Tuesday, August 12, 2008

MONEY

Okay, folks. I'm not as money hungry as I may come off. I jest, sometimes. The truth is, money is very important to me. Five or six years ago, money meant literally nothing to me. I didn't care about money at all and I looked down on some very rich people and I looked down on people who love money. Indeed, the scriptures tell us that "the love of money is the root of all evil." Sometimes I worry that I have crossed over into that spectrum, a lover of money. But then I realized that I don't put money first. In fact, whenever I think about money, I'm thinking about the welfare of my family.

I married someone who, like me, didn't care about money. We had that, among many other things, in common. Over the years, my opinion changed. When I was pregnant, we were homeless for a few months. Why? Because we couldn't gather up enough MONEY for an apartment deposit and rent. After two months of homelessness, I began looking at money differently. During my marriage, our power was shut off several times. Why? Because we couldn't gather up enough MONEY to pay important bills. Our phone was likewise shut off frequently. We depended on tax payers to feed us. I was so ashamed every time I swiped that foodstamps card, showing the cashier and everyone behind me in line that I didn't have enough MONEY to pay for my own food. We had to borrow money from our parents for rent on several occasions, and even went to the church a few times. My then-husband and I both had part time jobs. I hated to work because I believed that my place was in the home. But his job was scarcely covering rent, so circumstances forced me to work. Bills started getting paid then, but it was still a CONSTANT struggle to make ends meet. And we still couldn't feed our own kids. Thank you tax payers of Idaho.

I would never ever divorce over money, or the lack thereof, and I do want to make it clear that the constant financial battle was not the cause of divorce. The battle wasn't against eachother. It was just usually an unspoken mutual stress against circumstance. When the marriage ended, I had a very different outlook on money than when it began. I now saw that money is very, very important because paying your own bills, on time even, is very, very important. I got a job and soon for the first time in years, I was able to feed my own children, with my own money. I paid all my bills, every month, usually on time (but sometimes I would forget and pay a few days late). I never worried about where rent was going to come from. AND, I could take the kids out to dinner and to the movies and bowling and STILL be able to pay my bills. Eventually, I was able to buy a new-to-me-car. I wasn't the American standard of rich, not at all. You see, I don't need to be rich. But, I do have a different view of rich now, also. So what if a dentist makes a lot more money than a . . . I don't know . . . public transportation person. The dentist worked a lot harder for that career! There's nothing wrong with being rich, there's nothing wrong with wanting a career that pays very well.

And there's nothing wrong with a single mom wanting to marry a man who cares about money.

But allow me to break it down for you. Here's what I want, and expect:

I want to be a stay at home mom. My church teaches that mothers should stay home and do the very important work of raising children and keeping a home, while fathers should bring enough money home to allow that. I believe that very strongly. I see that children benefit from a stay at home parent and I want the best for my children. I want a man who believes in the value of work, who would get a full time job before seeing his wife work outside the home, or, even, who would get a full time PLUS a part time job before seeing his wife work outside the home. My brother is like that. Men like that exist, men who agree with the teachings of God (as our church believes), and there is no shame to be had in expecting that from a husband. I want to be able to stay home and still be able to cover all the bills, still be able to add each month to a savings account, still be able to go on dates and family outings, still be able to be charitable.

All I really want is to stay at home with my kids and not be burdened with the extreme anxiety of wondering where rent is going to come from. I don't need a big house or a fancy car. I just don't want to have to worry about money. I know and understand that it's a lot to expect a man to support another man's children, but it is what I look for. And I believe he's out there, someone who will love me and my children enough to support us while I do the equally important work in the home.

What's so wrong about wanting to be a stay at home mom while still not using other people's money to feed my family?

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

There is nothing wrong with wanting to stay home with your children. Children need their mothers home more than anything (especially in today's society). I am glad that you are seeing the value of money and I agree with what you have said.

jjertmann said...

I agree. There's nothing wrong with wanting to stay home with the children and live off of your own hard-earned money.

Jana Lee Bumblebee said...

That was a good essay, Stephanie

Pamela, Shaun, Jaidaella, and ZoaJaynna said...

OK Steph I really disagree with this blog I'm sorry but I understand you wanting to stay home with your kids yes it is a blessing and the prophets encourage it if it is POSSIBLE but not to mary someone because they don't make that much right now is just nonsince and if you live your life on money it is going to be a dissapintment because everyone has hard times starting out Everyone thinks everyone is doing better then them but in the long run they aren't money is not happness it's just money. but the key is try your best to provide and live worthy and you will be happy even shaun and I had to borrow money from family and church there is nothing wrong with it thats what is it is there for to help you get on your feet. but dening love because they not make enough right now that's Just DUMB sorry to say

Stephanie said...

Lol, Pamela I love you!!!

We'll have to agree to disagree. The thing is, I'm at a different spot in my life than young college kids in love. They start out and they don't have a lot of money because they're still in school but after time, they start to build a career and become more financially stable. I'm approaching 30 and I have two kids, and I can't be marrying a college freshman who doesn't know what he's doing with himself; that wouldn't be responsible of me. If I was a college freshman and hadn't a child, that's totally different. But I'm not and I need to look for what's best for my family, and I believe what's best for my family is financial stability. I'm not going to, as you say, "deny love" to someone who has a few years of school left and is going into a solid career; I can work with that. Anyway, none of this really matters right now since I haven't been asked out by an LDS fellow at ALL since, like, 2002. Lol.