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?


Chelle said...

You clearly made the right choice; I couldn't leave those preshus cheeks, either. But, I know what a tough choice it was to make. When I left Old Job, I struggled mightily with a loss of identity, I mean, I used to be Somebody.But, with the reduced hours that I work now, I am able to be SOMEBODY for my kids and that wins out over being well-known in my community, anyday.

tamara said...

:) That's all I've got to say.

carrie said...

So glad that you are able to do that! God does amazing things for us!

Rebecca said...

So glad for you!!