Monday, September 15, 2008

If you long to be here. . ..

I saw a quote on The Today Show this morning, "90% of working moms wish they were at home". That breaks my heart! Now, before I get into this. . .please re-note my feelings from my last post on this issue. I believe the decision to stay at home or work is one to be made in the context of your home, between you, your spouse and your Jesus!

However, if you are a working mom, whose longing is to be home with your children and you just don't think it's possible. . I want to give you hope. I have 4 heroes in this arena! 4 women who have chosen with much sacrifice to stay at home. 4 families that have chosen together to make this a priority. Now, I will tell you that it HAS required sacrifice. They don't eat out as much as others, the kids don't get 100 toys for their birthdays (from their parents), they don't get kids' meals every time they are at Chick Fil A and they don't have steak for dinner once a week. In fact, one of their biggest hurdles in the beginning was layout out on the line what their needs and wants were and distinguishing between the 2 (i.e. I "need" a new car or for my kid to be in gymnastics). . .but these moms would all say that the journey has actually been a pretty fun one. That watching God give them creative ideas on how to stretch their dollars and even get creative with their kids has been extremely rewarding and that their time at home nurturing their little ones has made it all worth it. You may be thinking. . yeah, but my husband only makes . . . . Let me tell you that each of these families has at one time or another contemplated their wife working full time to make ends meet. These are not families rolling in the dough and making the sacrifice of not having 2 bmw's. I will not publish their salaries here, but I will say that you would be AMAZED by how God has provided for them. . and through them!

Cassie and Jess are practically known as the CVS, Coupon Girls at our church. They have gotten their grocery budgets down to $50 a week! And Cassie has 4 kids!!! Most of their beauty and household supplies and a lot of their gifts, they actually get FREE from CVS. Yes, girls this is possible. Go on over to their sites to read more about it. . they do blog how they got there. You can also email them from their blog. I know both of them would be thrilled to help you!

Diana is another amazing woman. She doesn't have a blog, but does read them! I have watched her over years and years. She is an extremely creative woman. She can make a gift for someone out of $3! If you comment here, I'm sure she'd be willing to email you. . or even guest post here! Some of my sweetest baby and wedding gifts were from Diana.

Abby is another friend from church. This girl is all about savings! In fact, her whole blog is dedicated to it. She has the best tricks for making every dollar go farther. She is committed to good stewardship, not just to make it possible for her to stay at home. . but because handling our money wisely is a Biblical Concept!

I have many other friends who have found ways to work part time, work from home, start businesses online and so many other creative ideas. These women inspire me and I hope they do so for you as well. If you long to be at home. . .and you and your husband decide to make the leap, these girls can help. Please, again, hear that I'm not saying you HAVE to do this or I judge you for not. . .but I wanted to give hope to those women who long to be home and just can't figure out a way and don't think it's possible! God can make a way (who knew He worked through coupons, cvs and ebay!) where there seems to be no way and these women are testimonies to that! Thanks girls!


Scott and Erin said...

I saw that interview too... I was going to call you and make sure you were watching, but my jaw was on the floor, making it impossible to talk. :)

Amy Taylor said...

Very inspiring! One piece of advice I give to newlyweds-if you think you would like to stay home when you do have kids, try to live off just the husbands salary from the beginning as far as monthly expenses. Use the wife's income for vacations and "extras" that can later be cut out or modified (or put in a savings account for that emergency fund we should all have - but most don't). When I first got married, we used my income to remodel our kitchen, and do some travelling. When we had kids, we didn't need my money for "bills", because we had trained ourselves to act as if that money didn't exist (in a way).
I know this is different than what you are posting about, but thought if you have any young readers out there, it might be helpful =)

Anonymous said...

Yes, you can stay home, but again as Brandi said it should be something that God calls your family to. Steve and I struggled with this decision many years ago and we took a huge step of faith and I quit my job to stay at home with the kids. My husband made only $26,000 per year and we were a family of five. We don't have cable and until now haven't eaten out often (my food from home is better than any restaurant). I stayed at home until my daughter started kindergarten. I then managed to get scholarships and financial aid to be able to return to college. I earned my degree in math education and I am finally living a life long dream of becoming a math teacher. I have the best of both worlds. I have summers and holidays off and I am home every afternoon usually by the time my youngest gets home from school. I love that God has placed me in a position to reach more children than my own.

Also Amy Taylor's idea of living on husband's income is true. I have friend that did that and she is able to stay at home with her kids.

Brandi thanks for honoring me with your post. I have always enjoyed making gifts for you. (Especially the crosstiched barette that I made for you and Brittany when you were still in elementary school) I am glad that God blessed me with creativity and frugalness. I will be able to use these talents in my classroom too!

Love Ya!

Dianna M.

Misi said...

You know any SINGLE mom's that don't receive child support that work from home??
I know He can work miracles and my heart's desire has and always will be to stay home with my angel:(
Has not happened yet.

Faith said...

Great post Brandi! Yes, God DOES make a way if you are willing to try! We are lucky in that I haven't worked since we have been married(other than substitute teaching jobs but that was for a very small time) and so we learned very early on how to live on one income. Now that we have 6 kids we STILL have to be really careful about our budget. So, no more Starbucks coffee's once a week (more like once a month) and many other goodies that we would love to indulge in but would rather our money go elsewhere.

Amber S. said...

Wonderful post!

The Nahid Family said...

Thanks, Brandi. So true. I just want to comment as well, that I have been a stay at home mom for 8 years now, and it is rewarding but at the same time, it is extremely difficult, I think. Mainly, I have stuggled with self-worth issues, but now I feel the Lord is leading me out to some volunteer opportunities outside the home to where I can feel connected and that I am making a difference in the world, as well as with my children.

So often as stay at home moms, or just moms in general, our identity gets totally wrapped up in our children's, whether they behave or not, etc. and this isn't healthy. Just my two cents for tonight. I am not all that frugal, but truly need to be more. The Lord has always provided all that we need and more, but I need to be a better steward of that.


His Hands His Feet Today said...

Blessed to be HOME with my blessings as well :)

mommy zabs said...

Great Post Brandi. I need to get so much bette rat saving jeff money. My version of saving him money is often finding something he doesn't think I "need" on sale. And yes, I usually don't "need" it. Moms that save money like that grocery shopping amaze me. Am I too lazy or something? Maybe that is my problem. I don't know. I do need to pray to be better at this and to think of new ways and new habits to make it happen. Thanks for the post.

lifelaughterchaos said...

i saw that interview too, but i don't remember that statistic...i remember that feminist chick saying that women that work are much happier physically and emotionally than woman at home...and that once woman at home start working their happiness goes up?



i think i would go into a depression to start working now:)

Angel said...

SO TRUE! It breaks my heart to see women so torn. :0) I agree with Amy Taylor. As newlyweds my hubby was wise enough to never allow us to live off my salary. That made it easy for me to stay home when it was time. Love that smart guy of mine. Angel

Cassie - Homeschooling Four said...

Thanks for the props, girl! It has been a hard road, but definitely worth it. I also agree with Amy. Cory and I lived off of only his salary for the 1st year of our marriage (until our 1st baby). It was a good thing too. Our savings from that is what carried us through the 4 months of no income when Morgan was a baby.

Mrs. Tara said...

As a Children's Minister I can tell you first hand- I sit and listen to many moms who work outside of the home and their desire is to be at home full time. However, due to unwise decisions they are unable too. I do also get to see couples make the decision for mom to stay at home and make the transition great. The best suggestion I have seen (other than start day one following biblical principles and not get into debt) is during the preg. of their first child couples who begin to live on one income (and save the 2nd income while the mom to be is still working). Thanks for speaking boldly about this- God is using you to speak to others.