Let me introduce myself. My name is Amy, I have been married to my adoring husband for over ten years and together we have produced three beautiful offspring. It is now my responsibility to care for them while my husband brings home the bacon. In other words, I am a stay at home mom. We have two daughters, 8 and 5, and a 1 year old son who has really thrown me for a loop. Who knew there was such a difference between girls and boys, and not the kind you would expect!
Three years ago I was working for a major airline at our local airport, (yes, airplanes land in Kansas.) I had been working there for three years and if you have ever worked for an airline, you know it is one of the most underpaid and stressful jobs out there. Throughout my last year working there I had an uncontrollable desire to be at home with my two daughters. My husband and I started budgeting and saving and within a year we had it all figured out and money would be fine and everyone would live happily ever after, right?
I vividly recall sitting in the dark basement by myself as my husband waited upstairs. We were heading out to celebrate my freedom from the working world and our wedding anniversary. I was staring at the email I had written to my boss expressing how life was calling me to be at home with my children and I will only be available to work for two more weeks. I was too chicken to do it in person. I stared at that email wondering if I was doing the right thing, would we make it, and most importantly, would I go crazy not having an outside job. Out of nowhere a hand reached in front of me and hit “SEND” and my husband said, “ Are you ready to go?” and that was that.
That was in May of 2008. The first decision we made after my new found freedom was to try for the boy and in July I found out I was pregnant with baby number three. My husband was working 60 hrs a week and the overtime literally doubled his paycheck and he was making more money in just overtime than I did busting my hump all week at the airport. Life was good, and I always had it in the back of my mind that if things get tight I will just go back to my job. As long as they were hiring I could go back, and they were always hiring. It was rumored that the reason for the revolving doors on the front of the airport were because the employee turnover was so high. We had a plan, we had a budget and we had it under control, right?
Let’s just say God saw a great opportunity for a teaching moment. In the fall of 2008 the economy crashed. My husbands overtime, which was scheduled for the next three years, was completely cancelled and he was back to forty hours a week. I thought to myself, “I’ll just go to the airport after the baby is born“, right? No. There is permanent hiring freeze that is still in place today. God was letting us know that our plans mean nothing, it’s His plan.
We started with this rosy outlook of the future and now have spent the last two years trying to make ends meet. I am still at home with my children, but in the last two years I have learned to optimize coupons, sell my unwanted treasures on Craigslist, care for other peoples children, set up a store on Etsy to earn extra from my craft hobby, and more, just to make ends meet.
I want to use this blog as a way to share our story of being humbled, finding the true value of money, time and love and our strategies, ever-changing and evolving as they are, to making ends meet after our family income was cut in half. We have cut back, cut cable off and still feel we are truly blessed.