I was blessed to grow up with a mother who was committed to being a stay-at-home wife and mom, and a dad who was committed to making that happen. Even during lean times (and we had some very lean times as I got older) the idea of her getting a job outside the home never even came up as an option. We sacrificed in whatever ways we had to in order to live on my dad’s income and stay out of debt. Things got better, much better, in a couple short years, but that time still stands out to me as one when my family's commitments really became reality. Having that consistency, and also pulling together to be frugal and live within our means, gave us a great deal of closeness and stability.
One day when I was talking to a pastor’s daughter, the youngest of six godly children who are all now grown, I asked, “What was the best thing about being in a pastor’s family?” Her answer surprised me, because it was really unrelated to being a pastor’s kid. She said, “The best part of my childhood was knowing that mom would always be home. Even when I got into junior high and high school, I knew that she’d be there waiting for me when I got off the bus, and that meant so much.”
I know a precious single mother who opened a home daycare (maybe there’s a little irony there) and works as a church janitor at night. This has enabled her to be a stay-at-home mom during her childrens’ teenage years. I know things have been tough at times, but her cheerful heart and willingness to live frugally have paid off. She’s raised good, responsible children who are close to her.
As I was thinking about this topic, I did an informal survey of some stay-at-home moms I’m acquainted with online. Although I didn’t ask anyone to share incomes, most of them volunteered that their families lived on less than $50,000 per year, many of them on much, much less. All had at least two children, most four or more. Most had little if any debt, including car notes.
They shared wonderful ideas on how to save money so that their families could live on one income. But the general consensus was that the biggest factor in making it on one income is attitude. They believe that the sacrifices they make are worth it if it enables them to stay home with their children, and they take care to live with joy and contentment and not fall into a poverty mindset. They’re thankful.
I appreciate these ladies who are committed to being keepers at home, and the husbands who allow them to. They’re an inspiration to me, shining examples in their passion for their families and their willingness to live frugally.
I want to mention, too, how very grateful I am for a husband who wants me to stay home and works so hard to support our family. Billy is God's gift to me in so many ways, this being just one. It means more than I can say. I'm blessed.