I officially resigned from teaching in our local public school system last month. It was a huge decision, yet at the same time, a somewhat easy decision to make. I knew that I wanted nothing more than to be home with my kids. I now have three and I love being home with each of them.
But the decision to stay home full-time also put a little more stress on me as I worried about our finances. When I first started my family leave three years ago I was thrilled to be home with Boogie while expecting Buggy to make her debut. However, that first year was a rough one. My husband, who wanted nothing more than to support my decision, was stressing about our finances. There were often talks about what expenses (if any) we could cut out or about him getting a second job so that I wouldn't work. Hubby was very stressed about money, but didn't want to stress me out so we didn't talk about it in depth, but you could still feel the tension as he worried about making it possible for me to stay home full time. (Have I mentioned that I have an absolutely fabulous husband? I do, and I'm so grateful for him).
We survived the first year without my income and my husband relaxed a little bit. I renewed my leave for another year, but I was still worried. That year we received a blessing in the form of an unexpected inheritance from a great-great aunt. It was just the amount we needed to pay off our property taxes for the year. We survived another year without my income. This past year was a little tough and Hubby and I looked over our finances and had to make some decisions of what to cut out. We realized that food was a huge expense (going out, more specifically). We went out for food as a convenience. Stopping at the food court while at the mall, a stop at our favorite fast food restaurant on the home from practice or class, lunch at Hubby's work is less than $5 (but can add up over time), etc. and so forth. Our "going out" expense is an easy one to cut out and while we still go out now and again, I think whether or not it's worth it before satisfying any cravings. I have also been more cognizant of my purchases and have used coupons when I can. We're definitely doing better.
Since I've put in my paperwork to resign I sometimes wonder if I have shot my family in the foot financially. But I also remember that God has provided for us, year after year, in one form or another. I also have to remember that we're never given more than we can handle. Sometimes it's hard to put my faith and trust in God because he's not a tangible being. But nonetheless I pray. I pray because I've seen His Grace and Goodness in my life and in the life of others. I also trust. I trust that He will take care of us.
Once again I have found that His Grace is sufficient for me. My husband has been blessed with a promotion at work that included a slight pay bump. Enough for me to realize, yet again, that I have made the right decision to stay home for as long as is good for our family and that we'll be able to make this work for us, again.
Each year I grow in confidence that my staying home is the right thing for our family. I thank God for His Grace as I spend another year home with my sweet babies.