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A Difficult Decision Remembered

June 25th, 2007 · 6 Comments

Dana‘s post last Friday on Finding Purpose took me back to my own decision to leave the corporate world over five years ago.

I remember how I agonized over that decision! I had truly come to believe what I had heard almost all of my adult life — “that it takes two incomes to get by these days.”

At that time the only work-at-home opportunities that I was aware of were telecommuting and selling Avon (which is what my neighbor did when I was growing up). The company that I worked for at the time didn’t offer telecommuting and I KNEW that I didn’t want to do Avon-type sales (not that there’s anything wrong with sales, if you enjoy it).

However, I felt that I was losing touch with my kids and I really missed them during the day when I was gone. Often at night we were all cranky and tired and that “quality time” that I had hoped for just wasn’t there. Plus, the company I worked for was requiring more and more overtime.

A friend and I prayed and prayed about what I should do about my job. I lost sleep over the decision. I remember taking well over a month to make up my mind.

I was at a crossroads in my life. What finally helped me decide was this verse in Jeremiah. That verse really spoke to me. I felt that the path I was following, trying to juggle too much, was a new and unproven path.

I won’t say that it hasn’t been scary at times. There have been months when I wondered whether we would be able to pay all of our bills. I have to say, though, that the Lord provides. I have discovered ways to earn money with my writing skills that I never would have dreamed of when I was employed in the corporate world.

To close on a somewhat funny note (at least to me), I remember what my manager said to me when I left corporate America. “I’ll give you thirty days before you discover that you’re so bored that you don’t know what to do.” Well, the joke is on her because it’s been five years and I still haven’t run out of things to do.

Contents (c) Copyright 2007, Laura Spencer. All rights reserved.

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Tags: Family · Save Money

6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Dana // Jun 26, 2007 at 2:58 am

    Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this as well! It is a hard decision. We are so full of different, often conflicting ideas of what it means to be a woman and mother…there is that yearning and it isn’t always easy to make sense of. And then the guilt comes in because we aren’t living up to what we think are the expectations.

    At least that was something of a problem for me. But I needed to get past the idea that simply being home was somehow magically going to “fix” everything.

  • 2 Laura // Jun 26, 2007 at 3:29 am

    Hi Dana!

    I think that somehow our generation was raised with unrealistic expectations. We expect that we should be superwoman, and we feel guilty when we don’t pull that off.

  • 3 Melissa R. Garrett // Jun 28, 2007 at 3:00 am

    My husband I were just talking about this tonight. We’ve been married for almost 8.5 years now and had our first daughter shortly after we said “I DO.” I’ve been an at-home mom (now to three kids) this whole time, even going back to school for a bit. Money is TIGHT. However, we’ve always managed on one income, and we know nothing else. These times I have with my kids, as difficult as they may be some days, is fleeting. I don’t want to look back and regret not having spent more time with them. And had I been a working mom, I don’t think I would ever have had the thought or made the decision to start my writing career. I can do it all on my terms, even, and not feel as though I have to sell an article because we need the money. I can actually take my time.

  • 4 Laura // Jun 28, 2007 at 12:35 pm

    Hi Melissa!

    I don’t want to mislead you. In my case it took quite a few years as a working mom before I was able to make the decision to stay at home. I really related to Dana’s story, especially the part about going to work missing my kids. I remember crying on the way to work.

    I think what you said about being accustomed to one income is true. If you’ve never known anything else, then that’s what’s normal for you.

    For us, we had become accustomed to two incomes. Having me stay at home seemed totally impossible. I still come to the end of every month with a tremendous feeling of awe that it worked and gratitude that God has seen us through another month.

  • 5 Gayla McCord // Jul 12, 2007 at 3:59 pm

    30 days huh? Don’t you just love that?

    For me, I truly believe God is blessing me more and more as each month passes as a way of letting me know I’m right where I need to be. At home with my kids!

    I’ve always felt that when you place God first and your family second, everything else just seems to fall into place.

    There have been times when I was truly amazed at where the money would come from when I needed it most. Somehow it was just there. How else besides a divine force keeping things right?

    There’s just no wondering for me. I know! I’ve always known 🙂

  • 6 Laura // Jul 12, 2007 at 4:18 pm

    Hi Gayla!

    Thanks for coming by!

    Well in that manager’s defense, she was a woman who had never not been in the traditional workforce. I don’t think she was even a mom.

    Your comment about placing God first and family second is so true! We are much better money managers now than we ever were before AND the “from home” money is starting to get better for me too.

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