Being able to stay at home with my boys... Almost on purpose
Loving every day of being a stay-at-home mom... Almost on purpose
Enjoying taking care of my home... Almost on purpose
Discovering new ways to be thrifty, crafty, and resourceful... Almost on Purpose
You get the idea. Today's post is sharing my story of becoming a full-time stay-at-home mom.
When my husband and I were ready to have kids, our finances were not. When we talked about having kids, we always knew that I should be at home with them. However, we had NO idea how hard of a journey that would be. Sure... it's no prob going from a two-income family to a one-income family... NOT! Four years earlier, my husband started out in the computer industry but had recently lost his job and had to settle for jobs that were not in his field. It was wonderful to be at the same company together, but still... how was this going to work? A job within our company opened up, and my husband was able to get back into the computer field. It was a relief but still not enough. One Sunday, on our way home from church, he turned to me and said, "Our God is big enough to provide for us." Let me tell you, my husband does not often speak like this, so I listened. Looking back, I sometimes wonder if we were silly to raise a family without much of a plan. We've grown so much since then that I'm not sure I would want to take back all those experiences.
He and I were so profoundly affected by our mothers, that we both knew the importance of having me nurture them in their early years. This part was a no-brainer. However, I was not prepared for the intense passion put in my heart for my first child (or my second, for that matter). I began to see Psalm 37:4 in a new light:
Was God putting this desire in my heart?Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
I was so blown away by the emotion of becoming a mom. I had no idea how much my first baby would change my life and change me (not just my figure but my view of life). There was an intense desire to be at home with him. The nearest I could be to a stay-at-home mom was a part-time mom, and even that still ate at me. Granted, family was taking care of him on my work days, but every time I left him, I felt like I was losing part of me! Was this normal? I've been passionate about things before but not like this.
The epiphany hit me when a woman was trying to comfort me and unknowingly inspired me to find a way to be at home with my kids. She said, "It will get easier." Oh, I did not want "leaving my baby" to get easier! Each day, week, and month, the Lord brought people in my life to encouragement that it could be done to be on one-income. Little, by little, we began making changes and sacrifices in our lives to reduce our need for my income. Still it wasn't quite enough. I still needed my job. More cuts were made to our budget.
We hit a bump in the road... In a round of layoffs, at work, my husband's boss was laid off. This was the guy that "believed" in him and saw his potential. It seemed like hope was lost for a promotion or a pay raise. It got worse. He was given more and more responsibilities with no pay increase. Through it all, he kept working hard.
Then another surprise... I was pregnant again. My first baby was only 15 months old. I'm working part time, desparately trying to find a way to be at home with my baby. Now, I am supposed to take care of two babies? God, are you taunting me? No, He was pushing us to our full potential and getting ready to show us HIS full potential. We were learning to depend on Him.
In order to be a stay-at-home mom, we were ready to sell our house and live with family. It wasn't ideal, but if it's what we had to do... we were ready. To maximize our chances for a sale, we decided we had to have the house on the market by June of that year. Through some of my husband's acquaintances, he heard about a job opportunity. Guess what?!! It would be enough for me to stay at home... if we made a few more cuts. After two interviews, he received a job offer in May of that year. Did you hear me?! It was May, and we didn't have to sell our house! God is so good!
Four months later, we welcomed baby boy #2 into our lives. It was a joyous time. I was able to be at home with both of my babies!!
Little did I know how different life as a stay-at-home mom is than as a Senior Analyst and Technical Writer. Yes, I'm laughing at this now... three years later.
Next post... learning to love being at home.