I’ve been told, “You are so lucky you can stay at home with your children!” I would have to agree. I am blessed to be at home full-time. But it wasn’t always that way, and it wasn’t luck that brought me here!
In the eight years that I’ve been married our average income has been $35,000 /yr gross. Some of our “leaner” years we were living pretty close to (if not under) the poverty line. And on this income we’ve had three C-section births each costing $10-$12K out-of-pocket. However, I don’t know that I’ve ever felt poor, even when Jesse made a huge career shift that sent him from earning $27/hr to $10/hr.
The big career/income change meant that one of us would have to get another job. We had a two-year old and a newborn at the time. Jesse tried to find a second job with no luck, so we decided I would look for a part-time job working nights and weekends. Our goal was that one of us would always be home with the kids. Even though I have a four-year degree, I swallowed my pride that said I was too good to work retail or fast-food, and took an oh-so-glamorous job waiting tables 3nights/wk and every weekend. It was not easy, but it was an important step in getting me my dream job: being full-time-stay-at-home-mom extraordinaire.
It wasn’t easy being away from home five days a week, but as I worked my appreciation for every dollar earned (both by me and Jesse) deepened! I earned cash tips and thus paid cash for all our household expense. And I watched much more carefully where each of those dollars went. Each time Jesse got a raise, I cut back on work. It finally got to the point where I just worked 2 week nights a week. After three years at the restaurant baby #4 was born, I gave my two-week notice, and I have been home ever since!
So how did we do it? It’s not complicated…but it is hard, and oh so worth it! Stay tuned for what made it all possible in Part 2!