Mamas Makin’ It Work – #9

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Hey there! I’m Hannah and I blog over yonder at Little Words & Little Pictures. I just thought I’d drop by today and share a few things about my family and how we make it work around my home!

Ever since I found out I was pregnant with my first son I knew what I had to do. We didn’t have much money to speak of, but all I knew was that my parents had raised five kids with hardly any money, and if they could do it we could do it, too. I was going to stay home with the baby. How would we do it? Well, first step — lower our standard of living! We moved out of our lovebird apartment and into the back of my husband’s parent’s house. When it was time to move from there we went to live in a furnished barn. Then we moved into an adorable converted garage. It wasn’t glamorous, but it worked! We had shelter.

Then, there was the money involved in raising kids. We haven’t hit the education bit yet, but I think up until then we’re going to do just fine. We realized everything we could ever want for a baby or two could be found at yard sales. NO KIDDING! Every time we go to a yard sale there’s a bassinet or a swing or a car seat or clothes, etc. I wonder why anyone ever buys baby stuff new! I know, I know. New stuff is nice. But there’s a fun sort of challenge in finding exactly what you want, second hand, at a super good deal. It makes you feel so accomplished.
Groceries can be pretty pricey too. But we learned to buy our essentials from Aldi (cheapest grocery store ever, eh?) and only the specialty items from other grocery stores. I recently realized that eating beans and brown rice isn’t bad at all when you add a yummy sauce to pour over the rice and have a side vegetable. Of course, I really like steamed veggies..
And we can’t forget fashion! How can I buy cute clothes for myself if we only have money for the bare essentials every month? I figure out what day is half-price day at the thrift store. I only ever shop the sales rack, ever. I learn to love vintage. Oh yes, luckily for me it’s stylish to wear vintage. I can be frugal and fabulous!

Lastly, I do have a desire to contribute financially to my family’s needs. For the first year or so I wondered how I could do that. I prayed and tried to be patient through the stressful times. What could I do? What did I have going for me? Eventually I discovered that I could get better at one of my hobbies and actually make some money from it! I’ve spent many long hours plying my trade during afternoon naps and late at night after bedtime. I’ve sat and labored away while my toddler ate chapstick (oops), scattered Tupperware everywhere, screamed, climbed all over me, and whined for a snack. I’ve neglected housework to meet a deadline. As I’m sure many other stay-at-home moms out there do, I’ve brainstormed and plotted and schemed on how to make more money.

..Somehow we always make it, though. Through the many weeks when there were no dates because we couldn’t afford a baby sitter, somehow our marriage survived (gasp!). Through the lean months and the few fat months, I’ve actually ended up thankful for the trials we’ve faced and the stretching we’ve undergone by having two children and little money. It’s these kinds of things that show you what you’re made of and strengthen the good stuff inside of you. I’m so happy for the opportunity to do what I do, and I count myself ridiculously blessed to live this life I’m living.

Feel free to tell us how you make it work!
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3 thoughts on “Mamas Makin’ It Work – #9”

  1. such an awesome post!! Really just made me think about how we just have to put our trust in God fully! We have a family of 6, and on one income. We get by, we always do but it’s so easy to get caught up in wanting more. Contentment is something we should all aim for.

  2. Great post!! God has been good to my husband and I too. Money is tight, but He has preserved us. We have not gone without any needs-we have food, shelter, clothes, vehicle[s], etc. We too do MOST of our grocery shopping at Aldi, and I try to make home made food instead of buying prepared foods.

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