Sunday, March 1, 2009

And You Say, Stay...

This last week has been killer. When Mr. Right and I discuss our children, their futures, and how we want to raise them, the idea of homeschooling them has always been an idea we toyed with. When I was pregnant, I knew for sure that this was something that I was going to want to do, and I realized that the only way for this to happen would be for me to be a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom).

Living on one income in this day an age is daunting, or at least it seems that way. Josh and I are used to living a certain way, and that way relies heavily on both of us working. Before I got pregnant, it seemed doubtful that I would ever be able to make the sacrifices required to live on just one salary. I had resigned myself to being a working mother and that was all there was to it.

In more recent times, and with the economy taking a major tumble, the distinct possibility of losing BOTH of our incomes had become a major reality for us. A big layoff was done at my office while I was on maternity leave. Those 10 weeks of time spent at home with my child and taking care of the home were both blissful and frightening. I was immensely enjoying that time with my baby, and being able to take care of my husband and our home, but at the same time I was stressed out that I might possibly be laid off.

A week after returning to work, I realize now that being laid off would have been a blessing in disguise. It would have forced us to make the plunge and make the sacrifices we needed for us to live on one income. We would have used my severance "lump" payout to pay off all our credit card debt, and we would have been on a budget in a major way. With the Husband's company car and great insurance, we would have been able to make it along just fine (at this point the Husband has a LOT more job security then I do, even though we work for the same division of the same company).

However, I was not laid off. As those who were affected by layoffs left the office for the last time on Friday, I felt a mixture of jealousy and sadness. I would miss my friends, and the office sure is going to seem a lot lonelier. But - I couldn't help but think "Why not me?" Seems pretty backwards, I realize.

Another woman in my office is struggling with the same dilemma (she has a 6 month old at home). We both would have been able to see the silver lining in being laid off in the latest round, however, both of us managed to keep our jobs. Why not just quit? Well - if we are laid off, the severance makes a big difference, plus the company pays for health care for a year and provides tuition reimbursement for another 2 years. I get the feeling that the axe will be coming down on all of us soon. The industry I'm working in is hurting in a major way, all the way from the MFG's to the Finance companies. With Obama's stimulus (spending) bill, and him planning on raising taxes on the upper 2% plus placing greater restrictions on Wall Street, I don't see the economy improving any time in the next year or so. Then again, who knows? I certainly don't. And I would hate to remain complacent and not make the sacrifices required to change our situation.

With that in mind, Mr. Right and I have to decided to do everything in our power to get ourselves in a financial position where I can stay home and raise our children. It all started with our tax return. Instead of running out and buying the couch and big screen we were eyeballing, we did something completely unprecedented. Yep. We put $1000.00 in the bank for an emergency fund, and then we paid off our two smallest credit card balances. And now we go into crazy mode to start our debt snowball started and get the rest of this debt paid off.

Rush Limbaugh made an amazing speech at the CPAC convention last week. He spoke of American's being able to do anything when the obstacles of the government were taken out of their path. He spoke of all American's being able to realize their dreams, and not because the Government gave them a handout, but because they worked hard for it. It got me to thinking about what my dreams are, and I realized that I need to do everything within my power to obtain them!

So - everyone send warm fuzzy thoughts my way and pray for my company to decide they need one less employee (and make sure that employee is me) or for large sums of money to land in my lap allowing us to speed up this debt payoff process.

I need to be at home. He needs me.

From Mikey 2.26.09