My friend Darlene, who was “crunchy” way before crunchy was cool, raised 5 terrific sons and after they were grown she started a group for stay at home mothers in her community. The other day on her blog she was musing on the topic she wanted to discuss at the next group meeting–living happily on one income.
Here is the line I hear most often: “We can’t afford to live on one income. It would be impossible.” Really?? I guess if your main goal in life is to be a consumer and to raise little consumers, then, yes, it probably would be impossible. But, I’m talking about a BIG attitude adjustment here, folks, where you change your whole idea of what’s a good life. In the ’70s, Steve and I lived perfectly contentedly on $100 a week. And he earned that hundred dollars by playing music Friday and Saturday night at a local restaurant. The rest of the week he was home helping me raise our two children. We lived very frugally, and other than the essentials, like food, we didn’t buy things. We ate simply and healthfully, making all our food from scratch. Our children had very few toys, but they had mom and dad and each other to play with. And we had the public library. That was about all we needed. Used children’s clothes are everywhere for next-to-nothing. If you are lucky, and resourceful, you will get yourself on the receiving end of someone whose child is 6 months older than yours. The key is, saving money by not spending it is the same as making money. The dad makes money, the mom saves money. One is as important as the other. It’s actually an art. A smart, resourceful mom is a tremendous boon to her husband. Lucky is the man who finds such a woman! And lucky is the child who has her for their mother!
Preach it, sister! I also have to put in a thumbs-up to resourceful, hard-working husbands like Darlene’s who always found ways to “monetize” his talents and interests in order to creatively support his growing family, and another thumbs up to dedicated, hard-working husbands who swallow their pride and go to work every day in less-than-creative jobs, sacrificing to put a biscuit on the table for a beloved family.