Shortly after my first son was born, I panicked! I was not working before he was born, but suddenly I didn’t know how we would ever survive if I did not get a job!
A little backwards, huh? I mean, it makes sense that I would freak out. Most first time moms do, and for good reason 🙂
Can I be completely honest??? Before a baby, my life was relaxing. Staying at home had a different meaning to me. Suddenly I had a lot more responsibility! Babies require A LOT of care. It was no longer just me at home. I had to do more now. Diapers, feedings, spit up, etc. etc. Much more than I had been doing… especially while I was pregnant!
I’m just telling the truth now. Having a baby around was suddenly a lot more work. So between thinking we “needed” more money, and wanting a break from taking care of the baby, I went back to work. It didn’t take long before I realized how much I hated being away from him. Although he was staying with “family”– first my mom, and then eventually staying at home with Krystle (Bo, as Conner has named her, my best friend who lives with us and adores my children almost as much as I do… so really family)– I still hated leaving him everyday.
Bo got to do all the things I wanted to do: the zoo, park, library, Chuck E. Cheese, etc. She posted all the cute pics. She got to share in his everyday life. I missed all of those little moments.
Don’t get me wrong, Conner saved almost all of his big firsts for me, but it was the little things I missed.
Remember how I said, in my first blog entry, that I didn’t feel like I was a good enough wife? Now those feelings were carrying over to how I felt as a mom. Now that I was working, we were “living” just fine, very comfortably in fact, but what was I stressing over? Not money. Instead it was about my family, the house being in order, dinner, etc.
Was I a good mom? The mom I needed to be for my children? Was I their caretaker? Could they come to me first? Was I taking care of our home?
I had the mindset of a stay-at-home mom, but I was working full-time. I tried to convince myself that my lifestyle and actions with my children were as if I stayed home, but I was not staying home. I was too stressed and tired to be there for my family at night.
During my first year teaching while Conner stayed with my mom, I prayed that James would find a better job: something that offered better pay and insurance, so that I could stay home. I prayed and prayed and prayed. God, please give him a better paying job. Teaching provided double my husband’s income alone. We could NEVER survive without that paycheck unless my husband could match it. Only then could we figure out how to live without his paycheck amount.
God, I know you want moms to stay home with their children, but how is this possible for me? With our house payment, utilities, car insurance, ALL of our school loans!!!, and other bills. I’m willing to give up cable, and we have been smart with our money. We don’t have any car payments and have paid down some of our debt. I will quit as soon as you give him a job that we can live off of!
Isn’t it funny how we know better than God?
No new job, so back to another year of teaching I went, this time pregnant with number two. I knew I did not want to keep working after Elias came, but God still hadn’t answered my prayer.
It was quite a year to say the least (Elias in the NICU for 76 days… another story for another entry). During this time, my mother-in-law introduced me to an amazing magazine called Above Rubies.
Sometimes, God just needs to shove something in our face before we will finally get it! The next magazine that arrived had article after article of women just like me–waiting for God to “finally” provide. That’s when it hit me! God wants me home with my children and He will provide no matter what my husband’s job is. I needed to trust Him and LET GO!
It wasn’t an easy choice, but with faith, I sent the principal an email with my resignation. I would finish out the year, but would not be returning the next year. I had NO idea how we would survive, but God did! And that’s all that mattered.
Within a month or so, God did provide my husband with another job! One with insurance and other amazing benefits, but only a $1 pay increase… um God, $1?
Can I just tell you, since I’ve been home, we haven’t missed one payment! Not one bill! Everything has been paid and ON TIME! Can you believe that?!?! Me neither 🙂
God has provided me with side jobs that I can do AT HOME and some even WITH my family, or a few around my husband’s schedule! God has provided my husband with PLENTY of extra side jobs. It amazes me how we make it every month!
Has our lifestyle had to change? YOU BET! Do we eat out as much or as nice as we used to? NO WAY! Have things had to be put aside? YUP! But am I with my boys? YES! And let me tell you, I didn’t realize how much this would truly change our family.
I am HAPPY! I feel more successful than ever! I feel like a good wife and mother! God has taught me sooo much, and continues to daily. I enjoy changing the diapers… it’s a mindset 😉 (that i remind myself often!) I love preparing their lunches! It no longer feels like a “job” or inconvenience. I get to go to all the fun outings and see ALL of the firsts! Even the little ones! I take the pictures and post them on Facebook. I get to take care of my family! I’m learning how to teach and discipline my children. I didn’t realize I was missing this by being away so much.
This entry is already way too long, so I will post soon about how we really survive. My MANY forms of income! Every $1 helps. And the ways I save my family money. Are you interested in learning how I make money and still stay home with my kids? See my post Show Me The Money!