Monica Bielanko
A chronicle since 2005 of my marriage & move to Brooklyn in my twenties; becoming a mother in my thirties; moving to Pennsylvania and learning to amicably coparent after divorce in my forties while living 3 doors down from my ex-husband in a small country town.
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Sunday
Jan242010

Hold Me Closer, Tony Danza

Here I am! Hello!! Those exclamation points belie my absolutely bone-tired body and state of mind. Moving whilst simultaneously hosting your mother-in-law for a week (love you, Marian!) and organizing your daughter's first birthday party will do it every time.

Yes, we're moving.

And when I tell you where you will absolutely DIE!

My Mom's house.

I KNOW! COULD YOU ABSOLUTELY DIE? Hold me. Hold me closer, Tony Danza.

Here's the deal. Here is also where you tell me I'm out of my fucking mind. Here is also where I won't listen to you because I am so turned on my the thought of paying off debt and saving some serious cash. Like, rub my nipples while talking dirty to my dwindling credit card balance, turned on. Which, by the way, the credit card balance that was nearly $2,000 in October, the credit card that will be PAID IN FULL this Friday? Paid off, bitches!

What? The deal? The deal! Right! Sorry, like I said, I get all hot and bothered talking credit card balances. Here's the deal: we've decided to get on with the business of getting on over here and are taking drastic steps to meet our goals (some details forthcoming, others can't be revealed until after the fact) and paying off our debt is key. The only way to do that quick-like is to move in with Mom. Did I mention she has a hot tub? On a deck overlooking the valley? As if that makes up for the epic battles betwixt me and Mom that are likely to cause heart palpitations and an early death for Serge.

Oh stop, it'll be fiiiiiine. She's never there, she's always working. Also? Built in babysitter, right? And did I mention she has a hot tub?

Oh my god, we aren't going to make it out alive, are we?

Reader Comments (31)

hmmmm...hot tub + built-in babysitter + no debt - epic battles, heat paliptations & possible early death = worth it! batshit crazy but totally worth it. best of luck!

January 24, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterchristine from canada

YOU PAID OFF YOUR CREDIT CARD!!! YOU PAID OFF YOUR CREDIT CARD! YOU PAID OFF YOUR CREDIT CARD! That is so amazing! congratulations! Can't wait to hear all the great stories that'll be coming out of your mom's house. go get 'em girl!

January 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAngie

I currently live with my mom and dad to save money for a house after my divorce. I am also simultaneously paying off my car and student loans. (Credit card debt was the first to go.) I'm a 38-year-old single mother living at home. I feel like such a catch! But seriously, it's okay. I have no space and no privacy, but the cash is worth it.

January 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSarahO

Hey, if it helps you reach your goals, go for it.

Just make sure you keep shooting for them. Don't become complacent!

Best of luck. PS - congrats on paying off the card!

January 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThe Domestic Goddess

CONGRATS!! Both on paying off that card AND the decision to move with Mom. This is coming from a girl (me) who just spent an entire summer living in the dark basement of her Mother-in-Laws house to do the exact same thing. We not only paid off every bit of debt we had, but paid off our car, too. I can't even TELL you how orgasmic it is to not owe anyone ANYTHING. The freedom is like a drug. And being in that situation allowed us to move forward with our dream of owning a beautiful house and actually be able to comfortably afford it. :)

So: YAY! And it sounds like you'll have a great setup there, too. (hot tub!) Can't wait to hear what you'll do next!

xoxo

January 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJenny Bauman

omg! you are really doing this!!!!! i wish you all the best and keep my fingers crossed for you! good luck!!!! everything is going to be great! i can feel it, greatings from poland!

January 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKasia

grEEtings - i mean. ;)

January 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKasia (again)

You are a much braver woman than I, but probably a much smarter one. Congratulations! Good luck!

January 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterStacey

sorry, but this sounds fucking mad.........

January 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHeadtransmission

WOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOO!
It sounds so cool. Go meet the goals!

January 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChorizo man

Dave Ramsey says everyone will think your nuts when you get crazy to pay off your bills, so you're apparently doing it right. Plus, it can only make for excellent blog fodder! At least you're doing something, like, actively doing something instead of letting life pass you by like most of the rest of us!

January 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

The thought of moving in with either my parents or his parents makes my skin crawl. If you can make it through that, then you are far tougher than I am. No amount of money could make me live at home and have to compromise my freedom, my quirks, and my habits.

You are brave and bold, I give you that!

January 24, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjeneria

I keep my fingers crossed it works all together :) ah it will!!! at least it will be hot tub around :) I'm happy for you!

January 24, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteranajo

That's awesome Monica!! Great news. I say give your mom a great big hug for wanting to help you. Sure it will be a compromise, but totally worth it! When my husband lost his job and couldn't find work in our state we asked our moms if we could stay with them for a few months. It was that or be homeless with 3 kids, or move to Utah where he knew he could get a job. My mom said we couldn't live with her because she didn't want to have to hear my kids running around all day :/ mil flat out said no. Said it was our problem not hers. So, yay for moms who understand.

January 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJen

Congratulations on wiping out that credit card debt! That accomplishment, along with taking definitive action to meet your goals, must feel great. So very proud of you... If the pressure of living with your mom starts to get to you, repeat after me: "I am zen, I am calm." This has been my New Year's resolution - repeat that silently instead of letting others get me all worked up. It's actually helping.

Good luck with the move!

January 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKeenie Beanie

My husband and I are living with my parents right now, too. It takes a little getting used to, but I think it will be better than your previous experiences living at home. We moved home out of necessity (I couldn't find a job and he was facing layoffs), but I think even after things turn around, we are going to stay here a little bit longer so we can save up cash, pay off our bills, and have some sense of security when we do venture out.

Good luck to you and your family.

January 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKrystan

Congrats on the credit card! Don't worry, everything will be fine! She's got a liquor cabinet in addition to that hot tub, right? ;)

January 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShauna

It will make for some good stories though.

January 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJ

Good luck, that's a brave move! Am totally thinking of doing the same, much to my own horror, to save some money to go travelling. Am so close to a debt free existence myself soon, and the thought is utterly liberating, I literally want to scream out loud about it! I'm sure you guys will do fine at your mum's, and she will love having Violet around. It will even give you back some time for your & Serge. Look forward to reading about your new adventures!

January 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPG

Congrats on paying off that card! You are doing it Monica....everything you have talked about doing...you are making it happen!

You Rock.

January 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShelly

Monica, I am currently doing my masters in counseling psych and want to let you know that children that are brought up in a more "collectivist" way, with extended family around and whatnot, turn out to be better off in the long run and have less likelihood to participate in drugs and/or become depressed. So your decision is actually a pretty good one for the development of Violet :)

January 25, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterrachelgab

Funny you should say that... I was just talking to someone about how, very often, in other cultures the grandparents often live in the same home which is hugely beneficial to everyone. Grandparents get to see grandbabies, built in babysitter, Moms are less likely to lose their shit because they have someone to hand baby off to and all that other good stuff. And my Mom is generally cool as hell, we only argue because we're so much alike but the older I get the better our relationship gets.

January 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThe Girl Who

This warms my heart and gives me hope! While we currently have our 22 yo son still at home, our other two are about to go away to college, and I feel broken. I love hearing stories about extended families living together, and hope it's the wave of the future.

January 25, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjls

I knew it! I saw the moving van outside your house last week or so and I thought to myself, she's actually doing it! They're moving in with family to save money!

Your thriftiness really is an inspiration. I can't believe you got $2,000 worth of credit card debt paid off in 3 months. That is awesome. And while I'm not sure I would be willing to move in with my mother to pay down debt, you've got my support. And you've got me brainstorming other ways I can change up my life to save money and pay down debt.

January 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnnalise

Yeah, it is proven in a lot of studies so there you go! I think you made a great decision!

January 25, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterrachelgab

This is fantastic Monica! Fourteen years ago my husband and I moved in to my in-laws with our then 11month old son for a year and a half. Sure it was scary at first...worrying about losing our privacy and such. Seriously, it turned out to be one of the best decisions we ever made. While saving a TON of money I built great relationships with my in laws. My son will always be the apple of their eye...it was crazy insane how much they loved on that kid. Violet and your Mom will be best buds! Best Wishes on your wild ride...it will all be worth it when you reach your goals.

January 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTricia

CONGRATS ON PAYING OFF THE CREDIT CARD!! THAT'S AWESOME! And good luck with the new living situation. I don't think I could do it, but good for you!!

January 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFable

what's your mum like?how do she and serge get on? do they have similar priorities when it comes to domestic life?

my ex and i lived with his mother during a 'difficult' financial period (of his making). It was HELL. She was HELL. I loathed every minute and resented him for every. single, second. She and I had NOTHING in common. Absolutely nothing. she's a card carrying, flag waving, communist, feminist, man-hating, lesbian academic and i...well I am absolutely not. The house was flithy. Always. And I am OCD when it comes to domestic chores. She could live on bangers and mash every night (and generally did) whereas I love cooking and trying out new produce and recipes. It was the most painful 8 months of my life and probably was the first cut in killing that relationship.

However my current man and I spend every weekend with my parents at their house at the coast and he and i and they all get along like old friends. It is easy, comfortable and no stress. In fact I think he'd continue to go and stay with them even if i wasn't there.

January 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

COME ON PEOPLE!!! Jen thanks for the idea of a hug for me! I aint so bad folks! no no Not me! Try living with monica! Now THATS gonna be the hardship of all time, so give me some credit here eh?

January 27, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermama

just kidding folks! I am totally looking forward to it, and can't wait! Having my violet right here will be so fun! ................and monica too ;-)

January 27, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermama

I come from a Greek family where it is still common for multiple generations to live together. What a fantastic experience it will be for Violet to spend such quality time with her grandmother and how lucky you are to have a mother who has space and is willing to help out. Not to say it won't be challenging, especially without Diet Coke. BTW, I gave up all artificial sweetners, eg. DC, 2 years ago now. It was tough for a LONG time. I recommend making your own home-brewed ice tea (cheap) and sweeten it with stevia or honey. I'm also a huge fan of sparkling mineral water because I love the carbonation, but it is more expensive than iced tea. Squeeze in citrus (lots) with stevia and it tastes like soda pop, only better.

January 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSaffoula

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