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Candle in the Night

Monday, February 20, 2012

Must be Nice...

When I was pregnant with H, I was still teaching school.  I knew that once she was born, I'd quit teaching, but many fellow teachers asked if I'd be back the following year.  When I told them no, the response was nearly always the same.  "That'd be nice!"  "I wish I could do that!"  "Oh, it must be nice to be able to afford that!"  Ugh.  I am finally going to address this today.  It's been almost two years since H was born and I've wanted to write this post since then, but haven't gotten around to it.

Sacrifice.  

That's the name of the game for Brian and I.  
If I wanted to stay home with my kids, we had to make sacrifices.  

Our first sacrifice came when we first got married.  Brian had saved and saved during the two years he was teaching before we got married and so we had a sizable down payment to put on a house.  We could have gotten something really nice.  The housing market was low then (not like now, but still pretty low), but before we even started looking, we decided we wanted to have the house paid for before we had children.  We knew that we couldn't carry a mortgage on just his salary and I wanted to stay home, so we were going to have to pay off any mortgage we took out prior to having any babies.  We didn't want to wait forever to start our family, so we sacrificed and bought a smaller home.  It cost about $80,000, has three bedrooms, 1 1/2 bathrooms, and a fairly small kitchen.  We won't be able to live here forever since we plan to grow our family, but it suits us for now.  

The second sacrifice came in the form of jobs.  This is one that most people are willing to take since it's a blessing to have any job in this economy, but I can't say that either Brian or I have ever really, REALLY enjoyed our jobs.  But we knew we were working hard so I could stay home and that made it worth it.  I worked for two years in a job that was...okay...although I would have rather been a stay-at-home wife or worked in a Christian school, but I knew that if I kept working where I was, we'd get the house paid off sooner. Brian really is still making this sacrifice.  He struggles with his job.  It's not great fun for him and he would probably rather be doing something else.  If I was working, he might have the freedom to go back to school or get into a job that paid a little less, but had growth potential, but we don't have that luxury.  But that's a sacrifice he's willing to make so our girls can have Mommy at home.  

The third sacrifice on my list is our budget.  We have a very TIGHT budget.  Before we married, we read Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover.  We have also gone through Financial Peace University and we made a budget, use envelopes, and stick to it.  This is not only smart, it's a sacrifice.  For me to be able to stay home, we have to stick to our strict budget and not play stupid when it comes to money.  If you have any questions about our budget, I'd love to answer them (I love sharing about Dave Ramsey and becoming debt free) and I may share about it in another post.  

The final sacrifice I'm going to list here is that of our cars.  Brian and I do not drive extravagant cars.  We drive paid-for cars.  Brian's car is a 2000 Kia and mine is a 2003 Buick.  We just keep liability insurance which means that when a deer (without insurance) hit us two years ago, the side panel never got fixed.  Basically, if it doesn't make our car undrivable, it doesn't get fixed.  It's a sacrifice to not drive fancy cars and to deal with small inconveniences like not being able to open the driver's door all the way because of the dented fender, but it's worth it because it means I get to stay home with my girls.  

So that's the post I've been wanting to write for two years now.  We're not rich.  Brian doesn't make a six figure salary (or even half that!).  We don't have some huge inheritance.

We simply made the decision that that was how it was going to be.  Then we did it.  We didn't make it optional.  

We sacrifice.  

We work hard. 

We prioritize. 

And it's worth it.  

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7 Comments:

At February 20, 2012 at 10:01 PM , Blogger Caroline @ The Modest Mom said...

Great post! I totally agree, we make many, many sacrifices to keep me home with our children. We don't drive fancy cars or have a super nice house, but it's ok. :) People can go with a lot less if they really wanted to stay home with their children. You don't have to have cable, smart phones with the expensive plans, go out to eat all the time, shopping every weekend, ect. There is a lot we can live without.

 
At February 20, 2012 at 10:17 PM , Blogger Jessica said...

Agreed! Yeah, I didn't even list all those little things that you won't find in our budget. Cable, text messaging, smart phones, making more than 20 phone calls from our land line per month (yes, it cut down our phone bill!) are all things that aren't in the budget.

 
At February 21, 2012 at 9:54 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

An excellent post! Thanks, Jessica!

Renee Webster

 
At October 1, 2013 at 9:29 PM , Blogger KL said...

I hear you! I am still working (as a special ed. para.) but we are working on adopting and hope to bring our first child home in late winter/early spring. I hear other teachers saying they can't afford to stay home, while all the time they travel to Disneyworld and Mexico every year, drive new cars, pay $700 per month for day care and wear name-brand clothes (and clothe their kids in name brands!), etc. Even now, some of the few people we've told about our pending international adoption comment, "Oh, I'd love to do that, but we could never afford it!" We are NOT wealthy. We are financing this adoption the only way that was possible for us: Having no debt and living on one income while saving a second income for four years.

 
At October 2, 2013 at 7:20 AM , Blogger About Jessica said...

Good for you!! It's not easy working that extra time to do what's really important, but that's the whole point of it. Staying home with your kids IS SO important! Blessings for your upcoming adoption!

 
At October 2, 2013 at 7:24 AM , Blogger About Jessica said...

Good for you!! It's not easy working that extra time to do what's really important, but that's the whole point of it. Staying home with your kids IS SO important! Blessings for your upcoming adoption!

 
At October 27, 2013 at 12:57 PM , Blogger KL said...

Thanks :)

 

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