Four years ago after the birth of our second child, we made the decision that I would stay at home full-time and that my husband would be the sole income earner.
This was a tough decision because I recently completed my graduate studies and was finally earning a decent wage. In the end, we halved our income. With two children in diapers and one drinking formula, we learned to tighten up our grocery budget, do away with cable, cook at home, cancel our gym membership, and ultimately, live on less.
That first year was really hard. I was resentful. I was tired. I was under-stimulated. I missed working with a team of people. I longed for a project that I could see through from start to finish. I missed recognition. I wanted to talk about politics and community hub bub with other adults. I yearned to go out to lunch and to put on heels. I missed business cards, an office, and privacy. And, honestly, I missed a paycheck. In short, I was wondering what we had done.
And then something happened. At the end of that first year, I realized that I enjoyed walking my kiddos in the park, reading the same stories over and over again because it produced such great reactions. I enjoyed lingering instead of forcing the moment. I appreciated that I wasn't stressed about project work or deadlines. I was learning to find the joy in it.
Now, post the birth of our third child, we've been feeling the financial pinch again. The rising cost of healthcare, school tuition, fuel costs, and groceries has sent us back to wondering if we should make a change. It's tough to live so close to the, "What would happen if someone got sick?" line or wow, our savings is really abysmal or retirement...ugh...or life insurance or college funds or bigger car for a family of five or someone needs braces or someone needs to see a chiropractor.
We've decided to keep on keeping on. My mom keeps saying, "This is a season...just trust." And so, that's what we're doing, praying, trusting, believing that we've made the right decision for now. I guess, only time will tell.