Whether it’s darning my husband’s socks (again I have a blog entry on this too), using and caring for cloth diapers, making my own baby food, baking my own bread, and cooking all of my family’s food (ok fine, we eat out sometimes too!), I feel as if I have finally found my calling. I absolutely love being at home, taking care of my family’s needs, and taking care of my own children 24-7 instead of shipping them off to an institution every day. Who knew? Definately not me! If you had asked me several years ago, I would have very rudely laughed in your face (being me a few years ago was not my most proudest moments). After all, I loved having my own my mural business, I loved having money to burn, and I loved the satisfaction of knowing that I could take care of myself and contribute to my family.Of course, there was always this little niggling feeling in my heart that wished things could be different, and I could be with my children. However, my husband made a comment to me way back when my son and daughter were only a few years old. I had just quit a job that I had been at for many years, because I knew that I was being taken advantage of, and one that pulled me away from my family way too much. I decided to stay home with my children instead of finding another job, because ever since they were born, I was always pulled in two different directions: wanting to be with my children always, and having to work to bring in a second income. Well, it was tough…really tough. I have always done the bills, but my husband could feel the struggle with our finances, because I was constantly having to tell him no to things that he wanted. Food was also more basic than we were used to, and there was no more going out to eat (which we loved to do). So finally, after the stress of being in financial distress, he said to me, “I didn’t sign up for this. I don’t mind working, but I never agreed to you not working to help out too.”. Needless to say, it devastated me. I drew up some signs on poster board, and got to work opening an in-home daycare to help with the bills. That comment stuck with me for the next several years of our marriage, and I never dared to ask to stay at home with the kids again without bringing in some sort of income. I always pulled my weight with my paycheck, in fact, it became a competition as to who could make more.
To give my poor husband credit, he regrets ever saying that to me. When your young you tend to be pretty stupid when saying everything that comes to your mind (hey, it’s true!). I was also a major contributing factor to our unsuccessful venture at being a one income family. I was terrible at managing our money. Looking back, we had plenty of money for our needs, just way too many ‘wants’ that took our ‘need’ money! Looks like we were both young and dumb.One day, we both smartened up, when God whispered in my ear to take back my kids from the world and homeschool them. To close my business and concentrate on my family. To let my husband take his place as the head of our household. Oh, and to submit to my husband….sure thing, because you hear that so often these days! With a little help from the Duggar’s show, a little research on the internet, and a little reading of Steven and Teri Maxwell’s books, and I was on my way to this whole new way of worshiping God and living my life for Christ. I just never knew that life could be so simple, that it was God’s design to be simple, and that the modern American has made it so complicated. There is such a peace now. I know that I am exactly where God wants me to be. I am where my husband wants me to be. Finally, I am where I want to be.
I quit working outside the home, we live on one income, and we have never been happier. There is something so satisfying about taking care of your family. My husband says knowing that he alone provides for his family makes him the happiest he has ever been in his life. My children may have balked at first about being homeschooled, but they love how close our family has become. Everything seemed to fall into place the moment that we realized that God has a purpose for a man and a purpose of a woman. Now that is not to say that I do not believe that men and women can’t be anything that they set their minds to be (so don’t flood me with hate mail). God has a calling for everyone. However, there are certain things that are gender specific, whether people want to admit it or not.
The Proverbs 31 woman works…..she just does it from the home. There are many ways for a woman to ‘work’ at home and raise her children, and I finally found out what my ‘work’ is. When I shut down my mural business for good, I started teaching art lessons to homeschool children. I also am thinking about selling homemade goods over the internet. However, no matter what I choose to do for extra income, it will not interfere with my family. I recently made a mistake of taking a job for a family friend. He owns a few properties pertaining to cars, auto repair, and rental cars. He needed me to paint on the side of one of his buildings, big as a billboard, so people could see the services that he offered. I felt like it would be a good opportunity to make a little extra money for my family. Problem was, I had to work on it from about 7:00 p.m. to 2 or 3 a.m. every evening for a week. One reason was that it was 100 degrees that week, and another was because I could not bring my toddler up there with me. I was tired and cranky during the day, so my teenagers bore the brunt of that. In the end, it just wasn’t worth it. My husband and I made up our minds that I will not do that again….if I can help it (never say never….circumstances may demand it).I am most at peace when I am serving my family. Not like a waitress or a slave, because my children are extremely caring, and chip in with most chores. Just knowing that I can devote my full attention to them brings tears to my eyes. It is so hard to focus on your children, their needs, and making sure that you are teaching them about God, His word, and life skills such as math, etc., if your attention is constantly pulled on other things. The stress of an outside job, the demands of working for a boss or your own clients can be too much to bear along with taking care of your children. God did not design it this way. My husband brings home the bacon, which frees me up to fry it up and give it to him and my chicks. Because I am not under constant pressure to make deadlines and to find jobs (as all self-employed people have to do) the house is always lived in and homey (not always cleaned up though!) and our day-to-day needs are taken care of without stress. That gives my husband a lot more time to hang out with our kids and me, to take care of the heavy lifting (meaning outside work and cars) and to rest himself. Sounds antiquated, but it is what God intended. Sounds antiquated, but it works for us!