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It all changes today…

September 6, 2011

Today is a pretty big change for our family. After much prayer, contemplation, long discussions, and calendar analysis, Amanda is heading back to work full time. Ideally, this would have been a decision we faced in a year or two, but circumstances dictated that this was the right time. What we’ve learned through this process is every decision has benefits and burdens, and as we strive to continue to createmargin in our family, here’s a peek inside our decision making process:

1. Our children’s education is a big deal

Prior to today, our girls (4th and 2nd grade) attended a great elementary school. Couldn’t have been happier with their teachers, friends, and the environment. The middle school, however, left a lot of questions in our mind, and we wouldn’t feel comfortable sending our children there. Amanda was offered a full time position at a K-8 school with an incredible reputation, and a place where our children will be challenged. We knew this opportunity might not present itself again, so we (or I should say, she!) took the plunge. On Friday, our girls had their last day at the only school they’ve known, and today, a new journey begins.

2. Time with our children is a big deal

This was the most heart wrenching burden to our decision, knowing that Amanda’s time would be more limited with Jackson (4) his last year before Kindergarden. We felt like this burden would be overcome by the benefit of the drive to school together and having mom in the same building for potentially the next 9 years. We’ve also evaluated some ways we can ensure quality time with all of our children, still understanding that quantity = quality at this age.

3. Maintaing balance is a big deal

We’ve realized there won’t be enough time for us to to do and focus on the important things, if we don’t release a few things from the schedule. This will be a combination of re-evaluating our discretionary time (ie triathlon training) and delegating some other responsibilities.

4. Our budget is a big deal

This was pretty far down on the list of factors when making this decision. As I mentioned, ideal timing would have been a year or two from now. But, a full-time position does bring more income. There are a few things I promised her as a result of this decision, such as a vacation of her choice next year, and finally getting a home computer (we’ve been passing my laptop around the family.) We’ll allocate some of the income to the delegating I mentioned above (house cleaning) and to after-care for Jackson. But for the most part, this will further our efforts to increase our long-term savings, as I discussed here.

5. Change is a big deal

Embracing change is unnatural for most of us. We’re no exception. This change definitely affects our girls and Amanda more than anyone else. We are really praying that God will use this opportunity to mold our girls to trust Him with change. To understand that it’s okay to not feel comfortable in every situation. That the nervous feeling you have in your stomach is one way God reminds us that he has everything under control, even when we feel out of control. I’ve been so proud of the way they’ve handled this decision, totally putting their trust in us to make the best decision for them, knowing it will be extremely difficult to switch schools. I can’t wait to hear the reports when they get back today.

This process has reminded me that every situation is unique. And while I believe there are absolute principles that can be applied to reach your financial goals, your decisions won’t look exactly like mine. Your circumstances will be different. Your goals will be different. One thing’s for certain, you will always have to change.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. September 6, 2011 11:43 am

    This is great news, a new adventure for the entire family. May God continue to Bless you all. We also have had MANY hurdles & changes recently. Our youngest daughter Jessilyn has had difficulty in the traditional school setting for years (on & off) and despite requests for additional assistance (which wasn’t always granted or helpful) @ school (along with Mommy @ home helping) she was struggling and had a decrease in desire for learning and low self esteem.
    I took the big plunge and decided to have her attend classes online (via K12) and home school her. The individualized attention has improved her self esteem, and she is regaining her inquisitive nature and desire to learn more. I’m also in the process of looking for part time work, to assistance my wonderful husband & I’ll still have time to home school Jessilyn & be available to our high schooler Jenilee as well. God willing this will work out for us all.

  2. September 6, 2011 11:48 am

    *assist

  3. September 6, 2011 5:48 pm

    Barry,

    Great stuff! Hope all is well. Not sure if you are still at C3… wanted to catch up with you. Can you let me know best way to contact you?

    • Barry Leathers permalink*
      September 7, 2011 4:12 pm

      Hey Brian – great to hear from you! Hope all is well at Details. Yes, I’m still at C3 and loving it – I’ll shoot you an email with my contact info so we can catch up.

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