- I used to have short curly hair; now it's long and straight because I can't afford an appointment with a hairdresser. (And here I'm including Fantastic Sam. Oy.)
- I used to be able to count on getting a shower every morning. Now, not really.
- I used to be able to get down on the floor and play with my kids. I don't remember the last time I could do that.
- I used to have daycare and occasional evening babysitting so that I could feel like a human being and even go out with my husband every so often. Now: no.
- I used to be able to drive. Heck, I'd been driving since 1984. Currently, my brain is permanently in a low-functioning state as if I'd been drinking alcohol. Only worse. No driving for me.
- I used to be able to buy things I didn't absolutely need. Like lunch meat, pickles, makeup, books, and presents for the kids.
On the other hand, my family is eating better than we did when I was the breadwinner. The welfare food is plain and simple, but a lot of it is very good, and I never got to have ham or roast beef while I was paying for it myself. Also, two years ago, I had no real hope that my family would be together forever. Now I do, even if I have to fight for it every inch of the way. And two years ago, I was fed up with the schools here and was desperate to move away. Now our older kids are in the best school in the state, and Punkin Boy is primed and ready to join them.
So it ain't all bad.