Saturday, November 6, 2010

A Woman's Work...

Times have changed since our grandparents were raising our parents. My mom grew up in the 50's and 60's in a middle class family. My grandfather earned a salary as an accountant and my grandmother stayed at home to raise my mom and aunt. That was the norm for most families then and it was accepted and even expected by society. This is definitely not the norm anymore and the idea of motherhood as a profession is very often frowned upon by society today.

Thank you very much, feminists. (Topic for another post perhaps?)

Before my husband, Randall, and I got married over 2 years ago, we agreed that once we started having children, I would stay at home to raise them, at least until they were school age (if we didn't decide to home school). Now that we are expecting our first child, this is becoming a reality. Actually it became a reality earlier than we had originally expected. I decided to quit my 30 hour per week job of baking cupcakes at just 8 weeks into my pregnancy, when the infamous "morning sickness" monster started rearing it's ugly head. I absolutely love baking cupcakes (and eating them!) so it was not easy to stop making money to do what I love, but as most of you have probably read in my precious entries, that first trimester was no walk in the park. So, to sum it up, baking and all-day nausea didn't mix. I wasn't making a lot of money and my husband was up for a promotion within the month so it seemed to be a sensible decision for me to go ahead and quit.

Then came the 2nd trimester. Ah, relief. My energy began to return and the nausea vanished. Hallelujah! But wait, I felt okay again but now I was bringing in no income. Hmm...

Being at home has left me with plenty to do, but I still feel the squeeze of not bringing in any income. I know the desire of my heart is foremost to be a mother and God has provided the means for that, for which I am very thankful. But while my husband is able to provide for our family, right now we could use some extra income. Working with one income after having two for so long has been a challenge and has had us questioning where we need to cut back. While I really am fine with living without some things - eating out more than once a month, cable television, etc. - the hardest part for me has been feeling like I'm not doing enough when I could be bringing in money that we could be saving up for the baby.

So I've been perusing my options for how to bring in some income during these next 5 months and even beyond. I applied for a freelance writing job that would allow me to work at my own pace and write only as many articles as I want to. I have no idea if I will get hired but I do plan on applying for a few of those and hope that maybe one will work out. Here's some other ideas:

- Selling CDs, DVDs and other stuff on Amazon or eBay - not a steady form of income, but hey it's income, right?
- Selling my cupcakes from home - this is a bit more tricky and would pretty much have to be by word of mouth because of health code regulations, but it's something I want to do. Randall and I still have a dream of owning our own bakery and coffee shop business one day so this would be a great way to build up at least a small client base too.
- Sewing and selling aprons - This one is the most out of reach right now because while I have recently purchased a sewing machine, I still haven't learned how to use it! Regardless, I have a love for vintage aprons and want to make them, especially by repurposing old fabrics.

Ladies and moms - I want to know what you think. What are your experiences with managing a family with one income (specifically less than 30,000 per year)? What are some creative ways you've heard or or have used to bring in extra income as a mom?


Mandi Miller said...

Coupons! I save $50+ dollars a week. So even though I'm not "making" money I am saving the money my husband brings in. I hope you get the freelance job! I'll be praying for God to bring something your way.

henninl said...

Ashley! we seriously need to have a sewing session because I can teach you the basics so you could start making aprons and you could totally start up an etsy shop and sell them! oh my've probably already thought of this, but you could go to the thrift stores and buy old clothing and make cute aprons! ~Brooke

ashleyrhodes said...

thanks mandi and brooke! great ideas : D i need a couponing and sewing lesson soon please! randall and i are going out of town soon for a week but when we get back... it's on! love you both!

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