You are not alone. I am feeling it too. 

My husband and I aren’t rich. We also aren’t poor. We are middle class trying to make it through on a single income. 

I decided to be a stay-at-home mom. I knew we would be giving up financial freedom with this decision. I made it anyway. So before you read any further, please understand this isn’t a woe is me piece. This is a real look at the financial stress a SAHM goes through on the daily. 

Here’s the deal—I could go back to work. I could put my two boys in daycare. After all is said and done, I might even profit a few hundred dollars after we pay the hefty bill of childcare. 

After number crunching and praying, my husband and I decided, at this point, it’s just not worth it. 

I love staying home with my boys. I feel it’s exactly where I’m supposed to be at this point in my life. It’s hard. It’s exhausting. The days are long and the pay is nothing, but it’s rewarding. That being said, the financial stress can be daunting. My husband is a Phy. Ed. teacher and a coach. His days are long and the pay is just okay. He pours his heart and soul into his work. It is his passion and his calling. He commutes 25 miles everyday to a small town north of us. He absolutely loves it. 

Of course, there are part time jobs I can work in the evening. I’m not opposed to doing what I need to do to make it work for our family. I could watch other children during the day. I have in the past. I could join a DS company and peddle products on Facebook during day. I’ve done it before. There isn’t a shortage of ways to make ends meet. So we do what we have to do to make those ends meet. And sometimes, it’s just barely. 

I collect gas stamps and grocery stamps as if they are rare, valuable coins. I budget down to the penny. Literally. I know exactly how much comes in and how much needs to go out. I shop garage sales and clearance racks on the off-seasons. Hunting down a good deal has become a skill worthy of my resume. 

It’s hard. It’s overwhelming. Some days I’m not sure I’m doing the right thing. Maybe it would be easier to just put my boys in daycare and go back to work. Maybe. But I always come back to this: my boys need me more than any company does right now. There is a reason I feel called to stay home. I am doing the Lord’s work with my boys. I may not be able to contribute much financially, but I make up for it with love and spiritual guidance. 

So if I need to sell some of my heels collecting dust in my closet, or that little black dress I’ve been waiting to fit into again, I will. I will make it work to stay home with my boys. This is where I am supposed to be. This is where they need me.

And one day, we won’t need to budget as frugally. Until then, I’ll save my money and spend my love. 

Jordan Pederson

A wife and mama embracing her imperfect happiness.