Monday, March 17, 2008

Want to Stay at Home with Your New Baby?

From the time I knew I was pregnant, I wanted to stay home with my baby. So my husband and I began to make some changes to our lifestyle in order for me to be able to stay home. The first thing we did was look for a cheaper place to live! We were living in Charlotte, NC, at the time, and we were in a really nice apartment. Of course, we were both working, so we could afford a beautiful, new apartment in the city, close to our jobs. But we said a prayer, let go of it, and started looking for somewhere else. Just about five miles away, we found a fantastic apartment, on the bus transit line (Yeah, we dropped down to one car, too! One car = one car payment....two cars = two car payments....just do the math!), and $200 less than what we were paying! With an extra $200 a month and only one car payment, things started to look doable!

There are lots of things you can do from home if you really want to be there with your baby. You might even be able to arrange with your current job to work from home. But please don't ever forget WHY you're staying home! If you get all wrapped up in trying to make money from home--especially where the Internet is concerned, because the Internet is open 24/7--you've lost your focus. You've got to remember your top priority isn't making money. Your top priority is being a mom. And there is no greater calling. So don't get it backwards!

My friend Cherie and I compare notes all the time. She works from home selling beautiful hand-crafted lighting: chandeliers, sconces, gorgeous stuff. She's been at this for several years. It has not been an overnight success! But I ran into her at the grocery store over the weekend and she had big news: One of her chandeliers was featured in an article in Better Homes and Garden magazine! Wow! How exciting! She has worked so hard over the past several years building her business and that's what it's all about--doing something you love, for the people you love, and hanging in there. Pressing through when you feel like giving up.

I didn't start writing books and freelancing immediately after my babies were born. That would come later. What I tried to do in the early years was cut costs, and that became a job in itself.
Clipping coupons,
Learning to recycle and reuse,
Making my own baby wipes,
Making my own baby food, and
Shopping consignment sales for clothes
all helped to add to our bottom line!

Another thing I found during those early years of staying at home: I had to learn to be content. It continues to be a lifelong lesson, because, believe me, now that I have teenagers, I can attest to the fact that they are not getting any cheaper! LOL! But it's just really important, if you decide to stay at home, to be content in what your husband can provide: doing the best with what you have and learning to do without the things that are not necessary.

Babies do not stick around. They grow up. Fast.

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have,
because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you"
(Hebrews 13:5).


No comments: