Preparing for Numero Dos & Lessons from Single-Income Family

So we are officially looking ahead to what our family will be like when it becomes a four-person household. We are only 10 weeks into my 40-week pregnancy, and other than the same easy early pregnancy and mild symptoms, not much is the same about the experience this time around. No nightly conversations and pouring over websites about fetal development and what to expect when you’re expecting. Even limited amounts of speculation about the sex of the baby, other than to mention how easy it would be to pop out another girl. If its a boy I will need to start gathering clothes and redecorating the nursery asap, all that pink has got to go! Its not that we’re unexcited, but the novelty certainly has worn off. A year of basically being a one-income family has left its stain. I spend more time worrying about our budget, me not being able to bring in a little side income with two kiddos at home, tweaking by on Aaron’s income, as if we’re not already scraping by as it is. I’m woebegone about the fact that those first four months of sweet, quiet infancy will be gobbled up by a babbling, running, jumping, laughing, hitting toddler. (sigh) Life was so easy the first time around – Eyre was an angel. We are destined to balance the scales with Baby #2. Sometimes I worry that I will never get out of the house for coffee or some time to write, because it will mean leaving Aaron with a toddler and newborn. Then I have to hit pause because I realize that I’m worrying about things that I can’t control and welcoming negativity into my pregnancy which is something I swore that I would never do. Having children is the best gift in life and such a blessing that there should never be an aura of negativity or a hint resentment around their birth, intentional or not.

The fact that I have been living in emotional survival mode the last several months has taken a toll, and I realize that living in a constant state of fear is no way to live, especially when we are living such a beautiful life together and have so much to be thankful for. A lot of unfortunate things have happened, mostly financial, over the last few months and I can see that I have been gripped by fear of the inevitable unknown and unable to control what is happening to our family. We had been living the insulated life of a two-income household long enough to get used to the security. And I don’t know about you, but I NEED my security blanket. It is the one area of my life that continues to be my struggle against self. I need to feel safe against life. Even if it is a mirage, its a comforting, assuaging mirage. So I am back in that place of self-modulation – shifting the paradigm back to a healthy place, off of my shoulders and back into God’s hands. I had forgotten the discipline of gratitude – that my thankfulness CAN transcend my circumstance. I heard a quote this morning by G.K. Chesterton that said “Gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” I have let my fear inhibit me from feeling the awe of what God is doing in my life and the lives of others. My disappointment or feelings of being out of control made me often incapable of being moved by the beautiful love of my husband and the joy of my one-year-old daughter. As I begin to crack the surface again, I can see that this brief season has forced me to walk closer to path of others who struggle financially or feel like they can’t seem to get a break in life.

Even something so minute as our dryer being broken for months has put me into the realm of other families who live paycheck to paycheck and spend hours at the laundromat each week, dragging their kids behind them. I began to appreciate that I was doing life alongside people whom I might otherwise never come into contact – the people that sometimes fall out of view when people move to the suburbs or start shopping at Whole Foods. There was a moment as I was folding my bedsheets that I thought the woman talking on her cellphone and putting a dollar in the change machine could be thinking, “Why is everything going wrong? How am I going to pay for that?” and feeling forgotten by everyone, even overlooked by God. It takes being intentional to be close to the needs of other, but life without compassion isn’t worth living. I’ve been expending so much energy on worrying about myself that I haven’t been thinking about others. Self-preservation does nothing more that cause you to focus inward instead of outward. Its a tough lesson to learn – again. And Lord willing, when a day comes that life deals us a good hand, our family will already have learned the importance of keeping our eyes and our hearts open so we don’t forget what it is like to struggle.



5 responses to Preparing for Numero Dos & Lessons from Single-Income Family

  1. Susan Lacock

    Dearest Lauren,
    Do you need a visit from your Aunt Susie? Your Mama and Grandma Cora often lived not knowing where the money would come from for the next thing. Cora often told me about the year the had a thousand strawberry plants and how that helped them survive by picking and selling them. Baby sitting in the bouncy chair as they picked. The time that Grandpap was without work and he had a truck and he hauled things for people. Or the time that several of the calves died and dad just said I am not going back to the barn until this is over. Mom said she looks back and sees how God has blessed them over the years. No water bill, free gas and no garbage bills etc. hang in there. enjoy each day. There are so many things to be thankful for. Trust God. Aunt Amy can give you some tips. I am so in awe of her.

  2. Susan Lacock

    As I pondered you not having a dryer these thoughts came to mind.Grandma Cora often used the clothesline to hang her clothes to dry. I don’t know if we had a dryer or not. Aunt Kim still enjoys going out and hanging clothes on the line. My sister-in-law Debbie was in Germany and she had no clothes dryer and she had to find ingenious ways to get the clothes to dry because of the dampness in the air.
    Uncle Meade says , I am a fixer and being of this mindset, these thoughts crossed my mind. I was admiring Kelsey’s ring and I thought yesterday. I would want to sell my ring to get you a dryer. Of course that would hurt Jimmy’s feelings. Do you remember when I told you it didn’t matter if I got gifts at Christmas because it was more important to give than to receive. I took Katherine to a fashion show and she got this cute vest and scarf and a skirt for her mom. She said to me Aunt Susie you didn’t get anything for yourself. I told her I didn’t need anything.My happiness came from seeing the joy on her face at looking at the clothes and being able to bring joy to her.
    I was down eating at the cafe on Main St. I noticed the owner was looking somewhat tired. She told me that her dryer had caught fire and she woke up to no water. She is recently divorced and her son has helped to get her started in this business. The business is thriving and sometimes this happens where you think you are getting ahead and stuff breaks, but praise God she has some income. She said people had given her old dryers but one didn’t work so her son was installing a second one. She looked more refreshed the other day. Hang in there remember God tells us not to worry about what we are to be clothed in or what to eat because he gives food to the birds and clothes the lillies.(something like that) He cares much more for u his children. Love You. We are so excited for you and Aaron and Eyre.

    • lauren

      We used a clothesline all summer then I found out that I have allergies and the doctor told me to stop using it because I was bringing all the pollen inside! I was so disappointed!

      • Susan Lacock

        I know I have not been able to use a clothesline due to allergies too. Megan and John are waiting for their new arrival. Keep them in your prayers.
        Love Susie

  3. Ashley Todd

    Oh my, how exciting! Congrats on another baby. I’m glad to hear your family is growing. It is very hard these days to survive with children and only one income. Here in California it is especially hard, even having a house is a blessing here. I know that you will continue to prosper in life… you’ve done an amazing job so far. I hope your new baby comes out healthy and happy. I wish you the very best and hope that maybe one day your little ones will be able to meet my little girls. 🙂 Love you very much.
    – Ash

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