I'm a big proponent for stay-at-home moms! After all, I AM one and was raised by one. Some people look down on me or give me the impression they think I'm either lazy, unmotivated, or just plain spoiled (I've gotten, "I wish I had the luxury of staying home!") I know women who have no choice to work, either because their husbands push it or it's the only way that they can keep their kids fed and my heart goes out to them. I also have many friends who CHOOSE to work and I don't always know their motivations and therefore shouldn't judge them. It's their choice and their family and I love them even if they are doing something different from me.
However, back to my main point: Because I believe that being a stay-home mommy is the best choice for one's kids and God's original plan for the family, I believe that God BLESSES it abundantly when a mother makes that choice in a world where almost no one stays home anymore. I'm not making an across-the-board statement that all stay-at-home moms are wonderful because there are some who are lazy, resentful, bored, or selfish with their kids. I'm also not saying that you will never be blessed if you are a working mother. A dual-income family will often have more financial resources to pay down debt, spend more, go on nicer vacations, etc. I'm not saying I never make money either because I have done things to bring in a little extra income (writing articles for Associated Content, raking leaves, babysitting, cleaning for my mom, etc.) What I am saying is this: When you follow God's design, He is faithful.
My mom always used to explain to me that it was because of God's provision that she was able to be at home for us. Almost everything she needed at the grocery store each week "just happened" to be on sale. The Lord provided meat for us through my Dad's elk hunting and trading local ranchers the furniture he builds for a beef. My mom gardened and canned. She was frugal! Staying home meant that both of my parents sacrificed and worked toward that goal as of primary importance in their family life.
Since becoming a stay-at-home mom myself I have watched in awe as God has opened the storehouses of heaven for us. This is not to say we have no lack of funds or wants. We've lived in small apartments most of our married life and can't eat out very often. We drive older vehicles and our vacations consist of cross-country trips to visit family. But we've always been taken care of and all of our needs have been met. With each child God has given us King Jo has received a raise or a higher-paying job when we wondered how we could possibly make ends meet for another family member. God led us to the option of homebirth before we had full maternity coverage and He gave me the strength through it, saving us $10,000! I actually prefer it to hospital birth!
Just today at the grocery store God again confirmed for me that I am exactly where He wants me to be and I love my "job" and would never trade it for any other. Thanks to a tip at Money Saving Mom I ran to Safeway this morning and got paid 55 cents to buy 12 large boxes of Cheese Nips! Unbelievable! I used a 55 cent Nabisco coupon and they were on a sale for $1 a box and if you buy 6 you get $6 off. I also decided to splurge and get some Organic Pretzels which were on clearance and some organic frozen veggies that were on sale. (I'm making an effort to eat more organic, especially produce and milk). It turns out they rang up even cheaper than I had originally thought! I also snagged an adorable teddy bear marked 75% off ($1.75) to throw in my gift bag for a baby shower gift. Everything pictured here (plus two more bananas which my kids were eating when I took this photo) for $7.76! Maybe this seems goofy to you, and I'm sure some snicker at the fact that I take pictures of my groceries but whenever these "little things" happen for me, I see the hand of my Father at work, reminding me that He is taking care of us. Even though the price of groceries continually skyrockets and my kids seem to do nothing but eat, ALL THE TIME, He is faithful! To top it all off, my dad swung by my house and saw all the crackers and was so amazed, he offered to buy two boxes for $1 since he likes them too. So, I got paid $1.55 on this deal and got 10 boxes of crackers! Keep your eyes peeled for great deals, they are out there!
To answer those critics of at-home mommies:
Lazy? I've NEVER worked a harder job in my life! There are few if any breaks for years on end and the task is of infinite importance. Mommies are shaping and training immortal souls!
Unmotivated or wasting my brain? I've NEVER been as inspired and challenged in my creativity as I am now! I've never enjoyed a job so much!
Suppressed? I've NEVER had so much freedom to order my days according to the tasks/activities I want to accomplish with my kids.
Not reaching out enough? I can think of several people I've shared the Gospel with this month through my words and actions, have you? There is no end to the opportunities I have with my neighbors and non-Christian mom friends to be a light.
Spoiled? Our family lives on less income than most of our friends. We are technically considered "poverty level" if you look at the numbers. We survived on one income back when King Jo only made $9 (before taxes) an hour. When the time comes for us to buy or build a home, I'm sure God will provide for us then too. We sacrifice many of the things people take for granted so that I can stay at home. We don't eat out often, we don't have cell phones, cable TV (or any TV channels), high speed internet, and don't pay for professional hair-cuts. Coming into the marriage with the goal of staying home in mind, we made careful choices. It didn't just happen; it takes lots of effort. We aren't just "rolling in money!" *l*
This post isn't intended to be a debate on working or staying home. It's not intended to offend those who choose to work. It's a personal testimony of how I see God at work in our lives, taking care of our needs. I'd rather not start a big debate because I already know where I stand on this issue!