Tonight, I have something on my heart and I feel like there is someone out there struggling with her decision. A mother is trying to decide to stay a career mom or come home to be more of a full time stay at home wife/mother. I would say to her, first of all, make no decision without taking it to God in prayer. I try to make NO decisions without consulting The Father.
The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. Isaiah 58:11
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6
I reference these scriptures because you may not be able to see how your family can make it with the loss of your income. I'm pulling from my own experiences with making this life move. When I put everything on paper (income/bills) I couldn't see how we could afford me not working, but I knew that God was telling me to "trust Him and lean not on my understanding." This was His will for our lives. On paper we couldn't make it, but in Faith we have made it.
Once, the decision was made and notice was given. I began to seek out ways to cut cost in our monthly spending. We paid off all credit card debt and dropped my cell phone service. I have a prepaid cell phone I keep for occasional needs. I spend about $120 a year for my cell phone usage. Not bad, considering I used to pay about $50 per month for a basic plan. Another BIG way of saving each month is in the grocery and toiletry budget. From my blog, you can see, I am big with the coupons and stockpiling. I also make the weekly rounds at CVS and Walgreens. They have great customer reward programs. I have not paid for shampoo and toothpaste in over a year. ;0)
Perhaps, you think that doing these things is too much work. Trust me its not as much work as punching a clock everyday all day. I love finding ways to save and provide for our family. When I worked, I had no time for coupons and shopping for the best price. It's kind of like my job one day a week to clip, plan, and execute this task. I have a huge full pantry and closet of necessity items to show for my efforts. I take pride in my work, whatever it may be.
The key to being a Happy stay at home wife/mother is Contentment. Learn to be content with each new day. Learn to be content to "make do" or "do without" certain things. You have to have a perspective of what really matters in your life. Is it getting your hair and nails done and shopping for new cloths? Or is it packing a picnic basket and spreading a blanket in the backyard with your children/husband? I would rather be with my family every moment of the day and be wearing consignment store cloths. Shopping and salons where never a big deal for me, but buying "things" for my children used to be a big money pit. Until, we put our lives into perspective. Sure, I still have my eye on that super cute playhouse for my little girl, but instead of charging it to a credit card, we are saving up.
Have a accurate perspective of what life will be like at home all day. Because the romantic notions (June Cleaver) wear off after the first week. I prefer, to channel Mrs. Walton. She was a simple, hard working mother, and she was always sewing or cooking something in her kitchen. Embrace a simple way of life. Don't let friends with careers make you feel resentful with your decision. Don't feel a need to keep up with what others do or have. Know everyday that what you are doing matters. Raising children and creating a peaceful comfortable home matters.
Proverbs 31:10-31 The Wife of Noble Character (summarized)
A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life......
She gets up while it is still dark;
she provides food for her family...
She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks....
She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy...
She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a women who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise...
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