Ever since I could remember I had worked. When I was 11 I got my first job, a paper route. I helped my parents clean and paint the apartments we managed after we moved and I could no longer have a paper route. I babysat the neighbor's kids and I helped teach tae kwon do classes. When I was 16 I got a job at the local Holiday station store. I worked my way through college working 32 hour work weeks and some quarters I carried 18-20 credits when a full load was 12-16. I have always worked hard and enjoyed having money to buy things I wanted, why would I want to change the way I lived?
As soon as I graduated from college I found out I was pregnant and went full time where I had worked my way through college. When my son was born, I only got to spend 6 weeks at home with him. It broke my heart. Between all of the hours he worked and never being able to spend much time together as a family, it really started to get to me. He stayed with his grandparents while I worked, so it was somewhat of a comfort to me that he was cared for my people who loved him so I soldiered on in my full time career.
When he was almost 2 I had to take over paying for the care of my son while I was at work because his grandparents weren't available any more. Between having an educational background and the discount I would get on child care I decided there would be nothing better than working at a day care. I was even the teacher in his room and I got paid to spend the day with him. What could be better than working with your kids???
I proceeded to have another child and would have probably been content to stay there but for the fact that I wasn't appreciated and my son was going to be starting kindergarten in the next town over in a few months. I didn't get the pay raise I was expecting so I decided to stop paying all that money to drive where I wasn't appreciated when I would earn a whole weeks' worth of income in 2 days using my teaching license to sub. So I put in my notice and quit my full time job.
At first I started finding ways to save money since teachers don't work during the summer. I mean, I had already made my daughter's solid baby foods, finding new ways to save money was intriguing. Growing our own veggies, making bread, sewing clothes, it was an adventure every day. The more I learned, the more I wanted to learn.
The more ways I found to save, the more I started to wonder if I could really afford to stay at home with my kids. I mean, as a stay at home mom the kids would always have someone who could come to watch their concerts, volunteer for their field trips, attend all of their sporting events, there was no end to the amount of time a SAHM could spend with her children.
We quit buying expensive Christmas gifts, we started making gifts for others instead of buying them, didn't spend large amounts of money sending kids to camp, less eating out, stock up on bargains to save future money,... Yes, we made some major sacrifices, but I really don't think that we missed out on much.
I keep coming back to the same questions. Do we need all of the latest clothing styles? Will my kids suffer if they can't go to art camp? Are name brands and impressing people worth the extra effort and the time away from family? The more I think about it, the less I think I am really giving up. After all, if people just like us for what we wear then they are not worth knowing if you ask me.
The more I think about it, the more I think working outside the home costs a family. As a working mom, you need nice work clothes, you are tired from working all day so you buy a bunch of convenience foods and dinners out that a SAHM doesn't need to buy, you feel guilty for not having time to spend with your children so many compensate with material possessions which really teaches kids the wrong message.
As an added bonus cutting out the dinners out and prepackaged foods has done so much for our health saving us trips to the doctors too. Now I just can, freeze, and dehydrate all my own stuff. After all, I only use recognizable ingredients that I know how to pronounce and it's still fast and easy for those busy nights.
Thank you for stopping by to chat with me. Please leave me a message, I'd love to hear your thoughts! Cindy