Apparently, making the transition from a two working parent household to a single income household requires much more than just a budget adjustment!
When my husband and I planned for me to leave the workforce to be a stay-at-home Mom, we created a strategy for eliminating our debt, and solidifying our finances years prior to my actual resignation from corporate. Within two years of implementing the plan, I walked away from my job with us being fully insured, having a solid emergency fund, a working budget, and a plan for funding retirement and college funds. Financial preparedness was the focus.
We practiced living on one income several months before actually living on one income. After successfully covering everything for a few months, I resigned and came home. Transition done.
Initially, I just enjoyed being able to take the kids to and from school without checking emails or holding conference calls in car-line. My heart bubbled over with joy and contentment as I could cook and be present for breakfast, opposed to yelling across the house, while trying to change from my workout to my workday attire. Getting my gym-time in, cooking, cleaning, shopping and organizing could be penciled in to it’s own time slot, instead of between meetings or commutes. No more mustering up what energy I would have left after a day at the office. No more dragging the kids (or the hubby) from errand-to-errand.
I was finally able to live out the life I’d fantasized about for years.
It was ideal…for about five minutes! The struggle was no longer balancing work and life. Now it’s about managing expectations and ideals. Over fifteen years, I had acquired a number of skills that would help in managing my household affairs. I’d also internalized a number of behaviors that were necessary for success and achievement in the workplace, but not conducive to running a peaceful, joy-filled, fully functional family life. In the world of consulting, innovation, change, and professional drive was coveted. The environment was a get it done, move up or out, ‘solve the problem before the problem even presents itself’ type of environment. The cycle was to conceptualize, implement, and take a very small pause to celebrate. Then repeat. It worked in corporate…it didn’t work at home!