Grown Up Decisions

I was driving home from work, anxious to get home and see my family. As I hurried along, a huge semi pulled onto the freeway. I grunted and put on my blinker to get into the next lane to pass. At that exact time, the wind pushed against my car just slightly. But it was enough to make me pause and think.

What if that wind blew and pushed me into the semi? How would Jason get along if I was gone? How could the boys go on with one more person walking out of their lives? I began to have a panic attack realizing that I had nothing in place for my children if I died. No will. No life insurance. No one set up to be the care taker in the event that Jason and I were both gone. I slowed down and got back into the right hand lane. It just wasn’t worth it.

This wasn’t the first time I’ve had a mini panic attack while considering leaving my children behind. In the first week that we brought Keira home from the hospital, I woke up in a cold sweat. My sudden gasp woke Jason as I begin to cry and shake, thinking about how dependent this little girl was on me for survival. “Jason – what would you do if I was gone!? How would Keira EAT!”

“Honey, we’d find a way to manage. I’d put her on formula.”

“FORMULA!? You’d put our baby girl on formula after how hard I worked to breastfeed her!?!” I have to admit, I was a bit delirious at this point from lack of sleep. Jason calmed me down and we both went back to sleep, putting the conversation behind us.

The thing that was different about my latest panic attack was that it spurred me to ACT! While Jason had been trying to talk me into getting life insurance, it was always at the bottom of my to-do list. My coping method was to put my head in the sand. But finally, I was able to put my own fear of mortality aside and think about the children (and husband) I could potentially be leaving behind. I called Chris, a life insurance agent friend, and got our life insurance policy moving with his company Baron Insurance Group.

Instead of following someone else’s rule of thumb on how much to buy, I broke out our monthly budget. I modeled what would this same budget would look like if my income wasn’t there. What extra expenses would there be? What would the buffer be like? What stress would this budget put upon whoever was left to take care of the kids? I modeled and modeled until I was absolutely sure that if my kids had to ever deal with the loss of one of their parents, they wouldn’t have to worry about if Daddy (or Mommy) was going to have trouble providing food on the table.

To date, it was the most grown up decision I have ever made. And when the life insurance policy came in the mail, documenting that we indeed were all set up, I felt tension release from my chest that I never knew I was holding in. No matter what happens, my kids were going to be okay.

Next stop: Preparing the will.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sara
    Mar 29, 2011 @ 15:11:16

    Good luck. Our will was *hard* to write.


  2. Sherry Carr-Smith
    Mar 30, 2011 @ 14:08:34

    I’m so glad you’re doing this! When my first husband died, we had nothing in place. No insurance, no will, nothing. Thankfully, I didn’t have anyone to argue with over anything, but it would have been *awful* if I’d had to deal with that crap while I was trying to figure out how to live without my husband. Your husband and kids will be so much better off now if something happens to you.

    We’re so responsible!


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