Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Joy Of Living With Less

It's hard to believe I've been a stay-at-home-mom for 2 years now. At the time, I was very nervous about living off of less than half of our current income. (Yup, at the time, I was the "breadwinner" in the family.)  I'll admit that, honestly, I've never enjoyed life more than I have the past two years. One of the most profound things I've discovered is the true joy that can be found in living with less.

I find incredible delight in creating products that I used to buy in a store. A few of the things that I used to buy, but can now make include:
  • Bread - so much more delicious when it's homemade!
  • Laundry Detergent - using this recipe, my clothes and towels have never felt softer.
  • Mouthwash - a simple blend of water & essential oils leaves my breath fresher than the store-bought version ever did.
  • Deodorant - Not only do I stay fresh without the toxins found in regular deodorant  but I've noticed my face has really cleared up too. Even crazier? The only two times I switched back to standard deodorant  I got a pimple the very next day. This was the only two times I have gotten a pimple within the last year. (The toxins that are blocked from leaving your body from the barrier formed by regular deoderant need to get out of your body somehow. If they can't make it out of your pits, they make it out via your face... in the form of acne.) If you're looking into switching to a natural deodorant, I highly recommend trying out a Himalayan Salt Deodorant Bar.
  • Shredded Cheese - We originally bought cheese by the block to save a little bit of money. But now, the unbelievably smooth texture & freshness we get from freshly-shredded cheese now has us completely spoiled.
  • Waffles - Instead of buying boxed waffles or even the powder mix to make waffles, I prepare my own mix in advance, and can quickly whip up a quick batch  in a few minutes.
I get an amazing satisfaction by being able to create these things on my own, and am always adding more things I can do to my list.

Most importantly, I've learned that my family doesn't need a big paycheck to live comfortably or to be happy. In fact, we're living just as comfortably as we did when I was working. Truth be told, a good chunk of my paycheck was merely going into... well... my paycheck.
  • Daycare for 2 children = $1600 a month 
  • Higher tax bracket = $??? a month
  • Gas = $200 a month
  • Last-minute dinners out & quick "convenience" meals - $200 a month
Not including what I'd pay in taxes, that's just $2,000 a month right there, just so I can have the privilege of working.

I certainly don't judge other moms who choose to work,  but I certainly am glad I was able to try life as a stay-at-home mom... and found that my best years have been during this time. My life has never felt more full and complete. :)


What would you give up to be a stay-at-home mom? Leave a comment. As always, I read and respond to each and every one. :)

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