Thursday, May 3, 2012

Ambitious Homemaker

I remark a lot about how the standard of living in the U.S. is so crazy high. I mean, even growing up "low-income," we had food and clothing and shelter, not government-provided, because my mom was an incredibly thrifty woman, my dad was ambitious and diligent in the workforce, and they worked together on a reasonable budget. I can count on one hand the number of times we ate out in a year. I didn't even know cable TV existed. 

Me at three-years-old, living the apartment life with my family of six

Now I'm just so comfortable in my middle-class cocoon that I don't even realize how uncomfortable it actually is. To have a husband I pass between opposite work shifts, our kids acclimated to different caregivers, expectations, and environments, a home that's slept in but not lived in...

And I wonder if I have the guts to take the one-income family leap. I talk a lot about the greatness and importance of stay-at-home parents, but could I give up impulse grocery buys, standard (albeit crappy) health insurance, being a fast food junkie, Amazon prime, and maybe even (gasp/gulp) the dataplan on my cell phone? Would it mean eating oatmeal for breakfast every day, with rice and beans for dinner?

It seems my current job pays me very well to daydream about stay-at-home-mom ambitions. But I wonder if I'd hold onto all those motivational ideas when the paycheck is down time with my husband and play time with our kids. It all sounds so nice, but I'm not sure drive-thrus and Amazon accept that currency.
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Doing the working one-parent bedtime routine (yes, that's fast food and a bath on the table!)

3 comments:

  1. You are a blessing to your husband and your children whether you are an at home mom or an at work mom... no matter what you are still mom. And a very special mom too.

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  2. I love that picture! That is real life, for sure. I don't really have any "advice" or words of encouragement for your thoughts. We're so, so lucky that Travis's job is as good as it is. I am a girl of convenience. I should give up many indulgences so that we can be out of debt sooner and just because we don't need all that we have. But contentment and material discipline is a huge struggle for me, so I'm still working on it for sure. I think if God leads you to the decision to stop working outside the home you will find that you can do it. But if He doesn't, that's okay too. We're not all called to be the same kind of family--there is no sin in both of you working, and I know you and your husband make your time together quality. Good luck in discernment! (I realize you wrote this over a month ago, but I'm just now reading it and I can't not give my thoughts. )

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  3. If you are thinking about it, do it! Your kids will only be young once ... I wouldn't trade one single minute (well, maybe there are a few distinct ones I'd trade) of this life at home. I sometimes wonder about all the moments Roman misses that I am privileged to have because of his faithfully providing for us. And yes, like Nicole, I am just reading this as well!

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