I am not an authority on marriage and raising children. Since I am a wife and mother, I do feel that I can comment on the subject. Everyone makes choices in their lives for themselves and the people they love. For me I try to make the best choices but sometimes I must admit that a lot of things seem to fall into the category of luck.
Living on one income and living frugally has been the best thing we have ever done for our family.
Not having a lot of money means that you end up staying home and not going out a lot. What does this mean? We eat dinner as a family every night at home at our diningroom table. It means that we watch t.v. together (we love Survivor) and eat homemade pizza when we want to instead of waiting for the pizza delivery guy.
Living on one income has meant driving to a destination instead of flying which means interesting conversation and memories on road trips. And we do have a lot of memories.
Not having a lot of money means shooting hoops in the driveway or renting a movie for entertainment. It means interesting conversations after meals around the diningroom table and knowing what is going on in each other's lives - the good and the bad. It means that we are a close family.
Living on one income means that we are with each other more, eating a home cooked meal in the evening and doing things together.
I know what is going on in my son's life. I know his friends, I know his struggles, I know when he is upset and I know when he is just fine. I know the ups and downs of raising a teenager.
We know each other's wants, needs and dreams.
By my being home I have been able to prepare home cooked meals, baked homemade healthy bread, kept the cookie jar stocked (most of the time) and made sure we have clean clothes to wear at all times.
My presence in the home during the day means stability for my family. I am the one to make sure that things run smoothly so that when my family is home at night, it is peaceful. It is a rarity now to have to throw a load of laundry in the washer late in the evening as there isn't any clean underwear or run to the grocery store in order to cook something for supper or to have the house totally amess and out of order or to miss an appointment because we forgot. It is far less chaotic.
I know that my being home is the best thing I can ever do for my family. We are doing without the extra money and are gaining more family time. I used to work many evenings playing catch up at work and as long as my husband was home, I felt that it was okay for me to go back to the office. It is much better with the three of us being home in the evening monitoring our son's homework or just being there when he wants to talk to one of us.
I wouldn't trade this time for anything in the world. It is worth the scrimping and cutting corners to make it happen.
How has living on one income or less income affected your family?