Flowers spotted on this morning’s run with Pippa Cordelia.
That blog title might be a little misleading, but it has a nice ring to it! Plus I knew you wouldn’t be able to resist reading this.
Let’s preface this little essay by saying, as most of you know, I am fairly actively looking for a job outside of the home. Yes, I’m being picky because I’m unwilling to commute, and I really just want to teach elementary students. However, I’ve easily applied for at least several hundred jobs with very minimal success. I also consider myself to be entrepreneur and a small business owner who currently makes $0 annually. I actually lose money on a monthly basis supporting my various projects, not to mention the time and creative energy I pour into them.
So why am I writing this post? Well, partly to encourage myself. But also because this week an acquaintance of Kevin’s asked him when I’m going to become a barista. Now there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being a baristas. In fact, the world would be a terrible, horrible place without them. Perhaps I’m being sensitive, but I felt he meant it in a condescending way, knowing that I have a Master of Education degree and a fairly respectable résumé. Since I’m young and impressionable, this offhanded comment sent me into a renewed frenzy looking for a job. (I’ve since cooled down with the help of some puppy therapy!)
Let’s review how I got to this point in the first place. We’ll start at the beginning.
My first job was a paper route. I’m not sure exactly how old I was, but I was under 12! I continued to be a per girl until I was 14. Then I was old enough to wash dishes in the hospital cafeteria. I also worked taking care of a special needs child during high school. I worked my way through college working in the school cafeteria and at a bank.
I managed to graduate from Bible college unattached, footloose, and fancy-free! I have no idea why they are still making me pay back my student loads. All joking aside, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to pursue teaching wherever in the world I wanted! My parents raised me with a heart for world missions and that passion was reinforced through several experiences in college. I began to pursue positions working overseas and ended up in the beautiful Dominican Republic - truly my second homeland.
I miss my tan a little bit too!!
I taught there for one year before meeting the love of my life, Kevin James. Some of you may not know this but we actually dated for two years long distance. Ouch!!! It was actually painful. We visited each other as often as we could, but would often go for 3+ months without seeing each other!!!
Best Boyfriend Ever!
On Thanksgiving Day 2010, after Thanksgiving dinner and a DIY turkey trot, Kevin proposed. Of course, this meant we could no longer feasibly live in different countries. When you are in a LDR, all you can do is talk so we had many conversations about what we should do. It was truly a difficult decision, because I was very passionate about what I was doing. However, call us traditional, but we knew that it wasn’t going to work for us to have me be the breadwinner. So I moved back to Minnesota where both us grew up and where Kevin was still working.
Staying as close to the cake as possible!
We got married almost immediately after I moved back to the States, and the plan was for me to work on transferring my teaching license to Minnesota to find a job there. Wrong. During our honeymoon, Kevin got the call that his office in Winona was closing and they wanted him to move to Colorado. It was a difficult decision to make especially because all of our family lives in Minnesota, but after talking about it and praying it over we made the decision to move to Denver! (Where everyone promised the winter would be milder, but it totally wasn’t! It was awful!!!!!!).
Little Miss Business looking smart in navy!
The company Kevin works for offered me a temporary job while I worked on getting a Colorado teaching license (tests! paperwork! headaches! tears!). I can’t believe it, but I ended up working there for over 6 months! I was bored to death working a desk job, but I made good friends with my co-workers and loved baking for them! I can’t even begin to explain what happened next, but we definitely had a little uncertainty about how long we would be sticking around in Denver.
As of now, Kevin is under contract with his job until (at least) August 2013, and we bought a house! So that’s a little a bit of a commitment! I quit my day job on July 2 due to the commute from our new house. I just couldn’t take adding almost 3 hours (commute & lunch hour) to an already long and boring day. Of course, we were hoping that something would turn up for me in my field now that I have a CO teaching license.
When I quit my job, I had so many different people ask me very personal questions and express their concern that we were going to have financial problems. I know this is not 100% normal in America in 2012, but we are pretty committed to adjusting our standard of living based on just one income. We were 26 & 29 when we got married and supporting ourselves completely fine. My husband is the finance genius, but it doesn’t take one to know that unless you make some pretty serious adjustments, it doesn’t cost double to support two people! Yeah, I know this isn’t the same for everyone.We both came into the relationship with a good “financial background” and very minimal debt. We both managed to get our employers to pay for the majority of our graduate degrees! So those two things definitely helped. If those things were different, would I be forced to get a job? Sure. Maybe I’d be working at a preschool (pre-k is definitely not my strength!) or whatever to help make ends meet. But that’s how things went down for us.
So let’s get to the real topic.
What are the pros & cons of being a SAHW?
- Household stress level is much, much better. When I was working, we’d both come home from work and go to the gym. We’d get home around 8 and still have to shower, and then start making to dinner. Not a lot of time to get things done which is tough since we moved like 4 times during this past year.
- Meals! Planned!! Healthier! Less money wasted
- I can take care of everything. I am the despot of the home. The sheets actually get washed. The dogs aren’t alone for 11 hours a day. I even mow the lawn!
- I make bento box lunches!
- I have time to work on my creative side projects – blogging, piano, etc. I love doing these things.
- I have a flexible schedule and can “take days off” whenever Kevin does!
- I can also take care of planning all our home improvements and our social calendar.
- Kevin loves it, and is 100% supportive. I am blessed by the opportunity to bless him. By the grace of God, I have the utmost faith in our marriage and nothing to worry about as far as the goes.
- More quality time with Kevin.
- It’s so humbling for me. Yes. I’m putting that as pro. Definitely stings my pride. But 1 Peter 5:5 says: Clothe yourselves with humility towards each because “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
- I know people mean it lovingly, but it does get a little tiring being asked how the job search is going. That’s probably my #1 con. That’s a personality problem, right?
- I’m actually not good at a lot of household chores — like ironing. I still need to learn that one!
- I miss teaching.
- I sometimes get sad and feel like I’m not using my mad skills.
- I want to buy more shoes. Yes, that sounds materialistic, but my pointy heels are in pretty sad disrepair. Kevin would let me buy new shoes. But I just bought a bunch of stuff for Pippa so I like to spread things out a bit.
- I’m so not a couponer!
Neutral: Human interaction. I am definitely cool with being alone all day. Especially with 2 dogs. Plus at the very least, I’m in the gym every day. I know this would bother some people, but it’s not a problem for me.
So I never expected myself to be a SAHW, but apparently this is a season that the Lord had in mind for me. I hope that I can take it as the blessing it is rather than wishing it away.I can’t help but think that no one would be questioning this if I had kids. Haha. That’s an easy out I will not be taking! Or that I don’t PLAN to take. We’ve seen how well my plans have worked out over the past year. (Isaiah 55:9)
Maybe I’ll get a call tomorrow about a job that would be the perfect fit, but until then I’m a SAHW 100%! Whatever you are, be a good one. – Abraham Lincoln
This is my favorite picture of myself. Ever!
So what do I do all day? Sit in bed and eat cereal? That’s for another day, friends, and trust me, I will be subjecting you to it. But I’m willing to bet that I waste less time now than I did while working at an office job! I can’t compare it to teaching because you waste ZERO time as a dedicated teacher. Offices are different story. The break room! Running the stairs! Office communicator! The internet! Stay tuned!
On that note, time to make dinner.
Have you ever been unemployed/SAHW/SAHM? If not, how do you think you’d like it? I am never bored. Ever. But I also don’t get paid. Lol.
- Is Your Colleague’s Stay-At-Home Wife Holding You Back At Work? <—- Whoa!
- True Dating Confession: I’m A “Stay-At-Home Wife” (Without Kids) <— She gets bored. Lol.
- Stay-at-Home Dads: No More Angst. These Guys Love What They Do <— I’d probably be a huge fan if the kid was an infant. I’m not a baby person! Never gonna happen!! Haha.