Monday, June 13, 2011

These Economic Times

National deficits are high,
gas prices are ridiculous,
taxes are not fun...

but when it all comes down to priority,
family is what matters.

Our time with my parents are coming to a close;
they are embracing every moment left.

A common topic that I have been overhearing lately is about "kids" still living at home. Ofcourse, this is meaning adult kids. I hear rants about kids sucking it up and getting on their own; get 6 room-mates if you have to, etc. While I don't promote the lazy adult child sitting in a basement doing nothing all day, I also don't encourage our children to move out at all costs!

Is it just ME? or just our family? that has hit difficult financial times a few times in their life? If you haven't...consider yourself blessed...and look to bless others.

Here's my personal "adult" journey through interesting times:

I moved out when I was 17. Not because I wanted to. My mom was my very best friend. (yes, I was that cheerleader type person with way too much energy w/ an endless smile whom had more friends than was necessary, but my mom was tops!- which is a whole different post, lol)
So, why did I move out so young? I started school early- 5 yrs of age in 1st grade- thus I ended school early. So what are we 'suppose to do' when we are finished w/ highschool? Move Out, right? I didn't have a clue what I wanted out of life (cept to marry Mr. Right and have children-which was clearly not in the near future). So I went to Beauty School. Someone offered a place to stay and do this, so I did it. btw...this career was more fun than work.


thrilled to be pregnant, not so thrilled with some ugly stuff of marriage & divorce that occurred all within a dragged out year. I was left high-n-dry (gratefully so), and worked I knew I would be "moving back home" at the end of this pregnancy. I pre-bought everything I needed for this baby with the tips I made from cutting hair. I had a ridiculous amount of diapers stocked up (really!). Then came December, and the blessing of a precious new baby boy. *smile*

took a 'leave of absence' from my job. No income, and thanks to the ex, no medical, thus I went on welfare. I think I got about $300 a month. I was not in for a free ride, and insisted to pay my mom "rent" and to help with groceries. I did the bare minimum of anything cost wise, used the money wisely, and embraced the beauty of motherhood for a few months before heading back to face reality of life. 6 months on welfare, not proud moments, but blessed all the same.

returned to my job- my mom followed- and we ended up "room-mates" for a season. I was adamant about splitting the bills. Integrity mattered. =)

married, learning to trust someone else with the finances. Funny too, cuz he made way more money than I did.

Husband became jobless, and our 2nd child was born. During this 6 month season, we moved in with my mom to regroup our circumstance. A husband, a wife, and 2 young children all in one room, and grateful. Interesting enough, dear husband changed career directions, starting at a bare minimum wage... just a couple more years later, we had child #3, and I became a stay-at-home mom.

1999- Job is fine. Father-in-law is moving to Alaska, and needs someone to rent out his house and look over his property. This is in another state, but only an hour away move. It didn't effect Fred's job, so we agreed to help.

2002- child #4 is about 18 months. Finances for the first time are great (for us). We get a new van, and our own home!

2003- We lose medical benefits. Child #2 gets his appendix out 2 weeks after this took affect. We also lose our home to foreclosure; move into a townhouse.
2004- unemployment benefits run out-0 (zero) income for 6 weeks. I find out I am pregnant w/ child #5 (our only surprise, btw). Kindness of strangers in our community help us through this. A church paid our mortgage for 2 months!!! Our utilities were paid anonymously that month. I then began to run a full time daycare (I had already been watching 2 lil ones, but it had been more for fun) not by planning it that way, but by God answering prayer. We needed food on the table, and I wanted to stay at home. Several families had been referred my way for childcare. I also was able to maintain an on-call job for a law firm. I did haircuts on the side. And the church we began to attend offered my a janitorial job, which could be on my own schedule and the kids could come with me. God is so cool! Fred was working odd jobs, and wasn't getting paid for one of them. We ended up filing bankruptcy. He finally found a 'non-union' job in his field. 2 weeks before medical benefits kicked in, child #3 had an emergency room visit w/ stitches to the head,, child #1 got his appendix out also! Grateful for income, but our accrued debt was very daunting. (we did get things reduced, and paid off, and eventually became debt free)

Fred gets a job offer to help start up and run a company. This comes with a work truck, a huge pay increase, & fabulous benefits... all to take a risk to get this company up and running. The best offer was that the owner of this company was a Christian man wanting to run this company on Christian morals (and lots of prayer). Within 6 months the company had a strong start.

I was able to begin a new season in life of letting go of the daycare kids (which, btw, was emotionally difficult, I just loved those kids) and begin to enjoy the simple moments of mommy-hood. Child #6 was born; My husband set this blog up for me; Child #1 was moving out and starting his own 'adult' journey.

Job expansion took us out of state, and near family. With the crashing housing market, dear mother-in-law lost her 30+ yr career in escrow. I believe God's timing is not by coincidence, and we felt blessed to help pitch in financially while she sold her home.

Still in transition of landing a permanent residence, my parents ask us to stay w/ them through this season. We help w/ bills, they share their home; family bonding is strengthened.

Job expansion is reduced, things are slower, but still steady, & we are grateful to move back to our hometown (where the kids were raised). We have offered for my dear mother-in-law (G'ma M) to come with us. She is quiet and lovely; hopefully she will survive our busy-ness, lol. We also have big brother Joe, who would appreciate rooming w/ his brothers for a season. He is wanting to save up some money for 'future plans'. *grin*

Should we tell him to suck it up and find 6 roommates ??? or be blessed by fellowship, creating stronger bonds with our younger ones (whom adore him btw), and receive more help around the house? If he's 'our Joe' that we know, he won't be home much anyway. A girlfriend, helping w/ local ministries, and a job will keep him busy enough.

So I guess the moral of my story is that some days we need some help, and some days, we will find that we need to help others.


5 Boys and a Princess said...


We are a multi-generational home too. We moved in with my parents 15 years ago with 2 children while my husband finished school, now we have 5 at home. Along the way there have been times when we could have moved out but it didn't feel right. 10 years ago we took on a mortgage and added 1300 sq. ft. to this house and made enough space that everyone can have some privacy and everyone's happy (at least most of the time).

My folks have the master bedroom downstairs off the living room, my dad's office, and the living room is mostly their space. We have a huge kitching/ dining area downstairs that is shared. We have 4 bedrooms, bathroom, family room, office, and school room upstairs.

My MIL made it very obvious to my dh that he was not welcome in her home after graduation. That is something that I did not want to happen in our home. My eldest's room did not get passed down to younger brothers until he married, throughout bootcamp and training school we left his room exactly how he left it (I did gather up the dirty clothes). I fully expect one of our children and their family to live here, this house needs little ones.

We pay the mortgage and some extra that my mom applies to whatever bill she sees fit. We buy all the food and household stuff. In the next few years we will buy the house from them for their retirement nest egg.

Mama D.'s Dozen said...

Great post!

While we were never blessed with the opportunity to live with grandparents, nor have them live with us, we have been blessed over and over to have our young adult children move home.

This past year, we have "just" had our 6 younger kids at home ... and it has actually felt too "quiet" around here. Now, Carissa is home from Argentina for 3 months ... Josh just got home from college for 3 months (will be getting married in a few weeks and he and his precious new wife will be living with us for a couple of months before they head back to college) ... and one of Carissa's friends is moving in this week for 3 months. We LOVE to have all of the Big Kids home (even if just for 3 months).

When our Big Kids move out, we don't leave their rooms all set up ... but we always make room for them to return if and when they want to.

:) :) :)

Beautifully Veiled said...

I have cried my way through your blog. And yes, there are indeed those of us out there that have faced (and are facing)tough economic times!! Thank you so much for your transparency. I believe the Lord is definitely using you to show others that they are not alone.
Linda in GA

Beautifully Veiled said...

Oh, we lived with our 4 children in my in-laws home for almost a year. My 12 year old daughter had the vintage Scotty camper as her bedroom. She loved it!!! My children, as well as my in-laws, have memories that they would never have otherwise.