Thursday, April 29, 2010

Endless Ramblings on Becoming a SAHM

Grab a cup of coffee or tea before you begin reading this post. It's a long one full of big issues and serious questions. I bet some of you can relate completely, so although seemingly endless, I think this post is worth reading :-)

Remember the other day how I wrote about babies because they were really on my mind? I thought writing that post would get some of my thoughts out in the open, and then I could move on to something else. However, that is not what happened. Instead, it caused me to think constantly about babies and what was keeping me from having them :-P

I decided that the #1 thing keeping Luke and I from having babies is......MONEY.

I know people say things like, "You will never be ready, so don't wait until you are!" Or "Don't put off having a baby just because you are worried about money." But I feel like we are just trying to be responsible and not naive.

I really do believe that if I continued to work at my job and Luke continued at his, combined with the money we make through our apartments, we would be financially ready to have a baby. (Or at least we would be if our car wasn't cursed and we didn't have all the payments from the repairs!) But the big problem with that is that I don't want to keep my job when we have a baby. And without my income, we would really be struggling. Ugh. Stupid money.

I find myself brainstorming really ridiculous ideas of how to find another way to make money, besides working out of the home.

I have seriously considered becoming a medical transcriptionist so I could eventually work from home (not so ridiculous I guess)

I've thought about baby-sitting in my own home, only for people who work 9-5 type jobs. Then I could just watch other people's kids while I watch my own. Maybe my best idea, but I just don't know anybody who needs a baby-sitter like that. However, I've just convinced myself that this may be something to look into.

I've thought about getting my degree in writing and trying to do freelance work. I don't think I'm really that great of a writer aside from writing my own thoughts in this blog. So I probably wouldn't make much money doing that, and I'd have to pay for school, too.

I have thought about things we could give up to make up for the money we would be losing...Netflix, umm...Cable, internet, phone, food...yeah, that would probably do it :-P (obviously not going to work!)

I could start my own Etsy shop! I could sell, ummm, not sure yet. Maybe this isn't my best idea!

We could buy another house and rent it out! Except, where are we going to find money for a down payment? And how are we going to afford another mortgage and still make money from the rent?

We could move out of our apartment (which is a part of the house we own...there are three apartments in our house), and live in some teeny tiny little apartment that we'd barely have to pay any rent on, and then rent out our current apartment which we could probably charge a pretty penny for after all the work we've put into it. But I don't really want to raise a baby in a tiny little apartment, not ever knowing when we'd be able to move out.

We could become Amish. Definitely my most ridiculous idea yet. And I'm not serious just in case any of you were wondering :-P

It's just all very frustrating. Growing up I was always encouraged to go to college! Get a job! Be successful! And I'm not saying that those things are bad things at all. I'm so glad I got a college education, and I'm equally glad that I've gotten the opportunity to have a job out in the real world for the past three years.

When I started college, I wasn't in a serious relationship. I didn't know when/if I'd ever get married. All I could see in front of me was my immediate future: college/becoming a teacher.

Then Luke came into my life right before my second year of college. I knew pretty quickly that I wanted to marry him, but still never questioned my future. I'd be a teacher. That was that.

Around the time we got engaged and I was doing my student teaching, it hit me. Wait, what's going to happen when we have kids? Who is going to baby-sit them? How long will I be allowed to take off for maternity leave? What if I want to stay at home with them forever and never return to work?

I brushed off all of these questions, thinking that kids were still in my distant future. I would just cross that bridge when I came to it.

Luke and I got married, and periodically discussed our timeline and when we wanted to have kids. I started to realize that maybe kids weren't quite as far off as they had seemed when we were engaged. I started thinking about them more and more.

The first time the thought of being a stay-at-home mom crossed my mind, I was almost ashamed. I had been taught by my teachers, family, and society that you went to school, got a job, built a career. And that is just what you are supposed to do. I never questioned it or thought about it.

The more I let myself think about and research being a stay-at-home mom, I realized that it is NOT a bad thing. God made women to be nurturers. We are called to take care of our families and raise them up in His ways. There is no reason to be ashamed of wanting to be a stay-at-home mom! It is a noble thing, and I think it is what God has called us to (maybe not all of us. I don't want to judge anyone who doesn't want to be a SAHM. There is certainly nothing wrong with wanting to provide for your family by working outside the home either!)

I hate, though, how standards have changed so much in our society. Sometimes I wish it was still the 50s! Then it would be normal to be a stay-at-home mom. It wouldn't be such a struggle. Maybe women were slightly oppressed back then, but I think the pendulum has swung way too far in the other direction now. Now we are almost too liberated, and we are not able to stay at home with our families if we want to.

My sister and I have had a certain discussion before, and I'm going to share it here. First of all, you should know that politically, we don't agree on ANYTHING. And we do agree on this one thing. So that should tell you something. Anyway, we were both talking about how, after the feminist movement, women almost HAVE to work outside the home to provide for the standard of living that we all want to have. We are expected and trained, for the most part, to get jobs and have careers. Now think if we all gave up some of the luxuries in life and the women all quit their jobs and went home to solely care for their families. If they wanted to, that is. How many jobs would that open up for men?? There are so many people who need jobs. If you really think about it, since so many of us women have entered the workforce in the past 50 years, so many more jobs are needed for people to fulfill! There are not enough jobs right now for the people who need/want them. If more of us women had stayed home to take care of our families through the years, I wonder if our economy would be where it is today? I hope I'm making sense. And I'm probably making myself sound really ignorant, because I don't really know what I'm talking about. But it made sense to me and my sister.

I guess what I'm saying is, I'm just mad that we went from a society where women couldn't work, at least in certain jobs, to a society where women can't NOT work. I know there are exceptions. But I know sooo many women who have to work a full-time job and would much rather be at home with their kids. Or women like me who desparately want to have babies and be stay-at-home moms, almost more than we want to BREATHE, and it just doesn't seem possible.

I'm going to leave it at that for this evening. And I'm going to go and keep praying that God just somehow plops an opportunity right into our laps one of these days to make everything possible. He can do it!

Sorry for the length of this post. You deserve some kind of award if you made it all the way through that ;-)


  1. Wonderful post!!!

    I completely agree with you! The feminist movement seemed more focused on the work world, not on families. We as women can only be full time at one thing: raising our children and caring for our families OR working. Some people say you can do both. I don't see how that is possible.

    I am currently reading Mommy Wars. It is a really interesting book. I just finished Dr. Laura's book called In Praise of Stay at Home Moms...such a good book!

  2. Thanks so much for posting all of this! I have been thinking many of the same thoughts, related to staying home. I always thought I'd be a working mom, but now I'm not so sure. I'm taking a year off of school to see if staying home is what works the best for our family but I think I'd still like to work part-time eventually. I may be calling on you for your babysitting skills because we'll be living in that area (WB school district).

    I enjoy your posts, and I look forward to hearing more of your processing!

  3. That's tough. God really worked on my heart over the past year or so, about adjusting my "standard of living," to a way that I COULD be a SAHM. And now, I couldn't ever even conceive of all the money that we would waste if we both had jobs. I mean, my husband makes about 1/2 of what you make, and we are living off of that. And we're happy. And we have a beautiful life.And we have food and internet. And whenever God chooses to bless us with a child, it will be in His timing, not mine.

    Just my thoughts. Also, you REALLY need to read Start Your Family by Candice and Steve Watters. It changed my perspective on waiting until things were perfect or even waiting until I wasn't naive and was "responsible."

  4. God provides and he always will. If you follow his will for your life and prayerfully seek him he will provide.

  5. Great post! It always help putting your thoughts into words. God will lead you two to the perfect place financially for your family. He knows the desires of your heart. I take such peace in that!

  6. It's really sad to see that some women have put their careers and even their standard of living before their children.

    Really, if you look at the numbers, by the time women work, pay for gas to and from work, pay for work clothes, pay for child care plus more meals eating out since they don't feel like cooking after working all it really worth it? Do they make that much after it is all said and done? {I'm sure some do..but most probably don't]

    I used to work with a woman who said she worked solely to pay for her child's daycare. How sad is that? Working only to put your child in daycare. Broke my heart. :(

    I think that's what I love about not having worked for 9 months after Andrew and I married. I found that if I shop sales, use coupons, and spend our money wisely that we can not only survive on one income, but thrive on his income alone.

    When it really comes down to the bottom is what is most important to you. I'm so glad there has never been a question in our marriage whether or not I would stay home once we have children. We have never discussed it - we've both always known how it would be. Our children are important enough to us {well, they will be when they get here ;) } that we are willing to sacrifice for them. Even if that means they won't have all the fancy gadgets and gizmos that everyone else their age will have.

    Wow. that turned into a post in itself. lol ;)

  7. GOOD DISCUSSION! I have struggled with this time and time again... I always said, Can I get my degree in being a SAHM? Ha. They don't have classes on that... although they should ;)

    I am currently in school to get a degree, then have babies, and maybe one day use it again? I had a realization the other day that GOD WILL PROVIDE. Yes, we need to use wisdom. Yes, his timing is the BEST, but if we are trusting him and living by faith... why is this area the one that we struggle with the most?

    God brought 2 opportunities into my path.
    1. Health and Wellness at home buisness
    2. My Photography

    I know he is preparing us for that season and I'd love to share with you the potential of the at home biz. I know that God would want us to be blessed AND bless others... :) That's what it is all about! Email me!

    Thank you for discussing this, because it is such a MAJOR issue. Our world has flipflopped since the 1950's and you know what WE COULD BE THE CHANGE, right??? Us blogger women unite as SAHM's!! I say right now I am a WSAHM (wanna-be-stay-at-home-mom) ;)

    Bless you!

  8. LOVE you all! You guys are so encouraging and make me realize that I am not alone, and God will provide and make it happen! Thank you for your words of wisdom :-)

  9. Hey Jessica! I promise I did not read this post, before writing my recent fertility post! Ha! I'm with you in that I want to be a stay-at-home mom, but right now we need my income. However, I've decided not to let that be something that causes us to wait to have children. There is no guarantee of when we won't need my income, and I'd rather have a baby and pay a family member to be my day-time nanny, than to wait to have to wait too long until we no longer need my income. I know the Lord knows that I want to stay at home, and we're praying that when we have a baby He'll work that out for us, so we're just trusting in Him to work that aspect out, instead of letting it stop us from having a baby. And if I have to work for a little while, so be it. Although I am blessed with a job where I'd only have to work two days a week, so that helps.
    That said, I commend you for wanting to be a SAHM, and I think it IS a godly desire to want to stay home with our children! I think He knows that, and He'll provide a way. My mom had to work for a while after she had me, but she hated leaving me at daycare, and the Lord opened doors for her to stay at home with us. Alot of people thought she was silly for doing that, but it was a HUGE blessing to us kids. I've always wanted to be a SAHM mom, and it's encouraged in my family - and alot of my friends are Stay at home Wives, which is unheard of these days. Anyway, my point is that alot of women still do stay at home, and I think that even if you have to work at first, the Lord does bless that desire to stay at home, and He can provide a way. So don't be discouraged!
    Wow, that was long - sorry! :-)


Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment! I read and appreciate each and every one. Blessings to you!