Tuesday, November 1, 2011

from working woman to...stay at home mommy?

it has always been my husband's and my dream for me to be able to stay at home and enjoy a full time "mommy-hood" lifestyle. we had it pretty mapped out; get out of student loan debt, i would quit my job, and be a full time mama...then two pink lines showed up and now we have our precious 3 lb 2 oz daughter almost in our arms. happened fast, and though we wouldn't change a thing, its changed our priorities. we are working hard to get out of debt, and have done a good job so far paying off absurdly high medical bills (my eye surgeries wiped us out for six months!), and staying away from excess debt by living simply and learning to budget. all that considered, we will be a one-income family for at least four months beginning in December. and let me tell you...being a two income family hasn't been extravagant, but it's downright cushy compared to a single income. hence, my newest journey, and the reason for the facelift to my blog... i'm learning how to be a stay at home mama, and also learning to cut back on expenses by becoming....an extreme couponer. yes, i said it! we've all been there haven't we? stuck behind the "crazy couponer" for 30 minutes behind the person in the checkout line with four inches of coupons clutched in their hands.
and now i'm about to become her.
my mom always taught us the value of a good deal when we were growing up, and she managed to run a household of 6 on a single income from my dad (something i find even more amazing as i begin to look at running a household of 3 on one income). even so, this is a whole new ballgame. i'm just starting out, so i'm beginning my "coupon binder" this week. there's like a whole new language to this couponing thing (words like BOGO and redplum and stacking make me want to quit before i have even started)...it's practically a job, it requires time and patience and a whole lot of organization to really accomplish anything more than a year's worth of excess pasta.
everyone has asked if i feel nervous about being a stay at home mom. to be honest...
i'm terrified. i couldn't be more thrilled about being with our tiny girl, i was a nanny for almost 8 years and am a nurse, so the idea of actually parenting a baby is not what i'm worried about. i've handled up to 16 kids on my own (that was a nightmare of a nannying job), and can change a diaper and soothe a baby like a pro. so unlike most first time mamas, the thought of a fever or screaming baby doesn't faze me. it's the "being home all the time" part. since high school, i have been running around like a chicken with my head cut off. i am busy. constantly, unceasingly busy. i have always worked at least one job, sometimes up to four. i thrive on being busy. the thought of being home by myself with no one but this tiny, sleeping infant makes me want to nervously start creating "to-do" lists so i can stay busy. i'm sure i'll adjust, but i get panicky after one day off...hopefully couponing will take some of that excess time up...or i'll start watching daytime TV.

i always wanted to watch re-runs of Judge Judy :)


Meredith said...

I'm excited to hear how your couponing goes! I've so been there--we are a one income family too. Let's just say that I have learned to make lots of things from scratch (bread, pizza dough, etc) out of necessity because it is so much less expensive!

I haven't done the coupon thing because I have the perception that most coupons out there are for packaged foods that we don't tend to buy, but I hope I learn from you that I'm wrong!

candacekretzer said...

Being a stay-at-home mom is a huge leap of faith, but it has awesome rewards. Jason and I listened to the Fulfilled Family series by John MacArthur right before and during my last year of nursing school was scheduled to begin. We just couldn't ignore the truth of what a mom's priorities must be, so that is why I quit nursing school. We had NO IDEA how we were going to survive on one income. Well, God provides. Within months of my quitting, Jason's business exploded. His business has grown at least 100% since - literally. He is making at least 2x as much as he was making when I quit. I'm glad you are making the choice to trust God and "manage your home", as the Apostle Paul encouraged women to do. Emmersyn's life will be exponentially better for it.