Sarita asked her daughter Jonelle to write this guest column.
I was talking with a friend over dinner several weeks back when she said, "I really want to stay home. But it just isn't possible. We really have to have two incomes to make it work."
For most of my friends, this one included, I would say I respectfully disagree.
Knowing that Dave and I can make it (and that so many homeschoolers do, too), I know that it is usually possible—not always easy, but possible—to have one parent stay at home if that is their heart's desire.
I believe many of my friends can do whatever they want, that it really comes down to them making some difficult choices. I challenged one: How much do you really want to stay at home? Enough to not eat out? Enough to give up your second car and, therefore, your freedom? Enough to buy your clothes from a garage sale or a consignment store? Enough to wait, to train yourself to wait, on a household good until it comes up on Craigslist or you can get it as a gift?
I'm sad to say, I don't think she's ready yet to make such tough choices.
You can help other moms choose wisely
Based on my experience staying at home with my daughter, I hope my friend decides to stay at home. I grieve over my friends' lost time with their kids because they don't know how to swing it so they can stay home. I grieve that they never considered that they might even want to.
I want to encourage you to challenge others. Let's talk with new moms, and families on the brink of getting started. Encourage them to plan now. To not miss out on their children's lives. You know how good it (usually!) is. Will you join me in helping others think this through? Really, if we have a choice, can we afford to miss these years?