Friday, September 3, 2010

Turn and Face the Strange Ch-ch-Changes

When I was pregnant with Caleb in 2004, I had no doubt that I wanted to resign from my position at work and stay home with him after he arrived. When people would ask me about it, I would tell them, "My plan is to stay at home!"

After crunching the numbers, even after the hypothetical numbers I would make up where we didn't have cable, internet, "extras" on phone, anything else you can think of, even selling one of our vehicles, it wasn't going to happen. My dreams of being a stay-at-home mom were not going to come to pass at that time. With my husband being a new teacher, in a rural school district, bringing home (at the time) $1600 a month, it just wasn't going to work for us.

I was sad. That's putting it mildly.

But I accepted where I was in life at that time. I made a conscious decision to find a childcare provider that I felt comfortable with (and I did, they were wonderful), I decided to be the best employee that I could be, and I wanted to keep a positive attitude about my circumstances. It was that frame of mind that I believe allowed me to eventually receive a promotion.

I did not complain on a daily basis about how much I wanted to stay home because I knew it wasn't going to happen at that time. There was no point in being doom and gloom about it.

In the mean time, even before I was introduced to Dave Ramsey, I took steps to change our circumstances. If a woman knows she wants to stay home, and the numbers aren't working, she has to make changes. That's all there is to it. I knew we had to pay off debts. I knew we couldn't take vacations, buy new/pre-owned vehicles that would require payments...I knew I couldn't get manicures and pedicures, new highlights every month, professional pictures of my child whenever I felt like it, or dine out every week.

When someone says they can't afford to stay home, I sympathize. Really, I do. Being the blog hopper that I am, I see it all the time. And then I see over-the-top birthday parties or read about financial decisions that are not consistent with someone who truly has a desire to stay home. It takes sacrifice. It takes an intentional mind set. It takes a plan of action.

What it doesn't take is complaining. It also doesn't take apathy.

This month marks four years since I worked my last day outside the home. When I had Sarah in August of 2006, I had to work one last day after her birth for insurance purposes in September. I can't remember who came over to watch her (and Caleb), but I worked it out to be there from 8:00 to noon to tie up loose ends and say my goodbyes.

It took two years for this to happen. In those two years we made changes.

If change is what you want, change is what it takes.

In the mean time, it's best to keep a positive attitude and be the best employee that you can be. The time at work will be far more pleasant when you realize you're there for a season in your life. And if God has placed you there, He has a reason for you to cross the paths of others you see each day.

"For every thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose under the heaven." Ecclesiastes 3:1

For a glimpse into our budget, you can read this post.


Nel said...

Well put! And it does take many sacrafices, lots of changes!
But I wouldn't change a thing :o)

brooke lynn said...

amen. if you can't pay cash for it, don't buy it. and quit complaining already!! {not you of course}

have a great weekend! :)

Causey Fam said...

Tis true! If you REALLY want something, you do what it takes to make it happen at some point. I think there are a lot of categories that could be placed here and it all comes down to the fact that the things that are really important to you are the things you will spend time and money on to make happen (or stop spending time and money so they can happen.)

Steadfast Ahoy! said...

I like your no-nonsence approach to a life goal. Good for you! The smile on your face in your family photo says it all.

thriftymomma said...

Hi. I am a new follower. Love the picture with your kids. So cute. I am at

Jessica said...

That's a great post Chrissy! Thanks for the reminder, I try and keep my attitude positive when I'm at work, but sometimes I forget and mope a little bit.

I don't think we are making un-wise financial decisions right now, but I'm sure there are things we could be doing to cut back even more.

I've pretty much come to terms with the fact that I will have to work for a few more years. I'm really hoping to get good news next week and get transferred to day shift. That will make such a huge difference for us. Ross will be home with the girls all but 2 days a week and then I'll be here in the evening. I don't mind working nearly as much when I know that one of us is here with them almost all the time.

During my layoff time I was perfectly willing to give up all the extras that I like, (pedicures, cuts and colors for the hair) but now that I'm back to work, I feel like I've earned it since I work hard for that money. Maybe that's not the right attitude, or what I need to be doing to stay home sooner, but we make the best of our situation and it will really be much more to our liking if we are on opposite shifts.

Anonymous said...

Wow, you're so brave for broaching this subject. I like how you don't come across as "ALL MOMS SHOULD STAY HOME!" like many stay at home moms. I agree that if you really, really want to stay home-then make some changes and make it happen. If you like working, then you don't need to pretend that you want to stay home just so people don't think badly of you for wanting to work. Either way, be happy where you are and stop complaining!
BTW-I love staying home most days...some days I find myself wanting to have a traveling job where I'm gone 28 out of 30 days a month!!! :)

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