Guest post by Nicole Serrao
It wasn’t so long ago that I was caught up in society’s portrayal of achievement. My driving factors of success, or my life goals as you may, were based on the worldly definition of a fulfilled person and life. Having children has slowly morphed my views of fulfillment and contentment and reopened my heart to our Father.
I was driven by materialistic gain – a large house, a good paying job, high end vehicles in the parking lot and frequent vacations because our wealth would warrant that, of course. I’ve worked towards these goals for as long as I can remember, slowly checking boxes upon completion: university – check, career – check, home – check, bigger home – check. Thankfully my husband was intrigued by my ambition and happy to be along for the ever-evolving ride.
And then we had our first daughter. In Canada we receive a year of maternity leave, and as it drew to an end, I was scrambling around trying to find any way I could to be home, knowing that I could not possibly return to work and leave this piece of me in the care of another. And although God was beginning to work in me, the “lifestyle” I was building did not warrant me staying home and I was not willing to let those “hard earned” milestones fall to the wayside.
The desire to get back to basics began after the birth of our second daughter, our preemie princess. My birthing experience was not “textbook.” Although I have always prayed and would have called myself a Christian, spending many hours in the hospital praying and watching God’s miracles daily in someone so important really brought me closer to God and helped to acknowledge His calling of my spirit. Here the journey begins – the joys, the struggles and everything in between!
I’m still working full time; thankfully blessed with work from home a few days weekly in which I get more time with my little ones. However I’m still feeling the struggle between realizing the newly desired basic lifestyle and the existing precedence of our lives that I set (no less!). God is working in me and changing me from the inside out. He’s changing my ambitions and I now WANT TO BE A FULL TIME SAHM!
You Can Stay Home with Your Kids!
Note from Erin: My new book, You Can Stay At Home With Your Kids: 100 Tips, Tricks, and Ways to Make It Work on a Budget is out!
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And there’s more change that I would like to implement as my life goals continue to shift:
1. Cooking healthier and having dinners that are not rushed while cooking in black slacks and a blouse fresh in from the rush hour commute.
2. Rearing my children to be Christ-like in this deteriorating world, teaching His word with the good book and by example.
3. Having more quality family time.
4. And adding another child to our family in which I once thought only had room for one. (How foolish I was to think I had ultimate dominion over my life and that my ways were best!)
Oh, did I mention that my husband and I are journeying to Christ in two different vehicles? One is a race car waiting to get to the track to really take off, and the other is a flat-tired car that requires manual pushing. Where I play Christian music in the car or watch good-natured shows, he prefers the regular radio and MTV.
So how do I move towards these newly desired goals? Well, the straight forward and honest answer is: THROUGH GOD! Through constant prayer and knowledge that God knows my heart’s desires. Given that my goals are becoming closer to what God intended for humanity, I believe He is happy with my wishes.
And believe me, these fixes although they sound like easy fixes are very challenging. Financially one income just does not seem doable on any monthly expense calculation I do. I cannot, nor do I want to force Christianity on anybody, and although my husband attends church and takes part in family prayers he will come to God when he discerns God’s call on his life. And the move towards a simpler, more basic life requires a lot more time than I feel I can offer most days.
For now I will continue to pray as God’s will will be done. And who knows, maybe God’s timing could coincide with the future addition to our family. Not returning to work after my next maternity leave? I’m willing to work towards it!
As for my starting point on the road to the simple life? Knitting! I’ve picked up knitting and I’m thoroughly enjoying creating my very first scarf, knowing that I am making something that will warm my daughter’s neck for many seasons, that was made by my hands via the love of my heart. It’s a small win on a long line of changes to come!
Are you a working mom who desires to stay home? What is God teaching you on your journey?
I am a happily married wife and mother of two beautiful children, who; through God’s grace, is striving towards a more basic lifestyle that is focused primarily on faith and family. New to the blogging world, writing has always been a passion of mine, writing poems and songs throughout my youth and moving to children’s books once motherhood approached (all which remain in my personal library and may one day see the light of day!). For now, I’m enjoying the wonderful blessings I have received thus far and excited to see where God takes me on this journey of life!
Oh, my sister! I just wanted you to know that you are not alone on this journey. I’m expecting my second child and also planning/wishing to not get back to work after my baby boy is born. It will definitely be a decision based on faith since we live in the northeast where living expenses are so high We have adapted and adjusted our lifestyle completely to a way more simplistic one and I must say that I love it – definitely not the most convenient one sometimes, but one that brings us more closely as a family. Our stories are so similar – from ambition factors to husbands who are still searching for God’s calling in their lives. I can tell you that God has had so much patience with me – He changed me so much and showed me so much grace and unconditional love during the process. It not easy to be molded according to His image and I pray that you and I will have the same grace and unconditional love towards our husbands Enjoy the journey! Praying for you and your family!
I feel your pain. My desire has always been to be a full time SAHM, just as my Mother was. My problem is contentment. I’ve never really worked full time, but due to living beyond our means, me going to college as a Mom to pursue my dreams of the perfect career (ie debt, but no degree yet), and other choices we’ve made, I have worked part time off and on mainly out of guilt to try to help with finances, or at least pay for my own habits (daily latte’s, tanning, mani/pedi’s, and expensive hair-do’s). Our boys play hockey (expensive sport), etc…
I’m now a (young) Grandma and babysit almost full time. Still trying to work part time, and still have two teens at home. I’m exhausted and it’s a daily struggle in which I always want to quit either my job or babysitting because I’m burned out and not getting things done. I want a more simple life, I want to get back to basics, cook healthier, have a well organized, welcoming home for my teens to have friends over anytime. I want to take better care of my husband’s needs and lessen his load so he doesn’t feel the need to help me cook after already working an 8+ hour day and a long commute. Then there’s my own health and time to myself, which never seems to happen.
My hubby and I aren’t always on the same page, with the way the economy has been, over the past 4 or 5 years, he’s been laid off more than ever, and that makes him nervous. In a perfect world, he would be ok with me staying home full time, unfortunately, it will never be perfect.
One of our dreams is to eventually buy a home in the country with some property, and maybe even become more self sufficient. That too though, takes money, and if I work to pay for it, who has time to enjoy it and live the simple life we want?
Meanwhile, I’m praying, and trying to make small changes as I wait, on God and my husband.
Glad that you can relate to my “journey” (although it feels like more a struggle sometimes…lol)! And congrats on baby #2!!! A child is God’s overt blessing on our lives isn’t it? And it is great that you are already on the path to simplification. You are that much closer to realizing your goals. I hope that God continues to show His grace in your life and points you down the paths you are to take to fulfill His will 🙂 And don’t worry, our husbands are blessed (and saved) as they have PRAYING WIVES! And for now, all we can do is to continue to be just that! God wants all of His children and one day they will discern His call on their lives! Thank you for your prayers and know that you will be in mine. Wishing you a happy healthy little boy!!!!!
Your sister in Christ,
Thank you for reading! It’s nice to know that there are other women in my position that would like to know shift gears, so to say, but are not sure how to go about doing it. Trusting in God wholeheartedly, and knowing that your hearts desires are known by Him, coupled with prayer is a great step and a continuous one. You will one day see that opportunities are presented to you which start to move you in that direction. Pray and give thanks knowing that God will move in your life in a way that keeps with His will of it! He wants better for you than you want for yourself! And small changes in that direction are the cherry on top!
Many blessings to you and your family!
Nicole @ CraftyBeards
Prayer is definitely the answer, as you stated. God does know the desires of your hearts, and if He put them there, He will bring them to pass in His perfect timing. That’s what I was leaning on – and recently my husband and I have been convicted and we are taking a HUGE leap of faith and I have already given my notice at work. I’m very excited about this next chapter in our family’s life- learning to give God our anything and really walk in faith. Great article 🙂
That’s FANTASTIC Nicole! And thank you so much, I truly enjoyed writing it and am glad that you have been able to connect with it! Continue to trust in God and as you mentioned if the desire was implanted by Him, your path will be paved by Him! Pray, pray, pray and remember to always give thanks! Give thanks that it has already worked out! I will continue to pray and await God’s direction and hopefully I can one day have similar news 🙂
This post caught my eye on Pinterest today because I could have written it myself! We are on the exact same journey. In fact, I just started blogging myself and wrote about some of my thoughts as we begin this journey, too. My son (my first baby) is 5 months old, and I had to return to work on a 75% basis when he was 10 weeks old. It kills me. But the lifestyle we’ve set up for ourselves doesn’t allow me to become a full-time SAHM. At least not yet. Right now, we’re trying to adjust our lifestyle so that maybe by baby #2 or #3 I can take a permanent maternity leave. 😉 The two biggest tasks in this project for us are:
1) My husband is a database developer and is working on teaching himself additional programming languages a few hours each week so that he might be able to find a higher paying job or get a promotion within his current job.
2) We are trying like crazy to pay off our debt.
We’ve agreed to revisit the SAHM issue once our debt is paid off. Good luck to you mama!
Emily – Thanks so much 🙂 This is my first taste at blogging and I am enjoying it! I may venture in that direction shortly if that is where God leads me! So glad you are able to relate! And I am actually able to relate to you…In order for us to possible consider me being a SAHM in the future, we would have to move towards some changes (i.e. a move perhaps or a pay increase for my hubbie). It’s funny that God moves us in directions that just a few years back we would have never imagined eh? Congrats on your little one….hopefully you will be blessed with an answered prayer by the time #2 and/or #3 come along!
You should totally start a blog!!! 🙂
Thanks Erin for your vote of confidence!
It sounds like you guys have a great plan!! Blessings to you!!
Thanks for sharing your heart and I think your perspective on your husband coming to the Lord is such a good one. I commend you 🙂 I just wanted to encourage you that I was at one time you…except I think my perspective really stunk and I didn’t do a good job at seeing my situation through God’s eyes (hindsight is always 20/20 haha). After having 2 children back to back, when my 2nd was a little over a year old, my husband was finally offered a job that allowed me to stay at home. It was a long journey at the time and I cried many tears. But looking back, it wasn’t long at all in the grand scope of things. I can now see how God was pruning me during that season…molding me to understand where my identity lies, to be patient and trusting in the Lord’s timing, and teaching me to trust my husband’s leading (that was huge). I wish I had understood those things a little but quicker but this journey with Christ is just that–a journey. 🙂 I hope you get your heart’s desires and until then, that you would continue to see this season as an opportunity–to see the little blessings that you otherwise wouldn’t have. 🙂
Thank you for sharing your story, too!!
Oh how my heart longs to stay home! Sadly our problem isn’t lifestyle but the fact that we are a single income (mine) household. I pray someday that will change but for now I must walk this road I never wanted to be on where I leave my son daily.
I pray your dream is realized one day, too!!
Thank you for writing this. As an older mom of a large family who has gone through many ups and downs in order to stay home with our children, I would like to encourage you to remember that your primary biblical calling is to be a helpmate to your husband. Yes, God uses those precious children to pull you toward Him but your husband needs you to bless him and put him first. Your husband needs a vision of how important it is for you to stay at home but he has already been “trained” by you and society not to think of himself as the primary provider. As you build him up and treat him like “the MAN” he will be encouraged to grow as a man. Deep down (if he is a real man) he takes the financial side of life very very seriously. It is a heavy load for a man to fully carry even if he is convicted of the need to allow his wife to stay home. So, be the best helpmate you can be to HIM. Teach your children to greet him when he walks in the door. Show him how you could do the extras for HIM if you could stay at home fulltime. Let him see that your growth in Christ makes you a better wife for him! Your children will be more secure when they see you putting their father first. It is very very easy for a wife to center her life around her children instead of her husband…that is the natural inclination (ask me how I know…I have eight children!) but your primary calling is to help and bless and complete that husband of yours. Ask God for a vision of what that means and use your “at home” time to do it!
Thank you so much for reading! I’m elated for you that your dreams have been realized 🙂 And you are exactly right; this is a passing season in which God is molding me to be the person who he needs to fulfill the role in the season to come. It’s always hard to see the good to come when in a rough spot, and that’s where we have to put complete trust in our Lord knowing he has our best interests at heart! Good to hear the success to come from someone who has experienced it 🙂 Thanks again!
Know you are not alone in longing to be home and some mothers may never experience it. All we can do is hope and pray and await God’s direction of our lives. I hope that you find happiness!!!! In the meantime, enjoy every precious moment you have with your little boy. You appreciate them so much more when you have less of them. And know that you’re being a great mom by doing what’s best for him in this season! 🙂
No, thank you for reading and for this great perspective!!!!! 🙂 I especially like this line: “Let him see that your growth in Christ makes you a better wife for him!” as I find I have been growing in faith much more feverously as of late. And it is true, although I absolutely love my husband as much as any human being can love another; I do make staying at home about the children and our home. That’s a great reminder! Good for you on getting back to basics for yourself and your family!!!!
Many blessings all,
This! Although my husband is the fast car and I’m the plodding one. The last few weeks this exact.same.issue. has been weighing heavily on my heart and mind. I made my way over here from Stacey Makes Sense and this post is the first thing I’ve read on your blog and wow. I must have been led here for a reason 🙂
Thanks for reading 🙂 Hopefully the “right” path for you and your family will present itself to you. Prayer is powerful! And as for your “flat tire”…everyone in their own timing! You two will be driving on the same track one day.
I’m sorry ladies, but this might hurt a bit. If you feel you are called to stay home, do it. You can figure it out. Pray, pray, pray. I never thought I would be able to stay home with my son and survive on my husbands income. I poured my heart out to the Lord and he answered. But instead of giving my husband a better paying job, which is what I thought was our only solution he decided to chand our lifestyle. Eating out? Nope. Manicures? Nope, I paint my own during nap time. Lattes? Nope, we have a programmable coffee maker and when it’s in our budget we can buy creamer. No cable or Internet either, but I do have a library card and a smartphone. People in my family think we are crazy and our lifestyle in unbearable, but they don’t get to hold my son everyday like I do. Also my husband and I decided to keep giving to our church regardless of our needs or wants (I’m still learning the difference ;)). Yes, occasionally I do get sad when I see a cute purse or watch my friends and family go on vacation, but I hold my son and pray. This is not to make anyone feel guilt about their situation, or circumstance. I understand God speaks to everyone’s heart differently. I just want to let you ladies know its possible. Remember that ” I can do all things through Christ who gives us strength.” Philippians 4:13. That’s a promise.
I just wanted to make an addition to my post. It’s not all or nothing. As we went through our budget we realized my husband needed a little help financially. I picked up a part time job when my son was 12 weeks old. I work at a restaurant 1 day a week at night.
Hi Denise! Not at all, thank you for your perspective 🙂 It seems as though you and your husband we’re working towards the same goal which is key! I’m glad that you have been blessed with being a SAHM!
Wow, I can relate, though our stories are different. I too found my worth in worldly ambitions during my early adult years. Fancy degree, fancy job (with lots of overtime), well educated husband in the same career, fancy cars, fancy house, fancy vacations, lots of debt. As for having children? I guess maybe SOMEDAY we’d want them, but only one or two. They were definitely going to cramp our style, and I was in no rush to have them. Then 3 years into marriage, God started changing my heart. I realized I did want to be a mommy. Every time we got rid of one payment, though, we were out buying the next one. I remember a very heartfelt conversation with my husband with many tears about my desire to have children and that if we had them, they needed their mommy home with them. It wasn’t long after that we discovered Dave Ramsey. Fast forward two years…the only payment left is the house, which is going on the market in a couple days (I guess it’s not too much house for two people working full time who are never home, but it IS too much house for a young couple with baby on one income!). And yes: baby #1 is due sometime around Thanksgiving. I thought the goal this whole time was for me to be a full-time SAHM, and indeed it was, but God worked out something better. We are keeping my job and will be doing it together from home. So we both get to stay home with our baby. I get to keep working which makes the last 5 years feel a little more meaningful, but not at all at the expense of caring for my baby since daddy will be here to help. The moral of the story for me is that fancy things and debt are unfulfilling and enslaving. Basics are all we need. Being out of debt is so freeing! And God knows what kind of stewards we’ll be. If our desire is to be responsible with money, He will bless us and help us achieve our goals. If anyone here is thinking they want a family someday, start living that way financially NOW. We never should have relied on a second income to pay the bills. I praise God He showed us the light when He did!
Hello Leah – First off thanks for reading and secondly…WOW!!!! What an amazing story!!!! God’s grace is truly present in your life 🙂 Continue to trust in Him and praise Him! Having both parents home with your son and a rewarding career while at home is a great win 🙂 Enjoy your little one and thanks for sharing!
Your story really hit me in such a personal way. My husband and I really went back and forth about this when I was nearing the end of my pregnancy with our first. We spent a lot of time in prayer, asking God to make it work, so that I could be home with our son Caleb. And in a twist I did not expect, I am now working full time for an awesome ministry, and my husband has his own business that he can work from home and spend time with Caleb and keep down the costs of daycare. I still struggle with wanting to be home with him but am reassured knowing we are still raising him up in a Christian household and doing our best.
Hi Colleen – Thanks for reading and sharing your story! I’m glad that you were able to find contentment in this season. 🙂
I too desire to be a full time homemaker! Before I had my first son I thought I would always want to pursue my career. God has been working on me and my husband and we greatly desire to follow His plan. We both want me home full time but due to poor financial decisions that is a long way off unless God works a miracle (which He can). Thank you for sharing. I’ll be praying for you. It’s great to know I’m not the only one struggling with this.
Hi Laura 🙂 I agree, it’s nice to know that we are not alone in our quest to get back to basics! Continue to trust in God. He knows our heart desires, and if your heart wants a life that glorifies Him and focuses on your family, God can make a way. Just remember, it’s in His timing and not always ours.
Just an update, God has provided and April 1st will be my first day as a SAHM! We have prayed and obeyed God the last 2 years and He has heard our cry. My husband was blessed with a new job in December that will provide for our needs. I will now get to be a full time homemaker and homeschool our 3 sons. God does have perfect timing!
Oh praise the Lord–and congrats!!
Laura that is amazing!!! What a wonderful blessing in an answered prayer 🙂 And thank you so very much for the update. it’s just proof that it we surrender to His will and be patient of His timing, He will bless us with our heart’s desire.
Through the Lord’s grace, many steps have brought our family so much closer to that goal, and although it is not quite within the grasp of my fingertips, I am faithful that He is moving us in that direction. Hopefully soon as I only have a few more months left of maternity leave with my third little one 😉
You can do it….do not put it off. Stay home with your children as they will only be young once and you will never have this time with them again. I also left my career for several years and only after they started first grade did I go back to work. La Leche League has books on the subject which offer tips on how to get by financially with only one income. I would not trade the time I was home with my kids for anything, even though we had a strict budget for those years.
Nicole @ Simply Homemaking
Alina – How very wonderful and rewarding that you were able to make staying home with your little blessings work 🙂 Those are moments you will have to treasure forever! I am currently pregnant with our third child, so I have a year of maternity leave to look forward to being home with all three children and through prayer and perseverance hope that it will be a permanent arrangement. Prayer is powerful and God is gracious! Thanks for your comment 🙂
As I was reading this post, it pulled at my heartstrings. Mainly because I am right there with you. I am a teacher, so I do get the summer off and most holidays as well. However, I LOVE staying home with my children. I am also right with you as far as my husband goes. How I pray for him to totally commit his ways to God in everything he does!
Nicole @ Simply Homemaking
Good morning Bethany!
I’m glad that you were able to relate. Continue to be a praying wife because “the unbelieving husband is made holy through his wife.” (1 Corinthians 7:14) It is hard to love someone so much, to want the truly best for them and to know that that is the path of the Lord, yet you see resistance, but remain steadfast in prayer for him. He is being called already and he will hear God in his timing. I still pray for my husband’s heart to be convicted as I know mine is. In time!
And in terms of your desire to be home…I am right there with you! I would advise you to start making small changes to obtain it. You may not know when that prayer will be answered, but continue to make your request known to God (Philippians 4:6) and you will be blessed. In the meantime, enjoy those precious summers off with them 🙂
This is something I’ve been battling with since my son was born! He’s now four and a half and one thing God has showed me more recently was my shoving all of my desires and feelings aside in order to allow my husband to lead! What a mistake! I’ve now opened my heart before the Lord and my husband and it is a heartbreaking experience but I know God will see us through. Your words are verbatim how I’m feeling. It’s hard for husbands to except full financial responsibility just as much as it is hard for us to come around to full home responsibilities
Thank you for commenting and sharing your heart. If one thing is for sure it is that prayer is truly powerful. We only have power to change ourselves. Pray for your situation – for your husband, for your relationship and for your circumstance and allow God to work. And give him thanks for all He will do. His plan for you has already been written, trust in Him! Happiness is yours 🙂
We are in the process of allowing me to be a SAHM. We’re expecting our first in January. The only feasible way we could get our finances to work included selling our 2400 sq. ft. house and moving to a 1000 sq. ft. condo. We close on both in a couple of weeks and it’s still hard for me to let go of this house I thought I would never leave. However, I’m only letting go of an “ideal” we’re taught we must have and I’m going to be so blessed to have the cutest 2 bedroom condo and a sweet little girl.
Congratulations on your baby girl & on being able to stay home with her!
My husband and I are so stuck on keeping our home. Its ridiculous, I know and truthfully the biggest catalyst as to why I have to date remained a fulltime working mother. We know that the house is materialistic and home is where your heart is, but with a growing family we are not currently prepared to downsize (rightsize). That may change, and I’ll update should it, but for now we have been making other concessions to get closer to that goal. And almost two years later, we are A LOT closer, but still not quite there. I’m looking at a worst case scenario of parttime work should the gap not be filled. But I’m hopeful, and even-more-so prayerful that I will be a SAHM by year’s end.
A huge cudos to you though! You made a wonderful decision and I wish you much love and happiness!!!
Oh if we could have known each other last year! I too out of college felt I knew amd wanted corporate life and all the luxuries that went with it. After having my children God started speaking to my heart and after 5 years of being a full-time working Mom I took His hand and left that life. I still do some work from home part-time but I love how God has been molding me into a new person 😉 I am so happy to have read this and to hear God is working in your life too!
Megan – a kindred spirit! I am delighted that you allowed God to take the wheel of your life and that your have the pleasure of His blessings!
I recently posted something very similar. Your journey sounds very much like mine except I had the hardest time letting go of the lifestyle I had created. The Lord worked on my heart, and I have finally been able to change my priorities and be home with our children. It didn’t come without struggle and heartache, but His will is so much better than my own. I pray your new dreams are realized as you seek His divine will for your family.
Thank you Veronica! I agree…we have been making concessions to make the dream more possible and if it wasn’t for God’s grace working on my husband’s and my heart, we wouldn’t have come this far. It is incredibly hard to give up so much of who you thought you were and all that you worked for, but for me (and for you too!) being home with our children and following Christ is more important than the ‘stuff.’
I feel your struggle, though our paths haven’t been the same. I have desired to be a full time SAHM as my mom was. Our path was both trusting God as we stepped out in faith to start trying for our first and doing everything possible to minimize our expenses so I could be home. A few months before our first was born, God provided with a raise for my husband and me working part time from home. We felt ready for our second, but working and watching our toddler was getting difficult. I’m still not sure how but a little pinching here and there and we could make it work. Baby number is due in June!
God did show us a way when we couldn’t see one, but it wasn’t all at once. It was in steps. Did I mention my husband grew up with a fulltime working mom, so he didn’t know if it was even possible to be a SAHM?
God works in ways we can’t even imagine!
Thanks so much for sharing your story, Bonnie–and congrats on baby #2!!!
Yes congrats on baby #2 Bonnie! And I am excited that you are getting closer and closer to your goal. You’re on the right path, making all the necessary steps. Keep praying and you’ll be living your dreams 🙂
I know what you are feeling! Though we never had a really high end life or lived above our means we have made several decisions that have had us living at the top end of our means which is just as bad! I had those feeligs of desperately wanting to be a SAHM when I was pregnant with my oldest, he is now three and that goal has not been realized yet. We have, however, started making small steps to that goal over the past three years and right now we are expecting our second in the fall and the plan is fr me to stay home once this little on arrives. It is doable, keep praying and working toward your goal. God can change your hubby’s heart. Mine wasn’t so receptive to me staying home when I first started mentioning it with #1 but over the past few years has changed his heart. I know that is a different siuation but hoping it is encouraging!
I hope my comments are welcomed on this too as I have the opposite experience! Lol. My goals in life were never that of a big house with a pool, world ventures, high end cars or even a college degree…everyone is raised different and I do believe my raising played a huge part in that. In elementary school when we had to write what we wanted to be I wrote something like a veterinarian (depending on the day you know) and a wife and mom to three kids. According to my teacher being a wife and mom wasn’t a real job. I think this caused some struggles within at times for me as I became an adult. I graduated high school and married my sweetheart immediately. He wanted me to be home too so that wasn’t an issue for us. A few years later we had our first child then our second! It was a journey for me even though it was what I’d always wanted to accept the calling of this from God because of comments made from others who worked. Now I see I am working towards a goal not just existing as others saw me. I pray you continue your journey and walk with God and love reading how much your children mean to you!