We have all heard this saying and I'm sure we have all planned something that hasn't gone the way we wished it would. It seems this is my life theme.
When I was little all I wanted was to be a Mom. I even remember telling my very disappointed parents, "I don't need to go to college, I'm going to be a stay at home Mom and you don't need a degree for that!". I moved out when I was 21 and lived by myself for 10 years. The first 5 years were hard, if it weren't for my sister, brother-in-law and parents I would never have eaten meat. I remember having only $30 to buy my groceries and that had to last me 2 weeks. But I finally got to a place I wanted to be; I had a good job, nice furniture, enough clothes, my own car and all my bills were paid. I didn't accomplish all this by myself, my family helped when I really needed it but by in large I did it alone. I was and am proud of the fact that I was self reliant.
When Matt and I married he knew (and very much supported) not only would we have kids but that I would stay home with them. I assumed it would be hard living with one income but for the first couple of years we did okay. We never had an excessive amount of money be we had enough to pay the bills and go away for a long weekend once a year.
Life has a funny sense of irony. Perhaps when I was so adamant about what I wanted to be when I grew up I should have added the note *a stay at home mom with financial security *. My husband is one of the hardest working people I know, he works 12 hour days most days. Times are hard and a lot Matt's customers are small businesses and small businesses are having to tighten their belts which mean we are having to tighten ours as well. It's been a hard couple of years and sometimes the stress gets to both of us.
I find myself jealous of friends that work because they are able to do much more than we are able to. I have to remind myself what's important to our family, what my goal is and honestly what my hearts desire has always been to keep that green eyed monster away. I'm not greedy and I'm not unrealistic. I just want to be secure enough that our finances are met, we have enough to take care of our basic needs and have some left over to tackle one of the "old house" jobs we have. That's it; no fireworks, no fanfare, no big expensive trips.
It's hard to keep my eye on the prize but when I think about what I'm gaining by being at home with my kids it makes all the struggle worthwhile and I know I'll be stronger for it in the end. Just like my "meatless" years.
"What doesn't kill us only makes us stronger" - I think I'll make that my new life theme. And when that monster starts rearing his ugly head I just need to look at this picture and remember what's really important.