I Always Knew I Would be a Stay-at-Home-Mom by Clarissa West : Guest Post

This entry is part 4 of 6 in the series How I Became a SAHM

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Are you trying to figure out how to be a Stay at Home Mom? It's not the life for everyone but for everyone that would like to it can be possible. I posed this question to a few blogger friends and these are the results….

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I always knew I would be a stay-at-home-mom. I never even considered doing otherwise. This was partially due to me being naïve and partly due to the fact that I was raised in an one-income family, with my mother always home. I just assumed that was how all households functioned! I felt called to be a wife, mother, and homemaker and those were always my “dream” jobs. I am blessed to say that all of my dreams have come true!

Looking back, I realize that it was a tremendous blessing to have been cared for by my mother the majority of my childhood. In my earliest years of my life, I was not always cared for solely by my mom. We were farmers and my mom often worked outside in the fields with my dad. During the harvest season (summer), us little kids were cared for by various babysitters… some were my aunts, and others were teens from our church. They came to our home and my mom was in and out of the house every day. I have vague memories from this time, since we quit farming completely when I was about 8.

When I married at the very young age of 17, I expected to be starting a family right away. God had other plans. Though we wanted children, we did not have our first until we’d been married for over two years. Until our oldest was born, I was kept busy helping my mom clean, cook, and care for her home and my youngest siblings since she became very ill with cancer (and later passed away when I was 21). My older sisters and sisters-in-law also helped, but since I was the only one without children, it was easiest for me to be the one helping my mom and dad. Had I not been busy helping my parents, I believe I would have sought employment or perhaps took some college courses.

During the early years of our marriage, we were blessed to have my husband employed by my father in the construction business. This was a time of plenty and we were very blessed financially! Not only that, but we had dirt cheap rent at the time. We lived within our means and did not use credit cards, but we also had no need to! We practiced strict budgeting and I have records from every single month of our marriage (over 12 years later), tracking every single cent we spent! We knew exactly where every penny went. We saved up and bought everything we needed with cash… we were doing very well!

Since having children, things have changed drastically! In fact, the year we found out we were expecting our first child, our income was cut in half when my husband decided to start his own business. We had bought a home prior to that and we then sold it to finance his business. Four years and a lot of debt later, my husband went back to being an employee and we experienced foreclosure on our home (the 2nd home we had owned).

Now, six years later, we are rebuilding our credit, renting a tiny home within our means, and living month-to-month with no savings to speak of. I am doing my best to earn from home through my direct sales business and by picking up various writing jobs. I also hope to become a Virtual Assistant for another like-minded work-from-home-mom to bring in extra income. I wouldn’t recommend being as financially strapped as we are now, but we have learned a lot about what is important during the recent economic recession.

We’ve had set backs, but never have I gone to work outside of the home. It has always been our priority for me to stay home with our children and we’ve made necessary sacrifices to be sure that I can.

Sometimes, this means we eat a lot of rice and beans (for real), get by without new clothes (we are blessed to get most of our children’s clothes second hand or as birthday gifts), or simply do without unnecessary things. Granted, we do accept some aid from the government and have since our oldest daughter was diagnosed with a mitochondrial disorder in 2008 (there was no way we could afford her medical care).

Our cars are paid for, thanks to tax refunds and trading in old for new-er vehicles. We don’t have any current loans or credit cards, but are still paying on the debt we got ourselves into while self-employed in 2004-2008.

We now make a modest income and still stick to a strict budget. We do have the luxury of a date night out once a month, pay for a Netflix subscription, and have smartphone wireless service… so I’d say we are pretty well off!

If I could change what we’ve been through in the last twelve years of marriage in the financial area, I would make sure we never went into any debt whatsoever, would have saved like crazy during the years of plenty, and I would have sought a way to earn from home much earlier than I did!

That being said, we might not have learned the lessons we did about being self reliant and putting relationships first above money and things. I had to give up my “dream home” on 20-acres along with the house we built, but I learned that having my husband & children (we now have seven!) is much more important than where we live or how much land we own. In fact, the happiest years of our marriage have been the last several that we’ve been renting a tiny house on a city lot and living on next to nothing! Our kids are perfectly happy as well!

I am of the opinion that any family can live on one income (with or without the wife supplementing by working from home). It is a matter of priorities. If you truly want to be a SAHM, then downsize, sacrifice having things, find a way to work from home yourself, and realize that a life of luxury is a matter of perspective. The moments you get with your children in return… are priceless.

Clarissa-WestClarissa West is a Christian Wife, Homeschooling Mama, and Homemaker. She blogs at Counting Our Blessings about her life with 8 children (1 resides in heaven).

Series Navigation<< How I Became a SAHM – a Guest PostI Never Planned to be a Mother : A SAHM Story >>

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One Comment

  1. I love hearing other stories about how moms decided to stay at home. I also love to see that all kinds of moms can stay at home. There are often sacrifices involved, but many times it can work out for the family.

    Thank you, Clarissa, for sharing your story! 🙂

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