We had just come home from the hospital with our son Joshua. I could see the look on my wife’s face; she was glowing and happy to be home after the hospital stay. We spent the next couple of months learning to be parents to a newborn baby that didn’t seem to come with instructions. We quickly fell into a rhythm of feedings, naps, baths, laundry, diaper changes and so on. Our world simply revolved around this little child that was suddenly in our care. We had read books, sought council, watched videos and prayed about this process. We were ready! We thought we were ready, and as life often does, it teaches you a lesson when you actually weren’t ready.
As my wife’s maternity leave was about up, we started to look into daycare options for Joshua. After the first couple of places, we were very disappointed in the available options. We are trusting a stranger to take care of our son for 8 hours a day, and he’s not the only baby they would be looking after. Dana was about to go back to work, and I took the week off to push the daycare decision back a week. We were wrestling with this issue day and night. Every time we looked into the face of our son, we felt we were failing at being a parent. After all, we should be able to have Dana stay home with Joshua.
On my last day at work before my week off, my boss asked how Dana was doing. I told her that she was not doing well at all. I explained the situation to her thinking I would discover the answer telling the story. But my boss asked me, “what would it take for her to stay home?”. I replied, “…a miracle!”. She wasn’t going to let me off the hook that easy and so she waited for more. I said, “Winnie, my salary is not where it needs to be for her to stay home and you just gave me a raise five months ago.” She sat back for a minute and said, “take the weekend and come up with a number and call me Monday. If it works, we’ll let you know.” I said, “Winnie, I don’t even…” She interrupted me and said, “let’s just see okay.”
I got home and told Dana the story and watched the range of emotions pass over her face. It started with joy and then quickly settled on disappointment. She stated there was no way they would be able to increase my salary that much. I said, “let’s figure out what we need and trust God with the rest.” If the Government ever wants someone to come in and cut programs to get the budget back under control, I know two people who can get you there. We cut cell phone, cable, a car and its insurance. We cut going out, buying unnecessary things, vacations and on and on. We cut corners until all we had left was a circle. As we stood back and looked at it, we had two thoughts. The first being, will that be small enough for them to say yes? The second being, if they say yes, this is going to hurt for a while.
Monday came and Dana went to work, and I stayed at home with Joshua. I was playing with him on the floor when I called Winnie with the number. She said, “give me 20 minutes, and I’ll call you back with an answer. As Joshua and I sat there, I prayed. I said, “Lord if you want us to take this challenge on, you’ll make way for us to get there.” The time passed slowly and I continued in prayer while Joshua slept in the bouncer. The phone range and I said, “hello.” The only thing Winnie said was, “Tell Dana to give her notice.” I couldn’t get the words out that I wanted to, but managed to say, “Thank you.”
I called Dana, and we cried, she gave her notice and was able to stay home with Joshua and later Noah for all of their childhood. Remember when I said it was going to hurt? It did and then some but it was worth every single sacrifice. Four years later we took on the challenge of Homeschooling our children from Kindergarten – High School. Joshua and Noah are now both in college.
Tj is the CEO and founder of Studio490 Creative Services. He runs this business with his wife, Dana. You can see what God has started at www.studio490.com.