Motherhood and Moneyhood, part I

Jesus has been working in my heart quite a bit lately regarding his goodness, trusting his provision, and gratitude despite circumstance. Allow me to divulge in a three part miniseries taking you along with what's been up!

Before Roger was born, I was paid to do transcription at home. We knew that Jason would be quitting his job doing the pre-load shift at UPS (more on that in part III) so he could actually have time to be a dad and the plan was for me to do about 10 hours a week of transcription. We also thought Jason might do 5-10 hours if we needed to help make ends meet. I had become fast enough at transcription (typing audio/video into written format, mostly for closed captioning) that 10 hours of work would make about $230 a week. If Jason did a bit, too, we could make $1,200-$1,400 a month, which would mostly replace his UPS income. And transcription was pretty flexible, at home, and I could just say no when I needed to and my boss was completely on board. It was a great plan, seemed totally doable.

Eek! Was Rog ever really this small? This is at about 40 hours old :)

Then Roger was born. We figured I'd need about 2 months. Around 7 weeks I tried to ease back into working. I thought I'd do it during Roger's nap times. The problem was that he didn't really have consistent nap times until about 6 months. Not only was I stressed about getting the work done, but this was a problem because most of my files had short deadlines and turnaround. I'd get a file, usually late morning to early afternoon, and sometimes have until the next day but often only have until around 5 that same day.

Add to this that Jason was trying to learn transcription and the learning curve is a bit steep. It was taking him a long time to get files done, so then I was trying to finish them and sometimes that meant stressing out while a screaming Roger just wanted his mama. I felt horrible, but I felt like if I didn't get the files done then we wouldn't have enough money and I couldn't bear the thought of figuring out how to live without that money. Sure, I could say no to files or we could just have me do files without the way it was affecting Jason's time (he was still working and in school full-time), but the thought of trying to make a budget on Jason's income only was terrifying. I refused to consider it, even when Jason was telling me he didn't want this, hated seeing me stressed out, and that we could make things work somehow on only his income.

One day I was trying to finish a really frustrating, awful file (one with people filming some documentary for some city in Florida with tons of takes and terrible audio and windstorms and 5 people talking at once...it took so long that instead of making about $23 an hour I was earning about $4 because I was paid per audio minute transcribed. I still shudder remembering how horribly frustrating that file was!) and Roger was fussing and I had calmed him down and distracted him.

Then it happened. Not to sound weirdly supernatural, but I was hit with a vision of Roger and me. It was about 9 months in the future. I was doing a file and Roger was wanting me to play with him but I had him on the floor with a bunch of toys. I was repeatedly saying, "Just a minute, Rog. Just give Mama a minute!" but I just kept on typing away. Meanwhile, my son just wanted his mama.

I love this family pic, particularly the look on Rog's face--
he loves his mama!

Here's the problem: my dream as long as I could remember was to be a mama. I've always wanted to be a mama whose kids never doubted how much I love them, a mama who never shushes them to watch some TV show. A major component of this dream has been to be a stay at home mom.This is also my calling, one I have complete peace is from Jesus.

Some might think it's a great dream, others might be rolling their eyes, but ultimately it's my heart, my dream, and I'm not ashamed of it. But, instead of giving you a LOOOONG post I'm breaking this up into three parts, so part II (up on Wednesday) explains the heart behind staying at home while part III ties it all together and goes into how Jesus has blessed some hard decisions about obedience :)

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