Related to losing the vision, yet distinct in a way, sometimes we know what God has said and we determine to do it, but we fail to count the cost. (Luke 14:28-30)
If we do not count the cost, we can find ourselves unprepared to pay the cost. This can make the cost seem too steep, although in our hearts we know that no cost is too much for our children’s welfare.
Still, we pause.
We think of quitting.
We fall back to some degree.
By cost, I do not mean only monetary cost.
Although with homeschooling there is a little cost, it is also possible to homeschool without spending very much money at all.
No, the cost I mean is often in the realm of social connections. When we begin home schooling, often we lose old friends, or so it seems. What truly may be happening is that we finally discover who our real friends are. We discover, also, how much loyalty our family members feel towards us. Sometimes it is appallingly little.
It is a lot to pay.
We feel like courting the approval of man.
Sometimes, the cost can be in the realm of lost second income, too. We find ourselves in the position of having to sew our own clothes, clean our own house, or cook our own food. The fact that we are, at last, able to do so, because we at last have the time for it, does not seem to soften the reality, sometimes.
Or the cost could come in units of time, itself. Without the usual eight-to-five pushing us ever onward, we may discover sleep. This can also feel like lost time, lost time for ME, but time we willingly gave, perhaps, to an employer, when it was for money.
Therefore, we may just keep insulting our family with the same old expensive fast food, in favor of staying in that warm bed.
Is this you?
Do you wonder how I know?
Are you beginning to guess at the cures?
For what they’re worth
As for our excuses, well…
If we abandon them for a second income, we teach them that money is more important than people are.
If we abandon them for our own “career”, we teach them that motherhood is not worthy of consideration as a career.
If we abandon them for their younger siblings, we teach them that it is okay to start something, something as important as a person, and then not finish it.
If we abandon them for the sake of our sanity, we teach them that God’s grace is not sufficient.
If we abandon them—or if we home school them—we teach them. There is no way out; we have to.
We have to live with the results, too.
photo credit: adventurejournalist
Parents who home educate their children must have someone at home. We may quibble about which parent must stay, but no doubt someone simply must.
Lots of people think keeping a parent at home precludes being a two income family, but it does not. The act of staying home saves so much, one wonders how that second wage-earner makes any money at all. Let’s look at how it adds up. (Note: These are 2011 prices.):
- Clothing. Stay-home clothes, timely bought (on sale) cost far less than suits or uniforms bought under duress. The same is true for shoes, bags, coats, etc.
- Transportation. If only one parent is going out to work, only one car is necessary. Same for gas.
- Work. Someone has to do it. Either you clean the house or someone else gets about $1000 per year to do it. You can do your own laundry, yard work, repairs, etc., and save the high price of hiring it done.
- Cooking. A rib-eye steak costs about $5 on sale at the grocery, about $12 at a restaurant. Spaghetti dinner for six costs the same at home as for one at a restaurant. Maybe less. A homemade birthday cake costs about $5, compared to $15 from the store, and you know which tastes better! Hearty, homemade bread is half or less of insipid store-bought.
However, if you make these yummy foods to sell, you get the store price, or above.
- Shopping. What? Isn’t shopping how we lose money? No, that’s random spending. Shopping is comparing prices, waiting for sales, and squeezing all the value you can from every penny. It is sticking to your list, buying in bulk, and always being ready for the surprise bargain for someone’s gift for the future.
It is what you don’t have time for if you’re on your way home from the office.
- Sewing. While it is true, fabric has gone up, it is also true you can make new, lovely curtains with hardly any sewing instructions, covering that window in sale fabric for about $25 instead of $125. With only a bit more knowledge, you could make yourself a skirt or cape. Learn a tiny bit more and make simple dresses for your girls. All with the same savings rate.
But if you sell, it . . .
- Gardening. A pint of home-canned green beans costs about ten cents for the lid and bit more for energy to run the stove. There is an initial investment, but you can re-coup the cost once you’ve canned for a year or two. And store-bought vegetables are nearly $1 per can.
And sometimes you can find used pressure canners and jars for nearly free.
- Crafts. A bit of yarn, a drop of glue, how surprising the fun and savings in making gifts! And the savings is phenomenal. You could develop a reputation for a certain type of gift and become known as “the afghan lady” or the “soap lady”, turning it into a business.
- Last, but not least, Child Care! It’s about $18 per day per child.
That does not factor in the cost of medical care for all the diseases they will pick up.
This list could go on forever, but you get the idea. If, when you are at home, you actually WORK, you are a working mom. You add greatly to the family wealth. You add income by stopping the outgo.
Stop just wishing. You CAN go home. And this is how.