I was 30 years old when I had my first son. When I discovered I was pregnant, 3 months after our wedding, it was my ninth year of teaching and I had just finished my master's degree the year before. My PHD program was starting up in a few months and I was thrilled to be working my way towards my dream of being a head-of-school in some capacity.
In my circles of friends, you married young and kids quickly followed. My mother, and the mothers of my friends were stay-at-home-moms. The thought of working after I had kids never even entered into my mind. For me, my job was what I would do until the role I most cared about came along-that of wife and mother.
But God's timing was not mine. I waited and waited and waited some more. But family life eluded me. And then, at age 29, I married my Mr. Wrong-one of the best days of my life!
Three months later, we were expecting our first baby!
And just like that, I turned down a full grant for my doctorate degree, and let my beloved employers know that I would not be signing my contract to teach the following year.
For us, it was an easy decision with hard sacrifices. But it was not something we wavered on or have ever regretted.
Even though I was deeply passionate and successful as a teacher, it was always a “chapter” for me-and this next one trumped my career.
When my husband and I were dating, the desire to be at home with my kids was something I was up front about and discussed early on. Going into marriage, we were on the same page, totally aware that this was what we would do in our home-whatever it took.
It meant apartment living, old cars, no vacations, and lots of humility-especially living in California where the cost of living is higher than most parts of the country. Totally challenging. Totally worth it. Even through a down economy and years off and on of unemployment, as well as two more sons in our family, the temptation to return to full-time work was simply not an option.
My prayer was that I would be able to raise my children and be busy at home as a homemaker first, and introduce other work or hobbies that we felt would compliment our lives depending on any given chapter.
Eventually, I would do some part-time property management from home, tutoring students as time allowed, and seasons where I did no other work at all.
The past two years have brought a new business into our lives where my husband takes the lion's share of the responsibility but where I also have a significant role in the company as well as the time I spend writing and blogging. No nanny, no housekeeper-although I'm looking forward to a little help someday! And yet, God has given us a fluid schedule, a wonderful partnership with distinct roles, and a common core value that keeps us going and able to give attention to what or who needs it most at any given time.
Personally, I love to hear how other moms are managing their homes, activities as a family, and hobbies or work-at-home lifestyles. I learn new tricks from them, get encouragement, and have someone to relate too. I need that in the midst of so many vying needs!
My friend Ginny from Monkey and Lamb, is one of those women-and we have a lot in common!
As high school students, we were exchange students together in Belgium-one of the most gloriously wonderful times of my life. We both lived with the same family for a while and shared a room. As career women-we would both return to our Alma Mater as teachers, and now as wives and moms we both do some form of working from home. But that's where the similarity ends-you see, Ginny is a sewing and crafting wizard. I on the other hand need help mending a missing button. Different strokes for different folks!
I love hearing about how other stay-at-home-moms keep their creative juices flowing and also help bring in a bit of support to the family income. Ginny is a perfect example!
She started her Etsy Shop, Monkey And Lamb (named after her kids' nicknames!) recently and we thought it would be a GREAT idea to offer YOU a discount in her store!
Now through December 20th, you can get 15% off her adorable products-banners, table runners, bean bags, handbags, and more!
Use the code KNIGHTS15 at checkout to save!
Ginny is also generously giving away THREE wonderful products to one of my readers! Enter the GIVEAWAY for your chance to win a colorful Bean Bag Set, a super cute Whale Crayon Role, and a fun Reversible Christmas Table Runner, by clicking on the link below:
Will you help spread the word about Monkey and Lamb by sharing this giveaway? We know it will bless someone to win these wonderful handmade products!
YOUR TURN: How about you? How do you keep your mind stimulated or creativity flowing as a stay-at-home or work-at-home mom?
Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored. Titus 2:3-5