Opening Up, a Little

I’m frustrated. With finances. I can see why so many people are dealing with foreclosures, with the cost of living going up, but not wages. It’s a good thing my hubby works his tail off (with 2nd, 3rd, and 4th odd jobs), or we just wouldn’t be making it. Still, it is super frustrating that his regular paycheck only leaves us with $25 a month to pay for gas and groceries. Seriously. I have a hard time with the uncertainty of it all.
I’m at one of those stations in life, where I just have to trust. Trust God and my husband that everything is going to be okay. And I believe that, I do, but I have a hard time not being involved with “the bringing of bacon.” I know my job as a mother and house-wife is really important and totally irreplaceable, but I just feel restless right now. I don’t like feeling like I only contribute to the “outgo” of things. I know I need to change my thinking.
At the same time, I feel really guilty complaining about this too. I know there are a lot of people in worse off situations than mine. They are losing their homes for real, and they don’t know where their next meal is coming from. What do I possibly have to complain about?
Anyways, as you can see, I haven’t brought any form of a consensus or closure to this. It’s ongoing, and I don’t have the answers. I just needed to get it out there, out of my head where I could see it. Plus, I’m tired of not writing because of all these worries that are blocking my brain. So this is my attempt to un-block, to better understand myself, to be active. I accept the risk that sometimes I might look pretty silly or stupid, or irrational, or any other negative adjective you can stick in there. I just can’t hole it up in my head anymore. It must come out.
There, I said it. I’m nervous, but I think I’ll feel better.


14 thoughts on “Opening Up, a Little

  1. Sarah, we’re in the same boat as you are. Trying to make ends meet where there are none. We don’t have enough money to pay all our bills right now. Our mortgage is a month behind, we have two car payments which we wouldn’t get what we owe on them if we trade them in. We’re just struggling right now. It is frustrating and I know exactly how you feel. Even though God always provides and allows things to happen for a reason, it’s still scary. Even if we sold our house we haven’t accumulated enough equity to get something else. The price of housing is so outrageous right now. I sometimes think . Maybe I should go back to work a few nights a week. But then I would never see my husband. We did that when we first got married and it was too stressful. He didn’t have enough time to relax when he got home from work and I was rushing to get dinner ready and out the door. See I had to actually write that down just now to remember what is was like. I know we will both look back at these times and see how God carried us through. It’s just hard when your going through it. Know your not alone on this journey. I’m sure most young couples with kids are going through the same thing. It’s just not like it use to be. And your right there are people that have NOTHING at all. At least we have full bellies :o) I wish I had more encouraging words for you Lol! I’m just feeling you on this one . XOXO

  2. Just because you stay home doesn’t mean you can’t contribute. You have more talent in your little finger than the majority of the population has in their entire bodies. You are an amazing artist – and by amazing i’m going with the awe inspiring definition.

    I say, figure out some way to make it work. If you can’t figure out how to sell your work or get it noticed, then figure out how to manipulate it to make money. For instance, you could set up a mural painting buisness. The kind where they go into baby’s rooms and paint pictures on the walls. That would be really cool. All you’d need to do is set up a website and make sure you get into a few search engines. Or you could paint a few walls, take pictures, and make them into flyers and hand them out at the local gym class or baby class.

    Use the talents God gave you. There’s no reason you can’t do that AND stay home.

  3. Time (or some other magazine like it) did a study once to find out how much you’d have to pay someone to do everything a stay-at-home mom does (childcare, cooking, shopping, cleaning, budgeting, etc.). I think the figures came out around $125,000 a year. They also found that in order for it to be profitable for the mom to work, she’d have to make over $65,000 a year. Unless she had free childcare, which brought it down to about $35,000 to be profitable. So even besides the fact that your kids benefit from having you available, it’s financially smart to be there. That’s what I tell myself. That and the fact that I someday, someday will sell a novel or a short and help pay off student loans. But anyway, I can so relate.

  4. I can SOOO relate too. I think you have just put into words the struggle of most couples with young children. Even more so, the ones who are attempting to exist on one income. I don’t have answers, just the most favorite verse that God uses to remind me of some stuff:
    “Listen my dear borthers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith, and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?” James 2:5
    I try to remind myself that I would much rather be chosen to be rich in faith, and to inherit God’s kingdom. But I still occasionally wish that I could pay the bills when I get them, or buy juice and chocolate chips (for making cookies) at the grocery store, or even go to Starbuck’s every once in a while! =) I will be praying that God will send you a Starbuck’s-like suprise to remind you that He sees you and knows what you need. =)

  5. Well, no matter that others may have it MUCH harder than myself, it is SO hard sometimes to be patient with God.
    Often my prayer is “Thanks for providing our daily bread, but could we PLEASE have some breating room!”
    Right now my hubby and I are just getting out of a financial snafu where our greatest support check from our church was sent to a different ministry with a similar name . . .ACK!
    And then there are just days where I’d rather be at an office than the one responsible for lunch AGAIN and for the home . . . .
    often in fact
    but I aplaude you for making the dicision to put your kids and family first.

  6. Oh, Sarah, I am so old you’d think I would have a wise answer. Alas, I have more debt now than at any time before in my life and everything is hand to mouth and 29 days of month left over after the money is spent…….

    If I had to do it over again, I would still stay home with my kids – even more!

    So here’s my advice: Relax and do nothing but love and raise those kids for a few more months. Let your husband continue to provide. Do what you can by being thrifty at the grocery and at the department store, turn out lights, conserve energy and save on bills, etc. Do not incure additional debt.
    Then, when you can (as in when you can catch an hour or two a day) Do start something industrious or creative (pottery, paint, photography…..)and pray that it blossums into some gravy money without consuming your life; but please, please, don’t feel you have to be a breadwinner when you have a four month old, a two year old and a four year old!!!!!!! Naw! Right now you are their whole universe.

  7. Hmm . . . you are not silly or stupid, or irrational, or any other negative adjective you can think of. Well, okay, you are one adjective – human – but that’s not necessarily negative. The primary instruction that God has been giving me for nearly a year seems so simple, yet is one of the hardest I’ve had: “Relax and trust Me.” He is patient in the teaching – He knows that in order to relax and trust, we have to have knowledge of what it is we are trusting. So he faithfully talks to us and reveals Himself and does not get angry when we take tentative steps instead of bold ones. I guess I would encourage you not to fall into the religious trap of thinking you are messing everything up if you even experience anxiety. This journey is, by definition, a Journey, not a Destination. The destination is is Him. The journey from here to Him is to experience Life.

  8. I just barely printed off our bank statement and realized the same thing!! (I sooo needed to read this post today!) We’ve had to use our overdraft protection to pay our bills, and get our electricity turned back on, now we’re $600 behind even though my husband just got paid today! How does this happen? I can’t blog about it because my husband reads it and the last thing I want him to feel is that he’s not doing a good job providing for our family. He is- we are making more money now than we ever have, and yet we still can’t make ends meet. But I’m in your shoes too, with three little munchkins, I can’t work outside the home. Paying for daycare alone would consume any paycheck I was able to bring hom.

    Truly the ONLY thing we can do is have FAITH. Satan would have us believe that we can’t survive on our income, no matter the amount, and make us feel like we need to be outside the home making more money–he’s trying to destroy the most solid foundation, which is our family and our homes. We just can’t let him win.

  9. Sarah – I’m glad you shared this. I read a lot of blogs and some people will mildly fess up to money being tight, but it’s almost too shameful for people to admit how tight it is.

    We’re in the same boat. We are in major debt. Without credit cards, we wouldn’t eat at this point. Carlos and I are both doing what we can to make money here and there, save money here and there, and yet we still want to have fun as a family . (There are a lot of free things to do – but obviously that can get old! Just driving anywhere costs a fortune.)

    Anyway – you’re not alone, and it is scary. So many other American are in the same spot, esp. with the cost of living going up gas/food/insurance. Try to keep your head above water (or atleast your nostrils.)

    Hopefully God will be faithful and provide. And when we lack faith, may God help us there, too.


  10. True, Tee (above), very true. Well said.
    When it gets to that point (I am there once again); there are only two options:
    1) sell something
    2) take yet another job
    I think this is MOST frustrating to mothers of young children. We NEED all the things to survive and we need NOT to go away from our kids to work. And we NEED gasoline to get to work……it is endless.
    Still, if I had it to do over, I would not go in debt – I would bite the bullet right then and there cause the debt certainly has not fixed it or made it easier.

  11. I think money is always an issue in marriage/life even when we have enough it seems we always want more. I am trying to learn to be content. But I will say it is hard when my husband gets overtime and we have a little extra in the paycheck. It seems that there is always something that money could go to. I feel like I am paying one bill or another every other day. In all honesty the kids have helped with this for me because they keep me so busy I barely have to time to really sit and think about the finances. Which means we don’t do much family fun things that cost alot of money either. What a cycle I tell ya! Just know that God is with you and He knows how this is all going to play out and our lives aren’t just accidents HE is in control…always!

  12. I have been in this boat since childhood. Always needing more money. Throughout our marriage we have had times of plenty and times of juggling the bills and pleading for them to hold on just two more weeks. We are heading that way again but I do know from experience, it does cycle. There are ups and downs and that’s real life. One of the tricks I have learned when things get so overwhelming is to just sit quiet for a moment and realize that right now, at this very moment, everything is okay. Nothing horrible is happening, and everything is all right. There’s food for today, a roof over our head and we are all safe and okay. It sounds corny but it works for me.

  13. Sarah, we are there, too. It is a huge struggle to make it. But we just have to trust God, and He has always come through. We only have one working vehicle, but we still manage to make four different people with jobs get to work! With prayer, we managed to stop a HUMUNGOUS increase to our mortgage because of our 2yo ARM thingy.
    God has also blessed me through my blog, I have been making money on it the Payperpost. Mostly I make about $100 a month, but that helps. This month its going to be more because I made that much in ONE DAY. I also have been able to take care of a lot of Christmas gifts through my blog. Entering tons of contests and doing reviews, some for pay, some for free books. I’ve done a review and gotten free things, which make fabulous gifts. I am saving money by not having to buy as many gifts. (It IS work, though)
    I just put up a tutorial on how to get started with payperpost if you are interested in looking into it. I would be glad to help you start it if you want.

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