Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Follow the Promptings

Jake & I found out in May that we were pregnant. It only took us a few months of "trying" to get Miss Kaycee here, but it sure felt longer since we had a year of not trying but wanting her previous to that time due to some medical complications. That's another story for another day. Long story short - we were excited and scared straight in May when we found out she was coming.

We told our families that weekend, who were INCREDIBLY excited for us. Leading up to our pregnancy, before we even started trying, we discussed what our income plan would be for once we had kids. Jake & I both agreed that we wanted me to stay home with our kids, especially while they were little. So when we told our families we were pregnant, we knew the answer to the next question - yes, I would be quitting my job.

I made it less than a week at work before all my co workers & my boss knew I was pregnant and that I was not coming back after my maternity leave was over. My boss was awesome about being fine with me giving 8 months notice and from there we just planned on me staying home when the time came for Miss Kaycee to arrive.

But then I started having second thoughts.

Maybe we couldn't afford for me to stay home.

I mean yeah, it all works on paper but babies have unexpected costs. You never know how much to budget for kids, let alone if you haven't ever had one. Cars break. Layoffs happen. Life happens - and with one income, there's a lot more room for "Murphy" to bring his laws into our lives.

Jake & I talked about it and he kept saying he would support whatever decision I made. Well thanks love, but that's not quite the answer I was looking for. I've always been the number cruncher for our little family, since math is my FAVORITE and Jake loathes it. We talk about big purchases first, but for the most part I just do the budget and pay the bills and it works for us. So having Jake say he was fine with me not working stressed me out because he didn't know what the budget looked like if I stopped.

We started living off of just Jake's job and using mine to supplement our savings account. We are HUGE Dave Ramsey fans and are REALLY working on our emergency fund, which consists of 6 months living expenses in case Jake were to lose his job. 6 months of living our life EXACTLY as we are now. That would give him a chance to find a new job he can enjoy and not be rushed or concerned about what we are going to do to keep food on the table and a roof over our heads in the meantime. We became debt free in November of 2010 and have stayed that way ever since {minus the mortgage} and I don't think I'll ever stop being grateful we made that decision so long ago.

And it's been working - we CAN do this on one income. Is it tight? Yeah, it is. But it's working. And we will be able to claim more dependents which will increase our take home pay {and we'll have a cute new deduction to claim too!}.

But still, I was worried.

We decided to see if I could stay on at the bank just one day a week - working every Saturday. The bank is only open from 8:30-1 on Saturdays, and Jake is off during that time for the most part. The only reason he would need to be at work was if he was working overtime {awesome - extra money!} and then we have lots of family close by that would most likely be able to watch Kaycee for just a few hours. And that's ASSUMING Jake has to work. So we could make that work.

We agreed that would be a good idea and I talked to my manager about it. She said she was hesitant to hire someone just for Saturday's but she would look into it and let me know.

And as soon as the words left my mouth asking about the job, I had a bad feeling about it.

It's one day a week. What harm could that do? I'm still home the rest of the week with her. And for those 4 or 5 hours, she's with family - she isn't in daycare. It's not bad. I know plenty of LDS women who have kids and work full time. I could work one day a week, couldn't I?

But I still kept getting a bad feeling about it.

And I could NOT figure out why for the longest time.

And then we went to our sealing this past Saturday.

Our sealer specifically mentioned, multiple times, the importance of "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" and how important it was to follow it's guidelines. It came out when I was little and for as long as I can remember, it's been hanging in our home. Right now, it's hanging next to my front door. I read it often. And as soon as he said how important it was to read it, one specific paragraph came to mind: "By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed."

In OUR situation, not everyone's situation but OUR situation, we are in a position that Jake CAN provide for our family without my help. Yes, for my pride sake, I want to help. I don't want him to have to carry that burden alone on his shoulders. But he CAN carry it, and for the most part HAS carried it since I quit my full time job at eBay in September 2010. Jake makes FAR more money than I ever have, and he likes his job. He CAN provide for our family. That means that I can be stay home. 

And that's always been our goal. When we paid off our cars, it was a relief to know that we had no debt holding us back. That we had no payments, at all. That we didn't owe anyone ANYTHING. And then we got our mortgage. But we made sure that the payment was something we could afford on one income. It would be snug but we could do it. And then after a year of being in our home, we were able to refinance and our payment dropped by $150 a month. I can't tell you how big of a blessing that was in our lives. The new payment is DEFINITELY something we can afford on one income. 

After our sealing Saturday, it's been on my mind a lot that I can, and should, stay home. Even though I am nervous about it, I CAN. And that I should follow that feeling. My patriarchal blessing specifically mentions that as I follow the promptings I receive from the Spirit, I will be lead where I should be and I should never doubt those promptings. The last two days, I have been wanting to go tell my boss that I actually don't want to work Saturdays but I have been WAY nervous because I committed to doing every Saturday for a year if they gave me this schedule. To already back out when I haven't even started yet? That wouldn't go over very well. 

But today, my manager called me in. And after thinking about it and weighing the pro's and con's, they have decided they aren't going to hire me to work Saturdays. I could've started crying right then and there in her office. Everything happens for a reason - it really does. I didn't feel good about it and was worried about it and then it didn't even end up getting offered to me, so it's not an option anyway. I get to just stay home, 7 days a week, with my baby and focus all my energy and time on caring for her and Jake. On making sure that there's clean clothes in the dresser and food on the table every night. Making sure Jake gets the sleep he needs to do his job. Making sure my baby girl gets the love and care she needs everyday, from someone she knows and loves and trusts. 

I really get to be a stay home mom. 

It's been my dream my whole life. 

And there have been lots of times that I didn't think it would be possible. 

When I started at the bank, I liked my job so much I wasn't sure if I WANTED to quit and stay home. 

But I do. I want to stay home. And I know that's what my Heavenly Father wants me to do. 

I know that not everyone can or should stay home. 

I know that it's what some women want more than anything, and unfortunately aren't able to. 

I grew up in a home like that while in my teens. My mom wanted to stay home but was amazing at earning money outside the home and traveled occasionally. She never worked a 9-5 job, but she was away from home more than she wanted. That was hard for her, for me and for my sisters. And I've always hoped that I'd be able to stay home. 

I never thought I'd be able to stay home, let alone with my first child. 

I never thought I'd marry someone who was able to provide so well for our family, let alone without incurring any student loans. 

I never thought I'd be debt free and still be able to drive nice cars. 

I SURE never thought I'd own a home as nice as ours at such a young age. A condo maybe. But not a house. Let alone a 3000+ sq. ft, 2 car garage, fully fenced, safe neighborhood kinda house.  With a mortgage we can afford. NEVER thought that'd happen at my age. Or any age in my near future. 

But those things DID happen to me. 

And I am SO grateful. 

I'm grateful for Dave Ramsey and his financial plan. For his books and his podcast and his advice. I'm grateful for my in laws and the amazing financial advice they gave us. That they encouraged us to get out of debt and helped us do it by providing a free roof over our heads. That they provided the example of what our lives COULD look like. I'm grateful for my Jake and how amazingly hard he works to provide for us. That he is on the same page and wants me to stay home just as badly as I want to stay home. That he will do whatever it takes to help me be able to stay home with our kids. 

But most of all I am grateful to my Heavenly Father. 

None of this would be possible without his help. Jake's work went through a LOT of rounds of layoffs a few years ago. His job stayed safe throughout the whole time. We were able to keep our jobs while we paid off debt. I was offered my job at the bank the day after I walked away from eBay. THE DAY AFTER. We found a home worth WAY more than what we paid for it. We were able to buy when interest rates were at their lowest. Jake has continued to get raises and bonuses through a job he can see himself at forever. I have a job that is helping us save money towards our Emergency Fund. Throughout the hard times the banking industry has had, my job has NEVER been in jeopardy. And because X, Y & Z lined up just how they were supposed to in Heavenly Father's plan, I get to stay home. 

My last day at the bank is 17 weeks & 3 days away. The day Kaycee turns 38 weeks. 5 days before Christmas.

And despite my nerves at losing that income, I know that we will be blessed for making that leap. 

I know that I'm supposed to stay home. I know a LOT of women who are amazing mom's and work part or full time. I know myself well enough to know I wouldn't be very good at that. Obviously, if I had to due to circumstances, I would do it in a heartbeat to keep food on the table. But I don't have to. And I'll be eternally grateful to my husband & my Heavenly Father for the chance I have to stay home. I'm grateful that the chance isn't there for me to work one day a week at the bank - that it helped me realize the prompting I have been getting all along. 

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