Something about this whole stay-at-home mom deal rubbed me the wrong way recently. Just what would irk me over being a SAHM, you ask? After all, it must be so easy. Well, that is just it. It is the number of times we hear this comment: “Must be nice, but I have to work. Wish we could do that.”
Let me put it this way. You can. Yes, everyone is in their unique situation, but more than likely, you can. You see, you do not have to have the big house, busy travels, or bling in whatever form or fashion. It is about sacrifice. We sacrifice more than meets the eye so that I can simply BE THERE. How did we make it happen? We built this! This is how we did it:
Living on one income
Ten years ago, we began putting away my paycheck, and I might add, that was the bulk of our income. For several months, my pay went solely to chipping away at our debt and to an emergency fund.
We did accept my grandmother’s offer to pay off one of our smaller loans. It meant a lot to her to help us in this worthy endeavor and we were so grateful. We have also had plenty of toys, clothing, shoes, and more given to our children by their grandparents….so much that we have to request some restraint at times (but we are appreciative.)
My days are spent hanging out laundry, thawing out portions of our “cow”, collecting eggs, hoeing weeds, blanching veggies, baking, organizing for consignment and yard sales, hunting down freebies and rock-bottom prices, working on ebay, content writing, and all the while parenting. It is not glamorous or easy street, to say the least. Neither is it for everyone. But I feel a sense of accomplishment working with children in tow- plus, I sleep like a rock!
Yeah, we are “that” family at times. Grow food, slosh through chicken poo, make gifts, bring homemade sandwiches and coupons everywhere….and there is even a giant antenna on the roof for TV. We have not gone to one car or at least a clunker- yet- but I am not opposed to it. It was tough, but I gave up a fashion industry career for this. It is OK to live the simple life, in fact this is our preference.
There is no denying it: that twinge of envy when we see Disneyworld and cruise photos from friends. Drooling over big open floor plans in magazines? Guilty. And we often talk ourselves out of restaurant food, seeing as how I can make dinner for five for less than $5, easy. But we are only human, tempted by that big green monster, and we pray and life goes on.
I am there, there, there for my children. And let me be clear that I am not making any statement of any sort about working mothers. I am simply so glad we chose to take this path. We did not get to do it. We did it.
An inspirational resource I read, not once, but twice before leaving my career was Women Leaving the Workplace by Larry Burkett. I also heard that his book, The Complete Financial Guide for Young Couples has practical financial advice for living on one income.
And please do tell in the comments your thoughts on choosing the SAHM lifestyle.
No compensation was received for this post.