Ok, so the word “broke” might be a little harsh . . . or maybe not, but I definitely carry a lot of broke mamma guilt. But I just wanted to take a little time to address the money demons that sometimes torment us. Aren’t they horrible?
I’m talking about the feelings of guilt and perhaps inadequacy as a parent you get when you can’t buy your kids that one awesome toy. The disappointment when you can’t go out for dinner to celebrate your husband’s birthday. The slight embarrassment when you hold up the line at the grocery store to use 20 coupons. The stress of stretching out what is in the fridge and pantry so you can put all your money towards that one bill that is due in 3 days.
The concept of limited funds is not at all foreign to me. My parents were very humble people . . . my dad worked a hard labor job and my mom stayed home. Money was tight, yet they chose to invest a good amount of it on a house and their kid’s education. I remember hating Friday night dinner, because it was usually eggs and potatoes with beans on the side. Funny, doesn’t sound bad at all now. I also have fond memories of our metallic tan Dodge station wagon periodically breaking down at intersections and my mom doing her magic with a little bottle of gasoline and beating the engine with a screw driver . . . which somehow got the car started again. Needless to say, although at times embarrassed, I understood as a kid that money was tight and accepted that as normal.
Now that my husband and I have decided it is best for me to stay home, I have experienced some of the negative feelings brought on by a tight budget first hand. Going to a single income has been soooo tough. It honestly has taken at least a year for us to adapt. I am doing some home biz stuff on the side. Although I’ve had some mild success, it takes time to build per my elaborate plan.
I honestly have to keep myself in check. I look back at my parents and remember the sacrifices they made to keep their kids in private school. They set their priorities based on their values and stuck to them. My brothers, sister, and I would not be who we are today had it not been for that. So I have to remind myself of the reasons for which hubby and I decided I should stay home and make the best of things.
I may be tormented at times because I don’t have money to do this or that, but more often than not those things I’d like to have money for are wants not needs. I am thankful that we are able to afford for me to stay home and enjoy lots of time with my daughter, have time to explore my interests, and have time to cook homemade meals (if you’ve seen me in the kitchen, you know I need lots of time for cooking 🙂 ). I’m able to take much of the home management load off of my husband’s shoulders so he can also do some of the things he enjoys and we can have more family time.
We’re learning to live simply. We’re being humbled to enjoy life through the little things. We’ve learned not to take things for granted. We’ve grown as individuals and as a unit. We’ve grown in our faith.
So even if I end up going back to work or my home biz takes off, I see the value in hanging on to the lessons learned. We’ll continue to budget . . . continue couponing . . . and continue to live as simple as possible so we can use our funds for the things that really matter to us. But most importantly, we’ve learned to count our blessings and be happy with what we have.
So I urge you, if you are a broke mamma or broke dadda . . . whether you are staying home or working . . . don’t let the money demons torment you. Be comforted in knowing that you are doing your best to care for your family. Just take any pressing needs up to the Lord, and know that He will provide. Afterall, He’s your Father.