Thursday, August 18, 2011

Deciding to Stay Home

After the each of the boys were born, the idea of staying home passed fleetingly through my thoughts without much sticking power. I enjoyed being an adult and going to work everyday. It was nice to have that time with Larry without the kids around. However, as Peyton came upon school age, I started rethinking my decision. I wasn't thrilled with the idea of them having hours after school to roam around until I got home from work. I knew I had some time to make it work, but I wasn't sure if we would ever be able to afford it. The problem with having two incomes is you spend those two incomes.

The last three or four years, I was really restless at my job. It wasn't what I had planned for my life as I had fallen into the position, but I couldn't see starting somewhere else. My salary was good, I had a good deal of vacation time, etc. and I didn't have a boss breathing down my neck all the time. As far as a job went, it was great, but still I wasn't happy.

When I found out I was pregnant, the idea of staying home didn't just flit around my thoughts, but rather it implanted itself and took root. I ran numbers all the time in my head as I paid the bills and balanced the checkbook, but I still didn't see how we could make it work. After I had Elizabeth, I still hasn't worked the logistics out, but the desire to stay home was stronger than ever. I'd get ill thinking about leaving her just to sit at a desk all day and be miserable.

Funny how there's always that one thing that puts you over the top in decision making. We had paid some credit cards off and we were getting closer to making the one income thing work, but we just weren't there yet. When I went in for my 6-week postpartum visit and learned that my doctor's office had been ill advised by my insurance company and I did owe the $5,000.00 deductible as I had feared, it sent me over the edge. To say the least, I was pissed to learn that this was one more monthly payment that was going to keep me from staying home with my baby girl.

So, I got to figuring.

I won't go into the exact numbers here, but I added up as much of our debt as we could pay off, just leaving our mortgage, utilities and Larry's lease. That figure was very close to some money we had access to. Very close.

I don't believe in coincidence, but I do believe in providence. And to me, this was God practically yelling at me that this was the way our family needed to go. I just knew. And so I didn't look back. I gave my notice shortly after and have not regretted my decision at all. It's not to say that I've never gotten aggravated or lonely, but I've never wished I'd stayed at my job.

God continues to let me know that I'm following His plan by sending random help our way. For example, our homeowner's insurance finally went down, so we're getting money back from our escrow. I'm doing so much better personally too. Reading my Bible more, attending church regularly, having more fun with the boys, exercising, cooking dinner, playing Words with Friends (ha) . . .It's amazing how much one can do when you're not tied to an office for 9 hours a day.

And really, could you leave this sweet one?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Month Four

Dear Little Bit,

Hello Four Months, you've been pretty fun so far. You think you are so much older than you are. Trying to sit up on your own, wanting to hang with your brothers and looking at our food like you can't wait to eat it.

We do need to talk about the apparent onset of early separation anxiety. Really? I didn't even think you should know exactly who I am just yet, but apparently, I am pretty important. If someone else is holding you, even daddy sometimes, and I leave the room or even stray too far, holy cow, at the scream! As soon as I take you back and you figure it out, you are all smiles again. We're going to have to work on that Baby Girl.

Other than that, you are one happy baby. I love it in the morning when you wake up cooing and smiling at me. What a great start to the day.

You are a little drooly though. Actually, more than a little, A LOT. Need some teeth there, little one. I'm trying to remember to keep a bib on you, but sometimes I forget and then your whole outfit gets wet.

Look how big you are!

You are my Joy, sweet one. I thank God everyday for the gift of you.

Love, Mama