I’m Broker than a Joke, and I Couldn’t Be Happier!

****This is not a post about whether moms should stay home with their children or go to work. Please do not read into it that way.  This is just me, Traci, sharing a little piece of my life with you.  My struggles and my joys.  And how God has brought me to this place in my life.


“I’m broker than a joke, and I couldn’t be happier!”

I tweeted that phrase a couple of months ago, and when I did, I immediately thought, “I can write a post about that!”

Why did I tweet that?

Because I am no longer working right now, and I am BROKE!

If you have started following my blog since the beginning of this year, you may not know that I was teaching full time last semester as a long-term sub at my boys’ school.

I taught third grade.

I love third graders!!!

My degree is in Elementary Education, and I was planning on teaching again one day when all my boys were in school.

Right now, Jonathan is in fifth grade, Luke in third, Adam in first, and Eli is home with me.

I taught for 6 years before Jonathan was born, and I truly loved it.

Teaching is a passion of mine.

I love to love on kids.

But when Jonathan was born, my husband and I decided I should stay home with him.  It was not an easy decision, because on paper, we could not afford for me to stay at home.

So we prayed hard, asking for God’s help.

We sold our cars and got cheaper ones.

I tutored some in the evenings.

And we even qualified for government assistance.  I used WIC coupons for about six months to help us out.

It was humbling, but necessary.

I loved being a stay-at-home mom at first.  I loved the freedom and all the extra hours with my precious son.

But when I was pregnant with my second son, Luke, staying home was not as easy.  I have to be honest that I felt overwhelmed, unimportant, and defeated half the time.

As much as I wanted to stay home with my boys, I kept thinking that I would be happier if I worked.  My husband would even say that at times.

I just kept thinking the grass was greener on the other side.

If I worked…

I would have money to buy things for me and the kids.

We would be able to buy a nicer home and cars.

I would not have to wear sweatpants with puke on them everyday.

I would feel important and get things accomplished at work, and people would say, “Good job, Traci!”

After Luke was born, I dealt with a little bit of depression.

I was really struggling with finding contentment in being a stay-at-home mom.

And then I felt guilty for not being content!  If I was a good Christian mom, shouldn’t I be excited to be home?  Shouldn’t I be baking cookies, and skipping from room to room cleaning and doing laundry with a big huge smile on my face?

Well, I definitely wasn’t.


So I decided to start working part time at a day care nearby.  That way, I could teach, but my boys would be right there with me.  I would feel like I was still with them.  (less guilt)

I loved it.

I loved teaching.

I loved the kids.

I loved the little tiny paycheck I got each week.

I loved it so much, I even ended up opening and directing my own childcare center that next year.

Cross my Heart Preschool and Childcare

It was a Christian childcare center located in a little church and parsonage that my husband and I renovated.  We adored that place.

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(Miss Karen during reading time.)

We kept children from 6 weeks of age up to preschool.   My pastor’s wife and my sister-in-law  worked for me.  It was a precious place to be.

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We had chapel every morning, and the children feel asleep at naptime to instrumental hymns or praise and worship music.


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(Jonathan at the Library Center.)

It was a good  year.

Jonathan and Luke loved being there and interacting with other children.

Then I found out I was pregnant with Adam.

Running the daycare, as much as I enjoyed it, was difficult on our family at times.

I worked long hours, like 6:00 am – 6:00 pm.

The kids at the day care were getting more attention from me than my children were.

That was the year we also found out that Jonathan was hearing impaired, and he had to get him hearing aids.

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It was also a financial struggle to keep the daycare open.

After a year, we knew we had to close.

It was a heartbreaking decision.

I found so much comfort in what one parent said to me.  She said, “Traci, God does everything in seasons.  This season was just shorter than you thought it would be.  But God still used you.”

It was a short season, but it didn’t mean that God did not bless me and others during that time.  It was such an honor to share the love of Jesus with those children and parents each day.

My third son, Adam, was born in 2003.  I had my hands full with three wonderful boys!

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I was still struggling with being content as a stay-at-home mom.  My mom would constantly try to encourage me.  She reminded me of how important those years with my children would be.  She wanted me to love the opportunity I had to stay home with them.

She would tell me I was still a teacher, I just had a classroom of 3!  :)

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Money was still tight.

Every penny of every one of my husband’s paychecks was accounted for.

I would make and sell ornaments around Christmas time to help pay for Christmas.

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Goodwill and garage sales were the only places I shopped for clothes.

Luckily, I could pass a lot of the clothes down to the next son! ;)

Shortly after Adam was born, I started  working two days week at a Mom’s Day Out program at a local church.  My boys got to attend there for free, and I got to get out of the house and make a little money.

I did that for several years.  Those were precious times.  All of my boys with me in the car, driving to work.

They got to play with friends, make crafts, learn God’s word, and sing praises.

The ladies I worked with became some of my closest friends.

I was becoming a little more content with being a part-time-stay-at-home-mom.

Then I became pregnant with my fourth child.

It had to be a girl, right?


Another boy!

God gave me my sweet Eli.

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I cannot describe how much joy this child has brought into my life!

He is the cherry on top of our family!

I continued working at the Mom’s Day Out program two days a week until this past year.

Last August, I began a 16 week, long term sub position at my boys’ school.

I wanted to see what it was like working full time again.

And I was looking forward to the money!

I would be getting regular teacher’s salary, which meant my husband and I would be making the most money we had ever made since we were married.

The money was great.

I was able to shop at the mall and buy NEW clothes for me and the boys.

I was able to buy some big items for our home and help pay for our laundry room addition to the house.

We had money to eat out whenever we wanted.

I had extra money for the boys to buy from their book orders or add to their baseball card collection.

I was able to buy everything I on my Christmas lists.

If I wanted to buy  name brand food, instead of generic, I did it!  Woohoo!

If our family  needed something, I had the money.

It felt great.

But on the other hand….

Mornings were stressful.  I had to have myself ready, my kids ready, lunches ready, backpacks ready…

And I was usually yelling my head off at them to hurry up so we wouldn’t be late.

Afternoons were stressful.  I had been with kids all day, and the last thing I wanted to do was deal with more kids…even my kids.

I would get home and rush around the house trying to get caught up on laundry and pick up the house.

I usually didn’t have anything planned for dinner.  Who had time to plan dinner?

I would rush the kids through bath time and bed time, because, “Mommy had to get her lesson plans ready for the next day….SO GO TO BED!!!”

And I didn’t have time for my husband, because I was always working on school work.

Plus, I am a perfectionist. (And maybe a little anal.)

So everything was a big harry deal to me.

Now I need to let you know that I LOVED teaching!  I loved being back in the classroom!  I loved my students!  I loved the teachers I worked with!!

My boys go to the greatest school ever!

When I would get to work each morning, I was happy and in my element.

So please do not misunderstand me and think I am saying I was unhappy teaching.

I wasn’t.

I was unhappy with how working full time affected our home life.

I only have a few short years with my boys, and they were not getting the best of me.

They were getting my leftovers.

So I was so happy to be back home full time after Christmas.

I am a stay-at-home mom again.

And I am broke again.

And I couldn’t be happier.

I feel rich when get to take Eli to Target in the middle of a Tuesday morning and share a popcorn and coke with the change I found in the couch.

I feel rich when I can read books with my boys and watch tv at night because I have no lesson plans to get ready the next day.

I feel rich when I have dinner ready and get to sit down around the table with my family. (Even if it’s only beans and cornbread.)

I feel rich when I can go to Goodwill and find my boys some clothing or shoes.

And I am content.

Losing my mom to cancer really opened my eyes to what is really important in life.

And how precious life is.

And how short life is.

I am just trying to soak up every moment God gives me with my family.


I may still go back to teaching in a few years when all the boys are in school.

I will have to pray about it and see what God has planned for me and my family.


If you are a working mom, I want to say how much I respect you.  You are amazing!  Some of you are working because you have to and some of you are working because you want to.  It doesn’t matter.  I know you love your children as much as I love mine!

We all walk different roads in life, and we all face different struggles.  But no matter what, God loves you and He is by your side.

As my mom always told me, “God has a soft spot in his heart for mothers because He knows all that they do to love and care for their families.”

Mom was right.

God has a soft spot in His heart for YOU!



    1. Yes it is. Unfortunately, I wasted some years being discontented. I am so grateful for all that God has taught me the past few years. I feel so blessed. :)

  1. Traci, your mom’s quote at the end of this post brought a tear to my eye. A mother in today’s world has so many options but with them come so many decisions that are challenging to make. I am struggling with this very topic right now and I know lots of women who work or don’t work and constantly debate the pros and cons. I’m glad you addressed the issue rather than not talk about it for fear of stirring the pot, and it’s wonderful that you are enjoying this time of being at home despite the sacrifices you have to make to do so!!

    1. Thank you, Lisa. I do believe that all women struggle with this issue in some way or another. The only thing we can do is pray and ask God to guide us. :)

    1. Aaah, Thank you. I usually do not write such wordy posts, but I just kept on writing. :) I prayed that it would be an encouragement to other moms. Thanks for stopping by! :)

  2. As always, you bless us all by sharing so much of yourself. Thank you for being so authentic. I have had some of the same feelings both when I worked full-time and as a SAHM. How wonderful to truly embrace the season we are in while we are in it!

    1. Thank you, Dana. You are right…we need to embrace each season. It’s all about living in the moment.
      Bless you!

  3. Traci, I loved reading this!! I totally agree we all go through times where we think we need to be doing something else. I am a stay at home mom as well and I could not imagine working for a long time if ever :) I enjoy it so much. I do still do some hair on the side ( I was a hairstylist) but otherwise I am here 98 percent of the time. Anyhow enough of my babbling, enjoy your time they grow up so fast!!

    1. Thank you, Allyson. I am so glad you are enjoying the time home with your kids. May God bless your sweet family! :)

  4. I love this post. I’m dealing with this decision right now. My husband deploys in a week and in order to get out of debt I need to work part time (I’m a registered nurse). We are both ready for baby #2, but feel like it would be selfish if we don’t have our finances somewhat in order. I love being home with Emmalyn, but sometimes get stir crazy.
    My parents don’t understand why I would waste such a good education. Both of my parents worked (and still do) to give us things we want/needed, but I know this time is precious, especially with our child(ren) only having one parent around every 2-3 years.
    Thank you for sharing your insight!

    1. Kayla, I know you are facing such a difficult and important decision. I do believe that if you do what you think is best for you and your family, God will bless you. And I believe that He will direct you in how to deal with your finances. Financial struggles will always be there, but your children will not. :)
      I am saying a prayer for you right now. God bless you!

  5. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this post! I just became a stay-at-home mommy this last August after Griffin was born!Before that I worked full-time as a surgical nurse! I wanted to stay at home after our first son was born, but financially it just wasn’t an option! In the last 3 years, God has blessed my husband with a wonderful career that allows him to be sole provider for our family & me a stay-at-home mommy! I couldn’t be happier! There are definitely days when I am ready to pull my hair out & I am definitely relieved to see my husband walk in the door in the evening, but I know that it is all worth it!

  6. LOVE this, Traci! Thanks for speaking your heart-so often I get discouraged because I feel like I don’t live up to being a mom, even though I stay at home with them! I feel like I fail daily on honoring the roll God’s given me as a stay at home mom…so thanks for the encouragement.

    1. Janet,
      We all feel like that at times. I probably feel that way at least once a day. But God is not calling us to be perfect, just present. I know your children feel your love each day. :)
      Bless you!

  7. I needed this, thank you. I have been a stay at home mom for three years now and often feel like I maybe don’t enjoy my daughter as much as I should because I am feeling unappreciated, unmotivated, or whatever “worthless” feeling that day. We are “broke as a joke” as a result of me not bringing in an income and while we are still able to pay our mortgage, car payment, etc. I wonder if me working would bring a better quality of life to our family because we could shop at the malls without worrying, buy everything we want for our house, splurge on family vacations, etc. Deep down, though, I know that I enjoy staying home far too much to give it up. Your post really drove that home and hit a chord with me, so I wanted to say thank you. Thank you for giving me one more chance to realize how truly blessed I am.

    1. Oh Sheila! I hear your heart! I have felt the same way. Let me encourage you to hang in there. You cannot put a price tag on the impact you are having on your child.
      I had the extra money last year, and got to buy what I wanted at the mall, and it left me feeling empty. Our children need our time more than things. I am so grateful for all that God is still teaching me. :)
      Bless you!

  8. I was also a teacher until I started having children. My husband teaches at a Christian school, so we have really had to learn how to be “broke and happy”. :) I have been tutoring a lot in the evenings so we can afford food and an occasional luxury items like Starbucks coffee and new clothes. We have everything we need. God has provided everything in such unique ways and I am so grateful. I love staying at home with my kids, but I have definitely have had my times of feeling discontent. It’s hard. But you are so right . . . it would be so much harder for me to work and be a good mom at the same time! (I really don’t know how anyone can do it . . . kudos to those who can!!)

    1. Cheryl,
      You are right…God does provide. It has been amazing to watch the way He has made for me to stay home. I am so very grateful. God bless you and your family!

  9. What a beautiful journey you’ve walked. And now you get the privilege of staying home with your babies! I work full time, because I have to. My husband is unemployed. And mornings are stressful for us. It’s quit the juggling act. I always envied women who could stay home and raise their babies. Maybe someday I will join you!

    1. Barbie,
      Hang in there! I know how hard it is to be a working mother. And I know you are doing the best you can. May the Lord give you the strength you need to face each day. My mom worked a lot when I was a child, and I think I still turned out pretty good. :) I never felt unloved.
      God bless you!

  10. Once again, I find myself with tears in my eyes after reading one of your posts.
    As a stay at home mom, over the past year I have experienced many of the same emotions that you described.
    I often feel as though my “work” goes unnoticed, but you’ve helped me realize that He sees.
    I think by remembering this (especially when things are stressful) I will be able to be more cheerful and content while taking care of my family.
    Thank you.

    1. Andrea,
      Honestly, our work as mom usually does go unnoticed. We work all day doing laundry, making meals, and cleaning our home, just to wake up the next morning to do more laundry, make more meals, and clean our home more. It seems endless.
      And it is.
      Our reward will be seen later, when our children are grown. Then we will see the fruits of our labor.
      Hang in there!
      God bless!

  11. I loved reading this Traci. I love it because you are so open and honest. You amaze me with all you get done. I had one son, divorced and was a single mother and what a struggle that was. I love your outlook on where you are now. Everything does happen for a reason. I know working and having extra money was fulfilling but I think it’s great that you got to quit again and it seems to me, that God gave you the opportunity to step back and see how fleeting those childhood times are and how to really enjoy being back home with them. You’re an fantastic mother! I started shopping at thrift stores years ago and I use to find the most fabulous clothes. That was before most we’re shopping there and I was able to have a closet full of designer clothes that looked like they had only been worn a couple of times. I wish I could find things like that now. And who doesn’t love a bargain. The hunt was half of the fun.

    Hugs and Happy St. Patty’s Day….Tracy :)

    1. Thank you, Tracy!
      You are right. God really did give me the chance to see life from both sides. And He confirmed in my heart that I am to stay home with Eli right now.
      I am so grateful!
      And I love my trips to Goodwill! And my boys do too.
      They are going to get a good laugh about it someday! :)

  12. After a long day at home with my four kiddos today, you absolutely set me back on the path of knowing that me being home with them is what is truly right for our family. My two boys who are school age are currently on spring break, thank you for reminding me that our days should be filled with time together, not just extra chores and work because we don’t have to leave the house.

    Your words are truly inspiring and touching. You carry on your Mom’s wisdom and bless us with it as well. Thank you for that.

  13. Traci, loved your post. My daughter is struggling with this issue right now. She gave up a good salary and is only working part time now. It is definitely a tough decision. You are doing the right thing. All too soon they will be gone and you can work for the next 20-30 years!

    1. You are right Janet! I pray that your daughter will enjoy her time home with her kids. I think working part time is a win-win situation for many mothers. It gives them time at home and at work. Take care!

  14. Thank you! My husband and I decided for me not to work when we got married last year to prepare for being a stay at home mother one day. I have worked for the previous 10 years as an accountant and then a teacher at a college. It has been an adjustment and their have been times I question it, because I could be helping more financially. It helps to read about your situation. God bless!!!

  15. Traci,

    This was a great post. I have 2 boys and I work 3 days a week. My older one is in school and my younger one attends preschool on the days I work. This arrangement has worked for me. I get to stay home with my kids but yet feed the professional side of me as well. I work in the schools so I’m home for all the school breaks and we are together all summer. I think its all about finding the balance of what works for you and your family. Right now, a few opportunities have come up and I may go back full-time in the fall. I loved what you said about wanted that “me” time after work. I’m a bit nervous about not having the energy for my kids after working a full day if that’s what I choose to do. Somehow, it will all work out.

  16. Great post and something I think almost all mothers struggle with, whether they work or not. In many ways, I think being a stay at home mom is WAY harder than working outside the home because there are no breaks! I find that being the best mom that I can be is so much about balance, and I felt the most balanced when I worked part-time. That was truly the best of both worlds for me. Unfortunately, my work is no longer letting people work part-time, so I’m back to full-time, but my kids are older now and I can still work at home at times, which makes the rest of it more manageable. Every mom does the best she can do, loves her children and wants the best for her them. Thanks for your insightful post. :-)

  17. Traci,
    Not many bloggers are able to post such great projects AND write such great stories that captivate and motivate the reader. You are a wonderful writer and you are as wise as your mom. I envy your life sometimes when you write because I had the Jerry Springer upbringing and it has continued into my adulthood. I have made a good life for my son and I have broke all the patterns of dysfunction. I am proud that I make good choices despite my role models that I had. So when I get a little envous I think about how I need to remember what a big accomplishment it is to be who I am and not who I could have been and to learn from people like you and your mom. You both make me want to be the best person I can be. Thanks for sharing yourself. I always appreciate these posts from you. You have the cutest family and I LOVE your sanding video!

  18. Traci,
    I loved your post! I quit working in june 2008 to be home with my kids (now 3 and 7). I had wanted to be with my kids from the time my daughter was born, but we just couldn’t afford it. We were waiting for my husband to finish school. Well, my son turned a year old and I just knew I could not rewind time and I was missing out. So, my husband and I decided to take the risk earlier than we had planned. I am SO glad we did, it’s amazing how things work out. Yes, we have had to change our lifestyle…big time…. but it is so worth it! No flat screen TV, blackberry, or shiny new car can compare!

  19. Thank you for your post. I am a stay at home mom and have been for about 6 years. I also struggle with wishing we had more money, because I had a great job as a recruiter and made more than enough money to pay for all the “extras.” I have also been struggling with some depression over a recent pregnancy loss at 10 weeks. Your post was exactly what I needed to hear today! I think I’ll take my little baby boy out for a free playdate somewhere and just soak up the fact that I get to be with him every day. Thanks for the reminder to be thankful for all I have been given!!!

  20. Thanks for writing this. I often struggle with the fact I have been just mom for the past 6 years. However I just cant stand the thought of leaving them to work when I just wouldnt make much money. I have 3 very small children and noone understands why we didnt stop at 1 or 2 and why I stay home and give up so much. I guess its only something a mother can understand. I am broke as a joke as well but my kids love the popcorn fix at Target and a trip to the free park and a free trip to the beach :)

  21. Thank you for sharing! As a stay at home, broke mom, I can totally relate! It’s hard to sit back with my garage sale toys and clothes and watch as my friends have the latest and newest. It’s often hard to feel like you are making a difference when you sit at home in a pair of yoga pants and tank top, cleaning up the house, doing laundry, cleaning up kids, changing diapers, making dinner, and repeating the process every few hours. However, when I get discouraged I remember that I am making a difference “One little heartbeat at a time!”

  22. Well said, Traci! A wonderful post, and so inspiring.

    I too felt convicted to stay at home when I became a mom. We had to make some big sacrifices to make that possible, but I’ve always been so grateful for the chance.

    But for awhile I was very critical of working moms. I think back on those days and feel so ashamed of myself for that. Working moms love their kids, for sure! And I don’t know how they do it all. I used to be critical of them–now I’m amazed by them!

    Being a mom isn’t easy, no matter how you go about it. But for sure time is the most precious resource we have, and our time with our kids is very short. So I’m really happy for you to be right there at home, even if you are as broke as a joke! :)

  23. Wonderful post! I too started staying at home after my first son was born 4 years ago and we are now expecting our third (already have two boys, find out next week what the third will be!) It was comforting to know I wasn’t the only one who struggled after having two with being a stay at home Mom, it hasn’t been as easy as the boys grow up but I know this time is precious. Thank you for a very well written post that I’m sure so many of us can relate to!

  24. Thank you for sharing this. I can really relate. I taught for 10 years before having my kids. Now that my youngest is in school, I have been subbing once or twice a week. I like it, but it really answered my question about going back to work full time. Working on a VERY part-time basis is just right for our family for now. It brings in a little extra, but I still have time in the day to make our house a home.

  25. Wonderful post. Thank you for sharing your struggle. I, too, am a SAHM with a teaching background… And I, too, struggle to find 2 pennies to rub together. And I’m expecting #3… so this really was nice (and timely) to read! And I agree that we are rich with the time we get to spend with our children- it’s such a short amount of time, and then it’s gone. How lucky we are to have it! And I ALSO agree that each mom has to do things in their own way- do what works for THEM!

  26. I am sorry to hear about your mom. She was a wise woman indeed. Your life rings very familiar, as my daughter is going through the same situation as you. Life is what you make it and yours sounds wonderful job or no job. Your children are adorable! God will reveal a plan that is just right for you. Hugs!~Ames

  27. Thank you so much for this open, honest post, Traci. It spoke volumes to me today. My husband and I have struggled over the idea of me going back to work a lot lately. I’m due in just a week and we are super excited for the birth of our second son! We also know that money will be a little tighter again though and it will bring great change. But, for now, we know that the best option for our family is for me to be at home with the boys.

    I’ve struggled with being content as a stay-at-home mom, too. But, you’re right…time is SO precious. I also learned that when my mom went home to be with the Lord. I know if my mom were still here she would lovingly remind me that I won’t get this time back with them. So I’m going to do be doing the same thing as you for now…staying at home with my boys and soaking up every bit of the goodness. Yes, there will be hard days, but that’s normal. God is so good and He will be with me every step of the way to help me learn, grow, and cherish this time in my life : ).

    Lots and lots of love to you!!
    Laura : )

  28. Thank you. :) Being a SAHM mom has not always been my favorite thing to do – in fact there have been many times that it has been demeaning (being pooped all over). I have known tho, from the beginning of motherhood, that being a SAHM was what God wanted me to do. However, that still didn’t make it easier.

    My daughter wears hearing aids too! :) Her molds are pink and purple swirls! She is 5 and her hearing loss came as the result of extremely hardcore chemo treatments. She is cancer free today. I KNOW that being a SAHM is what God wants of me if only b/c of her cancer battle. We were used to one salary and there was no way that I could have worked in the midst of all of her many treatments and prolonged hospital stays. God knew what He was doing. I have much more of a peace about it.

    Thank you for the great reminder!

  29. Thank you so much for this wonderful post. I love how you spoke about your experiences and your feelings. I also love how you wrote this with NO judgement…you showed respect and understanding to those mothers that work outside the home and those that don’t. Usually people are quick to judge and they think their way is the best way, which often makes me feel like I am a bad mother because I work. Right now I am on a one year maternity leave from work and I LOVE being at home with our girls. Of course I would love to be able to stay home with them all of the time instead of going back to work, but it just isn’t possible at this time. And I am okay with this because I know that I am doing what is right for our family at this time. Like you said, “we all walk different roads in life, and we all face different struggles” . Thanks again for this heartfelt post!

    Thanks again for

  30. I truly enjoyed this post since my husband and I are at a crossroads right now. He is FINALLY done with college and has an offer to start a job in the fall. We will be picking up and moving and this means that I have the chance to finally have a baby and stay at home or delay that and keep working. My heart was torn because you want nice things and want to live comfortably, but I’ve also realized that living a simpler life with the ones you love is what brings you happiness. Even if you are broke :) We grew up having just the basics, but with SO MUCH LOVE! That’s why now I’m so appreciative for what I do have. God has always provided and will always provide. You made the right choice and deep down I know we will too.

  31. Traci, thank you so much for sharing this story! It is so good to hear as we are at the beginning of that journey right now. Our first child is due in May and we have decided that I will stay home. On paper it doesn’t really work, so we are very prayerful and trusting and know there is lots of sacrificing to come. Your story was an encouragement to me!

  32. Thank you for this post….its like we were meant to be friends. I just quit my job last week to stay home with my kids….and I still struggle with it. Our mornings and nights were just like yours…rushed and not feeling much love. I couldn’t take it anymore so my husband and I decided I should quit to stay home with our kids. Its only been 3 days that I have been home now, but its been great for the most part, but I am still adapting and learning that its ‘OK’ not to work outside of the home. Your post made me feel better…so thank you!

  33. What a fabulous post! It was a great reminder to me to be happy with the things I have. I find myself having to work to help out, but so very grateful I can do it from home while the kids are in school. I love your blog!

  34. Traci,

    I just wanted to say “Thank You”. That post was very inspiring to me. I am a stay at home mother of four children, and have always been. There are many times that I do struggle staying home with my children, but I wouldn’t have it any other way! Thank you for inspiring me to realize how blessed I am to be able to stay home with my children. It is such a wonderful opportunity and I need to take advantage of it.

  35. Thanks so much for posting this today, it really ministered to my heart this morning. I had a career for 16 years and now I am a full time stay at home mom to two little ones. I have had some pretty strong feelings of insecurity and inadequacy for this new role (our baby was born in Feb). I know God has it under control, and all I have to do is ask for his help. I just need reminders sometimes, and your post was so helpful!

  36. Hi Traci! I’m not sure if I have ever commented but wanted to say thank you for posting this. I have a 20 month old daughter and just found out we are expecting #2 in November. I am a dietitian at a hospital and have struggled so hard with the right decision for our family. When you do the budget on paper, it just does not work out for me to be a stay at home mom. However, we are praying that God will make a way if it is his will for our family. Being a working mom is tough but I am lucky in that I work a shorter schedule (5-6 hours a day) and this has worked out well and helped me with the “guilt” of leaving her in daycare. Blessings to your family.

    Tiffany (http://rushingthree.blogspot.com/)

  37. this is a beautiful post! i think that wherever you are happy, whether it be teaching or at home with your precious boys, that is where you should be! i think it is admirable that you admitted you were unhappy, tried something else and learned from it! i think a lot of women would instead just go on being unhappy just to keep their families happy… in my book a happy mom equals a happy family! so i think that is something to be proud of. kudos to you for making it work for you and your family – an inspiration to working and SAHM everywhere! :)

  38. Aunt Traci! I really enjoyed reading this post! It made me very excited about what’s to come for my family as I stay home next year with a new BABY! I pray that I can find the same contentment and will be happy being broke. Maybe we can even meet at Target one Tuesday morning:) Love YOU!

  39. Traci. Thanks for that post. We (my hubby & I) decided that I would stay home after our child was born (our first-8 months ago). I was a 2nd grade teacher and LOVED TEACHING!!!. Making that call to my principal was one of the hardest calls I ever made. I LOVED MY JOB, & at the same time wanted to be the only one to do my new job, MOTHER! I do have those days of…thinking I wish I could go to work to feel like i have purpose, to have some adult socialization, to not have spit up on the clean shirt I just put on, etc. But, I know the job I am doing is what is important! God is good ALL THE TIME!. Thanks for sharing

  40. This is a wonderful post, Traci. So many of us have had the push and pull of decisions with returning to work or staying home. I stopped working after my 3rd child was born. And I have not had to go back since we are financially sound. Sometimes I miss the friendships and the feeling of importance but I know I am doing the most important job. Maybe some day I will find something that I really want to do, but right now I am just happy BEING!


  41. Traci – What an awesome post! I think we live in a society where we get criticized, as mothers, no matter what we choose to do. It’s a hard balance and we each just have to figure out what’s right for our families. I’m a SAHM and it’s hard. I don’t think you know it unless you do it, but it is. I just told my husband the other day that SAHMs should get paid 6 figures for all we do:) Glad you’re happy.

  42. Enjoyed this post very much, Traci. You will never regret it. Your boys will never forget it, either. My husband does a lot of pastoral counseling and sometimes this is the subject. More than likely the woman works because they think they have to have more. He is always able to say to them, “My wife never worked outside the home when our four girls were growing up”. I am very thankul for that. Now, like you, we did live on less There was a lot of “things” that others had or got to do, that we didn’t have or get to do, but the Lord supplied every ” need”! That’s what He promised to do! Oh, and how fast they grow up! It will seem like you turn around, and they have kids who are your kids age now. I know it doesn’t seem like that now, but, trust me, someday you will see! The good thing, well there’s a lot of good things learned from these kinds of life lessons, but the wonderful thing is the memories it makes. Now that our girls are grown, so many of their stories which they talk about and laugh about are from memories made because of our “poorness”! We had a lot of traditions in our family when the girls were growing up. One of them that had to do with not having a lot of money was going to Dairy Queen after their yearly piano recital! The only way we could afford to do this was with coupons saved off ceral boxes! The girls wouldn’t have this special memory if this had not have happened. On the positive side as well, I think children appreciate what they do have so much more when there is not money to have everything and anything they want. Anyway, I appreciate your post very much. A “keeper at home”, that’s what you are! Gail

  43. What a lovely post. I am a full time working momma to two children and it is hard. And I hate that I rush around in the morning and lose my temper and I only have a few hours at night which are filled with the chores of parenthood and not the rewards. Although, I’m not sure I would be very good at staying home full time. I would like the opportunity to try it sometime, but financially it’s just not possible right now. I’m so glad you’ve gotten to see so many different view points. I’m sure it makes you a better mommy to those beautiful boys. And they are INCREDIBLY gorgeous! Thanks for sharing.

  44. thank you. thank you. this is so timely for me. i’ve been at home for eight years now. three boys, one with special needs. i often suffer from the-grass-is-greener syndrome yet being at home is so important to me. it feels like a constant tension with no relief. it can feel thankless to be sure and having a kingdom perspective is not always easy. thanks for the reminder!

  45. I get a little taste of both worlds. I work in an office PT and I’m home the other days with my son. I think both are extremely hard. I think praying and asking God where you should be is the best advice you can give. He will provide. Thank you for your post!

  46. You hit the nail on the head for me!! I’ve got 3 at home and have been EXACTLY where you are. God is helping me everyday to be content right where I am. Thanks so much for all your incredible posts. You truly inspire me!!!

  47. I’m so glad you wrote this. It has truly touched me. I am a stay at home mom and struggle with not being “a good worker” and getting paid, and just getting dressed up and being around adults. Some days are just non-stop stress but I’m so blessed that I’m able to experience my baby in a way most can’t. I love him to pieces and am so grateful; however, sometimes I feel discontent and guilty. But I’m happy to know that it’s okay to feel this way and others do too. Thanks for the much needed encouragement. God does have a plan for each of us.


  48. That has got to be one of the most encouraging posts Ive read in a while! I work full time as well as my husband and we have a 2 year old son. Ive always HAD to work, and have never really minded it until our son was born. I was so jealous of my husband, who at the time didnt have a job. With a lot of praying and tons of faith, there is a possibility of me being able to stay at home with Oliver and whatever other children we will have. Thank you so much for speaking from your heart!

  49. Thanks for that post! I cried throughout because it is the exact feelings I have, but I love each day I get to spend with my boys and wouldn’t change it for anything! God bless!

  50. Thank you for this post, I have been dealing with those feeling for a long time. I was a stay at home mom with my son for 5 years, just getting by from week to week. I went to work 3rd shift at our local walmart so he would be asleep when I went to work and I would be home to send him to school. I was always tired and grouchy though from not getting enough sleep. I was still always broke because you find something to spend it on that you can really do without. I done that for 5 years until I had my precious little girl then I quit to stay home with her. I make things at home as you know for some little extra money for the kids, but I still feel like Im not contributing to my family financially. I know these years with her will pass by way too quickly, and this post just confirmed for me on what I am doing is what I am supposed to be doing….thank you!

  51. Thanks so much for this post. I have been at home looking after my kids since my first “baby” was born nearly 18 years ago. She is about to finish school and my youngest has just started Kinder. We have struggled financially the whole time. I have worked part time to make ends meet at times, but have always made sure it fitted around my own childrens schedules. It is hard, but I look at the 2 beautiful teenage girls that we have and I know that it has all been worth it. Our 2 younger children are gorgeous well adjusted kids too, and they deserve the same amount of time the older 2 have. I would love some time just for me, being paid would be nice too, but God always provides and so far, we are fine. Thanks again for your post, it summed everything up perfectly.

  52. I just loved this post. I am a stay at home mom and have been since my first baby girl was born almost 12 years ago. I absolutely love to be home with my babies, but sometimes it is so hard. It’s nice to know that I am not alone. Thanks for sharing your story.

  53. What a wonderful post. I am a stay at home Grandma and am so thankful that I have the time to do thing with my Grandbabies that were hard to do with my kids. They grow up so fast. Savor every moment.

  54. thank you so much for this post! Somehow over the last year, I lost your blog, but am so glad I found you again (thanks Sarah @ TDC). I am a stay at home mom of 5, and I homeschool…believe me, I feel those same feelings often. You reminded me of why I’m here. Today was bad…I felt invisible…and had a bit of a pity party. I wouldn’t trade excess money for the time with my kids. Somedays,the extra $ would be wonderful,but I feel so beyond excited when I hit Goodwill and score big. I love sharing that with my husband…it’s like my contribution to the finances. Anyway,thank you again!

  55. I’m a military wife of three young boys and a former teacher. I have regrets about nights I spent working on lesson plans instead of enjoying my family. Because of my husband’s constant deployments and training, we have decided to home school. My classroom is now what was supposed to be my dining room. Even though my husband can’t physically be home much of the year, he is an incredibly supportive and loving husband and father. I must say being at home is definitely the hardest and most rewarding job I’ve ever had! Of course, money is very tight, but I hold our memories tighter. Thanks for your inspirational post to encourage me to keep pushing. May the Lord continue to bless your precious family.

  56. Thanks for the post. I needed to be reminded of what a blessing and privilege it is to be a stay at home mom. Went to the mall yesterday (which I never do) and came home remembering why I don’t ever go. I felt like it was just a reminder of all the things I couldn’t afford to buy. But on the upside I’m rich and blessed beyond measure because I have all the things in this life that matters that no amount of money can buy. Thank you for sharing it has been an encouragement!

  57. What a great post Traci! I’ve struggled with the same things over the years…I love being a nurse. I worked part time helping put my husband through seminary. I worked nights at the hospital and cleaned a hotel during the day(we lived on sight in exchange for rent). This allowed me to spend precious time with my children. It was during this time our dear son Jarrod was taken from our care and went to be in the arms of Jesus. One thing I can say as I look back to when my children were small…you can never take those years back and I’ve never regretted my time with them. Enjoy the time with your children and husband. Before you know it they are walking down the isle with their own spouse.

  58. Hi Traci, What a beautiful post and so timely for me….we are on a really tight budget this year & I have been doing the ‘should I, shouldn’t I’ question…my hubby is not so keen as he works night shift & thinks it will really affect our family life & my M is worried his mum is going to be crazy with work hours like I used to!!! He loves that I get to take him to school & pick him up and that he doesn’t have to go to GGOSH….so maybe I need to be reminded of that – and at the end of the day God hasn’t let us down yet, He has always provided and sometimes in the strangest ways!! My mum was a SAHM so of course I want to emulate her and then at other times I think I am going nuts!!! How relevant is this post in reminding me to enjoy my time as it is now and work with God in His direction (not my own directions!!1). Thankyou sweet lady, TK xx

  59. You had me in tears. :) What a blessing to read this post…I am a stay at home mom as well. I also do homeschool with my second grade daughter and next year both my daughters will be homeschooled. Thank you so much for sharing!

  60. What an incredible post. . .I identify so much. You did a good job of not judging either way (sooooo important, because, like you said, we all love our kids the BEST and in the best way we know how). I have struggled with being a SAHM for the last 11.5 years that I have been blessed to have that title b/c, like you, I have that teaching degree and want to USE it. . .I *like* to work, *love* being in the classroom and struggle with contentment at home. I really, really think I’m mostly alone in these feeling b/c in “blogland” everyone loves being and at-home mom, ya know? Anyhow, just wanted to say thank you for this post and to let you know that God really does hear us and understand us (which I know you know) — He gave you that 16-wk stint to change your perspective and He asked me to take our kids out of school this January and homeschool. . .and, as I’m sure is no surprise to Him, I love, love, love it. Not the schooling or teaching part (I love school too much to say that) but the time He is blessing us with TOGETHER right now. Enjoy your season Traci!!!

  61. Very well said. I too, am a teacher and a mother. If I could stay at home with my little guy, I would, but the loans that acumulated with me becoming a teacher are way too high. My son was born September 2009 and I was lucky that here in Canada our maternity leave is 52 weeks. This way I was able to spend those weeks at home and still get paid (not as much as teaching, but enough so we can get by) Well, after those 52 weeks I had to return to work and work is very hard to come by. There are many budget cuts in our school board therefore not equaling too many jobs. I returned to being a substitute teacher. GREAT! Work part time, get to stay at home too :D Well, I recently had a call for an interview for a grade 2/3 multiage classroom and was awarded the position. I believe that it was my time to return to work, and it came at the right time. We only have 3.5 months of school left and then it is summer vacation. Just like you, I will now be able to get some things we had to put on hold, I can get my hair cut and styled, I can buy that kitchen countertop for those 2 cupboards that my mother bought for us and I can finally not worry that we won’t have enough money for that trip I want to take in July for my 30th birthday.

    God really does have a plan for us all.

    Best wishes to you and your family :) Your boys are precious!

  62. Wow. Seriously your story moved me to tears. My husband and I are just starting to talk about having children and whether I will stay at home or work. Your boys are so adorable and what you do is amazing. Its so true about realizing what’s really important in life.

  63. Traci, I came over here after reading Sarah’s post about the two of you shopping, and I have so enjoyed hopping around reading your lovely posts and enjoying all the eye candy. I just shake my head at the beauty of your back patio makeover. It is …exquisite. And what a fantastic yard to boot! I am looking forward to coming back here and savoring more of your blog, much like a sweetly anticipated dessert! Thank you! Just became follower 2519!
    Love and blessings to your family,

  64. Traci,
    Thank you for speaking out on feelings others feel too embarrassed to share. I too have had those feelings. First, wanting to be home with my kids more than anything, then feeling overwhelmed and unappreciated when “I got what I wished for.” The guilt. The guilt. The guilt. I feel that others may not understand the machinations that go through a stay at home mother’s head, especially one that spent ooodles of dollars to get an education and then, shortly down the road, isn’t using it to its fullest benefit. When others have thought (or even said) what a waste. The feelings of not being appreciated could consume me, but I try to keep the demons at bay. I am sorry to say that I do not have the support of my husband. I am criticized for not keeping a “perfect” home since staying home with the kids is what I chose to do. I get down on myself having gotten flawless work reviews when I worked outside the home, now have a hard time keeping up. I could go on and on, but I think you get my point all too well. Please read my post on Not Being Good Enough which rides alongside yours perfectly. Remember, by all means, you are not alone and we all need to speak out and share more often.

    1. Traci, very well spoken. You are truly blessed as a wife and mother. Enjoy the short time you have with your beautiful children….before you know it they will be off to college and their careers…..the time you invest in your children is one of the great blessings of being a mother. God Bless you!

  65. I so needed to hear this today. I am a working mother, full time, with an hour commute each way to work. I have two children, an almost 3 year old girl, an 11 month old boy and I am 4 months pregnant with my third child. I am married, up to my forehead in student loan debt (my law school and my husband’s grad school). Between debt and daycare, we are barely making it every month. And since I having my second child, I have longed to be a stay at home mother. Its not practical right now…we simply cannot afford it (my husband is a third grade teacher). But I want to tell you to continue to see the blessings in it. I know first hand how crazy mornings can be, and at night, I sometimes put off putting my children to bed because I just want to snuggle and play with them. I wish I could spend entire days with them. Maybe one day the Lord will grant my prayer. You are definitely blessed!!

  66. Traci, thank you for sharing your story. I am a full time working mom. I adore my son but I find myself having those guilty, stressful moments a lot. As a mom, we do the best we can and everyday is a learning experience. I just put myself and my family in God’s hands and I know that everything will work out in the end. Your mom’s quote is so on point and very touching. Thank you for brightening up my morning with your story.

  67. Amen sister! Moms live in a constant state of guilt. I have been home for 15 years and we have 7 children. I’m sure everybody thinks the grass is greener on the otherside but there are pros and cons to every decision. Being home is great and it can be hard. Working can be hard but it also can be great. Every family and person is different so families just have to decide what works for them. By the way, love your blog! I’m new to blogging so WOW on yours!

  68. Oh Traci,

    I am crying as I write this. What a beautiful post. I have to tell you your life is so much the life I had when my kids were young. I too was a teacher then. I stayed home with my kids. I went back to work when my youngest was 2. I taught preschool so that I could take him with me. Can I tell you that your feelings are normal? But these are the years that your memories are being made. I tell my kids that their children will be grown in the blink of an eye. It is true. Our oldest children are 31,29 and 27. Our second family is 21 and 20. We loved parenting so much we adopted three children to complete our 3rd family. The kids are all 3 five years old. Hind sight is 20/20. I thank GOD for that hind sight because I now see the speed with which their little lives become their own and they are grown. We are treasuring and marveling at each little thing these kids do. We read more, take walks, play more and enjoy each little one more than we ever did the other children (unfortunately), because we know how fleeting life is.

    Thank you for sharing so honestly.


  69. Way to put things in perspective in a non-judgemental way :) I remember when we were struggling & I honestly questioned why we were “poor” when I was choosing to stay home & bring my boys up God’s way. Well God sure showed me that I was only “poor” in the world’s eyes & not His:
    Proverbs 19:1
    Better a poor (wo)man whose walk is blameless than a fool whose lips are perverse.
    I’d rather be poor then a fool!! ha!
    Proverbs 28:6
    Better a poor (wo)man whose walk is blameless than a rich(wo)man whose ways are perverse.
    (wo) emphasis added by me :)
    You may feel poor but to your family & friends ( & God especially!!) you are definitely VALUABLE!!!

  70. I want you to know that this blog post really touched my heart. I just went through a similar situation. I stayed home with my first and after having my second I went back to work nights when she was 6 weeks old. I was fortunate enough to work for my father so sometimes I would work 4 nights a week, others only 1 depending on what was going on at home. He died this past December and I decided to go back to work 30 hours a week so I could earn extra money and to be near him in spirit. After about a month I realized my home life was falling apart and I started hearing my dad tell me not to work, to be home with my girls. These were the same words he said to me before he died. He’d call me and tell me he would work my shift so I could take the girls to the park on a Saturday afternoon. I discussed this with my husband and he admitted that he hated me working, even with the extra income. I stepped down from my job and now I only fill in maybe 1 shift a month. I enjoyed every minute of working but sometimes what we want is not what God wants us to do. I may have wanted to work but it wasn’t right for my family. I still am stressed at home with the kids some days but I try to think of my dad and how happy he would be that I chose to stay home with them. My kids are 5 and 18 months.

  71. Such a great post!! Thanks for sharing your whole heart ! Working of not working, there always seems to be greened grass somewhere!

  72. Traci, This post was so touching. I am married, working and do not yet have children, however, I am witnessing many women I know going through the very struggle you describe. Sometimes from the outside, everything looks “easy” for people when you don’t know their story (greener grass!). I certainly didn’t know your story until now. Thank you for sharing from the heart. I will be sharing it with others to help them have strength and faith as they face the same decisions. All the best, and continued happiness! Janine

  73. This is a very beautiful post as well as inspiring to me to love my children while I still have them at home. Sometimes in the midst of a busy life we push our sweet blessings aside instead of treasuring the moments we have with them. Your post brought it home to me once again. Thank you.


  74. I just stumbled upon your blog and read this post. It is refreshingly honest and I really enjoyed reading it. I’m a part time teacher with two young little girls, and I struggle with being pulled in so many directions as well. It was nice to read that someone else has struggled with a very similar dilemma and overcome it. Thank you so much for this post, it brought tears to my eyes. Best of luck to you and your family. :)

  75. Traci,

    I am a long time lurker of your blog. I decided to finally comment because just TODAY (sorry to shout) I went in sobbing to my boss that I couldn’t work full-time anymore. I work in a day care center, just like you used to. It’s so hard to work with kids all day even when you love it, and then have energy left for your own family.

    I had been working 9-5:30 M-F. I have two kids ages 13 and 10. I just nodded my head through your whole post. This is my life too!!!! I’m just like Traci! It’s just not worth the extra money to work full-time for exactly the reasons you listed!!! I would come home exhausted, I yelled at my babies in the morning to hurry and get ready, then I’d yell when I got home because everyone was tired and hungry, but nothing was ready to eat. I noticed my kids weren’t doing as well in school either.

    We’ll miss the extra money, but not as much as the time we can spend together.
    It’s exactly the little things that make me happy and a lot of those are the same as yours. Just having a Pepsi (sorry I’m a Pepsi drinker not Coke), listening to a favorite song, or reading a great blog :) are some of my faves. I knew it was time to go part-time when I couldn’t go to any of my kids’ activities and special events anymore.

    I cannot wait to get home at 3:00 instead of 6:00!!!! Thanks for sharing your life with us. Sorry for the very long post. Your blog is such a pleasure to read.


  76. This post really spoke to me. My children are older now (12 and 15), and I currently work about 25 hours a week (up from about 15 per week when I first returned to work). I have been feeling like my job is just taking over my life. I only have another two years or so with my son home (assuming he leaves home for college), and that makes me sad. I yearn for the days when I was less stressed and more engaged with my kids. I’m praying that God will show me what I should do. My income definitely does help, especially since my husband has been laid off twice in the past nine years. But money isn’t everything, and I miss doing the little things for and with my kids that you talked about.

  77. I have been a single mom of three kids, ages 13, 16, & 19, for 13 years. My husband left when my youngest was 5 months old. Before getting married and having my first child I had a great career in management making an amazing salary but my greatest desire in life was to be a stay-at-home mom. God gave me this wonderful opportunity for almost 8 years. For 3 years I struggled below proverty raising my kids but finally realized that my children did not understand that money had to be earned by working not by going to the bank and withdrawing an amount. With a broken heart I went back to school and then back into the work force. The last 10 years have been bittersweet for me. I missed the most precious years of my youngest daughter’s life, I worked 14 hour days coming home exhausted, sometimes I was so tired I would give myself a time out rather then yell at my children. I missed out on alot. I was able to provide everything my children have needed and even wanted but at what cost? Today, as I write this, I have been unemployed for 2 months – not by choice – I am here when the kids come home from school, dinner ready at a decent hour, I am relaxed and can laugh with them. Unfortunately, the struggle of not having a job is taking a toll on me – in the dark of the night when fear strikes my heart my tears and prayers are poured out. You are truly blessed to have a spouse who is there for you and your children – yes, it is hard to be on one income but it is only for a season. You sound like a smart and strong Christian God will bless you for your faithfulness to Him and your family.

  78. Traci, I am a brand new follower of your blog and I already love it! This post is just perfect! I am a working mom (a fourth grade teacher, actually) and my cousin (who is a very close friend) is a stay-at-home mom and we have conversations ALL THE TIME about which is better. The conclusion? Neither and both! There are pros and cons to both situations and usually whichever side of the issue you’re on, it seems like the other would be better. It’s all about making it work…regardless of what that looks like! Beautiful post!

  79. I was just able to read this post! I truly appreciate it. I am blessed to be a stay-at-home mom of 3. This is the first year that all my kids are in school. I have a 9 yr old daughter, 7 yr old daughter, and a soon to be 6 yr old son. I have been blessed to be able to stay home. I love driving them to school, taking them out to surprise them to do something fun-childrens museum, movie, beach, lunch. I appreciate not having to rush around too much in the evening. We have our fantastic days, our eh days and our “We’re all going to bed at 7” days. including MOM. I would not trade any of them.
    I help 2 of my friends with their in home daycares. I adore being around kids. I help my friends who need someone to watch their kids for appointments or some down time.
    I am so lucky to be able to go into my kids school and help out.
    My husband is so supportive and encouraging. He had a co-worker of his say that “Your wife needs to get a job.”–since all the kids are in school now. He said to her – “She does have a job- a 24 hour important job.” He is alway the one to support and encourage me. He feels assured while at work because he knows that I am at home able to help the kids, take care of appointments, do things that need to get done. We have helped each other with his career as a team.
    This life is short and swift. We don’t know what will happen tomorrow-or even today. Things are just that THINGS… people and relationships are priceless.

  80. This was one of the best posts I have ever read! It came at exactly the right time for me, as well. I have been struggling in my heart with what we don’t seem to have or can’t buy. I am a homeschooling mom of 3 boys who also happens to be a pastor’s wife. We made the decision long ago that I would stay home with the boys, but it’s been very hard in the last 1.5 years with his new ministry position. Our basic needs are met, but it’s those pesky wants. I have struggled as I read a blog here or there where someone was at Goodwill every week and Lowe’s and making these cute things for their cute homes and I can’t even go to Goodwill – let alone Lowe’s right now. Yet, I have this amazing husband and these three precious boys.

    Thank you for the reminder…It is well with my soul!


  81. Traci,
    What a phenominal post. I was one of those moms that had to work. Single mom, area we moved to is economically depressed, etc. My daughter is 18 years old now, soon to be 19 and a mother herself. I am trying to encourage her to stay home as much as she can with my grandson. She is single as well, and will be starting college in the fall. I’m not sure how we’ll accomplish this but I know if I had a do over button I wouldn’t have worked 2 and 3 jobs or 16 hour days. Part of me does regret the choice I made even though I knew it was just so that we could make ends meet. You are very right, life is very short and sadly we don’t get do-overs. We all do what we must do but REALLY seeing what is important in our lives is of utmost importance. There are pros and cons in everything but time is very short with our babies.
    Your mother sounds like she was a very wise and wonderful woman.

  82. Traci,
    Thank you _ i needed this. I often get disgruntled about the fact that I work and wayne gets the “joy” of being home at Jacob. But I see, too, how God has worked it all out for good – for all of us. Hoping that I get to experience being a stay at home mom some day but if it is not God’s will, then may He help me to be content where I am. I read your blog often but rarely respond. This one I could not pass up. Thank you for sharing the ups and downs of both situations.

  83. Wow, what a story. I am encouraged by it, though. I have a similar situation. I was a teachers aide at my daughter’s school for 5 years and loved it, the kids and my fellow co-workers. But, I thought I would go back to a real job, making real money, as well as letting her have a little more independence. This being her last year in elementary school. She has done great! Mom, not so much. So, I went to work as an administrative assistant, EXCELLENT pay, horrible place and people to work with. So, I left that job and took a pay cut, still more than a teacher’s aide, as a receptionist. I was miserable. The people were great, just long hours and a job I could care less about. So, after much prayer and a few meltdowns…I will be going to work at a craft/scrapbooking/consignment store and cupcake bakery for minimum wage. Ouch! But, I will be happy, no stress and very good hours and my daughter can come with me in the summer and after school. So, I will be hitting my knees and praying for God’s provision for our family. My family and home are SO important to me and we will survive. It will be hard to tighten our belt, because the bills are big and the list of things to pay for and the “needs” list are longer than the paycheck will allow. Any ideas for creative financing??? Glad to know there are others out there with the same, real life struggles. We will have to hang tuff together.
    Thanks for sharing, Christina
    (Check out my blog and see where I have posted my situation on occasion!) :) also, great to see such strong faith!!

  84. Hi Traci,
    I’m not sure if you’ll see this comment since this is an old post, but I wanted to take the chance to thank you for it. I’m new to your blog and LOOOOVe It!!! And I love this post. I work full time but would give anything to stay at home. I’ve been fasting and praying and know the Lord has heard our prayers, but for now it seems its a wait and see. I was feeling guilty about the long hours I’ve had to work this past week and was almost in tears as I drove to work thinking about my “babies” (16, 13, 11, & 8) getting my “leftovers”. My heart is so heavy sometimes when I think about having to work. Your Mom’s words at the end touched my heart and I felt our Saviors love through them. Thank you. I lost my Mom almost 9 years ago and I thought you’d like to know that her life is still touching others through you. Blessings to you, Missy Ray

  85. Traci,
    I just completed my fifth year of teaching and I loved it too. I loved it because I could be creative, a role model, and an example of Christ to the students the Lord put in my life. I have a two year old son and one on the way and before school was out my husband and I decided I should stay home. Money will be very tight for us too and we are currently living with my parents due to moving states but I know that what my son was getting was leftovers also. I struggled with giving up my teaching career because I thought, “man I’ve spent so much time, money, and effort to get where I’m at. Plus I’m good at what I do!” how lame am I? I still struggle with it thinking I could be an example of Christ in a classroom but you’re post hit home with me that my classroom is NOW my children and I am their example. Thank you for being honest about your feelings. I thought I was the only stay at home mom that had those feelings.

  86. That was encouraging Traci, I am a working wife/mom. I have been married for almost two years, we had our son two weeks after our 1year anniversary. I struggle with being content with having to work….but God does have a season and mine right now is to work to help my husband out. I recently had a miscarriage so working and being away from our little boy has been hard. I think that is why my husband’s car broke down and he needed mine. I had to call in since I had the sick time and he did not. I had a wonderful day all to myself with my lil’ boy. No cleaning (it was done the night before). God is so good he gives us the little things just when we need them…and He knew I need alittle boy hugs and kisses for a day.

  87. I love your drop cloth patio curtains and am planning to make some of my own. However, I am having a hard time finding 1/2 metal poles to hang them. Can you give me any more info on what you used? Thanks.

  88. I just “discovered” your blog, I love it! I am also jealous, my husband owns a hardware store and says anything but a air gun nailer is too expensive and not as effective, blah, blah, blah, Amy, blah, blah, blah……the cobbler’s children have no shoes rings a bell….keep on creating and inspiring!

  89. I stumbled upon this post last night and was so blessed by your story. I just made the heart-breaking decision to resign from teaching. I be the parent who encouraged you by saying that God has seasons and that this season was shorter than you planned, had no idea that her words would one day encourage another teacher. Thank you for being so transparent and sharing from ‘beneath your heart’.


  90. Traci,
    Your story really hit home to a lot of Mothers out there. Now my kids are 45 and 42 and I remember how I felt staying at home all the time, my husband worked two jobs M-F. I packed him a cooler with an extra lunch so he could eat it while he was driving to his second job. Come Saturdays, I was ready to get out and go and having worked 2 jobs all week and not getting home till 10:30 or 11 pm, he was ready to stay home. I’d mow the lawn but he would still have to do the weed-wacker chore and anything else that needed his attention. I get the winter depression. In Feb. of 1973, I saw an ad in the newspaper for a job in a bank’s credit card operation near our home. I called about it and went for an interview. The manager of the dept. said he’d be making a decision in a week, that he had some other applicants to interview. I never told my husband I went for that interview because I didn’t know how it would turn out. In two days, I rec’d the job offer to start in two weeks.Because a lady recognized my married name, and knew my husband’s family, plus I knew one of the officer of the bank, I never had to take any type of test. The job was only 2 miles from our house, I found a babysitter that I knew that watched my kids for me for only $20 each child a week. Now ladies, this was 1973 prices. Our son was 7 yrs. old and our daughter was 4 when I went to work. I told my husband and kids that I was going back to work while we were having dinner that night after I rec’d the call from the Dept. Mgr and of course, you know how that went over! My DH continued to work 2 jobs for a while and one night, he just said he couldn’t continue to do it, he was feeling so exhausted. He had done it for 8 yrs. and you know what, it worked out okay. My sitter was wonderful and we’re still friends to this day. To this day, my 42 yr. old daughter throws it up into my face about me never taking off to go on school trips with her. She’s right, but I had a boss that didn’t think women should be working so he made it difficult for young MOthers to take off unless it was our vacation time or sick leave. If you took unnecessary sick leave, you were not given a good rating or a good raise. I was only late one time for work and that was because the roads were icy and there had been a fatality on the road that I traveled on earlier that monring. Police and emergency personnel closed down the road. I got written up for being late that day. I always left home in plenty of time and sometimes when it was snowing, I’d get to work and have to go get some of my co-workers that were afraid to drive in snow and they lived only 2 miles from work.
    Another lady had a flat tire enroute to work one morning and she had to wait for somebody to change it for her, then she was late only by 3 or 5 min. and she got written up for that.

    Now my daughter is working, she’s a divorced Mother of 3 kids, two are teenagers but when they get sick at school or aren’t feeling well enough to go to school..Grandmom gets the call to go get them from school or take them to school later when they start feeling better because their Mother can’t take off. She’s a teacher’s aide in a school that serves austic and special needs kids.

    Your story was so touching how you and your husband worked together to do what was right for your kids. I commend you both. Sounds like you have a real GEM there. Your kids will always remember that you were there with them. I bet when they are grown and married, they’ll remember what all you and your husband did to make ends meet and what you gave up to be with them at home. I know your Mom is looking down from heaven, looking and feeling very proud of you. Keep up the good work!

  91. Traci,

    Thank you for sharing your story. I recently quit my full time job to stay at home with my 2 boys. Like you, we are broke, but my boys no longer have a mom who is rushing them from bathtime to snacktime to bedtime 5 days a week! Material things are nice and give me pleasure for a while, but being home to enjoy bathtime, dinnertime, and every other time with them will give me a lifetime of joy that no object can! God Bless you and your lovely family.

  92. I just came across this post….I needed it. Been home with my 3 kids for 7 months now, my husbands job promoted and moved us to a different location. I had to leave my job and haven’t been able to find a new one. I’ve felt the unimportant, and overwhelmed that you had. Then we had to go down to one car and that depressed feeling came in. I felt trapped and when I need a little break from entertaining the kids I couldn’t drive to the library, meet with friends or family or just go window shopping. It was bad.

    Now I am seeing things differently, it happened little by little. Being unemployed I found “Blogland” which I thought I could learn some decorating/crafting ideas from, not life and spiritual lessons. Through a couple of blog ladies (you being one of them) who have blogged about life and God, something inside me has changed, I have found Him again and I couldn’t be happier. I am happier about being broke because I have been able to be home with my kids and was home to teach my 4yr old to read, play dress up with my 3 yr old and ask my 12 yr old how school went as he walks in the door. I am happier because without being unemployed and broke, I might not have found God. He is providing us exactly what we need, when we need it. Didn’t mean to ramble on but I wanted to tell you…Thank you, you have changed my life. (maybe I should of emailed you instead..sorry this is so long)

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