopardized our mortgage approval. And I'm desperately sad for the new families who don't have it as "easy" as we do.
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