In the spirit of transparency, I’m laying it all out. I’ve been wanting to write this post for a long time. One of my highest values for this site is being real. And so…here is my story of being a stay-at-home mom who could barely afford it, two years later.
It’s been nearly two years since I wrote the post about how I was a stay-at-home mom who could barely afford it. That post has now been visited nearly 900,000 times, and I have been blown away by how its message has resonated with so many moms who are walking the same path that my family walked.
I’ve thought about–and have had requests–for an update to that post. Are we still living on a low income? How are we now making it with three children eating table food? Did we change houses or jobs, or has our situation improved at all?
When I wrote that post, I had no idea it would become so popular. Indeed, I composed it late at night and didn’t even give much thought to it. It was, quite simply, my life, my story.
And so the words flew across the keyboard, and I confessed, albeit a bit nervously but unashamedly, that were were living on a rice-and-beans budget and barely making ends meet. We weren’t just pinching pennies. We were grasping for straws.
And there was no light at the end of the tunnel.
There are still parts of our story yet to be told–how trials in our marriage partly led to our state of need, how we lost a house, how, sometimes, depression plagued us.
I never dreamed it would happen this way, but that post began a domino effect that has taken this blog and my family on a journey the past two years that only God could ordain.
I now make an income from home–through this blog and through Ultimate-Bundles.
And God used you to do it.
How Bloggers Make Money
What? You may say. I’ve read your blog but have never paid a penny.
And that, my friend, is precisely why I love this job. You see, I’m not a salesperson, not really. And I have very few skills beyond writing and connecting with people (can being a “people person” be considered a skill?!).
Don’t get me wrong: I encourage those ladies who revel in direct sales and selling homemade goods on Etsy to hone their talents, but it just isn’t me.
When I set out to supplement my husband’s teacher income, I knew I wanted to do something that wouldn’t cost other people money–at least not unless they wanted to pay.
Yes, I do make a generous commission when readers purchase a bundle in the two-times-per-year that we run the sale, but even for those who don’t, your very presence here–just visiting the site, helps support my family, year-round.
Perhaps another day I’ll write more on exactly how bloggers make money, but suffice it to say that sponsors like pageviews, and your coming here to read free content helps feed our family.
The above is what working from home looks like–girls coloring while Mommy checks email!
Bringing in an income from home has not come without a sacrifice. But it might not be the sacrifice that most imagine.
I’ve had some people accuse me of neglecting my family (even though they’ve never even entered my home!) because, in their minds, there is simply no way I can “do it all” without neglecting something.
They are right in that I can’t “do it all,” and I don’t. I have help. I now have a team of ladies who help me (some of whom are pictured here), and, although my husband is still a teacher, he is now able to be home three Fridays per month since he teaches an elective class. This affords him the time to help with our daughter’s homeschool days, and it gives me the time needed to work–without neglecting my home and family.
Honestly, one of the biggest sacrifices has been a loss of privacy and public criticism. I am a feeler (and ENFP to be exact!), but I’ve had to grow some thick skin.
People misinterpret and misconstrue things that I write, and some people even attack my character.
Yes, it hurts. Because the same people who criticized us for succumbing to using some government aid also took hits at us when we pulled up our bootstraps and did something–albeit something outside of the norm and creative–about it.
Being a work-at-home mom can be both the best of both worlds and the worst of both worlds, if I’m honest.
I get to be with my babies nearly 24/7. The littles attend preschool two mornings per week, but besides during “harvest seasons” (aka the few weeks leading up to the bundle sale and bundle week), I am their primary caretaker.
I am the one to kiss their boo boos, read them stories, dress them and fix their hair and make them home-cooked meals. I get to rock my youngest to sleep for nap time, and all three of them like to run into our bedroom and jump in the bed with me for morning cuddles.
But because I work from home, I cannot go on spontaneous playdates like other stay-at-home moms. I have not–for two years now–been able to attend a morning Bible study. I’ve had many, many, many late nights.
Blogging–and working from home in general–is hard, hard work. But, for my family, it’s 100 percent worth it.
I will be the first to admit that even stating out loud that I now make an income from home is scary. Why? Because it could all go away tomorrow. I hold it with an open hand.
I’m keenly aware of our low-income years. In fact, in my mission to encourage, educate and empower my readers to live a grace-filled, natural life, I want to always, always show you that no matter your income level, you can make positive changes toward greater health and wellness and homemaking.
Don’t get me wrong: We are not rich. This may sound silly, though, but I pray nearly daily: “Lord, help me not to forget.”
I don’t want to get stuck in the middle income bubble. I want to be relatable to those still sitting in the WIC offices, still pulling out their Medicaid cards to take their babies to the doctor and still squinting to see even a glimmer of light at the end of a seemingly endless tunnel.
I have to remember that God is sovereign. He orders our steps. And I believe it is only He who has gone before and orchestrated the success of our businesses.
Turning your hobby into a business
When I started this site three and a half years ago, I was learning the ropes of both homemaking and healthy living, and I wanted to share with you all what I was learning. I wanted to show a wife and mom who was not perfect but humbled. I wanted to create a grace-filled community where we could all learn together.
My hobby blog is now how I make an income from home. This is my story. It’s not everyone’s. But God does have a story for you.
Dear sister, if you are struggling like we were, know there is hope.
Perhaps you do love sales, and you’d like nothing more than to join a direct sales company.
Maybe you enjoy making your own skincare products, and you’d like to open your own Etsy shop.
Maybe you have the gift of teaching, and you’d like to begin tutoring services.
Or maybe you are a healthy living enthusiast, and you’d like to get certified as a health coach.
Whatever it may be, if God has given you talents and put the desire in your heart to bring in an income from home, don’t be afraid.
If you want to read more details about how to make an income blogging, read my more in-depth series on blogging here.
What are your ideas for making an income from home?
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