Mum-of-three, Sarah Jones, always knew she wanted to stay home with her children and set up her family and finances so that she could. Now, six years in, she explains why, despite not being able to afford the insta-worthy house and regular manicures, she wouldn’t change a thing.
As a child, whenever I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, it was always a mum. I became a Christian aged two and very soon after, knew that motherhood was something God had imprinted on my heart.
Fast-forward and you can imagine my surprise when after five years of trying, my husband and I still hadn’t conceived. We had already chosen that family would come first and decided therefore to rent rather than buy things outright so we would never be in a position where we owed money. So that my wage would not be relied upon, we agreed that my husband would be the main breadwinner allowing me to be at home and raise any children we had.
Children not coming easily definitely highlighted their preciousness to me. Our first of three boys, Eli, was born at 34 weeks. I hadn’t started maternity leave but was thrown into the intense world of caring for a premature baby. Thankfully, over the following year, I made some incredible friendships with other new mums, yet only one has a faith in God. Despite this, many have shown God’s love in their care, time and play-date cake!
We had already made the choice that I would not return to work but I hadn’t prepared for all of my new friends to return. Their maternity pay ran out and their life choices meant they felt they had to go back. They had houses to lose and many admitted to wanting a break and time for themselves. In honesty, at times, I’ve felt the same.
I have my four-year-old Ethan at home and my youngest, Ezra, is currently six weeks old so right now being a stay-at-home parent feels relentless and exhausting and my work’s never really done. The price is high. But the most precious things in life cost the most.
When I asked some of my mummy friends when and how their child potty trained many admitted to not knowing. They stated that nursery staff had taught them. I am incredibly grateful not to have missed anything, good or bad. These mummy’s now have big Insta-worthy houses, their hair and nails are done regularly, can afford expensive holidays and beautiful clothes, and rightly so.
It is hard not to compare myself to them, to see possessions as a marker of success and wealth as the ultimate goal. But my riches are priceless.
It is hard not to compare myself to them, to see possessions as a marker of success and wealth as the ultimate goal. But my riches are priceless. God has blessed us with our children and I have chosen to invest in the marathon of moulding a person, creating a character and although I do often get it wrong, hopefully raising three boys whose hearts are sold out for Jesus and his purposes.
But it is hard. I have a sign by my back door, near the utility, that reads: “live accordingly” so that when I do lose focus I’m reminded of the reasons we’ve chosen to live the way we do. And in doing so I am assured that I have absolutely no regrets.