Before Dan and I got married, we talked about our desire to have children. The choice I'll be discussing today wasn't if we should have them or not, it was about how we were going to bring them up. Would I continue to work full-time or become a stay-at-home Mom?
Most of the time, especially for big decisions, we look to Scripture to instruct us on how to live. I know many choices we make probably seem really "extreme" to people, but as Christians, we're striving to follow God's word and that's not always the normal way to do it in today's society. To be honest, before I started researching and looking into things myself, I would have looked at the choices we now make and thought, "wow, they are way out there!"
So, how did we decide that I would become a stay-at-home Mom and what was our reasoning behind it? To put it simply, OUR CHILDREN are the reason! What's more important to me...making more money to buy more things or investing my time and energy into my kids?
It wasn't a hard decision, but it was difficult to get where we are now. We waited five years after getting married to have Trinity. During that time, we bought a lot of things we wanted for our future. My husband has a full gym in our basement (which I try to use a couple times a week also) and all of our equiptment was purchased within our first few years of marriage.
We tried to get as out of debt as possible. (However, if I had it to do over again, I would have saved a lot more money and tried to live below our means then.) We did make some good decisions back then though. We bought our first house and paid off both of our vehicles. The only thing we are still paying on is our house. We also rarely use our credit card, maybe a couple times a month, and then we pay it off each month. Our ultimate goal is financial freedom, although it will take another 27 years to pay off our house!
I understand that not everyone has the option to quit their job, but it was a choice that was very important to us. We had planned for this years ago. I will admit that it is hard to live off one salary and it is a sacrifice. However, it's well worth it! I'm okay with not having a huge house, flashy vehicles, expensive clothes, and the newest technology gadgets. We live a very simple life and it works!
There are many places in the Bible that talk about training up your children and how they are treasures. (Just to name a few in case you would want to look them up for yourself: Deut. 6:6-9, Prov. 22:6, Psalm 127:3-4, 3 John 4) It was our conviction to take our role as parents seriously and to pour ourselves into our kids so they can grow up and make a difference for God! I know everyone will not agree with us on this topic, but we feel there is no greater joy than investing in our children's lives!
There is a common misconception that being a stay-at-home Mom means that I can sleep in and just watch TV all day. Oh, if only that was the way it worked! :) I do try to squeeze in Dr. Phil and maybe Oprah if it's around naptime, but there are many days that I have to get up earlier than I had set the alarm for because our two year old is up and wants breakfast already. I spend a huge chunk of my day changing diapers, feeding the baby, doing laundry, dishes, playing with blocks, reading books, dancing to the Wiggles, and watching VeggieTales AGAIN and AGAIN! I could go on and on, but I wouldn't choose to do any other job in the world!
What are some choices that you have made to better your family?