Coming Home – Part 4: Prepare

[Coming home is a 4-part series directed toward working moms who feel called to be at home but feel like they “have” to work, primarily due to finances.  This is the final post in the series.  Read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.]

You’ve been praying about it.  You’ve been praying for it.  You’ve been thoughtful about your reasons for coming home, and have a good picture of what life will be like when you get there.

You have really solidified the feeling that you were called to be home.

Now the rubber meets the road.  It’s time to prepare for your home-coming!

1.  Talk with your spouse.  You’ve probably already done this.  In fact, you should be doing it all along the way.  But this time plan a purposeful, uninterrupted meeting to talk about how you can make this happen.  Together.  You need to be in agreement or it won’t work.  Continue with the prayer.

2.  Review your finances.  Together.  Take a hard look at where changes can be made, and decide what sacrifices you are willing to make.  Do you need to focus on paying off some debts in order to reduce your monthly expenses?  Do you need to adjust your lifestyle or discretionary spending?  Do you need to revise or defer your dream of home ownership, or maybe downgrade your current house?  I said it wouldn’t be easy.  In fact, for some it might be downright painful.  But you need to decide – together – that your sacrifices are worth the reward of you going home.

3.  Talk about your expectations.  Do you (or your spouse) need to work through personal or relational issues and emotions related to only having one income earner?  What expectations does your spouse have of you as a full-time homemaker?  Do they match up with your visions?  Discuss.

4.  Implement your plan.  If you’re in a place where losing your income isn’t going to be a huge barrier to coming home, practice living on one income for a few months.  If you need to work on improving your financial situation, do it.  Make the sacrifices you agreed upon, and review your progress often.  Remember that the choices you have made got you here, and the choices you are making will get you to your dream.

And there it is.  No magic bullet, no waiting for miracles.  Just prioritization, sacrifice, and parnership with your spouse.  If you are called to be home, God will help get you there – but you need to show your willingness to make changes, too.

Readers, what other steps do women need to take?  Any suggestions on communicating with your spouse about the process?  What do you think has been the most difficult part of your own journey?

 

 

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7 thoughts on “Coming Home – Part 4: Prepare

  1. In our family, my husband is the one who is home and it is incredibly valuable. He loves to cook and is “a homebody” while I love to be on the go. He is a student and this is conducive to being home. It WAS a sacrifice to go back to work after 6 weeks and I would love the opportunity to only work PT with number 2, but I have really appreciated his gifts at home!

  2. I don’t know if you already covered it in a previous post, but I would add ‘be prepared to miss working outside the home.’ It might not happen for a long time, and it might be fleeting, but it’s likely that at some point, you will. And that’s ok, as long as you know you’re meant to be at home. I’ve missed it here and there, and no, it’s not during the moments of unending crying from babies or acts of toddler defiance! It’s just one of those moments where you feel like you might be missing out on something or where you wonder what life would be like if you still worked at such-and-such. Sort of the ‘grass is greener’ idea. If you go through the steps Kristina outlined (which I think are thorough and spot on!), you can be content knowing you’re where you’re meant to be.

    1. Great point! I hadn’t mentioned that at all, I didn’t even think of that. It’s so valuable to have you share as a SAHM because those are the types of things that I forget about. Thank you for sharing!

  3. This is a really well thought out series. One step that I was valuable in our family choosing the single income route was talking with older women (and men too) about what they have reaped from the choice. I know that the generational gap doesn’t make comparisons easy, but there is value in hearing from someone who has been there and done that.

    I would also echo Jessica’s comment. Before coming home I didn’t realize how much of my worth I tied into being really good at my career. My colleagues noticed and often complimented me and I glowed! When I came home, the only person who could offer meaningful compliments was my husband. It took a while for us to work out the kinks for him to realize how much I needed his affirmation and for me to let some of that go and find a few other sources to rely upon.

    Thanks for the series Kristina!

  4. I was able to come home after my first child was born, but it has been a process. The hardest part was learning that we don’t need everything we think we do. If I’m alive at this moment (which I am), I don’t really need anything that I don’t already have. Eventually my clothes will wear out, and I will need to keep eating, and of course we will always need a roof over our heads, but I don’t need fancy clothes, new gadgets, or fast food. Especially since I am home. I can wear sensible clothing and make food from scratch, and save bucketloads of cash while doing so. Being home also gives me the time to plan meals, mend clothing, make laundry soap, and other odds and ends that would be harder for a working woman. This, and not having to pay for child care, transportation, etc. enables us to save almost what I would be making if I were to go back to work. Plus, I love it! I love being home with my little guy, and having absolute control over my housework. I love having time in the mornings to write after my husband goes to work and before my son gets out of bed. I hope someday to earn a living by writing, so I look at is as “my job,” and get satisfaction from that. Good luck to anyone making the change. In my experience, it has been a good one!

    1. Thank you for sharing! I love hearing from all these SAHM’s about your experiences, because that’s the best place to get good advice on actually doing it! 🙂 I appreciate you taking the time to contribute.

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