Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Being a stay at home mom was my first career choice

I decided to become a stay at home mother when I was four years old. The reason was because I simply hated to watch my mother prepare to leave to go to work in the mornings. I witnessed this on the days that my Dad was home, due to working the night shift. I also hated daycare. It was a cold, uninviting environment that I dreaded going to. Added to the fact that my daycare teacher was a mean old lady with a perpetual frown on her face. I just hated being there. My experience hating daycare, and being separated from my mother made me want to become a stay at home mother.

Throughout my school years, I pondered various career paths that would be compatible with motherhood. A career that would provide a great deal of flexibility, since I knew that I wanted to stay home upon the arrival of my children. I excelled in school, and was accepted to my number one choice for college, a top university that was about thirty minutes from my home.

Even learning and fellowshipping among some of the nation’s brightest students did nothing to dim my desire to eventually be a stay at home mother. However, it was not something that I would broadcast to others. There was a young woman, though, who was very bold about saying that she wanted to be a homemaker. She had no desire to pursue a career. All she wanted to do was get married and stay at home with her children. Ironically, no one I knew derided her comments. I guess, because secretly, many other young women desired the exact same thing. We admired that she felt confident enough to express such an old-fashioned sentiment on a modern, liberal college campus.

Upon graduation, I became an English teacher, and taught for four years. I wish I had used this time more wisely, and focused on paying off as much of my student loans as possible. But, I didn’t. For one of my loans, for every year that I taught, they cancelled fifteen percent of the loan. That helped tremendously. On the other loan, I paid the minimum amount each month, instead of putting as much money as I could toward paying it off.

Since the birth of my son almost 10 months ago I have mainly been a stay at home mother. Not, that I’m in the financial position to do so, but I chose and continue to choose to walk in faith. For four months I worked part-time as a teacher assistant. I rationalized that it was not as stressful a job as being a full-time teacher. No papers to come home and grade. Not leaving earlier to make sure that my lesson plans for the day went smoothly. But, then my husband’s schedule changed, and going to work part-time would mean putting my son in daycare part-time. That was not an option. So, I quit.

Since that time, I have been praying fervently to God to open up doors to earn money from home, and He has been faithful to supply opportunities. Sometimes I get frustrated, because I’m not reaching my financial goals yet with working from home, but I’m gradually getting there. I realize that nothing is worth me leaving my children in the care of others. God blessed me to have a child and another on the way, and I choose to be the keeper at home that He has called me to be, even when it feels like maybe I should return to working outside the home for financial reasons.

This journey has been a wonderful learning experience, and I have gained greater faith in God and have realized that any dream or goal can come true if you are willing to work hard and sacrifice for it.

41 comments:

Mrs. Wayne Hunter said...

Hi!

I found your blog by following a link from Ladies Against Feminism.

About making money from home - instead of looking for a job to do how about becoming more resourceful and saving money? I am not sure if you do this already, but if not, here are just a few ways to do this:

Grow a garden. It's amazing the money you can save doing this.

Shop for and cook with mostly only "staple" items (flour, oil, tomato paste, honey, etc.).

Save on gas by staying home most of the time.

Another thing to consider, and this can come with some costs to
a marriage is for your husband to take a second job. You are pregnant, you have a little one, and you need to be home. There are definitely some things to prepare for if a husband works a second job, but it is his responsibility (if you're Christians) to provide for and protect you, as you are the weaker of the two according to Scripture. Anyway, there is so much to explain about what I've commented on that I welcome you to e-mail me personally or call me (collect is fine): waynenikkih@yahoo.com,
(907)-488-3784.

Most sincerely,
Mrs. Wayne Hunter

Kacie said...

Excellent post! I'm a homemaker now, and will stay at home with our child when he or she is born later this year. Thriving on one modest income is very doable!

Perhaps you can work from home as a tutor or edit college student's papers.

Best wishes!

Michelle Potter said...

Excellent post! It very much echoes my own experience, although I never finished college.

Growing up I hated daycare, and I secretly longed to stay at home with my children one day. I watched reruns of old TV shows like The Dick Van Dyke Show, and wished I'd been born in a time when all mothers stayed home. Like you, I sought a career that would allow me to be at home with my children as much as possible -- I also intended to be an English teacher.

But my heart was never really in it, and when I had an excuse to leave college, I did. BTW, if either of your student loans came from the government, you may look into deferrals that will allow you to postpone paying them and maybe even have them forgiven altogether. My loan payments were postponed several times due to my "inability" to work because of being pregnant, and eventually the debt was erased. (Interestingly, I didn't ask for that. I couldn't afford to make the payments so the loan officers offered it.)

S. Belle said...

Thank you ladies for stopping by. Mrs. Hunter- I appreciate the helpful advice. I've been thinking about growing a garden. My husband has been thinking about getting a second job, so we'll see how that works out.

Kacie- best wishes to you as well as you continue to be a homemaker, and congrats on your upcoming arrival.

Michelle Potter- I will definitely look into seeing if my loans can get postponed. What a blessing that would be!:)

Anonymous said...

Girls (I'm in my 50's and when someone calls us girlsat this age...it's a compliment), or should I say young Ladies, I CHEER you on!!!!!! Being a stay at home wife and mom has so many benefits/blessings. Pray for direction, wisdom, guidance and above all else GOD's LOVING FAVOR. God will show you the way to live in His will for you as a stay at home woman. Use the Public Library for movie check-outs, books, music and back issues of your favorite magazines. Many Libraries have excellent kids toys/books to use. Form a friendship circle and exchange already owned media items as well as children and adult clothing swaps. Thrift Shops for all kinds of bargain buys. Attend a local Church's Ladies Group for monthly Coffees/Teas, Fellowship Circles and Bible Studies that provide child care so you can have some get away time with other females going thru similar situations. Use the envelope method for paying bills and sticking a little spending money on the side. Don't feel deprived when doing without so much material stuff...remember the blessings you have in the United States of America. Rise up and call yourself blessed. A wonderful time to stretch your creative bone.
It may sound old fashion, but consider taking ironing in. Do a superior job and advertise your service. Take laundry in to do for others that don't want to be bothered doing this. Consider preparing desserts for a price or entire meals. Childcare in your own home. Advertise providing (for a price) evening childcare for a few tykes while other over worked mommies/daddies have a date. God Bless You real GOOD, Deanna

Anonymous said...

Hi there! What a wonderful post. I'm also a teacher and a SAHM. I just wanted to share some links for some work at home jobs in case you want to look into them. These are test grading jobs, teaching, and tutoring from home jobs.

http://www.nexuslearning.net/teachfornexus.htm

http://www.flexiblescoring.pearson.com/index.cfm?a=cat&cid=1408

http://www.tutor.com/

http://www.esylvan.com/About/AboutCareersTeachers.aspx

Anonymous said...

Hi nice post! I have been home with our children for 7 yrs. One of the biggest moneysavers is to STAY HOME as much as possible.Do all your errands in one day. Days when you need to have some fun, go to the library and the playground, they are free and there is no temptation to spend there.
Angie

lindseywheelerfaith@yahoo.com said...

I'm about to go to work for alpineaccess.com and it truly is a job from home (not a con your family into buying useless things project). You must go through a paid training program and all w-4 & I-9 paperwork must be filled out. You make an hourly wage. I'd check it out. They have part time and full time positions.

S. Belle said...

I greatly appreciate the helpful websites that have been mentioned. I will check them out right now.

Persuaded said...

wonderful post my dear! i am a single mom, homeschooling and staying home with my darling children. like you i trained to be a teacher, and like you i am home even though financially it isn't the "wise" thing to do. i did work outside of the home for a few years when my dh first left, but found that the cost to my children was just too dear. budget wise it is a daily struggle, but otherwise things are soooo much better with me home there is just no comparison!

i applaud you in your choice and encourage you to lean heavily upon the Lord. I believe He wants us at home with our children, and He will make it work. ((hugs)) to you!

ky frugal mom said...

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Blessings!

Cynthia Berenger said...

Dear S. Belle,

Good for you! I admire your moral courage and diligence!

I second what Mrs. Hunter had to say. There is much you can do to practice thrift that may preclude your "at home" return to the workforce.

My DDIL (a mother with older children) works for one of the companies that an anonymous poster mentioned, and while she does earn about $200 a month, she reports that the students she tutors are shockingly rude. Do you really need that tension in your home with two little ones?

Possibilities with the student loans: I had huge student loan balances as I was in college for twelve years (not a typo, not hyperbole). My balance was in the six figures. My darling, wonderful DH consolidated my and his student loans, got the company to accept a percentage of his income, and paid the things off before our sixth wedding anniversary (next month). Perhaps something to consider?

You're in our thoughts and prayers.

Agape always,
Mrs. Berenger

jjsmom said...

As a SAHM for 15 years, I can say that even though it doesn't seem like it, it is much easier to save than to try to worry about making money. I strongly recommend the "Tightwad" series of books by Amy Dacyzyn (sp). These books contain countless ways to trim your budget. I think they may be out of print, though I have seen them on eBay and in the library. The first place to start is with your grocery bill. As others have said, cook from scratch. Avoid convenience, processed, and packaged foods. Start a garden or get to know a nearby produce stand (bargain with them!). Drink tap water or homemade iced tea instead of soda. Make homemade popcorn instead of expensive chips. Have homemade oatmeal every other day instead of cold, boxed cereal. If must go out, pack sandwiches and snacks for you and the kids instead of a drive-thru.
As a veteran, I've learned so much by trial and error and I've made tons of financial and personal mistakes. I attempted to return to the workforce in 1999. It did not work out. I missed my home, my daughter, I was stressed, exhausted, and miserable. My hubby threatened divorce if I did not quit. The extra income was NOT worth it. For me (and most moms I believe)there is no place like home.

Anonymous said...

Without a paycheck no job is a choice. My christian Mother made such a choice. She was left with eight girls to fed, clothe, house and educate with no income. (no SS he didn't die, he just left) If she hadn't gone to work in a factory "the church" would have watched us starve to death. How can we christian and not together get a stay at home parent paycheck?

Mia said...

Hi!
I stumbled across your blog from a link and really like it!
I think its so sweet that you wanted to be a homemaker since you were 4. I think God puts that desire in all of us early on. Thanks for the great post!

--Mia

Terry, Ornament of His Grace said...

It's been a while since I popped in here. And I actually saw this post linked on LAF. Anyway, I totally agree with you on the daycare issue and am pleased that so many moms were able to provide resources to help you toward achieving your goal.

Christine said...

I also was convicted to stay home with my children, as a direct consequence of attending daycare. Blessings!

Sarah said...

Hi,

Like some of the other ladies here, I found you through LAF. Like you, I dreamed of being a stay home mom from a young age, though my own mom worked. When I was 8 or 9 I wanted to have 12 kids! And that was before I knew the Lord!

I am now blessed to have 2 little ones (3 & 1 1/2) and another due in a few weeks. It is tight financially, but I believe that the Lord blesses us with these children, so He will also bless us with the means to provide for them. My husband received an amazing raise last year that has enabled us to pay the bills. I would like to earn a little money from home to contribute, but the Lord has not yet opened any doors. Let Him lead and He will provide.

We save money by having only one vehicle. My husband works an hour away and often works 10 or more hours a day. I do all my shopping & errands on the weekends or before he goes to work (he works evenings). Even so, not having a car has not been the terrible inconvenience I thought it would be!

I also cloth diaper our 1 yr old daughter part time, which helps, and plan to cloth diaper our newborn son too.(Our 3 yr old is potty trained, praise God!)

As others have mentioned, cooking more from scratch has really helped too. And planning meals for the week ahead of time has enabled me to do that. (I never used to be much of a planner!)

Trust in Him. He will make a way where there seems to be no way! May God richly bless you & your growing family.

Sincerely,
Mrs. Sarah Cleaver

Anonymous said...

Your story was beautiful. It brought tears to my eyes and touched my heart with the truth of the divinity of mothers. Thank you so much for sharing.

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wordsmith said...

Greetings !
I found your b-log by following a link from Ladies Against Feminism

I am Founder of a Translation, Localization and Cross Cultural Consulting agency (www.wordsmithcommunication.com) whose each and every member work from home.

You can explore this area of translation, review, editing which can all be done from home as a freelancer basis

best wishes

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