Hello Moms! I have a question for those who have experienced this with a successful ending. I am currently working an AMAZING fulltime job with wonderful benefits for my family & I. I am the one sustaining our life right now in most ways because of this job. My husband plans on finishing school soon & getting a great job before or after that. So here's the dilemma: I have a year (give or take) from now before hopefully a future #2 baby arrives (we plan on TTC end of this year/beginning of next). I want to be able to stay home with my two children desperately. It is what my heart, gut, soul tell me contstantly!! I did get my BA & hopefully would like to get my MA some day, I did want to work a wonderful job (which I have), make a difference, etc.......but since becoming a mom I feel like my purpose is to be that, yes for all my life of course, but also for right now while they are young. To be at home with them & raise them. I brought my son into this world by choice, it should me me who raises & cares for him not others (besides daddy). Once they are all in school & I have the day to myself, yes I can work outside of the home again. No Problem. I am preparing slowly in my mind & in reality of ways to save, cut back, or be frugal to help not having my job. Yes I can even look into being a nanny at home for one or two other children to help financially, even work from home of I could find something (but those won't necessarily make as much or provide benefits). So my question is how do I walk away from a great job to pursue this despite what others might think??
I see family & friends who manage to do it, so why can't I? Maybe they have less bills or debt, etc. but again why can they do it & not me? : ( I'm planning on trying a different parenting approach when #2 arrives & with my first child too, to be more connected & closer (i.e. attahcment parenting & all that goes along with it), and that seems very hard when I work a 8+ hour a day with little time only in morning & nights or days off.
Please tell me your experience or give me advice or ideas on making this possible! Thank you so much mommies!! : ) Hey worst come to worst I'm going to keep the job for my family's sake of course, but it won't be what I necessarily want and I know life isn't fair, but for a mom not to be with her kids can be more than unfair, but cruel...sad.
I had a good job with great benefits and was doing really well when I unexpectedly became pregnant with my first. My husband was still in school and was working full time as well. We did a lot of discussing and crunching numbers and things and we both knew that we wanted me to be at home with our children (they were just coming sooner than we had expected). Half way through my pregnancy my husband lost his job. He searched for months and couldn't find anything but a part time minimum wage job. Yes we worried but I knew I wouldn't be able to leave my baby to go back to work. We prayed A LOT. I took my 6 of maternity leave the week I had our baby and the day we brought our baby home from the hospital my husband got a call from someone he had sent his resume to and they offered him a great job right there on the phone! It ended up being a great job that he worked at full time while going to school full time for the next 2 years until he finished his program. It was a total miracle that I believe came straight from heaven. We are now expecting surprise baby number 3 and I am still at home. We've had our ups and downs and sometimes aren't sure we'll make it through the month but the biggest reason that we are able to make it through is that we simply live with in our means and we NEVER use credit cards. We have only a little educational debt. Other than that we live very frugally and we love it! I love staying home with our kids and my husband feels good about his kids being with someone he loves and trusts, not to mention having to pay someone a large portion of his paycheck every month. We have been very blessed. I know the same blessings are available to anyone that asks for them :) Good luck with everything!
Thank you so much for your reply. My husband too has had job issues throughout our marriage, so I completely understand there. He recently had a serious accident at his new job that was out of his control & has lost his job, so he has been at home watching our son & wants to start school again in January to work on getting his degree to get that "great" job. In the mean time I hope he does find a descent job to sustain us if I were to stay home. I also pray, a lot, for a miracle to stay at home with my kids in the future. I know God will provide if that is where I am meant to be. I believe it to be true. We have time to plan & prepare to live within our means & frugally. I truly hope it can happen, my husband wants me to keep this job because it is so good with benefits and I do enjoy it, but he doesn't understand that everything in my heart & soul wants to be home after #2. Working a great job & money are not the most important things in life by any means. I have one life to live & my children will only be young for such a short time, I can always go back to FT work later. It was my choice to be a mom, our choice, so let me be one!! lol. So I just pray that it can happen & will keep working at it until the final descision would have to be made. Thank you again & any prayers are welcome! I send mine to you & yours : )
You can do it! Keep in mind, you will never, never regret raising your kids. I have 3 and am pregnant with my 4th. I recently had a dear friend come to me and ask if when she and her husband have a baby (going to start trying next summer) if I would be her "day care." I just smiled, since she isn't even pregnant yet I wasn't worried too much. But when we got into the car, I looked at my husband (who was seeing nothing but dollar signs) and said, there is no way I could do it - the thought exhausted me! And here is why. Baby would be at my house M-F 6:45am-4:30pm. I KNOW what I put into my kids especially between ages 2-4 - emotionally, spiritually, the worries, the tears, understanding each one of their personalities - challenges and strengths, correcting them, correcting me, PATIENCE beyond reason - and I couldn't possibly do it for anyone else or deny them that chance to grow for themselves and with their children. We struggle financially mostly because my husband should have had a promotion 3.5 years ago and because of the economy he is still at lower base pay (he is a pilot at a regional airline). We both have our 4 year degrees - my husband is in school still, going for an associates in business and another drafting certificate - mostly to put off our giant (I mean GIANT - being a pilot costs bucko-bucks because in theory you make good money - we're still waiting for that part!! :o) student loans. He also works construction on the side. We are patiently awaiting the day when he upgrades to captain or moves on to a major airline and we can finally start our "plan" we had hoped for 3.5 years ago. But in the interim, we have had to be very frugal and it has been a good thing. Craigslist is my best friend. In fact, deal hunting is so much fun! As can be selling things you don't use any more. We refinanced this summer which saved us $200/month. Our cars are midlife - not new, not last leg. I don't shop for new clothes much. I hit the sales rack for the kiddos end of season and have come to love a little up-scale consignment store near my sister-in-law's for myself. We keep our heat low in the winter and only turn the AC on in the summer when it is unbearable. We fix things ourselves (helps that the husband is super handy - if you or yours isn't, maybe one of your friends are handy and they can make some extra cash on the side but you're not paying $80/hr for a plumber!). We don't have cable (a digital antenna for the roof doesn't cost very much at Best Buy and we get several channels for free). I only fill up my gas tank 2-2.5 times a month. I have a meager food budget (those are the hardest since food and gas prices are so crazy) but it is possible to still eat healthy. We have a small garden in the summer (great learning tool for kids - wish I had space for a big one!) and can some items like pickles and also produce we get for cheap from local growers like squash, corn, and fruit. You could also freeze fresh produce if you have the space. Whatever the sacrifices are that you'll have to make or skills you'll have to learn to make it work - remember what is priceless. Sitting snuggled on the couch reading stories to your babies, making them meals, deciphering toddler babble/talk, figuring out how to discipline them with love and patience, heck even wiping their behind and runny noses because it means you love them unconditionally! Some of my most precious times with my little ones are diaper changes - no kidding. I love to kiss their feet and bellies. It brings us both so much joy and I know it is for but a brief time. Good luck with whatever path you end up taking! You are a wonderful mom and you will do wonderful things! :o)
Thank you so much for your wonderful reply Rachael!! I can relate in many ways. With the job stuff & student loans haha (going on to get my masters & my husband going further with his education would delay them (a good idea to keep in mind)......but it would increase the loans too lol). Oh I definitely don't blame you for not wanting to take on more children to care for, you have your hands full! My parents had 4 kids so I understand about big families compared to the average smaller families these days. I thought about watching 1-2 kids after my 2nd to help us financially, but probably wouldn't do it after #3 haha. As I said above I am already moving my mind set towards frugal ways and I recently discovered thrift & consignment stores to purchase a fall/winter wardrobe for my 2 yr. old and I LOOVVEED it!!! : ) lol I told my husband this is how we are shopping from here on out, for clothes at least & other stuff too! I did couponing for awhile last year but stopped for the most part. I will definitely get back into that! We do try & sell stuff we don't use anymore or get stuff off of freecycle even yardsales. The grocery & non-food budget will be my task to come. I need to try & get it as low as possible. I spend about $100 or less a week (give or take) on a family of 3. I can do way better & cut it in half for a future family of four!! I know it : ) Just have to really work on it. If I do stay at home there won't be as much driving (like going back & forth to work) so that will save gas. Yes we try & save energy in the house (lights, A/C, heat, etc.) and will do so even more if I stay home. Plus going very eco-friendly in the household (which I'm working towards more & more) will help save money BIG time & be good to the envrionment : ) Win-win! Yes I got to stay home with my son for about 10 1/2 months after he was born than went back to work PT for about 3-4 months than it's been FT since. I know it is all worth it to be blessed to stay home & those moments are so precious and to be treasured. The good always out weighs the bad! : ) Thank you again so much for your story & encouragement. Good luck with #4 and God Bless you and yours!! Hope the hubby hits the big time after he's done with more schooling, sounds like he's worked very hard for it! : )
The important thing is to simplify your life. In our modern world, we think we need so much more than we really do. I was reading anthropological books when I was pregnant about how other cultures, like tribal cultures raise babies and children. So much of marketed baby stuff creates not only physical clutter but mental clutter as well. The most important things you can give your children have no monetary value. Remember that the hours of your life are what you are giving to your children, which are really priceless but can have a monetary value only if you decide they do. Don't think about having money for the future, that you must save up for his 'education' for you are in the early years building his character by being with him every moment as he grows. The future will take care of itself if you have given importance to the now. As you spend the hours of the day with your children, you are building something together with them, you are shaping how they relate to and communicate with the world, they are learning unconditional love, which is much more than any stranger/caretaker acquaintance (except for a super rare few) could do. Our society has taught us that if we are not making money we don't have value, and it is a tough mental concept to overcome. I would often worry for a year if by staying home with him was really making any difference in his life like I hoped it was. Then one day we were at the park and he just gave me a look, it sounds so simple, but it was in that instant with an expression on his face full of love and maturity and happiness and understanding, and I just KNEW he had got that way all those moments we had spent together when it seemed like nothing was happening! I have never doubted again about my decision. Though of course, we don't have as much money as others (but with time you will not miss it). We have one car, although we live in a city great for walking and biking with so much for kids close by. We live very frugally, we buy food like beans and grain in bulk then vegetables weekly (no meat). I don't buy into the expenses of a normal woman, I don't have much cosmetics but I don't need them as they are harmful anyway. I have found that the best thing is to live in harmony with nature. When you live simply, the important things just stand out and you don't get confused anymore. Even education can be a debt net. Remember that education is an act of will, not a business exchange. Many millionaires learned their stuff from life experience and not in a classroom. Everyone has their own goals though and knows the best way to achieve them. Ask yourself the question, what is really important to me? And don't hesitate, just start making a list as the thoughts come. Then look over it and you may be surprised about what is on the list. Everything will work itself out if you just relax your mind, declutter, and keep a positive attitude! Society has taught us that the more stuff we have, the more fulfilled or complete we'll be. But the opposite has been true in my experience. The more simplified you become, the happier you become. "Do not educate your child to be rich. Educate him to be happy. So that when he grows up he'll know the value of things and not the price."
Thank you Heidi for you insightful response : ) What you say is so true. I have always said money is not the most important thing in life. I did not grow up rich by any means, quite the opposite actually. I am not rich now either, far from it. I value what really is important in life and truly appreciate what I do have (and I'm not just talking about "stuff "). You can't take any of it with you as we all know and you get one life to live on earth, so we should all make the most of it with what really matters. That's why I do want to stay home. Yes I have a great job that pays well with benefits, it's stressfree, easy going, and I do enjoy it. I was truly blessed to get it & have it since my husband has struggled over time. But it is not what matters to me most in the scheme of life. My children will only be so young for such a short time. I can always go back to work later on and work until I retire if need be, what's 5 or so years of my life?? To have the opportunity to be with & raise these beautiful people I chose to bring into the world. Makes sense right? Unfortunately not to a lot in a captialist driven country-as you say. Our country does have it quite backwards compared to the rest of the world when it comes to family/domestic life, motherhood, & children because from the founding of this nation it's been about gaining that power, independence, & wealth. Those things however are far from being the most important. Yes we all unfortunately need to make a living to survive-but we can do on less as you were saying, we can make it work without being so wealthy. It's easier of course with a cleanier slate (without a lot of debt or bills), but it can be doable. I am finding that moving towards a more simpler, frugal, & eco-friendly way of life is nicer : ) I am totally fine with it. My husband & I aren't the materialistic type so it's no biggie. It's interesting what you have to say on the "simple" life & of other cultures. If you don't mind suggesting some resources or those books you read-I'd definitely look into them : ) Thanks again for your advice!