articles / Family life / Frugal living

I traded Lois Lane for Caroline Ingalls

I love Superman…well…Smallville more specifically, but Superman in general is a favorite. I also love Little House on the Prairie. I’ve always loved the simplicity of things in that world.

All that said, it is very interesting that I decided to pursue a career in Journalism in college. I worked at an online newspaper for two years (I spent on semester as editor) and I worked freelance for our local newspaper for two years before getting a full-time job there last March. Of course, if you’ve been following me or know me personally you know that I left that position in January to have a baby and homeschool my older son.

A few years ago I was Lois Lane for Halloween. I went to school to be Lois Lane. However, I ended up leaving all of that to stay at home. I cook meals from scratch, I can things in order to be more healthy, I sew my baby’s diapers and have started sewing things to sell (more on that later).lois lane

Here recently we sold my car, taking us down to a one car family (that one car being a 1998 Ford Mustang…with two kids…not kidding) so we could save up to buy me a bigger vehicle. So now when the husband is at work, me and the kids get to walk. Thankfully there’s a park within seeing distance from my house, there’s a Dollar General one block behind the park and a Walgreens about four blocks away and my Dad works about three blocks away. We’ve discovered that we can get to all of those places without walking on high traffic roads with a little bit of creativity. I can’t just jump in the car and go wherever I want, but I can still get what I need as long as I’m willing to walk to get there.

This past weekend my dryer went out so we did the next logical thing. Until we get the money together to buy a dryer I’m line drying clothes. I even had to sew myself an apron to put my clothes pins in.

You see…I traded Lois Lane for Caroline Ingalls. I never thought that this is where I’d be at my age (I’ll be 25 in July). I figured I’d be working and paying for daycare. I didn’t think I’d be sewing diapers and babywearing (I have the most fantastic sling ever to tote Samuel around in). I didn’t think I’d be homeschooling and tutoring and making things to make money for my family.

caroline ingallsI envisioned myself as a professional; successful financially and no longer having to worry about bills. After all, that’s what we go to college for right? We spend thousands of dollars (or borrow thousands of dollars that we have to pay back) in order to get the career of a lifetime with a hard earned degree and make lots of money.

There was a time before Jimmi and I got married that I considered only getting a two-year degree and being a stay-at-home mom, but I persevered in school. There was a time when I was in those first two years of college that I changed my major to a business degree and then technical certificate so I could get out of school sooner because I thought I’d want to be at home. Once Josiah was born during my sophomore year of college I considered quitting again because leaving him at daycare was hard to do, but I persevered.

I’m proud that I got my four-year degree even though I don’t use it in the way I thought I would. I proved to myself I could do it and some day I may use it for something other than teaching my children and tutoring (and blogging).

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Our most recent family pics…This is why I stay at home!

I may have dreamed about being Lois Lane, but you know what? I’m happy being Caroline Ingalls. She may have been a homemaker, but she knew how to do it well. She was smart and knew how to do a lot of different things and knew how to work hard. She stayed home with her children and she taught them at home (until they moved to Plum Creek of course) and she loved it. That is success. So I may not be raking in the dough (it’s not like I’d be doing that as a journalist either…), but I’m happy doing what I’m doing — therefore I am successful.

I may be making sacrifices by being a one income family, such as temporarily living with one car and drying my clothes outside, but I like the challenge. I’m OK with it most of the time. There are those days that I get frustrated because I can’t run around like I used to and I can’t do laundry as fast anymore, but those are luxuries. I’m thankful that I can learn to live without certain luxuries temporarily so that I’m thankful for them when I have them (like the few weeks we didn’t have a washer or heat and air).

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