Wednesday, March 2, 2011
You want to stay home, but he wants you to work.
This is my first post strictly dedicated to a readers comment/question. I'm not an expert, but I hope to maybe help a little. I have been in this position before. I think she brought up a very common situation.
What is a woman to do that longs to be home but her husband insists that she work? I don't know of one Christian man that doesn't want, suggest or flat out insist that his wife works.
Women that work get such a bad rap in certain circles but they don't work because they want to, they are working because it's what the head of house wants. I see nothing on the web and certainly not in real life that encourages men to at least 'allow' (for lack of a better word) their wives to be keepers at home.
I can relate to this subject. I used to work outside of the home, and after my youngest twins were born, I ached inside to be able to stay home and take care of my husband and children. It took a year and a half of praying but, God made a way. I think my husband and I both thought it would be impossible. It wasn't and now I've been home for 3 1/3 years.
What is a woman to do that longs to be home but her husband insists that she work?
First and foremost it starts with a wife's obedience to her own husband , God said:
Ephesians 5:22-24 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
Titus 2:5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
More important than being the keeper at home is obeying our husbands (saved or unsaved). If a husband insists his wife work outside of the home, she should do it. But, don't do it grudgingly. A man will be more willing to listen to a happy cheerful wife. Take your case to God. He created your husband, and only He has the power to change his heart. God will hear and see your desire. Wives need to be sure to love their husbands.
There is nothing wrong with a woman earning an income. The Proverbs 31 woman earned money for her family. There are many ways to earn an income at home.
I don't know of one Christian man that doesn't want, suggest or flat out insist that his wife works.
That is terrible. I think the outrageous amount of liberal Christian churches have failed both the men and the women by not preaching the Bible and teaching the roles that God has given them. Women are automatically expected leave the home and hold down a career to help with the financial support of the family. This was not God's plan. It's become the norm in our society. Too many women realize after they have children that they want to stay home, but can't figure out how to get their husbands on board. Women have been expected to "pull their weight" financially. This creates a lot of stress, because usually she is also still expected to keep the home and the schedules of the children. There really is no such thing as the women who can "do it all". Someone suffers and usually, it's the children and husband.
There are Christian men out there who work hard to make sure their wife will not have to work. My Pastor told me once when he was courting his wife, that he said to her "I don't have a problem with women working, I have a problem with my woman working."
Men used to be too proud to have their wives work. It would be over their dead body that she would have to assist him in financially supporting the family.
Do not show your husband scripture telling him he's wrong and he should be supporting his family while you are the keeper at home. One sure way to turn your man off to anything is to preach to him and try and teach him the Bible. Leave this part up to God. Let God convict him. This is also very important if your husband is unsaved (like mine), you have no choice but to let God change his heart. It's possible.
Men are different from women. It's easy to say "Honey I'm going to stay home and I don't want you to worry because it'll all work out." Men are just not that optimistic, they need proof. Especially if his worry is money.
The majority of our society thinks that a family can't survive without two incomes, or with more than two children without living in poverty. My family is living proof that this is false. We live in one of the most expensive areas in this country on one small salary, with 5 children, and no debt (except for a mortgage). There was a time when we thought this was impossible. You have to figure out how to afford to live on his salary.
I see nothing on the web and certainly not in real life that encourages men to at least 'allow' (for lack of a better word) their wives to be keepers at home.
You can't find this because it's probably not there. Men don't go looking online for advice on how to be better husbands. That is something women do.
I'll say it again, men like proof. They want to see it.
This could take several months, but it's worth it, right? During this time be sure to pray continually that God will soften and change your husbands heart. Hopefully you have an idea of how much money he makes and how much you make. Calculate as precisely as possible, how much it costs for you to work outside of the home. Some things are not purchased every month so you will have to figure the cost per year and average it out per month. I'm jotting down everything I can think of, to give an idea of what the cost is.
You have to become more disciplined buying less and giving some things up.
I realize there are people who have done all this and really can't live without the extra income. I have witnessed people who claim not to be able to live on one income, yet they have expensive electronics, clothing, cars etc. It is God's will for the wife to be at home. He can make it happen for you.
These are the best examples I could come up with, I realize not everyone has the same expenses.
Cost of child care/ daycare
Gifts for teachers/workers at daycare
Value and replacement cost of lost clothing at daycare
Dr. visits, co-pays and prescriptions for extra illnesses caught at daycare
Cost of each day paid to daycare when your sick child can't attend
Cost of lunches and snacks (not homemade or leftovers)
Late fees for picking up your child late
Cost of the mandatory two week vacation that has to be paid to the daycare while your child is not allowed to go.
Cost to pay someone else during those two weeks.
Cost of gas to and from daycare and work
Work wardrobe clothing and shoes
Gifts for co-workers
Lunch food (unless made at home or leftovers)
Coffee (not made at home)
Dr. visits, co-pays and prescriptions for your illnesses from work/and child at daycare
Extra wear and tear on your car: extra tires, oil changes, miles etc
Anything else you can think of that I didn't write down.
Many people are surprised when they actually do the numbers that the second salary is mostly going to pay for childcare and work related expenses.
Most everyone can find extra money within the money they already have. It just depends on what you are willing to go without. Most of the sacrifice in this area has to be the wife's. The husband has already shown he doesn't want to sacrifice, so asking him will be pointless. Besides, we are praying for his heart at the moment, not nagging him or bullying him to give you the okay to put in your two weeks. The quickest way to get your man to stop hearing you is to nag him.
1. Limit your trips to the store. Try and buy everything at once, instead of frequent trips for stuff here and there. It is more expensive to make several trips. Even if you only get the one thing you needed, you're using extra gas to make all those trips (assuming you drove). The biggest reason why frequent trips are more expensive is because rarely do we only get the one thing we went for. If we don't make the trips,we wont buy the extra stuff.
2. Which brings us here. Before you go to the store, always..always..always make a list and only buy what is on the list. If you are an impulse buyer, please refrain. If you see an item you feel led to buy, write down the price and leave it at the store. When you get home add up how much you didn't spend. Exception: grabbing eggs because you realized you need them for dinner and left them off the list, is not the same thing as getting yet another pair of nail clippers or that super cute shirt that is only $5.00. Those small amounts of a few dollars here and there can really add up and could be the difference between spending your day at home or at work.
3. Plan a menu and cook all of your meals (DON'T EAT OUT). Eating out is more expensive 99% of the time. I feed a family of 7 most nights for less than $1.50 per person, and I use real food, very rarely will I cook from a box.
There are online calendars you can use. Or, just write a list on binder paper. This can be a bit overwhelming at first. Keep your menus so you can reuse them. Keep it simple. Everyone has certain staple meals, make sure they are always on hand. Set theme nights, for instance we usually have spaghetti or some type of pasta on Thursdays. We go to church on Thursday nights, so dinner needs to be quick and easy. A complete and mostly organic spaghetti dinner costs me, $1.04 per person for 7 people. Making a dinner that can last two nights saves time and money too.
By planning a menu you will save money by only buying what you are going to eat. Not being prepared leads to buying unnecessary items like a head of broccoli every time and then finding it rotten in the fridge and having to throw it away. (maybe I'm the only one who does this). (=
Using manufacturers coupons helps save. My experience with this is, once in a while you can save a few cents but usually these coupons are for processed box foods. I am amazed at those Mama's who can do the coupon thing. I tried it for a while, but it took way too much time and I think driving to all the different stores cost more than the savings. However, usually your local grocery store ad will have coupons for their fresh food.
Keep track of how much money is being saved. Don't eat out! Not enough time to cook dinner every night? The Crock-pot is your friend. You can put frozen chicken in, in the morning and it is soft and falling off the bone when you get home. Easy easy.
4. Second hand shopping is a must. It sounds gross at first, but the excitement of a $60 dress for a couple of bucks is awesome. I buy most of our clothing second hand now and it has saved an incredible amount of money. I have found the local type thrift stores offer great deals. I do not go to Goodwill. Every time I've gone there I find damaged items that are way overpriced, sometimes they cost more than they would be at the store brand new. I don't buy everything second hand, but I start there. I don't care for pre-owned shoes and under garments so I buy those new. Some thrift stores have super great specials too. Once in a while my favorite thrift store will have $5.00 a bag day. It's only $5.00 for all the clothes you can fit in the grocery bag. A lot of times you can get better quality clothing at the second hand store than you can get for 3 times the price at Target or Wal-mart. My husband gets just as excited as I do when I bring home a nice pair of $75 Banana Republic pants for him that only cost $1.00. That's $74 in his pocket.
5. Think of ways to earn income at home. There are a lot of opportunities now to do this. I ran an eBay business for about a year. It made a little extra money but it really wasn't worth the time I was putting in. My husband and I figured out it was like working for a dollar an hour. I stopped that. But there are so many moms who can sew and craft and make money selling the things they've made.
Try for 2 or 3 months to find ways to cut costs and save as much money as you can. Physically stash the saved cash in an envelope or something in your drawer. The actual proof is important, and will be a big encouragement to you. Keep detailed information.
Keep searching for money. What do you do that you can stop paying for? Do your nails at home, try and barter with friends for things.
All of these things are normal for at home wives/moms. Most husbands don't make six figures.
Once you have figured out all of these things you can then show your husband. DO NOT, DO NOT, DO NOT, put it in front of him and make him feel like an idiot. Ask him when a good time would be to talk without interruption. Make sure the kids are in bed or occupied. Most likely he has already heard you express your desire to stay home. You should have been in prayer up until this point (maybe fasting the day before or that day). Being sensitive to his worries, express to him that you would really like to be living the way that God has outlined for you in scripture and you've calculated up all of these savings and costs and have found the way to make that possible. Don't get angry if he says no right away. If he has the stuff to look at, he will need time to process it all and be in prayer himself. Maybe he will allow a trial run or something. It may take a while for him to be comfortable with the idea. He may need a little bit of time to be confident. Encourage him and cheer him on.
If money is not the issue, all you can do is pray and treat your husband the way the Bible says to. Take a look at your relationship, if you were your husband, would you want you to be your keeper at home?
Ultimately, the wife/mother at home is what's best for the family. If it wasn't God would not have said that women should be keepers at home.
I'm not an expert, but I do understand the terrible desire to be home. And I do know that God can change an impossible situation into a perfect one. God bless.