Learn to sew from a friend or family member so you can do small clothing repairs and basic alterations such as hems. Learn to cook if don’t already have skill in this area. I don’t mean enroll in expensive cooking classes, I mean get out your Grandmother’s recipe box or check out some basic cookbooks from the library – if you don’t understand a term or what an ingredient is, the internet is a great resource.

Research how to properly launder clothing, it is an invaluable art. Watch a few youtube videos on how to press a shirt. Stop sending clothing out to be repaired and laundered if it isn’t dry clean only. Don’t announce to your Husband what you are doing – show him. He will notice the clean home and extra money in your bank account.

Immediately begin tracking every cent you spend, this will help you to spend less and will show you a clear picture of how much it costs you to work. Don’t make it complicated, just write down “Monday” and everything you spend money on. Then do “Tuesday”. At the end of your pay period deduct the amounts you spent on work related things that wouldn’t be expenses if you didn’t work (this includes daycare, mileage on your vehicle, and all those little everyone-contributes-a-little-something gifts for coworkers). Now take a deep breath and see how much income (after taxes) you are actually bringing into the house, I think you may be unpleasantly surprised.

Only after your Husband has seen a clean home and a frugal wife should you sit down and calmly begin to discuss coming home. To continue with the interview metaphor; this is your first interview where just the basics are covered. You wouldn’t expect a decision about the job but if things go well, you would look forward to a second interview. Maybe during that discussion you can both begin to work on a plan for you to come home! You will have the real numbers on how much you net after working and an idea of how much of your spending you will have to eliminate to live on one income. Instead of appealing to him emotionally (which can sometimes sound like nagging), communicate with your Husband just as you would with a potential hiring manager (rationally). Don’t press him for a decision, just ask if you can discuss it again at a future date.

How has your husband encouraged and supported you?

There is no bigger encouragement that the fact that my husband believed in me so completely that he assumed a huge amount of responsibility to support his family. He became the sole breadwinner. We were not debt free, we didn’t have a large amount of savings. He knew that I would do a good job at home.

The best support he provided was the way he used humor to make me feel better about my failures and mistakes when I was first learning to care for my home. There were some, shall we say – “interesting” dinners. There were more than a few evenings when he came home and the house was a mess because I hadn’t learned how to manage my day yet.

Sarah, you told me in a private email that although you would love more children, the Lord has only blessed you with one so far. What sort of emotions do you feel when you think that you could have missed out on her young years?

I try not to think about how I could have missed more of her childhood, it greatly upsets me. I regret the time I did leave my child to go to work. It wasn’t as if I had to dump her off at day care – we were lucky, I was able to leave my child with a loving family member. A family member I trust completely. A family member who was finishing nursing school and able to handle any emergency. It didn’t matter that my child was safe. I still cried everyday on the way to work. I felt jealous of the woman who took perfect care of my daughter. I was anxious every Sunday evening when I knew I had to go to work the next day. I can only imagine that I would have become a very depressed person or had to learn shut off my emotions. It makes me think about all the women who are diagnosed with “anxiety” or “depression”. How many of them are really not anxious or depressed? Maybe they would feel better if they were able to be with their children.

Sarah,thank you for being an example to us. The world says that “No one can afford to live on one income in this day and age” but that is not the truth. Thank you for being a light of truth in a darkened world!

This concludes our interview with Sarah. Please leave a comment and share with us your greatest struggle as a mom.

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