Staying at home and not being able to afford it

Natalia - posted on 07/08/2012 ( 45 moms have responded )

11

0

0

I have a inner conflict about staying home and raising my children, loving and supporting my husband and serving my church and community vs. working outside of the home full-time.

My husband is supportive of me being home but the reality is we are struggling financially. We do not pay rent or utilities and still manage to live paycheck to paycheck. We have down-sized tremendously even relocated to a small town but things are still tight; no "extra's, we rarely buy clothes, I do my own hair, we don't do trips or even outtings that cost money, I rarely go outside of our town because of gas,

When we talk about me going back to work the cost of childcare would eat up any amount of money I would make. So I try to consider working a shift where one of us would be home with the kids but then we may not see each other.

We aren't starving, we have clothes on our backs, we enjoy each other as a family but we do not want to stay in the area we are staying, hubby has a daily 2 hour commute and I am isolated. I have a business that I do, but I can only take on a few clients a month and the money isn't consistent enough to rely on financially. In order to make it a potential consistent income provider I would need to complete some certifications which costs $$$.

When I worked I always felt like I should be home, and when I am home I want to be home but worried that I should be working and that my decision to be home is keeping our family in a situation that no one is happy with.

This probably seems like a no brainer...go get a job, put the kids in daycare, pay off your debt and get in a position to move to where you want to move. This inner conflict is exhausting and takes away the joy from either decision. I feel like I am not 100% focused and fulfilling everything I should be doing with the kids while I am home with them.

Any one been here?

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Carla - posted on 07/10/2012

4,282

83

592

I think you have answered your own question, whether you realize it or not. Child care expenses are shocking! I don't know how anyone actually MAKES any money after this cost, unless you have a REALLY good job. But child care is only one expense with being out in the work force. You have to have clothes, and they're always different clothes than what you already own, so you have to buy a new wardrobe. You HAVE to have a reliable vehicle or be near transit lines, but transportation costs can be significant. Food is another cost. Even if you DO pack your own lunch (which most people do for a while, but then co-workers coerce us to go out 'just this once', and you are hooked in going to places that are expensive. Also, working moms usually end up buying easy, quick, already-prepared dinners, which are at least twice as much as making dinner from scratch. And THEN there's TAXES! Our net take-home pay, once we take out unemployment insurance, Social Security, insurance, state taxes, city taxes, federal taxes, and what is left is pretty gross!



Can you take in a child to babysit? You already KNOW what child care costs, and probably another $300 a month from that child would go a long way in paying down your debt, without leaving the home. I would caution against going on a different shift than your husband--this causes more problems than it solves, strained-marriage-wise. It doesn't make sense to work different shifts because of the strain finances are putting on your marriage just to swap it for another cause of stress.



IF you and your husband feel you are 'called' to stay home with your children, God will back you up. You may not have a big beautiful home, new cars, vacations, etc., but you have obeyed what you feel the Lord has spoken, you will find what you have gained is wayyy more than what you have lost. Been there, done that.



God bless, sweetheart. Being a woman, wife and mother brings many worries, but we are to cast all our worries on Him, for He cares for us.

Gail - posted on 07/17/2012

63

14

6

one more note... I live on a "lot", not acres in a small town. I created my landscape into an edible landscape. We didn't have money to put down on an home, but learned about a "self help' program where a group of people (government program) work together to build each others homes, called sweat equity, that was our down payment, our family and sometimes friends even helped us accomplish 40 + hours a week till construction was complete. Obviously the worked continued throughout the years in how I designed my landscape as a tool to contribute to feed my family. Sometimes I was saving grocery money to buy a fruit tree or dig up a plant that was offered.... etc. it came a variety of ways... I read organic gardening magazines for years before I ever had a home or a garden.... all of these are part of the ONE step at a time. As the Lord provided an opportunity I went forward to experience and glean where I could. Sometimes just enough info provided I had a clue how to research for sources or answers or opportunities. Watch where God is working and go there.

Sandy - posted on 07/10/2012

149

9

35

You know what is sad, no one here has said "Ask God". Have you given your worries over to Him and told Him that you will do whatever He has planned for you? Are you in a place where He wants you to trust Him and lean on Him?

I'm learning that lesson. We don't have a lot of money either. I've considered jobs, but I know that I'm not getting one because that isn't what He wants me to do and that isn't what He wants for my family.

I have anxiety over finances, but I've learned in the past few weeks to give that over to God and let Him have everything I have and He can do with it what He wants. He has since provided for us to buy a new van. I'm still nervous about making payments, but He has been faithful to us all along and I can't doubt Him now.

Anne - posted on 07/10/2012

13

0

3

You might want to consider foster parenting. It is a great way to stay home and help others at the same time. You will recieve a stipend of about 600 dollars per month per child. It is rewarding emotionally and worth looking into.

Dove - posted on 07/08/2012

6,024

0

1337

In my opinion.... if you can get by (meaning.. roof over your heads, food in your bellies, and other bare necessities) without working or being on state assistance... stay home at least until your children are in school and then look for a job you can do while they are in school.

I am a BIG believer in having a parent available for the kids 24/7 though. If you can't make ends meet then my second choice would be separate shifts as your husband. I know that would be harder on the marriage and stuff, but if if's JUST for the time being until the kids are in school... I think it would be doable.

That's my take on this, at least. Others have a different view.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

45 Comments

View replies by

[deleted account]

A lot of moms are in this situation! Maybe start babysitting? Over the summer I was only working 2 days a week, and picked up some babysitting jobs that gave me some extra money. I was able to have my 3 year old son with me so we got to spend time together, and he got to play with some other kids. Maybe you could even get licensed and start an in home daycare?



Along those lines, we are currently "swapping" babysitting hours with one of the families I babysat for this summer. She watches my son for 7 hours, and then I watch her kids for about 4-5 hrs (she has 3 kids, I just have 1). If you are willing to get creative, there are ways to get around paying a lot for childcare. Or if you have skills you could barter with, like sewing? We garden, so occasionally we have given our neighbor food we grew from the garden in exchange for watching our son. She is a single mom with 4 kids at home so she appreciated the extra food.



On facebook you can start groups about babysitting, we have a MI one called "Looking to babysit/need a sitter" and I've also started one that is just for the county I live in to help families connect. It's been a great resource! You can advertise on craigslist, and/or get people you know to help spread the word.



Best wishes to you!

Carla - posted on 09/04/2012

4,282

83

592

Welcome, B. I hope you find good advice here and/or have some words of encouragement to share.



God bless, hon

West - posted on 08/24/2012

162

4

4

Sign up for a temp agency and work when you can. Find a home based or babysitter for child care. See if there are any daycare voucher programs in your area. Or just know that this is only for a season and things will change for how you want them.

Gail - posted on 08/21/2012

63

14

6

Natalia, I didn't find it too long, but thankful you shared I had been wondering how you were doing, so thanks for the update!
I can relate to the "lonely season" currently I recently lost, one of my closest friends in Christ, my mom and my daughter married and moved to the other side of the US and some of my other friends lives are so full that it has become difficult to have time with them. The Lord has
shown me 2 things in this Like you see in the parables of Jesus: this has become a pruning season... (He is the vine, we are the branches), pruning happens to bring new fruit... The other element for myself is "Be Still"; I had a long season of overwhelming crazy buziness ministering to family and friend, and exhausted from it (with grieving). To "be still" slows us down so we can hear Him, wait on Him and produce new life, new growth. You might be in a similar place too, I have been in this for 2 years now and have to remind myself to be patient and let God work (their are a flood of scriptures that go with those thoughts). So I would be blessed to hear how God ministers to you through this season, so please keep in touch :D Lord bless you in your journey ♥

Gail - posted on 08/21/2012

63

14

6

I presume you are speaking of the housing program, research programs for Low income families. There is more then one depending on your circumstances, the one I was apart of is Called "Self-Help" program and we had a supervisor that taught us what to do as a group and we all were required to help build all the houses in our group (not just our own) in our case was 10 homes and it took about 10 months. The requirments are different in different places based on weather and other details... in example if we were still living in California I was told we would had to put more hours in each week (at that season of time, we have been living in our home now for 15 years). I first learned about the program from the last Land Lord I had (who was a social worker) as she was impressed with the kind of tennents we were and thought we would be great canidates. She is the one that made me aware the program was in several or all states (been so long now can't recall the wordage). We have learned of others more impoverished then we were that qualified through Habitat for Humanity and this program has volunteers in addition to your contributions help build. Some people with handicaps and such also qualify for this program. So check with housing authority in your area to get info. if one person doesn't know keep asking. Our community didn't have it at the time when I was inquiring I learned a neighboring county had it and wrote a letter requesting it for our area, and shortly after was notified they were coming to our area for the first time (and have done 2 other groups since). So make phone calls and write letters even to neighboring counties, they are out there! :D
If you were refering to the Master Gardening program we partook in each county has a co-operative extension (look under government pages) Thru this you find connections on how to can foods, 4-H and Master Gardening. Sometimes you may have to connect with a neighboring county, ie. if I wanted to learn pressure canning and couldn't find a friend to teach me, I could connect with the classes to counties over. (It is always more fun as a group anyway).
You can also check with your local library how to find these connections they are wonderful helping you to connect to things in your community.

Lauren - posted on 08/21/2012

131

6

5

I am in the same situation and battle it every day. I drive an hour to work and have a 6-year-old and nearly 8-month-old. We've discussed our options but the fact is me working (even though a huge chunk of my income goes to daycare), we do have a bit extra. Is it worth it for just that much extra...not necessarily. But I'm not in a position where I could work from home (that I've really been able to find in quick searches) and make the amount we'd be losing. So...we discussed me asking to go either part-time at home or part-time with my current employer once he gets his next promotion...possibly after the holiday season. I know it's not an option now, but we are saving every little bit we can, discussing it often and determining when and how it will work. Good luck...I know it's a VERY hard decision. I count down the days!!!

Carla - posted on 08/16/2012

4,282

83

592

Yeah, honey, I got that you were interracial. But, unless you are in the south or an isolated part of the north, this is nothing new or shocking. The fact remains that you and your children have a lot to give a person, if all parties act with kindness and compassion. HAS something been said to you by your neighbors? I just know that sometimes, and I say sometimes, we are more afraid of what we THINK will happen than what actually DOES happen.

Like I said in my first post, we live in a predominately African-American neighborhood. I go out of my way to be friendly and helpful to all my neighbors. Most of the neighborhood responds in kind, and it makes for a happier living environment. There will always be those hold-outs, on both sides of the color issue, and those you just have to give to the Lord. So, pray, believe God is with you, then go out and shine the Light of Jesus.

God bless, honey

Natalia - posted on 08/15/2012

11

0

0

Thsnk you ladies for the encouragement and suggestions, the help more than you know. God bless~

Anne - posted on 08/15/2012

13

0

3

Natalia, My heart goes out to you. I know how isolating it can be sometimes. Small towns are especially hard to "break into". When I first moved, I started a book club. I just asked women who had children the age of mine. I pushed out of my comfort zone and it has been a great source of friendship over the years. Keep trying to reach out. Find women that have children the same age as yours and start a playgroup---anything to interact. Pray and ask the Lord to bring the right women into your life. He has you there for a reason... Try and find out what that reason is.

Carla - posted on 08/13/2012

4,282

83

592

My mother and dad lived in a senior citizens center until mom couldn't stand 'the old people' any longer ;) The residents used to LOVE for us to bring the grandchildren to visit. They clucked and cooed and spoiled the kids, so everyone benefited from the visit. Maybe you are depriving the residents the joy of knowing your children. Just a thought.

May I ask--do you live in the south? I ask, because you say you are getting 'looks' from people. We also raised our children in a small town in Michigan, and we only had one African-American family. I don't know in particular what they said or did in private, but I can tell you their child that went to school with mine was one of the funniest, smartest, most out-going persons I knew. He would come into a room and it just lit up. What I'm trying to say is, that it didn't matter what color he was, he was just fun. Sometimes, when we feel 'different', we act 'different'. Are you showing your light to the people around you so they will want to get to know you, or are you kind of holding back? It sounds like moving isn't feasible any time immediately soon, so, sweetheart, pray and ask the Father to give you answers. I am in the opposite position where we live. But we are kind to the children of the neighborhood, they come to my husband to have their poor little bikes fixed, they love to smell our flowers, and we ALWAYS buy the things they are selling to help their school.

God wants you to be at peace, wherever you live. Having friendly neighbors is a great blessing. Be a friendly neighbor, trust God, and He will work a way.

God bless, honey

Angela - posted on 08/13/2012

2,429

9

321

Hi Natalia, I have no helpful advice but I pray that you will get the homelife you want!

I usually defend the choices of working mothers very strenuously on these threads but if you personally wish to remain at home with the children then that is your choice - which I must also defend. I am only sorry that your current circumstances (e.g. a neighbourhood full of senior citizens, no affordable child-friendly resources and facilities etc ..., the nearest city being an hour's drive away, the prevailing sense of isolation) make it so difficult to have the quality experience you long for. I am glad you have found a suitable church and the whole family is happy there.

I pray that things improve for you soon.

Natalia - posted on 08/12/2012

11

0

0

Sorry that last comment was so long: In short, I want to move because I feel isolated and lonely, to move requires more income, more income may require me to work which would take me away from what I believe I am called to do in this season of my life. Be home. We are where we are because I am not working and staying home. (see the cycle: )

Thanks for all of your suggestions and prayers!

Natalia - posted on 08/12/2012

11

0

0

Update:

I mentioned in my last reply that I would update on my husband's suggestion of just focusing on being a mom and managing the home and to not worry about finances and see what/where I feel like God is leading me and where the peace is.

Well the week was quite interesting. It was a little difficult the first few days to not focus on worrying about how to bring in extra income...because that was a full-time job. Things that were apparent since I wasn't so distracted: I was lonely, my kids were starving for my focused attention, I had more energy, I was able to do more.

It all totally tied in together:
We relocated, moving away from our home church, close friends, and cheap kid-friendly activities. We live (albeit free) in a senior citizen town-home development (we live in a unit that his family has held on to). Because of the demographic of our "neighborhood" the kids are stuck in the house for the most part as to not be a nuisance to the neighbors. I have done my best to create a little area in our courtyard for the kids to go out and get some sunshine, it is also where I have my container garden (trying to make the best out of the situation).

My husband grew up in this small town, and I am the only African American female (other than my two girls) here. So you can imagine the looks when we moved in and started being seen around town. I joined two different bible studies trying to connect with other moms and it just didn't seem to produce anything. I have tried to interact with moms my kid's age via preschool and my oldest daughters basketball involvement and the women are pretty cliquey and seem uninterested in getting to know any one new. I wish I was exaggerating. I grew up with diversity and my wedding party looks like the rainbow coalition so this is not my issue I understand. My husband isn't surprised at the welcome I have received (again he grew up here). So it dawned on me that I AM LONELY for connection of like-minded mamas or just a friend.

All of our friends act like we live over an hour away and maybe one has been up to visit since we have moved. We always have to go to the cities if we want to see anyone. So we thought we'd try to connect at the church we started to attend. We have found a church (about 30 minutes away) that the entire family loves, our teen is involved in the youth group, my husband will be a small group leader with the teen boys and I will start helping out in the fall to join them on those evenings.

To go anywhere is about 45-60 minute drive and we try to save that for the weekends, I try to condense any trips in the city into one day to cut down on gas expense.

So I am eager to move but at this point to move would either mean my husband would need to make extra income or I would need to contribute. We both agree that my heart is at home and are on the same page. He is motivated to help us move closer to the city and our new home church. I FINALLY realized that I was trying to make this happen in my own strength and one day it dawned on me to pray that God would empower my husband to continue to provide for our family, direct his paths, give him favor in his current job or with a new one. I've also prayed that the Lord would help me to find a friend, to open my eyes and be sensitive to His provision in that area.

I have one birth (doula) client this month and do not have any booked (as of now) for the remainder of the year. I am planning on completing a certification which will allow me to teach some classes through community ed, ECFE and any other professionals who may want to have me teach in their facility. This will allow me to teach one or two classes a week and it can be around the children (I would set the class day/time). This has the potential to bring in some extra income but it is still a few months off and even then we do not want it to start pulling me from what I believe I am called to do in this season.

God knows where my heart is and I (finally) believe that I am in His will by being home with my kiddos. I understand where the struggle came from (being isolated, wanting to connect and feeling stuck in a location where that wasn't happening.

Robin - posted on 08/08/2012

30

0

5

Hello dear! I think it's great that you can stay at home with your children. But I do understand that you would like to do some extra's. Being at home all day with kids can be draining. I also understand that it's nice to have some money as well. I would love to talk to you and just share. My name is Robin and I am a new mom for the second time. I have a 23 year old and I 22 month old and it is hard work. Email me so we can talk. Robin.culmer@gmail.com.

Natalia - posted on 08/05/2012

11

0

0

Julie, I am learning that my teenager needs me just as much as my 18 month old. I am there when she is home (less liikely to get into trouble), she has chores i oversee, helps with the little ones while I prepare dinner and I take her to basketball practice and games, etc. I think the most important benefit is that when she has something going on in her world she knows I am available to run things by. There have been so many teachable moments that I have been able to take advanntage of. Other's may not see the value in you being home when they go to school full-time but they will, and that's more important.

I got some great advice on this thread, if you haven't read through it, you may find some great suggestions as well.

Diana - posted on 08/04/2012

18

19

1

We are in a very similar situation except that my husband just got laid off and is now looking for work in a totally different area. And I have a suggestion for you. Find a few people to clean house for. You can do that on weekends/your husband's days off, or while your older children are in school and find a retired person from church (or if you're in a college town, a college student with good references) to watch your baby for a small amount of money. I know that means you're not 'at home' with him ALL the time, but it's better than nothing, you get out of the house, you're contributing in order to better your situation, and you're still home most of the day with your kids.

I can clean a 4 bedroom house that is neatly kept (not a lot of clutter) in four hours. I am just now getting back into this as I took about 6 months off since my husband had a very good job. I'm trying to get enough clients for three mornings a week, and I'll probably pick up some special occasion cleaning around the holidays and whatnot. You would be surprised at how many people there are out there that would love a housekeeper and think they can't afford it until you advertise what you can do and how much you charge to do it. I clean once a week for my clients and charge $10/hr. You may be able to charge more, depending on your area. I'd call a few cleaning services near you and find out their rates and undercut them by a couple dollars per hour. Or if they're decent to work for and will let you choose how many jobs you do (so you can work them around any childcare you might need), work for one of them-most services are always looking for help. I only clean in the morning when my preschooler will be in school-right now with my husband laid off, he keeps them but school starts soon, and if he gets a job, I won't have to worry. My youngest will go to daycare (at his school, thank God!) for only an hour-and-a-half a day, just on the days I clean.

If you're in a church, ask people in your church if they or someone they know needs someone to help with housework. Or ask friends on facebook or wherever you know people. That way you come with a reference since they already know you/can vouch for you. You can then decide with the client whether they want you for an hour or two a day or several hours one day a week or whatever. And mileage, car payment, car insurance, any cleaning supplies you buy, maybe part of your cell phone bill, and childcare costs can all be counted as tax deductions as long as you claim your income. However, for tax purposes, take your own supplies (not necessarily vacuum, mop, etc) so that you're an independent contractor. The client can write you off as a household expense, they don't have to pay employer's taxes on your wages, and you can write off a portion of your expenses, and usually override any taxes the government would want to take out. If you work for a service, you may not need to worry about that as they're usually licensed, bonded, and insured, and take taxes out like a regular employer. This would make you able to contribute without breaking the bank on childcare, if you could find someone to keep your little one for a few hours for cheap!

Or, you might consider taking in a child or two to care for in your home. Parents pay in advance a week or two, so you're paid even if their kid can't come every day on their regular schedule and days off have to be pre-arranged so you know in advance that you're not going to be getting as much one week or whatever. It's not hard really to get certified in most states, but I know in IL you're limited to three kids including your own unless you have a helper. But, if you go unlicensed, obviously you could do more...but licensed day cares can get help through state programs for food costs. Either way, you can write off a portion of your mortgage, utilities, etc on taxes as long as you keep track of and claim your income from it. You don't have to be licensed to write off expenses. This is always easier if you know how the tax system works or know someone that will help you for a low cost. But even if you go through say, H&R Block, as long as you give clients receipts and keep your expense receipts, you shouldn't have any problems. I know it sounds complicated, but it's not really. And it's much easier to learn from someone who's been there. I learned through trial and error and it kinda sucks sometimes. Message me if you need to!

Good luck, hon!

[deleted account]

Children remember not we could afford to buy them but the investment we made in them .. My friend and her husband lived in China as missioneries for 10 years all her 3 children were born in china or hongkong .. They lived in a one bedroom appartment for many years ( by the way they are Australians ) they were persecuted at times by the government and didnt always have enough food or clothes....,,,, Forward 15 years all 3 children are grown married and serving God , karen my friend new the importance spirituallly only we as mothers can have on our children, i would encourage you to sacrifice (. As i am) as they are only young once and we only have one shot as parents



Remember God will supply all our needs according to his riches and Glory ... Take your needs to the cross ie food and clothes also use this opportunity to hold your childs hands and teach them to pray for the things you need for them or yourself .. You are teaching them to put their faith in Jesus who will provide and bless his children !!! if you are constantly anxious and worried your child will undoubtley watch this ! And you are missing a great lesson and they will think God cant be trusted to take care of them ... Its only a season in life , and we learn like the appostle paul " to be content in whatever circumstances " Also did you both seek God and pray about your decsion to move to a country town ? Did you leave a local church and if so did you seek Godly council on your choice? We are on one income and struggling at times , but we both feel this is where God wants us to stay ... Its a trial and struggle but God is working something bigger than money , its called patence and trust x

Anne - posted on 07/17/2012

2,755

82

625

Hi, I can understand you concerns about the finical and care aspect of putting your children into child care. Is your home large enough that you could do child care in your own home? I did child care in our home until our children were 8 and 4 when we moved to a different city and we had a branch of a small river in our backyard. May be you could find a teacher that needs child care. You would be home with your little one and if you took on a teachers child who taught in the same school district as your children you would have the same school schedule, thus the same work schedule as your children?

Even Though I was the Child Care Provider I agree that children are better off with their mom staying home with the children. HOWEVER I could and would NEVER put down a mom that worked outside of the home.

I will be keeping you in my Prayers.

Gail - posted on 07/17/2012

63

14

6

Hi Julie, The truth is we all struggle with the confidence in homeschooling skills. That is why connecting with others is so important and prayer for God's leading. I also had a world book encyclopedia 'typical course of study' that my mom had from our encyclopedia set when we were kids I referenced as well, but this kind of sources you can also access through Home School Legal Defense' which their whole business is supporting homeschoolers for a small membership fee. I found other homeschoolers to meet with that we did activities with or went to homeschool conventions with, etc. (also another source or gleaning what to do next, kinda things) This gives you a chance to find out what is working for others and why. One thing I learned was not to expect my strengths nor my childrens to be like anyone elses. One funny story I have is one time after coming home from a friends I had visited for a weekend (she lived a few hours away) She was skilled in area's of science and such and did teaching exchange of subjects with other homeschoolers in her area, What she did was a bit intimidating to me honestly and I came home feeling insufficient, when I prayed about it, the Lord reminded me of how He created each of our differences, strengths and weaknesses, He showed me we both were producing 'good fruit', Apples and oranges are both fruit, but they are different, but each serve a purpose. Ultimately I needed to trust Him with the way He was leading me and my children, we are a body of many working parts and as the apostle Paul points out we can not all be heads or hands, etc. we need all the parts (Eph. 4:16) we all have unique purposes and callings. What was very entertaining and amazing to me was when only about a week later that same mom called me feeling inadequate wondering if she had done enough for her sons as they prepared to go to college (and one had learning disabilities and the other exceptionally smart). My jaw hung in amazement, and the Lord prompted me to then share with her the very thing He had spoken to me... Homeschooling, or anything God lead requires dependency and trust in Our Lord, because we do become accutely aware of our weaknesses and shortcomings and our needs and How we really need Him to lead... And it never feels perfect in our eyes. But we are His workmenship, we are stewards and as we learn to listen and be alert, willing to be a student always, that is what will make us good teachers.
Not by might nor by power but by His spirit....
Honestly, even now I struggle, I am up late tonight to be with the Lord over my struggles and He lead me here, because even as I share these truths, He is reminding me of them so I might be lifted up, it is often in sharing He can echo back at us the very things we need to hear.
Be a student of life, the changes do not need to all come at once, just open yourself up, your awareness and glean from others, simply be willing to see what He may want to show you and let Him guide you, not to do 2, 10, or 20 steps, but one step at a time, you only need to care for the one step He has before you.Let Him lead you to people and places to learn, by watching or hanging out, asking questions, what ever. Another friend of mine very gifted in hospitality has been amazed how many people God brings to their home to share meals, etc. She was struggling over this one time, but being friends with her for over 30 years now, I pointed out to her many of us coming through her families life for a meal or what ever is like a kid with their nose pressed against the glass to glean what the Lord is working in and through, while they too are not perfect, He works many things that reflects light to a lost world, looking for a better way.
Myself I did not learn these things overnight, I was not raised this way and not even a christian home in my youth, it is through others I learned, as I too have been the kid with the nose pressed against the glass. We learn from others. Part of what the Lord tells us to guard our minds and whom we keep company with etc, as we are continueously be influenced, If you want new desires, new directions, before you change learn to watch, read, etc. from those whom have gone before you. The teaching of Titus 2:3-5 is about mentorship of sorts, the Lord provides those oppotunities in a variety of ways. For me it was not older women, it was other women my same age learning right along side of me and we simply spured one another onto good works and shared things we read about or connected each other to others with skills we desired to learn. I continually stand amazed how the Lord orchestrated all He did in my life, and it was always ONE step at a time. Peter called out to the Lord in the storm as the Lord walked across the water toward the deciples, Peter said "Lord, if that is You, call me to come to you" and the Lord said "come" Peter got out of the boat and started to walk, a ways out his focus changed to the water, not the Lord and began to sink, he then cried out for help... guess what, the Lord helped Him up... We can take steps of faith like Peter and start to sink, and we need to also do what Peter did is call out for help when we do, because the Lord is faithful! And He cares.

Julie1123 - posted on 07/16/2012

7

5

2

Gail, I love your post. Your lifestyle does sound a lot like some of my mom friends. None of us have much money, we have husbands with jobs in the self-employed trades field (construction, security installer, locksmith, etc.) but my friends live like you- they homeschool, they are strict about worldly things like cable TV and do a lot of gardening, home canning, raising animals, and one of my friends is a doula. I would like to have that lifestyle but often I feel unmotivated to- it is hard to let go of the 'worldly' things we have been fond of, especially cable TV and Internet. I send my kids to public school unlike my circle of friends, probably because I don't feel confident enought to teach them what I think all the requirements are for graduation, and also we haven't had any problems with public school until now, when my 14 year old has been burned out with too much homework.

Now of course this is off the topic, but homeschooling and SAHM kind of goes hand in hand. My friends who are homeschooling SAHM's have a good reason to stay home, where I feel like I could go out and contribute since all 3 are going to remain in public school.

Thanks for your encouragement Gail, and I wish I had your gumption to go against today's typical lifestyle.

Gail - posted on 07/14/2012

63

14

6

Thank you for your compliment Carla, my girls do seem to appreciate it, and it has taken time for my hubby. Married for 28 years now. Challenges are what does sharpens us. And the Lord has had great works to move in each of us.
I have appreciated what I have read in your responses as well. We all sharpen one another and need one another to spur one another on to good works as we are a body of many working parts. I am thankful for those who have spoken into my life!

Jessica - posted on 07/14/2012

1

8

0

From one mom to another I feel your struggle. I am in the same boat. However, I couldn't handle watching my husband deal with the financial stress. I could see it in his face and it killed me. I found a job that is very flexible and I am only out of the house 3 days a week. My kids are only 1, 2 and 3. I feel like I am missing there childhood but I am saving my husband from having a heart attack. We have a nanny and after we pay her there is an extra 1500 so it does help.

Keep praying and listen to God voice.
much lovell

Carla - posted on 07/14/2012

4,282

83

592

Wow, Gail, you truly sound like a Proverbs 31 woman! The Lord has blessed you and your girls in a way most should be envious of. The verse, and I will have to loosely translate it because I can't think where it's at right now is--'the Lord blesses us with witty inventions'. You have been blessed in this. I'm sure your husband is very proud of you all. He can sit in the gates, like the Proverbs 31 husband, secure you have things well in hand, and can brag to the others about you ;)

God bless, and thanks for contributing.

Gail - posted on 07/14/2012

63

14

6

Natalia, I have and often live in your shoes.... Examine the heart of why you feel called to be at home, For me the revelation of what I saw in Scripture, like Titus 2:3-5. Comfort seems like a good thing, when it comes to "leaning on our own understanding" but we are called to trust God, with all our hearts, and not to lean on our own understanding. In all our ways acknoledge Him, and He will make our paths straight. Prov. 3:5,6. When we are confident in our calling (and sometimes we have to go back to review scriptures to examine why, especially since us women are prone to worry and insecurity), then we will have that peace that passes all understanding.
I have loved gleaning from others who live with conviction, and those who are choosing to live modestly. One thing that has been helpful for me, is to "look at what I have in my hands" concept. Like earlier ancestors whom lifestyles looked a major contrast to ours culturally, often had to "look at what they had in their hands". I have come to love this challenge, as the Lord has caused me to see things I so often would have missed out on. One thing else has been powerful help in the examination of heart and wisdom, I learned many years ago to make a practice of reading a chapter of Proverbs for what ever day of the month it is. In this I have discovered wisdom in disciplining myself, my children, my fruitful production (income or what ever). I have often faced sleepless nights where I just have had to "hear from God", and would rise at 3 in the morning to be with Him, to help me with my wrestlings and what next. But He has honored me, and I have found a secret joy in that time with Him. He gave me the rest I needed and a joy to walk forward in the "What's next" guidance.
Much of my marriage I learned we were considered poverty level by our governments standards, but I never felt poor. I felt often I was on an adventure. In example, I homeschooled my children and often could not afford fancy curriculim others would purchase. But in the look at what I had in my hands... lead me to examine what I had already for sources and I discovered what an awesome library system we have, plus my girls and I did things like take the WSU Master Gardening program, we were students together and this offered an awesome springboard to deepen our studies. I applied more investment to learning about numereous related topics to gardening then I would not have invested myself in with out the motivation of homeschooling my daughters, thus, the Lord expanded my knowledge due to the motivation of "love". Now isn't that so Him? Not only that, we learned canning with a friend, I had opportunity to get vines and fruiting bushes for my edible landscape, by going and digging up someones offerings because they were about to be bulldozed over to add a mobil home.
Also this journey our cooking included sciences at what makes yeast and how to grow your own and what makes bread rise... and make our own.. My daughters and myself grew by leaps and bounds in cooking skills through taking it deepers levels.... (my eldest daughter eventually ended up winning scholarships and opportunities to be a chef that set her apart from others; but teaching my daughters the concepts of being a worker of home, has lead them down unique roads not traveled by others, one now teaches piano from home (she is married now) and both girls did fund raisers making cakes to help raise funds to go on mission trips, and the lists go on. The one with the chef training, she and I currently have been doing extensive studies on nutrition and herbs, we have taught community classes at times, she is in the process of trying to write a cookbook (she is still single and lives with us). She has ministered here in our home in multiple ways as well.
Teaching, leading, living by example how to trust God to care for your needs, looking to see what would otherwise be overlooked, these are the things that transform us into His image, and glorify our Lord. These challenges are opportunies to grow beyond our own view. While challenging they truthfully are a gift. Much of what made our ancestors stand out in the beginning of our country, because their circumstances called for it. We are different in the option to do it like the world, or be defined by letting the Lord lead us and our character being transformed, and our lives becoming a unique adventure only created by "trusting our Lord".
My homebusiness adventures also gave me opportunity to teach my daughters business skills , as well as other opportunities that surfaced along the way, ie my girls cake decorating business opportunites to make wedding cakes for friends and acquaintances, etc... Our life, has not been boring to say the least!
Other things you can look at you spoke of a 2 hour commute your hubby makes, considering things like living closer to his work (gas is expensive these days).... There are many angles to consider. WE are called to be Holy, for He is Holy. To be Holy means to be "set-apart" and you bet that means we are going to look different in our lifestyles.
TV sounds like a part of your lives, we found freedom from one sort of bondage of this in our life by eliminating cable, and going video. We have learned along the way to access DVD's (even TV series) from our local library, thus not costing us a cent, and we pick the programing and we can interrupt our viewing and not miss a thing, to do other life living.... and boy was that in itself freeing!!!
WE are not poor when we discover the abundance that surrounds us! Even check out books from the library (and magazine's that may have creative ways to live resourcefully). Connect with other believers who choose to honor God in their lives (different strengths in different people in the body of Christ, so you glean different things from various ones).
May the Lord bless you as you seek Him, to trust Him and be transformed daily to live outside of the box! of this world. Gail

Jenny_D - posted on 07/13/2012

169

12

3

Natalia, I just want to mention that as I said in my other post, babysitting is not for everyone! Like you said, some babysitters don't do a great job and you are right, it is pretty hard to get into a groove with other peoples children. When I first started, it was very hard and I almost resented it because I wanted so badly to just be able to focus on my own 2 girls. It completly changed my schedule, but I was very appreciative for the extra money so I decided to make the best of it. Even though it was an adjustment, we eventually got situated and now I love it and look forward to seeing the other kids. It has also been really good for my daughters to be able to interact with the othe kids. I run the day similar to a preschool. We do crafts, projects, cooking, etc. We even learn about a different animal a couple times a week and they love it

I am watching a 5 yr old girl part time, a 4 yr old girl part time and a 5 mo. old boy full time and make almost $1,000 extra a month (give or take). This may not be for you, but I feel like sometime you have to do what you have to do, and it will all work out eventually :) Good luck and I hope you find something soon!!!

Rachel - posted on 07/12/2012

204

0

8

*comprehension* So, this is about money, but its also about pseudo-shelving a passion while you wait on the Lord's timing, and the resentment that results from the financial burden of that sacrifice. Oh, Honey, you are not alone. I think you have as much as said that God is pleased with your sacrifice. Perhaps nailing down the exact timing of your certification would allow for more patience in waiting to get it. Are you a member of the La Leche League? Find a chapter, and hone your skills in a volunteer capacity that allows for your kids to come first. No, you wouldn't be making money, but you'd be working on a career, helping others, and being true to your authentic self. Pray about it. There are LLL chapters all over the world. You might be the answer to someone elses prayers there.

Natalia - posted on 07/11/2012

11

0

0

Wow...so much wisdom. I appreciate you all taking the time to respond. The night I wrote this I shared this post with my husband and more thoughts about the matter. He was surprised that I was still struggling with knowing whether I should be working or not. We have had this conversation several times at least every year or if a big expense or unexpected bill comes up (I've been home the last 5 years).

He asked me to take this week and totally focus on being a mom, do what I would do with them daily as if I didn't have to look for work. What would my days look like and do it. Then this coming Sunday we will discuss how the week went and how I felt, what I felt like the Lord was leading me to do. I appreciate that he supports me and wants me to be where my heart is. He sees the value of me being home and tells me often. So I am very fortunate for that.

Watching a child or two during the week has come up a few times, the only thing is I do not particularly enjoy watching other people's kids on a regular basis. I hope that doesn't sound bad..I am just being honest. I just know where my strengths are and after serving in children's church for a few years because there was a need...again, not my strength. I hesitate to commit to watching other people's children knowing that. It's one of the bad experiences I had with a home daycare. She was in it for the money, would park kids in front of the t.v., etc. I was a single parent at the time and it really was the best I could do at the time. Not that I would do what she did. I actually have a nice flow/routine with my kiddos and I guess another kid or two could just flow with us, but I feel really hypocritical to do that knowing my heart wouldn't be in it. I could be wrong on my view on this and I am open to more info.

As far as a home-based business, I am pretty entrepreneurial and would consider it, it would just have to something really legit and something I can be passionate about- If I am not passionate about the product or service how could I sell it? You all offered some good suggestions. I am also a birth professional; a birth and postpartum doula and was considering certification for teaching childbirth education classes. This *is* something I am passionate about and have been growing this business since I have been home. I take only two clients a month because I have to be on-call two weeks before their due dates and until they deliver. I also do prenatal education and postpartum visits. This is something I can see me doing more of later on in life because it really requires an on-call lifestyle, that I am possibly away from my kiddos for days at a time, plus like I mentioned earlier, it is not consistent enough yet.

We are learning to live on even less, you are right, even when we think we have cut back there are always ways. We recently got rid of cable, out land lines, I have a garden, I have been meal planning, etc. I am always looking for more ways, I will check out that book.

Sorry to ramble. I really do appreciate the responses and any future ones. I really want to be in God's will and not want to do something because of my fears and emotions. I know that this is something I asked for (to be home), something that I strongly desire even though working outside of the home seems like it would be easier some days (can I get a witness lol!).

God willing I will share with you the difference the week was...Blessings.

Jenny_D - posted on 07/11/2012

169

12

3

I also want to add after reading through the other posts, I noticed some people mentioning that you don't really need money or shouldn't be focusing on more money and while I believe that is true to an extent and we should try to live modestly, we still need to be responsible. For example: if you were to get sick tomorrow, or one of your kids break a bone, etc. would you have the money to pay for last minute medical emergencies? Or what if an appliance breaks? or the car needs repaired? **I just spent over $100 the past 3 days because I was diagnosed with SHINGLES!!! (at ag 28). I have had 3 different doctor appointments, and E.R. trip and 5 different medicines in the past 3 days! The money that I have paid is just for the co-pays for the appointments and the meds even with GOOD insurance. I am just making a point that you have to be prepared for things like this. Of all the times for this to happen, money was tight for us the past few weeks, but luckily God is incharge! :)

Jenny_D - posted on 07/11/2012

169

12

3

I have been there, done that! I stay home with my 2 daughters (3 and 1) and love the blessing of being able to raise my own children. We were getting very tired of living paycheck to paycheck...and we live pretty modestly overall. I recently started babysitting since I am already home. While there are definite downsides to doing this, I am making extra money that we can save, spend on fun/extra things, or use towards the necssities when we have to. I live in a very small village in the middle of the country, so there is not a lot of opportunity for business, but I have been blessed to have 3 different children that I am able to watch during the week. Just a thought :)

Rachel - posted on 07/10/2012

204

0

8

There is ALWAYS a way to save more money. I have a great set of books called the Tightwad Gazette, written by self titled Frugal Zealot, Amy Dasyzyn. Ever since reading it, I've learned most money saving articles are written by amateurs. Make it a hobby, or a game. Put yourself to work earning what you DON'T spend. I'm writing this from a cell phone, because we don't have the internet, OR a landline telephone. Or any t.v. for that matter. Try going a month without eating anything more than $.50/100gms. You say you have downsized tremendously, and I believe you. Congratulations! Now let's see how much further you can go. Think of it this way-the richest people around have personal chefs, maids, and gardeners. Being your own chef, maid and gardener gives your child the life of a very rich kid. Go back to work, and your kids chef will be Boyardee, his maid will be Neglect, his gardener, Overpriced. You want your kids to have a better life? Then you don't need more money- you need the skillset for what the money would buy, and guess what? Your a stay at home mom, so you have that luxury. So, unless you can make seven figures, you are worth far more "homemaking". It's so empowering if you embrace it. The world is so rich, and we overconsume so much. The answer is rarely (only very very rarely) more money. Please exhaust other options before convincing yourself you need a second paycheck.

Angela - posted on 07/10/2012

2,429

9

321

Carla's right about the expenses of going to work. Lunches, clothing, car fuel or bus/train fares etc ... I'm qualified for better-paid work than I actually do but my workplace is about 4 minutes walk from where I live. We can wear practical, casual clothes for work and "catering subs" are taken from our wages which works out cheaper than making my own packed lunch. I work caring for and supporting disabled people in a Home - we cook their meals and eat with them. So even though the money is poor, I probably wouldn't be any better off doing an office job for example. I would certainly have to spend a lot more on clothing. Casual leggings, pullovers and T-shirts wouldn't be acceptable in an office role! And I might have to drive to an alternative workplace as we only live in a small, semi-rural town.

My job DOES have a few "perks & benefits". For example I went on an 8 day Mediterranean cruise recently (just returned last week). Myself and a colleague were supporting 2 clients we work with who have disabilities. So we weren't the ones who paid for this luxury vacation. But it's still work, of course, we still had to support them and care for them whilst enjoying all the facilities of the cruise liner!

I think you should think about getting yourself registered/licensed to provide daycare for kids whose mothers work as someone else suggested on this thread. There will always be demand for childminders and it allows you to stay at home with your children. A relative of mine did this for years and really enjoyed it.

Julie1123 - posted on 07/10/2012

7

5

2

I have been in the same boat for the last few years. I have a 5 year old who's going to start kindergarten, a 12 year old and a 14 year old. I have applied for jobs but no luck so far, I really am at the point in my life where I would like to have a part time job again to contribute to the family income, and when you have teens expenses go up- sports fees (my 12 year old's gymnastics is year round and costs $500+ a year), trip fees, etc. My 14 year old now has a part time job for her spending money.

So I am looking at spending a little to get certified for daycare, my house and yard are decent enough for one or two daycare kids. Or I may apply to the school district again to be a substitute teacher aide, (my old job from before our youngest was born). I am picky about what job I will get, because I need to be free to drive my kids to their sports activities. My husband is on call for his job 24-7, so it's worked out best that I be a SAHM. One benefit is that our tax refund is the equivalent of if I had a job. If I worked, we would not get that $10-grand tax refund every year! But with my son starting kindergarten, I feel like people are thinking, "Shouldn't you get a job by now?" :(

Lisa - posted on 07/10/2012

9

53

2

I love that you realize your 15 year old needs you home as much as the little ones - it's so true!

Staying home can be a sacrifice and it sounds like your husband is supportive and you're doing everything you can to be frugal. So it sounds like you're doing the best thing for your family.

If you're doing the best thing for your family, do it with your whole heart as unto the Lord, and tell the doubting voices they don't get to stay in your head. Hold your head up, put a smile on your face and don't allow yourself to worry - God has given you a great gift, the raising of your children and minding of your home full-time. Sometimes our attitude really does make a difference in how the hamburger-helper tastes! :-) In fact, we're commanded not to worry because it won't do any good; we're commanded to be strong and courageous because God is with us always; we're commanded to rely on God's faithfulness because nothing is too difficult for Him. You know these things, of course.

I agree with Heather regarding home-based businesses. Her advice not to be pressured to pre-buy merchandise is spot-on. Also, be sure you earn income right away (or as soon as your start-up costs are paid), and not after you reach a certain "level" of achievement. Usborne books is a good company. So is Premier Designs jewelry. If additional certifications is what you really want, give that desire to God and watch - He'll either show you and your husband how to save up to pay for them, or He won't...in which case, use that energy on your family and rest in the God who is big enough. He loves you and knows your heart.

Heather - posted on 07/09/2012

67

26

5

Why not try a home-based direct sales business? These can be a valuable outlet for you professionally and, if you're careful, you can always be "in the black" with your business and make $$ (as I do).

The key is to pursue the type of sales you're interested in... i.e., Cooking = Pampered Chef, Beauty = Mary Kay, etc. I love education, so mine is Usborne Books. :)

Just be sure not to ever be pressured to pre-buy the merchandise in order to sell it later. Many companies will fit this bill.

Angela - posted on 07/09/2012

2,429

9

321

I totally understand your concerns about living in the "right" kind of area.

I brought my kids up in a very rough area. I'm very fortunate that now they're all adults none of them are in the drug scene or the crime scene which so many others from our street were. I would not be so obtuse to suggest that your kids will be OK - OR that they won't. It's a constant worry. I don't blame you for wanting to be in a better area.

Can you work from home in a more lucrative line of employment? I would advise NOT utilizing any skills in craft or cooking - there is too much competition in these areas and they're too "female" as money-making pursuits. And avoid selling items for established organisations - your area probably already has numerous Avon and Tupperware ladies!! I would look at office skills - online work for employers who will pay good staff well as they don't have to finance premises. How are your mathematical and your language & typing skills? Does your husband's employer need any clerical or administrative staff that can work from home?

Other ways to make money - if you would rather stick to "female" types of work - is consider what aspect of housework you hate the most. Chances are other women also hate it. Devise practical ways of doing certain jobs more thoroughly and swiftly. I know of a woman who started her own thriving business cleaning ovens. Everyone hates cleaning ovens and was glad to pay this lady to do it for them. She had a method of getting the job done fast and efficiently.

Ask at your Church. When I was planning on moving up here to be with my boyfriend I needed a job first of all. I wouldn't move here without one! The first thing I did was join the local Church. Within 3 months I had employment and was able to move here, then we got married. My own job is not from within the home, it's a regular job I go to each day. However there is still scope for getting guidance on working from home. Your minister or others at your Church may be able to advise on suitable ways to work from home.

Someone who was at my workplace has 2 young children. Her husband also worked for the same company. They worked opposite shifts to one another in order that there was someone always at home for the kids and now and again they had time off together. It was a real strain and she ended up quitting. They're a couple who had debts etc ... and I believe they still have issues with money but she doesn't regret quitting work. She may, in time get work elsewhere with easier, more regular hours that fit it with school.

My own children are grown-up so I don't have to worry about childcare or a job with hours that fit around school. But life was pretty hard when they were small. I was unemployed most of the time as a single parent claiming welfare benefit with all the "respect" that brought me from employed, tax-paying citizens. When I occasionally had part-time and/or temporary work, it was also difficult juggling things. Childcare is a massive issue for most. That's why lucrative, legal and rewarding work from home is so important for so many mothers (with or without husbands/partners). I hope you are able to come to a solution that suits you and your family.

Good luck.

Natalia - posted on 07/08/2012

11

0

0

I totally agree. Kids are 18 months, 5 years and 15 years. We do not have family who would be able to watch them consistently and the thought of childcare breaks my heart just because of some (really) bad experiences that I had with my (now) 15 year old. I really want to be the one with them and I am learning that the 15 year old needs me home just as much as the younger two. Thanks for your comment.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms